Online sales are quickly becoming the new norm. In 2020, consumers spent a whopping $861.12 billion with online U.S. merchants, which is a 44% increase from the year prior. It’s the country’s highest annual e-commerce growth in decades, but this has been the trajectory of sales for some time.
Suffice it to say, if your business is not taking advantage of online sales, you are doing yourself a massive disservice. And if you do have online options available, it is critical to stay abreast of the latest technology if you want to steadily improve sales. Here’s how.
How to increase online sales
One sure-fire way to increase online sales when you sell big-ticket or high-cost items is by offering financing. In just five simple steps, you can get started boosting your profits.
1. Determine Whether Or Not You Should Offer Financing
The first step is to figure out if your customers would find financing helpful. Consumer financing refers to when a business allows customers to pay in installments for a good or service they aren’t able to pay for up front. They typically go about this with the help of a professional financing company.
Offering financing options is often beneficial for the customer and business alike. For customers, it means they can purchase goods or services they otherwise would not be able to afford. For businesses, financing carries the following benefits:
- Increased conversions from browsers to buyers
- Increased customer loyalty
- Upfront payments from financing platforms
- Improved cash flow
- Reduced cart abandonment rates
- A leg-up on competitors
Examining your products’ price points and looking at your conversion rates can help you decide if offering financing is right for your business. If waiting around for sales to roll in is causing an issue with cash flow, for example, financing might be the perfect solution.
2. Consider Financing Options To Increase Sales
After you have decided to begin offering financing, you need to put in a bit of research. Financing setups are not one-size-fits-all solutions — there are numerous options to choose from.
In-house Consumer Financing
One option is to set up your own financing arrangement. Your business would extend credit to customers, giving them the good or service based on the promise they will pay you for it over time. However, this has its setbacks. For one, it will not fix any of your cash flow issues. Secondly, it is significantly more complicated and risky than other alternatives.
When partnering with a third-party financing company, they handle point-of-sale financing so you do not have to. The financing company then pays you for the sale right away.
If you choose to go with a third-party financing company, there is no need for your company to hire additional staff. The company will also ensure your sales stay in full legal compliance so you do not have to worry about the details.
3. Decide How To Show Off Your Financing Program
The next step is to decide where this information should be displayed on your website. Options include:
- In banners
- At checkout
- Product detail page
- On the financing page
It’s important to present your financing program with care, as not all customers will qualify. In your promotional copy, make sure you mention that approval is not guaranteed. You may also want to consider including the following information:
- What options are available
- How long customers have to pay in full
- Who your financing provider is
- Any financing benefits your company offers
4. Promote Your Financing Plan
If you have decided to offer financing, your customers will want to know. Many have likely been putting off making a purchase from you because they did not have the funds. Now is their chance to take advantage of what you have to offer.
Decide where and how you want to share the news. You could make a temporary banner on your website, write up an email newsletter piece, or share an announcement on your social channels. Better yet, you can do all three.
5. Measure Your Results
Decide early on how you plan to measure the results of your financing program. You can compare your added cash flow against the cut your provider takes, for instance.
Whether you measure success by overall increased sales or boosted profits, make sure you’ve landed on a program that is meeting your business’s needs and helping it grow.
Boost your cash flow with financing
Most big companies offer financing as a way of keeping a consistent cash flow and steady sales. Even if you are only a small operation, however, financing can still be a great way to increase your sales and give you the cash you need to keep your business running.
Financing is also great for your customers, allowing them to take advantage of what you have to offer without worrying about having access to the funds they need up front.
If you decide financing is right for your business, you will find a win-win solution for everyone.