The first sale
It starts when the customer arrives on your website. You need to make sure that the customer can find what they want and has the confidence to add that item to the shopping basket and continue to the checkout and pay. It sounds simple, but you can loose a lit of business along the way.
Making sure that the potential customer can find what they want is simple. Make the site navigation simple and easy to follow and well categorised. Make the categories clear so that the potential customer can find what they are looking for by clicking an obvious category. Also add a search box somewhere to the header, or to a side bar. This way they can search for the item if they are not sure where to find it.
Now they have found what they want provide good quality photographs of the image with full details. If you are asked questions about certain items, add the answers to the item description. Spell out everything that the customer might want to know and make it easy for them to find out more.
Part of this is to spell out what taxes and postage is included or needs to be added. Many customers will add an item to the basket only to abandon it when they see there is postage to be added on. Even if the price is still competitive, the surprise of suddenly adding tax and postage can scare them off. State what these are at item level.
Now, add some sales
Getting that first item into the basket is essential, but getting more items in the basket is vital and where the profit can really roll in. This can either be through more normal priced products or sales add on.
By using a custom shopping basket you can examine the basket contents to see what is in it and look at other buyers’ baskets to see what similar products they have also bought. Suggest to the customer at the end of the basket that they might also like to view these items.
Alternately, maybe in conjunction with the items in the basket, offer add on sales of discounted items. Or make offers such as free postage with certain basket amounts. Take a look at your average basket amount over the previous month and make an offer of a free product or free postage when the total basket is, for example, about 10% more than the average. Run that for a month and see if your average basket has increased. If so, try the trick again until you find you cannot push the value any more.
Just because the visitor is looking at a certain item does not mean that is what they want to buy. So keep a track of what previous customers have looked at and finally bought. Tell the visitor that customers looking at that item in the past have previously ended up buying certain other products. They might then buy the alternative, or buy both!