Operating and scaling an online business is no easy task. While there are plenty of sales and marketing guides that will point you in the right direction, many of them preach the same practices. Here are three overlooked and guaranteed strategies you can use that will increase your revenue.
Optimized Payment Experience
The first step in increasing your online revenue is to make sales. To make a sale, you need your customers to pay. This may seem like a no brainer right? Truth is, many businesses aren’t utilizing the proper payment tools available to them.
According to the Baymard Institute, the average abandonment rate for online shopping carts is about 69.23 percent. Additionally, 23 percent of shoppers abandon their carts because the checkout process was too long or complicated. The numbers don’t lie. If it’s not easy to make a purchase on your website you’re selling yourself short.
Luckily for you, there are plenty of popular payment solutions and various payments platforms available. When choosing a payments provider, make sure you fully understand what you’re paying for. Since each business has various payment requirements, pricing will vary quite a bit across the board. At the very least your payments solution should provide the following:
- Payment acceptance for all major payment types including digital wallets like Apple and Android Pay as they are gaining popularity.
- Shopping cart plug-ins or technical integrations via a payments API, as this will likely determine your checkout experience.
- Reporting and analytics for easier accounting, reconciliation, and valuable data insights for your business.
The majority of the top payments companies will offer free trials. I suggest finding two or three that fit your requirements and give them a shot. Remember, this is the backbone of your revenue so make sure you’re choosing the right payments platform for your business.
When it comes to online marketing, content is king. Content marketing is a great way to build your business and online revenues. In order to effectively utilize this strategy it’s important to develop a sound content plan so people can find your business, and most of all determine if you offer valuable products and services.
First and foremost, you need to deliver quality content. Any content marketer will strongly advise to post consistently, the more volume the better. While this is true, you want to make sure you aren’t pushing out worthless posts. Focus on in-depth pieces that serve as an educational asset to your readers. Ideally, you’ll be able to attract other publications to start syndicating your content to their own websites. That way you’ll get more exposure and more links.
In addition to good content, links are also something you’ll want to pursue in the content marketing realm. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the basic process of maximizing the amount of traffic to your website by ensuring your website appears higher than the others. It’s like the real world. What makes someone famous? The more people talking about an individual the more famous they appear. Same goes for the Internet, the more links coming back to your website the higher you will rank on search engines. For beginners, I highly recommend taking a look at Moz’s beginners guide to SEO.
Provide Stellar Customer Service
Last but not least, customer service. One of the most over-looked ways to increase online revenues is customer service. We live in a more connected society than ever before. The power of word-of-mouth referrals is only increasing. If you’re able to provide top-notch customer service you better believe your customers will tell their friends.
First, you’ll need to make yourself readily available online. According to AdWeek, 80% of consumers use their digital devices to contact customer service. Additionally, 71% of consumers admit they’ve ended a relationship with a company due to substandard customer service. Remember, the power of word of mouth can also work inversely and severely harm your company. Use these few tips to provide a great experience for your users:
- Set realistic expectations. If you can’t offer 24/7 support, don’t advertise it. Make sure you can deliver on any expectations you set. Remember, it’s better to over-deliver than to over-promise.
- Engage customers on multiple channels. Make sure you’re able to offer basic channels like phone, email, and chat support.
- Utilize social media. Companies often respond directly to customer service related tweets and Facebook posts. If you’re able to stay on top of them, it publicly shows good merit.
If you take the time to seriously improve your customer service, you will surely be surprised at the revenue it brings.
As more and more businesses move online, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to profitable strategies. All three of these strategies are guaranteed ways you can boost your online revenue. The changes won’t happen overnight, but they are definitely worth it.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.