To most online business owners, generating sales and boosting conversions is a very simple process that can be boiled down to this: “simply find what people want and give it to them”. After all, Zig Ziglar famously said that “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want”.
Unfortunately, while many of the most successful companies in the world have indeed found that the key to sales success lies in finding out what people want and giving it to them, available data shows that it is not that simple; a lot of little things can add up to cost you a significant portion of your sales, and unless you can learn to identify and fix these things, you’ll be lost for a long time.
If you run an online business, you don’t want to do these 10 things because they’ll cost you a whole lot of sales and conversions:
#1. Ignoring Mobile Internet Users
It’s better to care mainly for desktop users, after all that’s the de facto way the internet has been accessed since inception, right? Well, absolutely not. Recent research shows that mobile internet usage has overtaken desktop internet usage and that more people now access the internet, from the U.S. and in other parts of the world, from their mobile devices than from desktop computers.
Further research shows that over $76.79 billion in annual U.S. sales are generated directly from mobile devices, and that mobile usage influences sales in the U.S. to the tune of over $1 trillion every single year.
If your business (not just your website!) is not optimized for mobile users, you’re losing a lot of sales and conversions. In fact, you’re most likely losing more than half of your sales already.
#2. Poor Customer Service Experience
Whether it is in the form of how responsive you are to your customer’s queries, or how easy/difficult you make it to reach out to you, research shows that every bottleneck in way of a quality and satisfactory customer service experience for your users will cost you big sales and conversions.
According to customer service expert Ruby Newell-Legner, 96% of customers who are not satisfied with how you treat them will not complain, and 91% of customers who are not happy with how you treat them will not return. In other words, you’re losing a potential 91% of customers through bad service alone, and as many as 96% won’t even bother to tell you a thing.
If you want to boost sales and conversions, don’t joke with customer service.
#3. Lack of Personalization and Proper Targeting
When it comes to boosting sales and conversions, rigidity doesn’t help; there’s a huge benefit to properly understanding your customers, and regular surveys and segmenting of your customers based on interest can go a long way to boost sales.
Research published by Marketing Sherpa shows that segmenting your email list and sending your customers targeted offers can boost conversion rates by up to 208% compared to using the usual “batch-and-blast” approach.
#4. Not Blogging
It’s 2016 and you don’t have a blog? Well, now having a blog is no longer a matter of you being hip or trendy but a matter of you losing out on A LOT of sales.
Data from Hubspot shows that businesses that blog generate 126% more leads than businesses that do not blog, and customer service company Groove recently revealed that a subscriber from their blog is worth 3.6X as much as a subscriber from other sources.
If you do not have a blog for your business, it’s time to start one.
#5. Infrequent Blogging
Okay, so perhaps you’ve been blogging for a while now but just can’t seem to get the hang of it… then it’s time to actually fix what’s wrong; your blogging schedule.
Recent data from Hubspot, in which they analyzed over 13,500 of their customers, revealed that businesses that published 16+ articles on their blog monthly got 3.5 times more traffic and 4.5 times more leads than businesses that publish less than 4 blog posts monthly.
If you want to get results from blogging, it’s no longer about just having a blog; you need to publish new articles on a regular basis. To further show that blogging frequently works, superstar blogger Neil Patel revealed that increasing his blogging frequency from 1 article weekly to 2 articles weekly increased his monthly visits from 46,134 visitors to 59,787 visitors.
If you rarely update your blog, it’s time to invest more time into it or hire someone to handle that part of your business.
#6. A Poor Web Host
This is probably the last thing you’ll expect to see on this list, but it matters as well. In a piece for Smashing Magazine, Marcus Taylor revealed that something as simple as a web host could mean the difference between it taking 7 milliseconds or a much longer 250 milliseconds to connect to your website server.
If possible, don’t use a shared host; if you have to go for shared hosting, go with the very best. Some popular and reliable options are Bluehost, Hostgator, WP Engine, Umbrellar, etc. I review more web hosts here based on speed, uptime and other factors.
#7. Slow Website Speed
In the same line with your web host, site speed can also go a long way to impact sales and conversions; recent research conducted by Microsoft revealed that our attention span has reduced from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds in 2015; we now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, which has an attention span of 9 seconds.
Research also shows that 47% of consumers expect your website to load in 2 seconds or less, and that 40% of people will abandon your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Work on the following factors to boost your site speed, and watch your conversion rate go through the roof:
- Enable caching and Expires Headers
- GZIP your site
- Combine your background images into sprites
- Optimize your images to reduce their size and improve site speed
#8. Making it Difficult to Take Action on Your Site
What’s the action you want a user to take on your site? Is it to order a product or to sign up to your newsletter? Be sure it is dead simple to take that action. Research shows that complicating your checkout process, or increasing the number of form fields on your site can massively reduce sales.
Simplify your checkout and sign up process, and you’ll notice a nice boost in conversions.
#9. Lack of Trust Factors on Your Website
People can decide not to order from your website if they don’t trust you, but this is a problem that can easily be fixed. Research by Econsultancy/Toluna found that a whopping 48% of people look for trust seals on a website before checkout to decide whether a website can be trusted or not.
If you’re struggling to convert a good portion of visitors into customers, then perhaps it has something to do with trust; fix your trust by implementing trust seals.
#10. Not Caring
Simply caring can go a long way to boost user’s perception of your brand while drastically increasing sales. Make it easy for customers to give you feedback and have their problems resolved, and you’ll be boosting your sales and conversion in the process.
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