Increasing ecommerce sales is the primary goal for retailers of any size, whether you’re a startup in the space or an enterprise retail giant selling on multiple marketplaces.
However, increasing online revenue isn’t always easy. Because of the multitude of ways to connect with consumers online, many retailers focus on casting a broad net in hopes of acquiring new customers — 44% of brands have a greater focus on customer acquisition.
Generating traffic and clicks into your store isn’t necessarily the issue. It’s getting those customers to buy. According to data shared in state of ecommerce report, a staggering 99% of customers don’t purchase on the first visit to a site.
Here are some ways you can improve the quality of your ecommerce traffic as well as get more customers to spend money in your store.
Nine Ways to Increase Your Ecommerce Sales:
- Use opt-ins to encourage first purchases
- Video increases your email marketing effectiveness
- Combine the fear of missing out and social proof
- Position your best sellers front and center
- Target existing customers
- Expand (or start) your rewards program
- Focus on upselling and cross-selling
- Chatbots can help you increase revenue
- Targeted landing pages convert site traffic better
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1. Add an Opt-In Offer to Spur Them to Purchase
Not every person who visits your site is in the mindset to make a purchase. Some are just browsing, gathering store or product info, and researching for a future purchase. To prevent potential customers from leaving and possibly shopping with a competitor or buying offline, you can try to grab them with an opt-in offer.
Opt-in incentives often appear moments after a visitor lands on your site and offer the user a deal in exchange for their email address. After they sign up, a one-time discount code or free shipping can be applied to their first order.
A less intrusive approach is to trigger the opt-in offer to appear when the visitor moves the cursor to navigate away from your website. Exit pop-ups are a great way to encourage first-time visitors to shop and can help reduce cart abandonment.
The added benefit to opt-in offers is they generate leads and help build your email list. You can continue to market to subscribers, whether they've already made a purchase or not, through email campaigns.
Most customers want to hear from you. 77% of consumers prefer email over social media for permission-based promotional messages.
2. Use Video in Customer Emails
While customers prefer email marketing over other channels, they can become numb to repetitive email blasts that only push products and promotions. You can get more attention (and more clicks and purchases) from emails that include video.
Just including the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19% and clickthrough rates as much as 65%.
Here are some additional stats from WordStream to consider when using video to increase ecommerce sales:
- Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than brands not using video
- 64% of consumers purchase after watching branded videos
You may not directly want to embed videos in your emails. Instead create a graphic that looks like a video player. Then link that image to the video (hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, or self-hosted). When your reader clicks the image, they’ll be taken to your video. By not actually putting the video in your email, you optimize it for size.
This looks like a video, but it’s actually just a linked image.
What Kind of Videos Can You Include?
Here’s where you can get creative. A few engaging video types to grab customer attention (and subtly promote products) include:
- Showing behind the scenes videos that give the viewer a peek at the day-to-day of running your business
- Building stories around your products, brand, and the people in your organization
- Sharing user-generated content that shows customers using your products
- Product demonstration and how-to videos
Your videos can also get shared across social channels, featured on product pages, and posted to sites like YouTube to help generate organic traffic to your store.
3. Combine the Fear of Missing Out and Social Proof
Countless studies have shown the psychological trigger people have regarding the fear of missing out (FOMO). The basic concept is that most people don't want to feel like they're being left out of a rewarding experience.
The fear of missing out drives a lot of social behavior. With the right triggers you can use your audience’s fear of missing out to spur them to make a purchase.
Many app integrations exist to help retailers increase ecommerce sales using this method. One of the more popular apps, called FOMO, combines both the fear of missing out and social proof.
When customers browse your store, the app shows small notifications indicating that others have purchased specific products — visitors begin to see the popularity of an item.
This form of social proof can improve customer trust in your brand and products, encouraging the visitor to make a purchase.
4. Make Your Best Sellers Visible to Improve Ecommerce Revenue
While some customers have a specific product in mind, many have a general idea of what they’re looking for. If it’s their first time on your site, you can simplify their shopping experience by displaying your most popular products first.
Chances are their interest will relate to your top sellers. If not, a best seller might capture their attention and encourage the purchase of an additional product they hadn’t considered initially.
Sephora does an excellent job of showcasing top sellers as well as its favorites on the homepage.
In addition to listing bestsellers on your home page, create a category page that features all of your most popular products.
5. Target Existing Customers
According to a study from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), 63% of consumers are interested in personalized recommendations. Many are willing to share data in exchange for personalized deals, exclusive offers , and more customized services or immersive shopping experiences.
As an ecommerce retailer, you’re perfectly positioned to do just that.
You have a wealth of data on each customer you can use to segment customers based on purchase history as well as site use and shopping behavior.
Customer data allows for in-depth segmentation you can use to show highly targeted content featuring products and promotions across multiple channels.
Once you’ve segmented customers based on the data, you can:
- Send follow up emails after they make a purchase to promote a similar product
- Send promotional emails to customers who shop seasonally
- Create retargeting ads for specific audience demographics on Facebook
- Create dynamic Google Shopping ads that show products a customer was interested in but didn’t purchase
- Send dynamic emails that show the products a customer left in their cart
You can create lookalike audience lists based on your current customers, allowing you to target a new audience with demographics, interests, and behaviors that match those of your customers. Targeting people more likely to purchase from you reduces advertising costs and can increase ecommerce sales.
By segmenting your audience, you can lower your costs by only paying to show your ads to the people your data shows you is mostly likely to buy. It’s cheaper to pay to show your ads to 100 people ready to buy than 1000 people who aren’t. The name of the game in digital advertising is relevance.
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6. Expand your Rewards Program
One way to increase ecommerce sales is to keep your existing customers returning. After reviewing purchase data for over 22 million unique customers with over 2,400 retailers, Stitchlabs found that return customers account for 22.6% of a store’s revenue on average.
A customer loyalty or reward program like ReferralCandy or Smile.io is a great way to turn your attention towards keeping existing customers happy and getting them to make repeat purchases.. It can also increase word of mouth marketing and brand advocacy, encouraging others to shop with you.
Since you decide how to reward customers, try to come up with rewards that not only encourage repeat business but also build social proof for your brand:
- Make reward tiers easier to reach
- Start first-time shoppers out with instant rewards to encourage a bigger purchase
- Reward customers for leaving reviews
- Give reward points for a social share after a product purchase
- Give special rewards and extra points for referrals
- Openly favor your loyal customers
- Plan bonus point campaigns for specific products or bundle deals to increase average order value
7. Focus on Improving Average Order Value
Encouraging your customer to purchase more products in each order takes significantly less work (and costs less) than launching marketing campaigns that generate new and returning traffic.
Even if they came to your site with a specific product in mind, there are many practical ways to get them to cross-sell and upsell.
Here are a few creative ways to increase average order value:
- Recommend similar products that were viewed or purchased by other customers on the product page and during checkout
- Upsell small-ticket items that complement the product getting purchased by the customer
- Cross-sell complementary products
- Offer free shipping if the customer reaches a dollar value threshold on their order
- Provide discounts if the total order reaches a dollar value threshold
- Offer discounts when specific products are bundled
- Give a small value gift card when customers reach a dollar value threshold
- Prompt them to join your loyalty program with a discount or redemption for their first order
- Offer bonus reward points for high-value orders
Smile.io found that brands using a loyalty program saw a 13.71% increase in average order values.
8. Increases Ecommerce Sales with Live Chat
Ideally, you want to try to answer a customer’s questions and overcome doubts with the product details, description, and images. But, sometimes customers still have concerns.
When they do, the ability to immediately speak to someone live can keep the customer from leaving to search for an answer, which can lead them right to a competitor.
44% of online customers consider live chat one of the most essential features in an ecommerce site. Also, 49% of consumers reportedly bought products as a result of live chat, and consumers who get to use live chat spend 60% more than the average customer.
If you have someone handling your customer service, then you already have people in place who can respond instantly to live chat requests during regular business hours.
What About Chatbots?
Chatbots are becoming more prevalent in digital marketing. They’re a way to automate some customer service tasks, like answering basic questions in Facebook Messenger or on your website’s product pages. Sometimes, customers really do have simple questions, and they want quick answers. They often don’t mind using a bot to get those answers.
If you have an out-of-stock product (hopefully you don’t), a chat bot can help ease customer frustration by letting them know when it will be back in stock. Not only that, your chatbot can also capture lead contact information. Now you can directly contact the customer about this and related products.
Keep in mind, chatbots can’t replace real human interaction for complex issues. Chatbots typically operate on rules, and are loaded with scripts for different scenarios. Be sure that your chatbot scripts align with your business’ brand and tone.
9. Increase Conversions with Targeted Landing Pages
Retailers running ads typically send clicks directly to a specific product page. Unfortunately, that product might not be what the visitor wants, so their only option is to dig through your site for an alternative or leave.
Sending that traffic to a category page isn’t much better since most category pages are little more than a grid or list of products.
That’s why so many retailers struggle with conversions. The average landing page conversion rate across all industries is just 2.35%.
However, brands who create targeted, custom landing pages see conversion rates far higher with top performers converting customers at 5-11.45% (and higher).
One way to increase ecommerce sales is to create custom landing pages for your campaigns.
A custom landing page allows you to highlight the product you featured in your ad. You can supplement that product with a number of similar products that might be a better fit for some customers as well as accessories, testimonials, and other relevant information.
This way you can keep a larger audience engaged when they click on your ad. That means fewer wasted clicks, higher conversion rates, and an increase in ecommerce sales.
Using an app like Shogun can streamline your landing page creation. You can create countless landing pages without any coding knowledge using a simple drag-and-drop editor.
Because of its integration with platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento, services like Shogun have become extremely popular with brands who need to launch landing pages for custom marketing campaigns quickly. Increasing ecommerce Sales Starts with Your Current Customers
Increasing Ecommerce Sales Starts with Your Current Customers
You’ll be fighting to increase ecommerce sales throughout the life of your business. If you spend the bulk of that time trying to generate traffic and acquire new customers, you may sacrifice a significant portion of your bottom line to visitors who don't convert to buying customers..
Instead, shift your focus more toward existing customers.
Use rewards to keep them coming back, provide high quality service, and better content that builds trust and loyalty.
Develop a tiered shopping experience that’s personalized based on their interests and behaviors. Be sure to include upselling and cross-selling; it will cost you less overall to improve the average order value.
Once you have them on your site, you can use a combination of excellent product descriptions, live chat and better customer service, psychological factors like the fear of missing out, and compelling offers to get more customers to complete a purchase.
Written by Ruthie Bowles
Ruthie is a content marketing consultant for Logiwa. Her specialties include small business development and inventory management.