Anatoly Makeshin, the founder visionary behind NJoy Payments, offers five groundbreaking technologies to elevate your website into a cutting-edge sales tool, setting you apart from the competition.
If your independent creative practice is going to succeed, crafting a compelling online presence is paramount. But having your own website doesn't just mean promoting yourself as a freelancer. It's also a great way to make money from a side hustle.
You might want to see prints of your artwork or photographs, self-publish your own book, or run an online course in your specialist skill... there are any number of ways of making extra income, which might eventually turn into your main source of income. Then you'd be earning money even as you sleep... just think of it!
Let's be honest, though: just getting online isn't enough. You might assume that "If you build it, they will come." But in a world where, according to Forbes, there are around 1.13 billion websites to choose from, you will have to find ways to stand out and generate actual sales.
To help you out, we chatted to Anatoly Makeshin, the founder behind NJoy Payments. Read on as we share his best tips for selling online.
1. Make your website unique
First things first, you need to make sure people can find you on Google. "So standard search engine optimisation (SEO) for keywords related to your products is essential," says Anatoly. But that's only the start. "What's even more critical is the need to distinguish yourself from other merchants," he explains. "Your product descriptions shouldn't resemble standard Amazon product listings; they should possess a unique edge."
So, what might that look like in practice? Anatoly offers an example. "IT companies can assist in creating a 3D model of your product, allowing buyers to rotate it in space and inspect it from all angles before making a purchase," he notes.
"At NJoy Payments, we recommend integrating a one-click payment widget for impulse buyers," he continues, "as approximately half of all online purchases are impulsive. It's also beneficial to have engaging content on your site, such as videos showcasing your product and highlighting its differences from competitors."
2. Help visitors find what they need
Many creatives spend a lot of effort luring people to their websites but lack focus on what they do when they get there. If you're selling things on your website, for example, the internal search functionality on your website needs to be seamless and intuitive. Anatoly puts it in plain and simple terms: "It's crucial that customers can find what they need."
AI-powered search is the ideal solution for this purpose. "Traditional text-based searches may fail to yield results if a specific word is absent in the product description. In contrast, AI-based searches can identify semantically relevant terms and offer options like PC, laptop, or tablet for a search term such as 'computer'.
"AI search can also rectify grammatical errors in searches, such as in the name of a French wine, which a user might misspell without knowledge of the language," he adds. "AI search is forward-looking, with ongoing developments that will enable product recommendations based on image similarity rather than identical keywords."
3. Make authentication easy
Getting to know your customers is a priority, but bombarding them with forms and requests for personal information is not the way. A much better solution lies in universal authentication services that your customers are already familiar with.
As Anatoly explains, "Most people find it irksome when each merchant requests them to fill out online forms and provide personal information. It's far more convenient when a universal authentication service is available, where the individual is already registered.
"By collaborating with such an institution to utilise their ID on your store's website," he continues, "you enhance customer convenience. They won't waste time completing forms, and you'll still possess their information to make personalised offers. Some payment services, like Apple Pay and Visa Checkout, already offer pre-filled forms, and NJoy Payments is actively working on similar solutions."
4. Make payments foolproof
One of the biggest ways online stores lose money is when customers find it difficult to pay, leaving them to abandon their purchase. So, as Anatoly points out: "Having a dependable payment provider that functions smoothly and without glitches is crucial."
As well as reliability, the provider must offer a diverse range of ways to pay. "Some customers prefer to pay with a debit or credit card, while others favour bank transfers," explains Anatoly. "Some may find electronic wallets like PayPal more convenient, while others may opt for transfers through the European SEPA system. For example, NJoy Payments is going to offer ready-made BNPL solutions from several providers, allowing customers to pay for goods in instalments. The broader the range of available payment options, the more you can increase online sales."
5. Deliver in a timely fashion
These days, it doesn't matter what you're selling on your website; if customers can't get it delivered in a timely fashion, they'll go elsewhere. "Following the surge in online order deliveries during the pandemic, customers have become increasingly demanding regarding delivery times," notes Anatoly. "In the food and grocery sector, some services even offer ultrafast delivery, i.e. within 15 minutes. If your products are not related to food, customers may still expect prompt delivery."
To boost online sales, it's crucial to have a logistics partner that ensures timely delivery. "This could be a national postal service, owner of parcel lockers, or a courier delivery company in regions where your online customers reside. As with internet acquiring, offering various delivery options gives customers more choices."