5 Research-Backed Tips to Increase Online Sales
Sixty-three percent of people requesting information about your company today won’t purchase from you for at least three months, and 20 percent won’t purchase over the next 12 months. Another statistic -- 44 percent of salespeople have an 80 percent probability that they won’t close the sale.
While there are many factors that influence whether prospects buy from you or not, most can be traced back to psychology. Extensive research has been conducted to show us what really makes people buy. This article shares five research-backed tips for boosting your online sales.
1. Get an authority figure to endorse you.
How much is an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey worth to your business? For T-FAL ActiFry, an endorsement from Oprah was worth $150 million. On Feb. 15, 2013, Oprah tweeted and posted on Instagram -- while holding an Actifry -- that the appliance "changed my life." Analysts estimated the resulting increase in share value to be worth over $150 million.
Almost every big brand can testify to the power of having an endorsement from an authority figure, and it explains why all major brands try to sign celebrities and athletes to endorse them -- Nike, Weight Watchers, Coca-Cola, etc.
The reason authority works so well is because we are neurologically wired to obey authority. One of the more popular experiments on authority is the Milgram experiments that started in 1973. In a series of experiments aimed at observing the role authority plays when it comes to compliance, Stanley Milgram found that at least 60 percent of people are willing to obey authority to the extent of causing significant harm to someone else.
Having an authority figure -- especially an authority that is well-respected in your field -- endorse your products will go a long way to boost your sales. In the absence of an authority figure, having a respected media outlet endorse you can have the same effect.
2. Leverage the power of the crowd.
There’s a popular saying that nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. Research shows that this saying is true. In a series of studies conducted by psychologist Solomon Asch in the 1950s -- to observe how people make decisions when in a group -- Asch found that people are more likely to bury their opinion and embrace that of a group.
Social proof is one of the most effective tools for boosting sales. If you can get people to see that many others, like them, are happily using your product or service, you will be able to easily and successfully boost product sales.
3. Leverage the familiarity principle.
Have you ever wondered why brands keep repeating the same ads over again across different channels, or sometimes over and over again on the same channel? A quick experiment conducted by Charles Goetzinger in 1968, in his Oregon State University class, gives some insight into how the familiarity principle works. He concluded repeated exposure can make us develop a liking for something we initially hated.
The reason for Goetzinger’s students’ eventual likeness of the black bag is also the reason why major brands keep repeating the same ad over and over again -- which research shows works by the way. It’s due to the “mere-exposure effect,” or the “familiarity principle,” which is a psychological phenomenon that states that people tend to develop preference for things they are familiar with.
There’s also a marketing rule dedicated to this -- called “the rule of seven” -- which basically states that your prospects need to be exposed to your offer at least seven times before taking note of it and taking action.
So, don’t hesitate to repeatedly let people know about your offer. Tell them through every available channel, repeatedly, and watch your sales go through the roof. Use social media, build an email list, use advertising, blog, leverage offline events and use other means necessary.
4. Boost sales by increasing your site speed.
In a study monitoring real user data from 33 major retailers, it was discovered that reducing page load time from eight to two seconds can boost conversion rate by 74 percent. It was also observed that a one second delay in site loading time reduces conversion by 7 percent.
With all the right sales measures in place, speed of access is important. There’s so many things going on in the mind of prospects, and a 2015 Microsoft study shows that our attention span has declined from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds now. It is important to note that people are simply too impatient to wait for an ever-loading website.
Work on making your website faster, especially transaction pages, and you’ll be amazed at the resulting increase in sales.
5. Improve your trust factor.
Sales is hinged on trust, but in an internet age that is rife with hacks and scams, trust is more important than ever. Research shows that as many as 48 percent of people won’t feel comfortable transacting with a site that does not have a trust seal. Trust seals are the highest trust signal people look for when performing transactions on a website, and 48 percent of people won’t buy from you if this is not in place.
Just as important as trust seals is to have SSL enabled. When making online transactions, people pay special attention to the HTTPS protocol, and having that green padlock displayed alongside your site can go great lengths to boost your sales. It has been observed that having SSL enabled can boost sales by up to 30 percent or more.If you don’t use SSL on your site, you’re still leaving doubts in the mind of your prospects. Enabling SSL will go a long way to make you more reliable in your prospects’ minds.