The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively accelerated the shift from brick-and-mortar stores to digital shopping by about five years, reveals data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index. Offering convenience, better prices and even free shipping (in most cases), the number of online stores and e-sellers are now in the thousands — and they provide items in just about every category.

The problem, however, is that while competition breeds innovation, it also means that not all e-commerce stores will get a chance in the spotlight. So, from being honest in your sales copy and building a website with Weebly, to offering delivery with ShippingEasy and gathering customer feedback and creating loyalty, here are some online selling tips to help you stand out in 2021.

1. Be honest in your sales copy 

shop2 Planning out your business strategy to a T before executing it is a great idea. Photo: pixabay (CC0)

Honesty is the best policy, so make sure you carry that over to your sales copies. Doing so will not only help build your brand but also let your customers know that you can be trusted.

Remember that today's crowd is more exposed to the internet, so they can easily pick up if a brand is overhyping a product. So, don't use hyperboles lightly, and don't make any claims that you can't substantiate. Instead, be honest, straightforward and approachable in your product descriptions. After all, you don't have to worry if you yourself trust the product or service that you're selling.

2. Improve your email marketing campaigns 

Email marketing is one of the best ways to increase customer conversion, as it helps you communicate with consumers outside of your website. Once you've built your mailing list, work on using that to provide opportunities for them to be loyal to your brand — or at least become a returning customer.

For example, you can send mail to online visitors who add items to their cart but leave before purchasing. You can also send clients products related to ones they previously purchased or promotions of new products and campaigns. You can even inform those who signed up for your loyalty program about offers that are exclusive to them.

Remember that every email is an opportunity, so see to it that each one provides value to your clients.

3. Build a strong website

Speaking of building your brand, the best way to do this is by creating a website that communicates who you are as a brand. And while you can start from scratch, taking advantage of website building platforms can save you time and effort.

Weebly is one such platform. With Weebly, you can create a professional and customizable website with powerful tools. It offers integrated shipping, inventory management, marketing features and more. All of its paid subscription plans come with a free custom domain name and hosting for one year.

If you wish to learn more or are ready to build a website, then visit Weebly.com.

4. Optimize your website for keyword research

seo One of the best ways of increasing traffic is by improving your website's search rankings via SEO. Photo: pixabay (CC0)

What’s the use of a good e-commerce store if people won’t be able to find it? Search engine optimization (SEO) is the future, and making sure your website is keyword-friendly will greatly affect how many people find it.

While this can be overwhelming for some, there are SEO tools that can set you on the right path. One option is AIOSEO, a low-cost plugin that provides you with powerful features to help optimize your site. It gives you unique insight into your website’s SEO rankings, along with other tools to help you tailor your website around consumer behavior and maximize organic traffic. Improve your website’s rankings with AIOSEO today.

5. Think ‘cross-device,’ not ‘mobile’

Make sure that your website is accessible and responsive whether on desktop, smartphone or tablet. Doing so should give your customers a seamless experience, making your website all the more memorable.

Nobody wants to browse through confusing homepages, work with overwhelming interfaces or wait for long loading times, so make sure your customers avoid a bad UX.

6. Use ad extensions

This is a no-brainer if you’re selling products online, as it allows you to make your ad bigger, which means more places to click. It doesn’t cost extra, and it increases your clicks while making it easier for your customers to find what they want on your site.

7. Create a sense of urgency

sale Providing sales and limited time offers is a great way to provide a sense of urgency. Photo: pixabay (CC0)

While it’s important to be honest and transparent in your services, there’s also nothing wrong with persuading your customers with a sense of urgency, be it via time-sensitive special orders or limited-edition products. For example, you can make short-time offers on products that quickly sell, while you can put month-long discounts on more expensive products. 

Additionally, you can offer discounts, free shipping or other incentives to customers who make purchases right away. These are greats ways to increase sales.

8. Reduce checkout process friction

Per data from Business Insider, around $4T worth of online merchandise was in cart abandonment in 2015, a statistic that highlights how crucial it is to optimize your checkout process. Stop this from happening by eliminating any unnecessary steps in the checkout process — make it simple and straight to the point.

9. Extend numerous payment options

These days, consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to paying for goods and services, so make sure you offer such options. Remember that your next loyal customer can come from anywhere, so make sure that you provide them with their payment option of choice — or at least a popular one. Other tips include adding a process indicator on the checkout page, using strong CTAs and offering guest checkout options.

10. Offer a great delivery experience

deliver Offering a seamless delivery experience that's on-brand also goes a long way. Photo: pixabay (CC0)

The brand experience shouldn’t end when your customer hits “Pay now.” Rather, it should continue until that package reaches them. You can do this by personalizing the packaging, but you need to make sure that the delivery process itself is seamless. And for this, you need something like ShippingEasy.

With the online shipping automation platform, you can process and fulfill orders from your selling channels while saving money through discounted postage rates and guaranteeing your customers get their packages on time. Start delivering with ShippingEasy! It offers a 30-day free trial.

11. Provide a bulletproof money-back guarantee

Often, the only thing stopping a customer from making a purchase is risk aversion. So, how do you combat this? By offering a money-back guarantee if they are unhappy with your product or service. Doing so also eliminates the risk of “buyer’s remorse.”

12. Gather customer feedback and build loyalty

hayppy Interacting with your customers via feedback and comments will help establish brand loyalty. Photo: pixabay (CC0)

Lastly, build customer trust and loyalty by interacting with your customers via feedback and reviews. Most buyers don’t see a reason to spend more time than they should on your site, so use a few key strategies to make it easier for them to do so. This includes providing discounts or vouchers or using your email lists to let them respond without having to go back to your website. 

This gains you good feedback, and communicating with your customers shows that you care about their suggestions — which ultimately helps them build trust in your brand.