Online business

5 ways to boost your online sales

E-commerce is booming in Australia. Here are a few things that could skyrocket your online sales and revenue.

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Australians love to shop online. Unless you do everything you can to meet their needs, you could be missing out on a major money-making opportunity.

How major? Well, in the 12 months to September 30, 2021, Australians made 27% more online purchases than a year earlier – according to Australia Post’s latest e-commerce update.

Changing shopping habits were even more visible in New South Wales, where online shopping grew by more than 107% year-on-year. Yes really.

Obviously, tapping into this trend could pay off for Australian businesses – but what’s the best way to do it? We reached out to the experts to find out what they had to say about increasing online income and what strategies are often overlooked.

1. Accept multiple payment methods

User experience should be a priority for any e-commerce business owner, but payment options often fall through the cracks. And it could cost you money.

A survey by market research firm YouGov found that 50% of customers abandoned their shopping cart when their preferred payment method was unavailable.

Not only that, but accepting multiple payment options can open up new markets for you. Different regions, demographics, and even social groups have unique preferences.

For example, low-income people may be looking for buy-now, pay-later options, while tech-savvy shoppers may be looking for ways to spend their crypto. If you reach out to them, you might find yourself appealing to a whole new clientele.

Blake Smith is a Sydney-based digital marketing consultant, he told Finder that businesses should also outline the different payment methods they accept.

“Shopify does this automatically by displaying accepted payment methods in the website footer. Other CMS platforms may need to add them manually,” he said.

“Adding an SVG version of the payment method icon is the best way to ensure it doesn’t affect your website load time, as slow websites receive fewer requests You can also use code in the back-end of your website to tell search engines which payment method you accept.

This specific code is called schema markup and you will want to use a JSON-LD schema generator. There are a few online, but Blake named this one as his favorite.

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2. Accept crypto as payment

Now, this one is a bit of an extension of the last tip, but it deserves its own time in the spotlight as many business owners overlook crypto as a viable payment option on their websites.

Although it may be controversial, there is no denying that crypto is a major form of currency used or owned by millions of Australians. You do not believe me ? Finder survey data shows that at the start of 2021, 17% of Australians owned cryptocurrency. That’s over 4 million of us.

Janty Mohammed, director of the Australian Institute of Marketing Services, said businesses that accept crypto will increase their appeal to digitally savvy shoppers, who are most often millennials.

“Millennials, who are not only digital savvy but are also crypto investors and users, are actively looking for ways to use crypto in traditional ways,” he told Finder.

“Millennials are also rapidly becoming the largest cohort of online shoppers in the world. Showcasing this as part of your company’s services shows that you are in touch with shoppers’ needs and are progressing in your business thinking.”

There are also other benefits for businesses. Primarily, transactions are final. This means no unfair chargebacks that have become the bane of many small business owners’ lives.

Blockchain technology also verifies that funds are available before the transaction is completed, so customers can only purchase your products or services if they have enough cash on hand.

For example, RelayPay operates as an intermediary between buyers and sellers, accepting payments in cryptocurrency and then paying sellers in traditional fiat currency. RelayPay Magento or Woocommerce plugins can be integrated into your e-commerce platform or, if you don’t have an e-commerce site but still want to accept encrypted payments, you can use a hosted RelayPay solution. Salesforce integration is also on the cards in the near future.

The platform was also recognized as a finalist for “Best Innovation in Digital Currencies” in Finder’s 2021 Innovation Awards.

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Merchants can track payments through their personalized RelayPay dashboard. Picture: provided

3. Explore partnerships

E-commerce is easily one of the most competitive markets around and businesses need to work hard to ensure it stays relevant.

One way to do this is to build relationships and partnerships with other businesses. This is a great way to gain greater visibility or exposure to new markets, while offering a unique product or service. The best piece? They don’t have to be so expensive.

“Partnerships are often the lowest form of investment for customer growth, as they are typically based on a revenue share or success fee model for the partner,” said Sharon Melamed, Founder and CEO. from Matchboard.

“Think seriously about the kind of partnerships you could form,” she added.

A man packs a box after receiving an online order.

4. Do Keyword Research

The vast majority of e-commerce sites will at least dip their toes into SEO and doing solid keyword research is a key part of getting good SEO.

“In order to figure out what you should try and rank for, you have to figure out what people are actually searching for,” says SEO specialist Hamish Pearsall. “Use Google Ads Keyword Planner – it’s free – to research and get accurate data. Figure out what your top keywords are, then use them sitewide.”

Once you have your target keywords, it’s time to use them. Focus on meta titles and meta descriptions, which are the results you see after a Google search, as well as headers, sub-headers, and images.

“If you have a WordPress site and want to get started, use a free plugin like RankMath or Yoast,” Pearsall suggested.

A woman is typing on her laptop.

5. Optimize your website for mobile

SEO is not the only type of optimization that small businesses need to consider, they also need to optimize their websites for mobile use.

According to Australia Post’s 2020 E-Commerce Industry Report, a large portion of online purchases are made through mobile devices. The report found that across all industries surveyed, between 60% and 70% of shoppers were browsing on mobile.

Not only that, but Google favors mobile-friendly websites. According to its own data, half of all Google searches come from a mobile device, so mobile-friendly websites appear higher in search results. There’s never-ending motivation to set up your website to work well on mobile. Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t.
A woman is shopping online using her mobile phone.

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