Ecommerce is an incredibly complex field, and it can also be intensely competitive. Marketers often have trouble finding ways to sustainably increase traffic and sales.
While there’s no shortcut to success in ecommerce, improving your performance isn’t as complicated as it may seem. In this article, we’ll cover three of the most effective ways to increase ecommerce sales.
1. Optimize Your Site
This might sound obvious, but the first step toward generating more sales is simply optimizing your website. Even seemingly minor issues can make the site less professional and responsive, leading to a decrease in sales.
For example, mobile devices are expected to make up the majority of ecommerce sales by 2021. Sites that work well on desktops and laptops but fail to offer the same performance to mobile users will see a substantial drop in mobile visits and sales.
The easiest way to identify issues on mobile devices is simply to visit your site on a smartphone or tablet (or both). Get a feel for how the site looks and feels on different devices and take note of any problems that could impact the customer experience. You can also ask customers directly in order to gather more feedback.
Checkout is another key area of your site that’s worth auditing closely. Common issues include not supporting enough payment methods, including unnecessary steps in the checkout process, and adding fees for shipping and other services. In fact, more than a quarter of consumers will abandon their carts due to unexpected shipping charges.
Finally, ecommerce vendors should focus on optimizing design to make the site look both professional and unique. Low-quality images, slow loading times, and confusing layouts can render a website substantially more difficult to navigate. Don’t forget to test how your designs appear on a variety of devices.
2. Drive More Traffic
Some tactics focus specifically on selling products, but simply bringing more users to your site will give you more opportunities to make sales. For example, if ten percent of visitors make a purchase, bringing ten more users to your site will lead to an average of one additional sale.
Furthermore, consumers often need to engage with a brand as many as seven times before finally making their first purchase. With that in mind, an effective digital marketing strategy will focus on generating sustainable traffic and letting leads move through the sales cycle at their own pace.
One reliable method of increasing traffic involves connecting with leads on Facebook. Facebook is among the most popular platforms for retargeting campaigns, giving users another opportunity to visit your site or even make a purchase. Many of the best marketing apps for Shopify offer comprehensive tools for Facebook campaigns.
The Facebook pixel can be easily added to your site in order to gather information for retargeting purposes. After implementing the Facebook pixel, you’ll be able to create custom Facebook audiences based on site visits. This approach removes many of the barriers that add unnecessary complications to cross-channel campaigns.
3. Use Marketing and Sales Techniques
So you’ve optimized your site and you’ve successfully driven traffic to your store - now what? How do you seal the deal?
From this point, you should rely on marketing strategies to pull your customers the rest of the way through your sales funnel. Using email marketing is one of the best ways to reach your customers, and these strategies will help you convert your customers.
Leverage Your Network Through Referral and Affiliate Marketing
Referral and affiliate marketing are also cost-effective options for ecommerce brands. Contemporary referral platforms streamline the process of setting up referral benefits in order to generate both traffic and sales. Even small benefits can give existing customers an incentive to let friends and family members know about your brand.
Similarly, many ecommerce brands offer bonuses to the referral as well as to the person who referred them. For example, you could give both parties ten percent off an order for each successful referral. This strategy also builds the bonus into another purchase, ensuring that customers stay engaged with your brand.
Affiliate marketing campaigns give affiliates a kickback in exchange for leading consumers to your brand. Affiliates typically work for some kind of bonus on each referral, which means you’ll only have to pay for successful performance—you won’t lose money if they have trouble generating sales.
Additionally, affiliate marketing is extremely low-maintenance. Once you get started with an affiliate, you’ll receive a steady stream of new leads without being involved in their strategies. Of course, you’ll also have the opportunity to collaborate on tactics as needed.
If you’re not sure where to start with affiliate marketing, consider contacting an affiliate network in order to find qualified marketers. Affiliate networks essentially act as agencies, connecting ecommerce vendors and other brands to affiliates that can help them grow their presence.
A/B Testing to Find the Right Mix
The most reliable way to consistently improve your marketing tactics is to leverage A/B testing and analyze different ideas. A/B testing involves comparing results from two different variants on a small scale before deciding which one to use for the full campaign. You could change anything from the subject line or sender name to the product image or call to action.
Depending on your marketing platform, you may also have the option to run tests with more than two variants. Instead of changing a single variable, you could compare two versions of two different elements by testing a total of four ads. Unfortunately, some providers don’t yet offer support for multivariate testing.
Every A/B test you run is an opportunity to try a new variant that otherwise wouldn’t have made it into a campaign. Regularly testing alternative options will ensure that you recognize weaknesses in your approach and gradually identify better strategies. Even seemingly minor adjustments can add up to a large increase in sales when applied consistently over a long period of time.
Reduce Cart Abandonment with Relevant Messaging
With the right marketing automation tools, you can also set up responsive abandoned cart workflows that capitalize on a user’s interest. Roughly three-quarters of all online shopping carts are abandoned before the sale, making cart abandonment one of the top sources of lost sales for ecommerce brands.
To follow up on an abandoned cart, configure one message to send within an hour or two after the lead leaves your site. At this point, the product will still be fresh in their mind, and a simple reminder could be enough to make them reconsider.
If that doesn’t work, you can send a second message the next day to remind them of the item they were looking at. Some marketers include an exclusive offer with the second notification, giving customers a better deal and increasing the odds of conversion.
Upselling and Cross-selling: Proposing What Your Customer Didn’t Know They Wanted
Finally, while abandoned cart workflows will lead to a greater volume of sales, upselling and cross-selling products will help you increase the value of each sale. Achieving a higher average order value enables you to generate more revenue and profits without having to make more sales.
Upselling and cross-selling are extremely similar. The key difference is that upselling generally involves promoting a more expensive version of a product—for example, an internet provider could upsell by offering a faster connection for a higher price.
Cross-selling, on the other hand, refers to the promotion of items that relate to a given product. One well-known example of cross-selling is the “recommended for you based on” section on Amazon, which is now utilized by many other online vendors.
Improving your ecommerce results takes time, but you can start making the necessary changes today. These are just a few of the most powerful ways to optimize your marketing tactics, leading to an increase in both traffic and sales.
Optimizing your site, driving traffic, and streamlining your sales funnel with marketing strategies is easier said than done, but with these tips, you’ll have a few ideas and a great launching point to get started from.