10 ways to sell better online

E-commerce is an important part of the Australian economy and is predicted to hit $16 billion by the end of 2012, and to reach nearly $27 billion by 2016.

According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, more than half of consumers over 15 are shopping online. With so many people opting to buy goods and services via the Internet, businesses should be aware of how to better sell online.

Here are 10 ways small businesses can better compete in the online marketplace.

  1. Price your products right. One of the main reasons why customers shop online is because products are generally cheaper, so it's important that your business remains competitive on this point. Give consumers a reason to shop local instead of buying from overseas retailers.
  2. Ensure your website is easy to navigate. This means clear headings, an appealing layout and no broken links. Try not to use Flash if you're starting out in e-commerce as this can't be viewed on all computers.
  3. Have a mobile-friendly website. Having a website that can be viewed easily on a smartphone will be to your advantage, as many sales are now made via mobile.
  4. Describe your products clearly. Think of your website as a resume for your business, and a sale as an interview. If your product descriptions and website content are engaging, your customers are more likely to buy.
  5. Offer international shipping. What if your potential customer base sits outside of Australia? Offering affordable shipping to overseas customers can open up a whole new market and make your business more competitive.
  6. Flexible return policy. The key is to establish a policy that satisfies customers yet ensures your business stays profitable, such as a 14 or 30 day return policy.
  7. Good customer service. Ensure customer queries are responded to within 2-3 business days and always handle them politely and expediently.
  8. Have a related products section on your website. A good way to raise sales is to put related products or the most purchased products on the page that your customer is browsing.
  9. Optimise your search engine marketing. Read D&B's tips here.
  10. Implement easy payment options. Credit cards are the most used payment option so ensure you offer this method of payment.

Learn more about how to drive customers to your website.

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