Sponsored By City National Bank

One of your most important responsibilities as a small business owner is finding new ways to sell your products or services. While this may seem like a daunting task to add to your list of day-to-duty duties, there are strategies you can use to establish credibility for your company and entice new customers to shop with you. Forrester Research predicts that in 2017, US consumers will spend $385 billion at various online stores. This means there is an opportunity for your business to increase sales — it just requires some creative strategizing. Small businesses operating in a hypercompetitive marketplace like Los Angeles can employ the following time-tested strategies to help improve their sales.


Use Opt-In Offers To Build Up Your Subscriber List

Newsletters are a great way for small businesses to keep in touch with existing customers and create a consistent, ongoing presence with new ones. They can also be an effective way to boost sales — you just need to give people a little motivation to sign up. Create a sense of urgency in new and existing customers by offering limited time discounts or limited quantity bonuses for signing up to your mailing list. This initial one-time incentive can evolve into a steady stream of sales by prioritizing deals, discounts and other motivators in the emails you send out to those on your list. For maximum effectiveness, make sure your newsletter is distributed on a regular schedule and offers valuable information about your business or deals on your company’s products and services. Dedicate staff or outsource it to a contractor to ensure that you consistently send the newsletter out. Starting a newsletter and letting it drop off can make your business look flaky.


Feature Positive Product Reviews At Checkout

Eighty-eight percent of US consumers place equal value on positive online product reviews as on personal recommendations. A few positive reviews can put customers’ minds at ease, especially when shopping with newer or smaller, lesser-known businesses. Positive product reviews are also vital if you offer products or services at a lower price than other competitors in your market. The more positive reviews you have, the better, so be sure to encourage existing customers to review your business after shopping with a pop-up, in a newsletter or on social media. Featuring positive reviews in the checkout section of your online store can help establish trust with a new customer who is unfamiliar with your company and give someone who’s on the fence the push they need to patronize your store. If customers leave negative reviews, don’t fret. You can still earn the trust and confidence of new customers by publicly responding to criticism, offering to resolve issues and highlighting the positive aspects of your products and services. Joining the conversation by responding to negative reviews will show shoppers that your company holds itself accountable, doesn’t shy away from criticism, and goes out of its way to guarantee customer satisfaction.


 Make Your Online Store Mobile-Friendly

A recent Nielsen Company study found that 28 percent of North American consumers like to shop via mobile device. If your company’s online store isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re effectively cutting your business off to 162 million potential customers. Work with your company’s website provider to ensure that mobile features such as site design, site structure and page speed are up to par and not turning mobile shoppers away due to bad user experience. If your web store is already optimized for mobile use, go the extra mile — offering features like optional storing of personal information or international shipping compatibility will cast a wider net to a more diverse group of customers and encourage repeat shopping. At a time when online marketing technology is ever-evolving and becoming increasingly sophisticated by the day, make sure your business is where mobile customers are by taking advantage of targeted advertisements on popular websites like Facebook and Twitter.


Become More Active On Facebook

E-commerce giant Shopify recently reported that 85 percent of all of its social media-originating orders come from Facebook. By regularly posting on your company’s Facebook page and incentivizing consumers to “Like” your page, you can boost your business’s conversion rate. A Facebook page is a great way to create an online space where customers can find out about deals, new products or services, and other relevant updates for your company. Facebook also offers business features specifically designed to increase your exposure. Use boosts to increase likes and other engagement on your posts and page. You can also use Facebook Offers to offer customers Facebook-only discounts that they can redeem at your site. Assign a social-savvy employee to handle your social media marketing or hire a pro to take care of your company’s online presence. Being consistent in your messaging is important, so have all social posts approved by you or another executive to ensure that the tone and voice of your posts are on-brand.


Start A Company Blog

A company blog will allow you to provide consumers with a consistent stream of valuable content. Establish your company as a thought leader in your field with blog posts that shed light on issues related to your industry. Consistently providing customers useful information and tips builds credibility and trust. This content will not only foster a deeper level of connection with your shoppers, but it will also keep them engaged with your brand on a regular basis and increase their chances of shopping with you. Like with a newsletter or with social media, consistency is essential, so make sure you have a dedicated person assigned to manage your blog.


Unless otherwise stated, opinions expressed are those of the respective authors and not necessarily those of the sponsoring party, City National Bank (CNB). The information is provided without warranty and no recommendation or endorsement by CNB is intended or should be inferred unless specifically stated.

Visit City National Bank’s News & Insights for small business tips, trends and updates.

cnb rbc 4 5 17 5 Proven Strategies To Help Boost Your Online Sales


For more tips and inspiration for small business owners,
visit CBS Small Business Pulse Los Angeles.


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