How to increase sales on your e-commerce site
Paid traffic is the most successful way to gain more sales on your website. The more people that see your site the likely they are to buy from it. You might think that paid traffic is expensive and you’ve probably heard some stories of people who have spent a lot of money – and saw no return. However, if done properly, paid traffic can, in fact, be quite affordable and once you have a winning campaign on your hands, paid traffic can really take your business to the next level.
You can choose from plenty of platforms to advertise on like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. These are the most popular options for advertising.
Upsell your products
Upselling can be a sure way to generate more sales on your website. By upselling, you enable upgrades to the base product you offer and allows customers to view other options instead of just buying your base product. This is a method that cannot work for every product but if you can do it we recommend doing so.
Here is an example of upselling:
As you can see you can choose the base model with 8Gb of ram or you can choose the 16Gb option for $200 more. This is a way of upselling.
With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram is one of the fastest growing social apps around, connecting consumers, influencers, and brands.
If you take compelling photos, use hashtags strategically, and post at the right times then you’re well on your way to building a large Instagram following of people who are interested in your products. The key to mastering your organic Instagram presence is engagement with your followers.
Check out this example from GoPro to see shoppable Instagram posts in action:
Reduce abandoned carts
Abandoned carts are always a pain but here are a few tips to reduce cart abandonment.
This phenomenon is well-studied. Visitors add items to their carts, but abandon their carts during the checkout process. According to the Baymard Institute, 69.23% of shopping carts are abandoned.
As you can see the most common reason for cart abandonment is customers having to pay extra costs like shipping and handling. Many businesses are converting to a free shipping model mostly because of the competition with Amazon. If your site requires a person to have an account in order to checkout you may want to reconsider that and allow guest to check out without having to create an account. After all, you can capture their email address and market to them later without them having an account made.
Consider shortening your check out process many businesses are starting to use a one-page checkout method instead of having customers go through multiple pages to check out. You can easily do this in WordPress with plugins or other sites with changing your settings around.
Launch a Facebook store
If you have a facebook page for your business you may want to start a store on Facebook. This can easily be done with plugins or e-commerce software like Shopify. By allowing your fans or customers to shop directly from your Facebook page allows them to shop on a platform they already use without going to a different site. With buttons now on pages, you can make a shop now button that links to your Facebook store.
Here is an example of a Facebook store:
Capture more email subscribers
Dollar for dollar, email marketing is one of the most effective channels at your disposal for making sales and generating repeat customers. Roughly 17% of digital marketing spend happens in email, but it contributes 24% of revenue, according to a 2015 study by Forrester Research.
There are too many tweets and Facebook posts for us to keep up with, and email can offer a more intimate interaction. People are still more protective of messages sent to their personal inboxes versus their social feeds. Plus, email gives you the space to say things that can’t fit into a social media post.
To get started with email marketing, actively promote your newsletter, blog and any other email capture efforts to get as many subscribers as you can. Take a look at Huckberry, which makes signing up for its email list the central focus when you first visit their site.
Improve your email campaigns
It’s not enough to simply capture a bunch of email addresses. You then need to send regular, valuable emails for the channel to be an effective e-commerce marketing activity.
There are many occasions that are perfect for sending emails that your subscribers will actually appreciate:
- Send a welcome email as soon as a customer makes a purchase.
- Provide exclusive promo codes and free gifts.
- Send regular newsletters to alert subscribers of new discount offers, product tips, and, when appropriate, company news.
- Share relevant content to help customers get the most out of their recently purchased items.
- Run a BOGO campaign in time for the holidays to promote self-gifting during the season, too.
- Thank your highest-value customers. Send a personal note expressing your appreciation for their business.
- Solicit feedback. If someone visits your site but doesn’t make a purchase, ask about their experience and how you can improve it.
Send wishlist reminder emails
One final type of email to add to your list of e-commerce marketing ideas: the wishlist reminder email. The wishlist reminder email is closely related to the abandoned cart email. Both are designed to convince shoppers to take the final step in purchasing the products they have shown intent to buy.
Has it been a while since someone checked in on their wishlist? Have an item on sale that’s been put on a lot of wishlists? Is it selling out? Send out an email to let your customers know.
It may just be the trigger they need to finally purchase the item. ModCloth alerts shoppers when products are nearly out of stock. This motivates shoppers and helps minimize regret—no one wants to accidentally miss out on a product they’ve been eyeing.
Here is an example with an incentive to get users to come back and shop their wishlist:
This is a perfect email to send to the customers as it offers them a reminder to shop their wishlist and also gives them an incentive to shop. If you can afford it we recommend adding an incentive to the wishlist reminder, the customer is already interested in the product now you just have to get them to buy.
Generate more product reviews
Allow your products to sell themselves by having customers write reviews for your business or the products they have purchased. This is a sure way to generate more sales, the more popular and trustworthy a product appears the likelihood someone will buy it.
Raw Generation is one e-commerce brand that actively solicits product reviews. They have is a dedicated page just for reviews, and they now have over 500 customers who have submitted feedback about their products.
If you need a little extra push to get customers to write a review then offer a coupon for them doing so. Most businesses offer a 5% off coupon for writing reviews and if you are using Woocommerce there are even plugins that generate the coupon for you for customers writing reviews.
Engage online store visitors with live chat
There are other high-impact ways to engage with site visitors and customers outside of email. For example, you could use live chat to engage with shoppers on your site.
Many live chat tools let you target browsers on certain pages, after they’ve been on your site for a certain length of time, or even after they’ve arrived on your site through an email newsletter. Live chat also enables you to have direct conversations with your customers so you can answer and address customer concerns right while they’re planning to buy.
Luxy Hair uses live chat to engage prospects and inform current customers of their order status, without having to contact their support team over email.
If you want to learn more about different live chat options read this blog post here.
If a user has visited your site you can remarket to them through many platforms. This is done when a user visits your site and then leaves you can market to them through ads to come back and complete a purchase.
This can be a great way to show ads to people who have taken a look at a certain product page but have not taken action. Next week we will write an article about retargeting and how to use it properly so stay tuned for more details about retargeting.
Leverage user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is a great way to generate social proof. When prospective customers see that people just like them are regularly purchasing your products, they’ll feel more confident in doing the same. According to Salesforce, 54% of consumers trust information from online reviews and recommendations from their peers, compared to the 20% who trust the brand itself.
UGC can take many forms. Technically, even product reviews are UGC. One of the most effective types of UGC is pictures of customers actually using your products. Pepper, a store that sells bras, features lots of pictures of happy customers in their products.
Brick-and-mortar businesses aren’t the only ones who can jump on the local movement. Online retailers can also take a local approach to their e-commerce marketing tactics to increase online sales.
To figure out what local means for you, here are a few ways you can look at it:
- Identify where you have large concentrations of customers and run a promotion for that location. Look at which products those customers are buying and other spending behavior indicators, and consider local events or seasons to appropriately time a promotion.
- If you have a warehouse or multiple warehouses, consider a promotion with free, discounted, or expedited shipping to customers in the vicinity. This’ll be easier for your operations team to execute and also help you promote sales in a cost-effective manner.
Optimize for mobile
By 2021, more than half of all online shopping is expected to happen on mobile devices, according to Statista. Optimizing your store for mobile means more than having a responsive design. It means you’re designing your site with mobile visitors in mind from start to finish.
Perhaps you have a bigger add to cart button on all mobile product pages, making it easier for the visitor to add to cart without zooming in, for example. You might also present your images in a different format, making it faster for mobile visitors to load product photos and easier to zoom in.
Frank Body sells body scrubs and skincare products. When a mobile visitor lands on a product page and scrolls down, the “add to cart” button appears at the bottom. This saves the visitor from having to scroll all the way back up, likely losing their spot on the page.
Reward your loyal customers
Focusing on customer retention is a cost-effective way to increase online sales. Return customers account for 22% of a retailer’s revenue, while making up just 11% of the total customer base, according to Stitch Labs. They also spend 15% more over the course of a year.
One way to reward loyal customers and big spenders is through a customer loyalty program. There are many ways both your customers and you can benefit from a loyalty program. They give customers extra incentive to make a purchase and they keep your brand top-of-mind through automated reminders.
You choose how to reward customers, how frequently and for what actions. For instance, you might have a point-based program, which has its own point-based currency that can be redeemed for discounts, free shipping or free gifts.
Outdoor brand REI has a robust customer loyalty program. Members pay a one-time fee ($20) to join the program, and they receive access to exclusive online (and in-store) sales and events. They also receive coupon codes and a portion of what they spend over the course of a year back in store dividends.
You can build trust a few different ways, the most common is SSL and is required for stores collecting sensitive details about customers like addresses and credit card information. You can build trust by displaying a trust seal on your website. Here are some examples of trust seals.
Most of the time when you buy an SSL certificate you get a trust seal with it the most recognized and most rusted is the Norton trust seal. Norton is a home name and people trust their products
FOMO (fear of missing out)
Create urgency when you have an online store. For example, the best way to do this notifies the user of low stock alerts. Amazon does this very well when you are purchasing a product from Amazon and there are a few of that item left Amazon lets you know on the product page. You can do this too with a plugin for Woocommerce or on your Shopify store.
Here is an example of how to do this:
As you can see the site creates urgency with booking a flight and notifies the user of low stock.
If you follow the methods we discussed in this post you will be sure to generate more sales of your products. If you have feedback leave it in the comments below and let us know what you think.