Computers and the internet have made it easier for us to do business than was ever possible before. The internet has opened up huge new markets of customers that were too far away or hard to reach in decades gone by.
In the 21st century, it’s easy for us to sell products and services to customers on the other side of the world. We can even deliver some products electronically. For example, e-books, audiobooks, movies, music, and TV shows can all be downloaded from a store instead of having to receive a physical copy in the post.
The ecommerce industry is now worth more than $500 billion globally thanks to the ease in which we can now trade with each other.
That said, low barriers to entry mean that it’s easier for your competitors to start up too. Online businesses face new challenges. They must fight through the noise and convince potential customers to buy from them instead of another business. Thankfully, there are many ways that they can do this.
Offer a Free Trial
Free trials are a great way to build trust with your potential customers. Provided you are confident that your product or service is good enough to sell itself, then anyone that takes out the trial will see the merit of what you’re offering, making it easier for you to convince them to hand over some cash.
They’re popular in many different sectors, with everything from SEO services to disposable razors offered as a free trial. In the case of online casino operators, a free trial usually works slightly differently, with many offering free spins to customers for them to try games for a defined number of plays before depositing money. In this sector, these free trials are ubiquitous, with almost every operator competing on who can offer the most generous number of free spins.
Case studies are another way to demonstrate to your customers that you are capable of delivering what they need. They are particularly useful if you are selling a complex product, something that is made bespoke or are customized in some way.
They’re common in the service sector, and among businesses that undertake construction work for their clients. While they may also be useful for simpler products, particularly if you sell your product in bulk and can offer improvements in delivery time or cost to your customers.
Reviews work similarly to case studies. They let your customers speak for you, and demonstrate your capability. They work well for both simple and complex products, and can be used along with or instead of case studies.
You’ll find reviews everywhere online. They’re used just about everywhere, but have been particularly useful on e-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay and for travel businesses to help their customers choose the right hotel.
Use Trusted Payment Methods
Accepting credit and debit cards as payment methods on your website is really easy thanks to services like PayPal and Stripe. Research by PayPal itself claims that putting the PayPal logo on your website, to show your customers that you accept it as a payment method, can increase your sales by 3%.
For several years now, Google has been ranking websites higher in its search results if they have an SSL certificate installed. This means that the connection between the website and the customer’s computer can be encrypted to stop other people from reading any personal information that gets transmitted.
Google Chrome now shows a symbol that a website without SSL is “unsecure” to visitors, something that could discourage sales.
You can buy an SSL certificate from your hosting provider, or use Let’s Encrypt to get one for free.
Speed is Important
It’s also important to make sure your website loads fast. Not only is a slow website frustrating for users, it can also reduce your sales. According to the Aberdeen Group, a delay of 1 second can result in a 7% loss in conversions.
It’s therefore important to make sure your images and code are optimized, and to use services like Cloudflare to decrease your site’s loading times.