The early days of any online business consist of a cross between stress and pleasure. You’ve left your dead-end job in the dust and started a career focused around your passion, but the anxiety that comes along will be inevitable. Every click and view that you receive will become an obsession, and even if you do get a lot of traffic, you’ll quickly realize that doesn’t necessarily mean those visitors will be making a purchase.
You might feel a sense of anxiety: are you doing something wrong? Is there something else you could be doing better? And while yes, it’s true you can always be improving, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing something wrong. In fact, all you may need is just a little guidance!
So how do I get my shop’s visitors to make a purchase?
Sometimes I go into a store not intending to buy anything, and consequently feel very guilty when I’m greeted by a cheerful salesperson. I feel as if I’m wasting their time. The beauty of the Internet is that online shopping gets rid of that guilt factor; would-be customers don’t need to feel anything, and exiting out of a page doesn’t elicit any emotion.
Of course, your goal is not to guilt people into buying something, but impressing your customers and inspiring them can bring them to make a purchase. Promotional events like one day only sales or a limited supply of a certain product can create a sense of urgency within a customer, prompting them to buy because they know they won’t get a second chance.
Other things like good copy, well-photographed pictures of your products, and anything else visual can make a good impression on any consumer, and even if they’re not in a buying mood the very moment they look at your store, they’ll remember you and will come back later. It’s also important that if your store has its own website, the website design and copy is all original and engaging. Even little things like spelling errors can rub a customer the wrong way, for they might suspect your store is fraudulent and not worthy of their trust—or their money.
Know your customer.
Consider your target demographic and who’s made a purchase in the past. Let’s say you sell makeup in crazy, vibrant colors. Your biggest demographic is most likely young millennial women. Now if I know one thing about young millennial women (because I am one!) is that while we love makeup, we’re not making a whole lot of money and can’t necessarily wear bright green lipstick in our everyday lives.
Scenarios such as these answer the question as to why you have so many views, but few buys. It’s true certain products are more likely to sell, especially if it’s something a customer has a reason to buy over and over again, but sometimes you’re just going to get traffic without any purchases. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this, leaving both you and your customers happy.
Which brings us back to…
Incentives! Depending on what you sell, and especially if you find yourself in a situation like my makeup example, you’re going to need to offer your customers something in return in order to encourage them to forgo any reservations. Including free gifts in orders, offering things like discounted shipping or a rewards program, and providing the best deals possible for your product are great ways to get your customers to spend.
Of course, while all of these ideas will certainly increase the likelihood of a customer making a purchase, you can never truly guarantee that they will. The most you can do is work hard and push yourself in the direction of being the best.
I know, I know—that’s the last thing you want to hear, but it’s true! If your business is very new, it’s going to take some time, and the most you can do now is follow all these steps and keep on pushing yourself. It would be a perfect world if all our online presences could blow up overnight, but if that could happen, then you wouldn’t be here, and we wouldn’t be friends.
Did you know it took Amazon eight years to turn a profit? Now, don’t let that thought scare you—this all happened when the Internet was still very new—but all I’m saying is patience is the price to pay for your future success. Who knows? You may one day look back at all this and have to laugh.