Your Website Is No Longer An “Online” Brochure
You don’t have to have a “checkout” option on your website specifically, but it should be a part of the buying journey on your website. There’s been significant growth in e-commerce in recent years. In 2014, total sales reached just $1.3 trillion. But that number has more than tripled in 2020 to $4.2 trillion and is anticipated to keep growing as we move deeper into the 2020s. In-fact, E-Commerce Sales Are Predicted to Hit $6.5 Trillion by 2023 (Statista) (See Chart Below)
Gone are the days of only offline marketing strategies, it has to be an integrated approach. To be successful in today’s market, companies must create a sales process that aligns with the needs of online consumers. However, the key to developing a best-in-class website selling strategy doesn’t just involve having an online presence, but a well-rounded digital brand that connects with target consumers in a meaningful way.
To really level-up your website “selling strategy”, you must first recognize the essentials of what makes your website successful. Before you start brainstorming and developing your next digital strategy, develop a clear understanding of these three essential elements of a profitable and meaningful 2021 online strategy:
1. Optimize Your Online Sales Funnel
An online sales funnel is a term used by digital sellers and marketers which describes the journey of a consumer from initial introduction to a brand all the way through to the conversion, or point of purchase. Understanding your brand’s online sales funnel is a major part of a successful websitel selling strategy, as it will provide insights that demonstrate how your ideal customer’s decision making process. (Make sure you have Google Analytics on your site)
Moving prospects or visitors through your sales funnel online involves multiple steps: engaging prospects, converting into customers, completing a sale, and producing loyal repeat customers. For website selling purposes, the optimal sales funnel will be able to engage with customers at the top of the online sales funnel and keep them actively connected to a brand until they decide to make a purchase.
Good website selling strategists will be able to keep a prospect’s attention through the sales funnel, while a great digital selling strategist will keep them aligned with the brand in a way that feels natural.
2. Create Content That Spans the Online Sales Funnel
When it comes to developing a successful website selling strategy for your service or product, content can either make or break your websites success . Modern consumers aren’t looking for cheesy sales-like content that simply states the features of your product or service. Rather, they seek actionable information about how your brand can help better their lifestyle in some capacity. High-quality content tells the story of your brand and paints a picture of how a prospect can relate to your brand image.
When it’s done well, website content keeps a prospect engaged throughout the entire online sales funnel; from first awareness to building loyal repeat customers. The most valuable content to leads is content that provides an actionable step and solves a problem that they may be experiencing. Educational content positions you and your brand as thought leaders in your given industry while demonstrating that you’re invested in helping your customers do and be better. There are multiple types of high-value content that can be developed as part of a digital selling strategy, including:
- Case studies and testimonials: Whether they’re long-form or a short paragraph, case studies are an incredible tool in helping prospects understand your brand better. Often, a case study will demonstrate an issue that a previous client was having, and how yourself or your business helped provide actionable solutions.
- Email marketing tactics: Your website being able to help sell doesn’t stop once a user has provided their email to you via a contact form on your website. According to the Email Statistics Report, 2017-2021 completed by The Radicati Group, there were 3.7 billion email users globally in 2017. With such a wide user count, email marketing maintains its ability to be an effective way to reach and connect with targeted prospects. With many cost-effective providers of email newsletter distribution, sending regular branded emails and newsletters to communicate updates, promotions, and events with your audience help to keep them engaged and connected with your brand. Limitus found that 47% of email opens occur on mobile, with 36% on webmail and 17% on desktop devices. This ability to access emails on varying devices is a bonus for digital sellers, as this provides an increased opportunity for recipient click-through to attached links.
- Social media content: For many brands, creative and well-curated social media content has been the most important part of their digital selling strategy. With over 1.13 billion users on Facebook daily in 2016 as found by Statistica, the ability to create first impressions with leads, generate high-potential prospects, and drive them through the sales funnel is made more accessible with a well-rounded social media presence. The content that is shared on varying social media platforms is critical for a successful digital selling strategy. Before sharing any content, do your research and find out on what platform the majority of your target audience spends their time. If you’re a wedding photographer, you may find that an Instagram feed is more beneficial for building brand awareness than Twitter would be. The content you share on social media should be actionable, valuable, and relevant to the needs of your target audience. For example, share links to both new and previous blogs, case studies, and well-curated third-party content that demonstrates your understanding of your audience’s needs and interests. To connect in a more meaningful way with your social media content, take the time to regularly review the comments, answer any customer queries in a timely fashion, and listen to follower’s when they say they want to see more content on a specific topic.
3. Utilize Data and Analytics to Optimize Your Digital Selling Performance
Digital sellers and marketers are experiencing a massive shift in how they interpret the online actions of their target audience. With an influx in available data from platforms like Google Analytics and the “business” profile option on many social media platforms, people are gaining more insight into brand engagement and the needs of prospects than ever before.
Making use of this available data can help create a successful digital selling strategy. When you’re aware of where prospects are leaving your sales funnel, you can analyze and optimize your online sales funnel to improve your brand connection. The most successful digital sellers are harnessing the power of this data using intelligence tools to understand how prospects are spending their online time, driving productivity and streamlining how they can sell their brand in a meaningful way.
A successful digital selling strategy starts with a clear understanding of your ideal customers’ needs, wants, and online habits. By utilizing data analysis tools and social media platforms to develop a well-rounded online sales funnel, you can optimize your digital selling methods to reach prospects and drive profitable action