4 Ways to Increase Sales That Might Surprise You

When it comes to increasing your sales, you’ll find plenty of advice online. However, the key to grabbing people’s attention is often catching them off guard. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to achieve this when everyone’s using the same techniques.

The good news is there are many ways you can get creative with your marketing, or put a fresh spin on a familiar sales technique.

By stepping outside the box, you can immediately stand out from the competition, and perhaps even secure some additional conversions in the process.

In this post, we’ll share four ways to increase sales that might surprise you. We’ll also discuss tips for implementing each of these techniques, so you can be confident that you’re getting the most out of your marketing activities. Let’s get started! 

1. Monitor Your Competitors on Social Media

With over 2.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook offers an opportunity to promote your products and services to a huge audience. Creating a Facebook Business Page is a great start, but it’s not enough to simply post content and hope for the best. 

To get the maximum return on investment (ROI), you should identify the days and times when your target audience is online. You may also want to look at the type of content that your audience responds most positively to. 

While you could learn from trial and error, you can get a head start by monitoring your closest competitors. Facebook’s Pages to Watch feature can record when your competitors post, how often they post, and their engagement:

Increase sales with Facebook's Pages to Watch feature.

You can then use this data to inform your own social media activities. For example, if content posted on Monday morning generates the most engagement, then it may make sense to publish your own content at this time. 

To start spying on the competition, head over to your Facebook Business Page and select Insights > Overview. Then scroll to the Pages to Watch section: 

Facebook's Pages to Watch feature.

Next, select Add Pages. In the popup, type the first page that you want to monitor and select it:

The Facebook Insights dashboard can help you increase sales.

You can add several brands to your watch list. When you're ready, click on Done. Facebook will now spy on these pages for you, and display all of their activities in your Insights dashboard.

2. Run a User Generated Content (UGC) Contest 

Running a contest is a great way to create buzz around your products. However, to get the maximum ROI, you may want to base your competitions around user generated content (UGC). This is content like product reviews and customer testimonials created by someone outside your business.

There are different ways you can put a competitive slant on UGC. For instance, you could challenge your customers to take the most creative photos featuring your products.

You could ask your social media followers to submit content based on a theme, such as photos of their furry friends on National Pet Day:

A UGC-focused contest.

Alternatively, you could post a photo and ask your followers to come up with a funny caption: 

An example of a caption contest.

This is already a great opportunity to interact with your audience. However, you can take this engagement to the next level by picking a shortlist of potential winners, and then asking your followers to vote by liking, sharing, or commenting on their favorite entries. 

This approach can transform your nominees into temporary brand advocates. That's because they'll probably encourage their friends and family to interact with your content in order to secure more votes.

This exposure and engagement can have a positive impact on your sales. To get started quickly, consider adding a plugin like RafflePress to your site. 

RafflePress plugin homepage

RafflePress makes it super easy to create and manage contests and giveaways. It has pre-built templates and a drag-and-drop builder, so you can quickly build your contest's landing page.

It also has fraud protection, so you don't have to worry about cheating. What's really great is that the free version of RafflePress includes a feature that helps you set up contest rules.

With paid plans, you get more features like email marketing and CRM integrations, viral sharing, polls and surveys, and image submission entries.

3. Generate Large Amounts of Content, Fast

With experts attributing over 40% of revenue to organic traffic, it’s impossible to overestimate the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). Having a publishing schedule is an essential part of an effective SEO strategy.

Content may be king, but it can be difficult to publish a steady stream of new material. Thankfully, there are ways to quickly generate content without compromising on quality. 

In addition to running UGC contests, you could accept guest posts or partner with third parties who can provide you with valuable content in exchange for backlinks.

You could also collect interesting statistics on a subject matter related to your industry, and then publish them as a post.

Data-driven content can be quick to write, and people love to share it:

An example of a statistics blog.

Another option is to interview thought leaders and experts in your industry, then publish this content in multiple formats.

For example, you might post the video to your YouTube channel, include snippets in your podcast, or turn the conversation into an engaging article.

If you already have a library of content, it’s always worth looking for opportunities to refresh and republish old posts.

This might involve updating the information in an article, or adding new images. Putting a fresh spin on older posts can be quicker and easier than creating entirely new content.

4. Leverage the Power of Buy Now Buttons

Just because a customer adds an item to their cart doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a sale. Every step in the purchasing process is another opportunity for this person to change their mind and abandon their shopping basket. In fact, 69% of customers fail to complete the checkout process.

That’s where buy now buttons come in. These enable customers to jump straight to your checkout page, leaving them with less time to rethink their purchases:

Increase sales with a Buy Now button.

You can create these powerful calls to action (CTAs) using a flexible service such as Buy Now Plus. You'll also be able to post the same button across multiple platforms, including social media.

To get started, simply connect your Stripe account to the free Buy Now Plus service. You can then create a wide range of high-converting buy now buttons without having to write a single line of code:

The Buy Now Plus dashboard.

Buy Now Plus provides everything you need to embed these buttons into your site, add them to your email marketing campaigns, and post them across social media.

For more information on how to drive conversions with buy now buttons, you can check out our complete guide.

Conclusion 

Creativity can change the way people see your brand, which is a huge benefit when you’re trying to make a powerful impression.

By putting a fresh spin on well-worn marketing techniques, you may be able to convince potential customers to choose your business over the competition.

Let’s quickly recap four unique ways to increase your sales: 

  1. Monitor your competitors on social media.
  2. Run a user generated content (UGC) contest.
  3. Generate large amounts of content, fast.
  4. Leverage the power of buy now buttons, using a service such as Buy Now Plus.

Do you have any questions about boosting sales by thinking outside the box? Ask us in the comments section below!

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The Evolution of Buy Now Buttons (In 3 Stages)

Buy Now buttons have become a mainstay of online stores. However, this familiar little button also has an interesting backstory.

By delving into the history behind this ecommerce favorite, you can develop a better understanding of how the Buy Now button became an internet staple. It can also draw attention to the platforms and services that no longer support this button natively, but that may benefit from bringing it back.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to Buy Now buttons, explain their importance, and discuss their evolution in three distinct stages. We'll also explain how you can add this feature to sites that no longer offer built-in options. Let’s get started!

An Introduction to Buy Now Buttons (And Why They’re Important)

A Buy Now button is a call to action (CTA) that promises to streamline the purchasing process. This simple-but-effective element typically takes shoppers to a product page, their shopping cart, or your checkout page:

A Buy Now button shown on the McAfee website.

By removing multiple steps from the traditional checkout process, Buy Now buttons can help drive conversions and reduce cart abandonment rates. Since evidence suggests that 69% of customers fail to complete the checkout process, you’ll want to do everything in your power to simplify the purchasing workflow. 

If you create your buttons using our Buy Now Plus solution, you can place them across multiple platforms. This includes your online store, your next email marketing campaign, and all major social media platforms

Buy Now buttons can help you create additional revenue streams by enabling customers to start the purchase process from various locations.

For example, if you post your Buy Now button to Facebook, your followers will be able to access your checkout page directly from the popular social networking platform. This is excellent news for your conversion rates and your bottom line.

The Evolution of Buy Now Buttons (In 3 Stages)

Today, Buy Now buttons are so widely used that you might expect to see them on every e-commerce site. However, it wasn't always this way.

This button has evolved over the years, and has even triggered the occasional lawsuit. Let’s look at the backstory behind this ecommerce staple by breaking it down into three major stages. 

Stage 1: Amazon Is Granted the 1-Click Patent

In 1997, ecommerce giant Amazon applied for a U.S. patent for its “1-Click” technique, also known as “one-click” and “one-click buying”. This tactic enabled customers to make purchases without having to use shopping cart software.

Assuming that the shopper had previously entered their payment and shipping details, they could complete a purchase without having to manually input any information – a feature that's still available today in the form of the Buy Now button:

An Amazon product page displaying a Buy Now button.

In September 1999, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued US5960411 (A) to Amazon.com for the 1-Click technique, along with the trademark.

A few years later, in 1999, Amazon sued Barnes & Noble over its similar Express Lane buy button. A judge issued a preliminary injunction ordering Barnes & Noble to stop offering Express Lane until the case was settled. This lawsuit was settled in 2002, although the terms of the agreement were never disclosed.

Amazon also filed EP1134680 with the European Patent Office (EPO) in an attempt to patent the 1-Click in Europe. The application was rejected in 2007 due to obviousness, defined as “that which does not go beyond the normal progress of technology but merely follows plainly or logically from the prior art.” This decision was upheld in 2011. 

The Federal Court of Canada held that the 1-Click patent couldn’t be rejected as a pure business method since it had a physical effect. In 2010, the Court remanded the application to the Canadian patent office for a reexamination.

On 12 September 2017, Amazon’s 1-Click patent expired. Since then, there has been a dramatic rise in checkout experience platforms using similar one-click features. 

Stage 2: Braintree Releases Venmo Touch and Is Acquired by PayPal

In 2013, web payment specialist Braintree released an iOS buy button named Venmo Touch:

The Venmo Touch website.

The solution offered customers a streamlined, secure way to authorize credit cards they'd previously used with a Braintree partner or Venmo itself. This enabled shoppers to perform one-touch payments across all Braintree-powered applications.

Ultimately, PayPal would acquire Braintree and use Venmo Touch as the basis for PayPal One Touch:

The PayPal One Touch service.

This popular service enables PayPal users to skip signing in with their email addresses and passwords when purchasing from eligible merchants. After activating One Touch, you're taken directly to the PayPal payment page whenever you opt to purchase a product.

You only need to authenticate and authorize the use of One Touch once per device or browser. When you activate this functionality with one seller, it becomes available across every other eligible merchant, making One Touch a quick and convenient payment method. 

Stage 3: Social Media Platforms Launch Their Own Buy Now Buttons

In 2014, social media titan Facebook tested a Buy button for third-party retailers. This enabled customers to purchase products and services without leaving the social network.

Shortly after, Facebook expanded on this concept. In 2015, it released a set of CTAs, including a Shop Now button, which performs a similar function to Buy Now: 

The Facebook Shop Now CTA.

In 2014, social platform Twitter launched its own Buy button, followed by Collections. Online influencers could use Collections to curate products, ready for their fans to browse and purchase.

However, three years later, Twitter announced that it was removing the Buy button for business users – and it has yet to make a reappearance. 

The good news is that you can restore Twitter’s missing Buy Now button using Buy Now Plus. Our simple service has everything you need to build a wide range of high-converting Buy Now buttons:

The screen to create a new button with Buy Now Plus.

After creating yours, you can post it across all major social networking platforms, including Twitter. We even provide a share button, which posts your button directly to Twitter:

The evolution of buy buttons.

To help maximize click-through rates (CTRs), you may want to consider transforming this post into a pinned Tweet. This ensures that Buy Now is the first thing followers see when they visit your profile. 

Conclusion 

The Buy Now button is an important tool for driving sales and conversions. However, as an internet staple, it’s easy to overlook the interesting history behind the Buy Now phenomenon.

Let’s quickly recap the three major evolution stages of this useful feature:

  1. Amazon is granted the 1-Click patent. 
  2. Braintree releases Venmo Touch and is acquired by PayPal.
  3. Social media platforms launch their own Buy Now buttons.

Do you have any questions about the Buy Now button, or how to add one using Buy Now Plus? Let us know in the comments section below!