Here’s the facts about Online Sales:
Sales of homewares and appliances online are growing, and growing fast. In January 2017, they grew at a year on year rate of 17.8%. They are two of the fastest growing segments in online sales.
And here’s the really good news, it’s the small businesses, not the big corporates who are growing the fastest. Small businesses are punching above their weight, and driving about one-third of all online sales, plus they are growing faster than their corporate cousins. Year on year, the growth rate of online sales from small business has been at 19.7 per cent. That is an awesome growth rate.
The reality is though that online sales across all segments related to the home are growing. Over the past 12 months Australians spent $21.83 billion online. But that still only represents 7.2% of what is spent instore and over the counter in traditional bricks and mortar stores like furniture stores, bathroom stores, tile stores etc.
Consumers feel comfortable online, they are researching online, they are comparing online, and they are buying online.
We want to equip you with the knowledge and the tools to make the most of this opportunity. Making sure that your business is benefitting from the time customers are spending online can be pretty straightforward. Lets work through the process.
Which Call to Action?
First things first – for every product that you are looking to advertise online you need to be very clear on what action you want the customer to take – this is your Call to Action.
So if a product is best sold instore or you want to drive floor traffic, then make sure your ad talks about coming instore to touch, feel and get advice. Getting people to enquire and head instore is your goal.
Click and Collect
If it’s a product that can be sold online, but you don’t want to have to ship it, then make the product available via Click and Collect, and Instore. That way a customer can secure the product online, but will need to pick it up from your store.
Key Tip for Click and Collect ads – make it clear where they will need to collect it from. Here’s some other advantages of Click and Collect, both for your business and the customer. If driving Click and Collect sales is your goal – make sure your ad tells the customer to take that action.
Which leaves online sales – if you have products that suit being sold online and shipped directly to the customer. Make sure your ads support achieving this goal.
Your Checklist for a successful e-commerce ad
If your goal is to sell your products online, then everything in your ad needs to be supporting that outcome. Every ad needs to:
- Clearly explain to the customer what they are buying
- Show the customer what they are buying
- Explain your freight policy
- Have up to date pricing and stock information
Clear Descriptions explaining to the customer what they are buying
This is not rocket science. Go to the product page for one of your items that you want to be selling successfully online.
Now read the ad.
Let’s start with the title and keywords – do these summarise the product accurately and help your customer find them?
Read the ad again. Is it actually clear what you are buying? Do you answer the questions that customers ask?
This is not about a long wordy ad. This is about including the key information that your customer needs to make a decision.
If there are multiple colours shown in an ad, is it clear which colour the customer will receive if they order?
TIP To make this easier for consumers, if you add the product image of a specific colour item to the variant in the ad, this is the image that will show when the colour is selected. This gives a consumer confidence.
TIP Consumer reviews are a powerful tool that creates confidence for potential purchasers. Our reviews tool is a part of your marketplace subscription – use it and benefit from it!
TIP Are you selling a more technical item that needs specification drawings, instruction manuals or other PDFs to be presented with it? Easy – every ad can have PDFs added to it with simple and straightforward drag and drop.
Show the customer what they are buying
Images are what sells online. Seriously, having clean, clear images, without watermarks that clearly show your product from multiple angles is one of the best investments you can make.
Feel like you’ve got too many products? Invest in the products that are best suited to selling online, or are your exclusives, or the ones that you buy best on.
Then if you really want to sell online, the data is showing that video is increasingly important. Uploading a video to your ads or your store profile is easy – just drag and drop.
Other e-comms sites are saying that ads with videos are getting better engagement and selling more quickly.
Explain your Freight Policy
Freight charges are one of the key reasons that 75% of Australian consumers abandon their carts when shopping online.
What can you do to increase the number of sales you are making? Easy make your freight policy clear.
If you have a lot of large products that you don’t really want to ship – don’t offer them as Buy Online. Mark them as Instore and Click and Collect.
Set your base freight as a reasonable estimate of freight cost recovery for the items you do want to send.
Do you need to specify that you are limited in the areas you ship to? Or do you want to be able to review freight costs for regional areas? Write a great freight policy, and make it really clear. Here’s a couple of different templates.
New Feature If you offer free shipping on your site over a certain purchase threshold you can now do the same on House of Home. Log In to your House of Home account, head to My Details and then scroll down to Shipping Details.
Keep your pricing up to date
So you’ve put time into your ads, you’ve fine tuned your calls to action, you’ve spent time and/or money on imagery, and you’ve cleaned up your freight policy. What’s the worse that can happen?
You get a sale but you have to refund it because either the price is wrong or you are out of stock. What a waste! You can avoid this by automating the update link between your webstore or POS and House of Home. We’ve got connectors built for six of the most common systems.
Our e-commerce conversion rates are growing every month. Your business can be benefit.
Interested in the figures we quoted on online retail?