Online Sales


Anytime you can inspire your customers, build them up or catch their interest, it can lead to sales. If you’ve been promoting your business for any length of time, you may feel a bit burned out with your marketing efforts. It takes a lot of traffic and advertising to gain just one new client. However, you can take a step away from the advertising and let it run on autopilot while you work to draw in people who truly appreciate your creative genius.


Inspiration is an elusive beast. What inspires one person might not necessarily inspire another. Fortunately, there are a few things that seem to be almost universally appealing. Try these ideas and see if they take you to new levels in your sales numbers.


1. Going Above and Beyond

One thing that can inspire potential customers is seeing how you’ve gone above and beyond for your customers. People listen to what others have to say when choosing whether to do business with a company. It starts with your customer service philosophy at the core. If you have a customer-first policy, you and your customer service people are naturally going to go above and beyond to make customers happy. Once the customer is thrilled, you can ask for a review or testimonial to include on your site.



No company can foresee every issue that might crop up, but JetBlue is on it when customers post comments on social media. See the screenshot above of a passenger posting that his flight is 20 minutes late taking off. JetBlue immediately assures him that they’ll be going soon. Though you can’t see the time of the response in the screenshot, it was almost immediate. This example shows other passengers the company cares enough to respond. While there might be issues at times, they are trying to make things right.


2. Build a Rapport With Buyers

Who would you rather buy something from — a person whom you like and have a connection with or someone standoffish? It is important for businesses to build a rapport with leads. You can do this in several ways. It starts with getting the person’s name and finding out what problem you can help them solve. From there, you can further build rapport by showing empathy for their situation, offering the information they need to make an informed decision and being honest about which option is best for them, even if that means buying the product elsewhere.


3. Insider Advice

Who doesn’t love a bit of insider advice to make your buying decision flawless? Take time to hire team members who understand buyers often like to be educated about a product before they make a purchase. This can take the form of buyer guides, a salesperson who is highly knowledgeable about all options or insider advice that shows the buyer the best course of action.




Look at how Cliffside Industries accomplishes this goal. They show a kitchen with ideas for both contemporary and modern designs. This is an insider look at how to design a kitchen, no matter your personal style or what suits your home best. The guide goes into great detail about the history of both contemporary and modern designs, what is different about the two, a look at other designers and what they’ve done, and ends with some solid advice for those wanting to design a kitchen.


4. Use the Data You Have

Take the customer data you’ve collected use it to make more targeted sales efforts. If you know Jane Smith in Dayton, Ohio, has purchased multiple blue shirts from your site, you can show her every blue shirt you have to offer the next time she visits. Another option is to show her what pairs well with blue, such as that gray scarf you have on sale today.


Segmented email campaigns are a smart way to drive more sales, too. A segmented campaign with a relevant message results in 100 percent more clicks than a non-segmented email.


5. Value-Add Content

Content is called “king” for many reasons, but one is that it can engage your site visitors and inspire them to buy the product discussed in the article. Showing the user exactly how other buyers can and are using your product allows the site visitor to consider how they might also use that product in their daily life. Content should have a purpose, and at the end of the content, you should offer a CTA to convert the reader into a customer.




Ulta is a good site to study for ideas for inspiring customers with content. They have a beauty guides area with various articles on topics related to beauty. So, if you read an article that is a step-by-step glow guide, Ulta gives advice and recommends specific products. In one article, they might have a phrase such as “try these cleaners,” then list the products and what type of skin it works for. This approach is quite effective at inspiring sales.


6. Go Social

Start a social media campaign. Ask your most loyal customers to upload photos of themselves using your product and to tag that photo with a hashtag you choose. You can then highlight these posts on your social media account. This is like a testimonial within a photograph. It not only creates social media buzz for your brand, but it gives you instant testimonials to draw upon to lead to more sales for your brand.

Get Creative

Try to think outside the box and figure out how to reach potential customers in new and interesting ways. People are bombarded with marketing messages day in and day out. If you can stand out from the advertising deluge, you stand a good change of inspiring consumers to consider your product or service. Try to look at your sales strategy as a reflection of your customers. If you were buying from yourself, what would speak to you, and how would you want to be treated?



Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

Online Sales Trends Influence Web Design


The e-commerce industry is fast-paced, not just because consumers and online shoppers are constantly shifting but also because competing designers and brands are evolving too. The movement of most users to mobile, for instance, has changed the market considerably. We’ve also seen elements like parallax scrolling, scrollbars, navigation menus and much more rise and fall.


It’s a constantly changing space, and that means you need to be ready to adapt and evolve to stay on top of modern trends. But how exactly do online sales trends influence your design process? What strategies and elements should you be most concerned about?


1. Mobile

Up first on the list, as you may have expected, is mobile development and mobile user support. This can come in several forms including mobile browser support and mobile application support – native or otherwise.


Mobile overtook desktop traffic some time ago and in 2017 is expected to make up 75% of all Internet use. Clearly, you’ll miss out if your content and design are not optimized for mobile. On-the-go users need to be your core focus.


2. Chatbots and One-to-One Messaging

Go to one of the major retailers’ websites, and you’ll see a chat window somewhere. At first, the system is automated through the use of a tool called chatbots. When the system cannot interact accurately anymore, the conversation is handed over to a customer service rep.


Chatbots and one-to-one messaging tools allow you to be available to your customers 24/7. Theses AI-based platforms can often answer simple queries, help with account info and converse with potential patrons.


If you have the resources, work on deploying a messaging system, whether you staff it with a human or a chatbot.


3. Content and Advice

Did you know that nearly 30% of consumers have abandoned a purchase because of a poor product description?


Even if you feel the goods and services you offer need no explanation, some customers prefer to see a description of what they are. An interesting product description gives you the opportunity to frame your item how you like and inspire your customer about how to use the product.


Whatever the case, content – visual or otherwise – is an excellent way to achieve this. You could produce videos that show off several ways to use a product or provide text content that acts as a guide.


This accomplishes a couple of things. First, it shows your customers and potential clients what they can use your products and services for, providing more inherent value. Second, it keeps them engaged and encourages them to return to your site for your stellar content. It’s a win-win any way you look at it.


4. Social Selling and Crowdsourced Auctions

Recently, Facebook implemented a new feature for brands and merchants that allow them to list and display products in their inventory. But even before that was possible, you could still conduct social selling campaigns. You can do this on other social media sites as well.


On Instagram, for instance, you could post a picture and brief description of a product with a direct link to your store page. You can do the same on Pinterest, Twitter and even Tumblr. If you really want to boost engagement, you can hold a contest, promotion or auction which encourages competition.


Just know that it’s becoming more common to use your social media accounts as sales tools, as opposed to just conventional marketing.


5. Shipping

Today’s online shoppers expect fast and reasonably priced or free shipping. You can offset the costs of providing this service by setting limitations. Amazon, for instance, saves two-day shipping for their Prime members and makes only orders over a certain threshold free for regular customers.


This model works well for the retail giant. It’s created something known as the “Amazon Effect,” in which other e-commerce brands strive to keep up with Amazon’s shipping policies or choose to become a seller in the Amazon marketplace. Even though Amazon has a huge influence, you don’t have to mirror its policies exactly. Figure out what works best for your customers and business model.


6. Personalization

Accounts are much more useful and exciting for customers if you offer personalization and customization options. By allowing customers to enter preferences such as theme customization options you are providing them with a space that feels more personal.


Even something as simple as allowing customers to choose the background color for your website makes a difference. People who hate browsing sites with bright, vibrant colors can dumb them down and vice versa.


7. Omnichannel Support

In the past, you might have seen traffic from one or two platforms, primarily search engine referrals. Today that is not the case. In fact, you probably have traffic coming from so many different channels and platforms that it’s tough to keep track of at times.


Difficult or not, providing omnichannel support – seamlessly – is necessary. Customers will be coming from a variety of platforms, looking for an experience tailored to them, and you need to deliver. Whether your traffic is mainly coming from search results, Facebook, Twitter, affiliate links or other sources, you need to ensure that everyone has a positive experience.


As the habits of online shoppers change, so do their definitions of a ‘positive experience.’ By keeping up with online sales trends and applying the insights you gain from this to your web design, you’ll end up with happier, more engaged customers – even as things inevitably continue to change.



Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.