These days, everyone’s trying to sell something on the Internet—but according to Rich Gorman, some online sales pros are more effective than others. While e-commerce continues to grow, with online retailers threatening to put brick-and-mortar stores out of business, there remain many sellers who just aren’t sure of how to achieve the e-commerce results they’re looking for. According to Rich Gorman, however, there is hope—and in fact, there are several specific strategies that companies and marketers can follow as they seek to meet their e-commerce objectives.
Several of the best, most useful strategies for online sales development are highlighted in a recent article from Forbes. The article—which promises “7 Simple Tips to Increase Sales That You Can Implement Right Now”—has won the attention of Rich Gorman, and in the paragraphs that follow, he offers his own insights into the article.
Rich Gorman Unveils Top Tips for Boosting Online Sales
The Forbes article begins with a note of good news for online retailers and merchants—namely, the basic truth that consumers really do wish to purchase more and more of their products online. “E-commerce sales in the US rose by $33 billion from 2011 to 2012,” the article notes. “Mobile shopping alone is predicted to represent a quarter of all e-commerce by 2016 and by 2014, mobile will account for 30 percent of all US Internet access and will likely surpass total desktop usage.”
“E-commerce is exploding, whether you’re ready for it or not,” Gorman says. “Companies that aren’t on board with the latest and most significant e-commerce trends stand to be left out in the cold. The question, then, is simply this: Is your company’s online presence truly optimized for selling?”
From there, Rich Gorman begins to unpack and explain some of the specific pointers that the Forbes article offers. Its first tip is for companies to set one specific e-commerce goal—right now—and then to focus efforts on meeting that goal. “You’re not going to be able to totally transform your sales in a day, but you can set one specific goal and then make great strides toward meeting it,” Gorman affirms.
The one-goal approach is important, Gorman continues, precisely because there are so many different focus areas that online merchants can take. “Whether you’re trying to boost conversions or just generate more traffic, there are always improvements you could be making,” Gorman explains. “The problem is that when you try to accomplish all of this in one broad stroke, you spread yourself too thin.”
A second tip from the article is to understand what’s worth spending money on, and what companies should get for free. There are many helpful e-commerce plug-ins, tools, and analytics that companies can get from free—from WordPress, from Google, or for a third-party provider. For some things, however, it is better not to skimp.
“The two areas in which I recommend really spending some money are in design and domain,” Rich Gorman offers. “Companies that wish to succeed need a design that tells their story, and that is conducive to online purchasing. A killer online domain, meanwhile, is imperative for online branding and for reputation management.”
A third tip from the Forbes article is to remember that “faster is better.” Consumers do not have much patience waiting for websites to load, and if it takes more than a couple of seconds, they’ll likely move on to another site, with no purchase made. The need for speed is especially important for mobile sites. In fact, Forbes recommends that companies try accessing their mobile site right now, just to gauge how long it takes.
On-site optimization is also important—and here, Rich Gorman lets the Forbes article speak for itself. “Plan for mobile shoppers – your site needs to be able to re-size based on the device of the visitor,” the article states. “Add more visual content for people viewing on the go. Make sure all buttons and calls to action are ‘tap-friendly’.”
A fifth tip from the article is to think critically about the sales funnel. If a website is attempting to sell a product, it needs to take its visitors down a sales funnel, guiding them through general information about the product to a place where they can purchase it.
“Here, one of the crucial things to note is how important it is to keep clutter to a minimum,” Gorman offers. “You don’t want your visitors to get distracted or go down a rabbit trail before they have the chance to whip out their credit card and buy your product!”
A sixth tip, which companies can begin implementing immediately, is to offer free shipping. “Study after study has revealed this to be something that convinces visitors to buy a product,” Gorman affirms. “There are plenty of high-profile examples of this, as well, including Zappos and, most obviously, Amazon.com. If it works for them, it will work for your e-commerce endeavor!”
The seventh and final tip from Forbes is to “focus on SEO”—though this does not mean what many readers will assume it to mean. The article is not advocating for keyword trickery or backlink shenanigans so much as it is encouraging companies to put content first—boosting online visibility through video, through compelling written copy, and beyond.
The Forbes article concludes with what Rich Gorman refers to as a set of “bonus” tips—including this important, final word: “Talk to people in companies selling to the same demographic about what has worked, and what hasn’t on their websites.”
“That may be the most constructive and the most immediate thing you can do to start improving online sales today,” Gorman confirms. “There is no shame in going to another successful professional and asking what’s worked for him or her—because the odds are good that it will work for you, too.”
A long-time marketing professional and online business expert, Rich Gorman frequently opines on topics related to e-commerce.