How do you drive eCommerce sales? No matter how successful your website is, you can always do better! Selling online requires drawing and engaging a large number of website visitors, making the purchasing process as easy as possible, and encouraging them to return to the eCommerce store often and regularly.
You can build a strong eCommerce sales strategy around four pillars:
- Acquiring users
- Engaging customers
- Optimizing website user experience
If your website is performing sub-optimally, we have a few tips you could follow, across all pillars, in order to increase your eCommerce sales.
Optimize site performance
Your website is the foundation for increasing eCommerce sales. If your website is not performing well, your business will begin to slow down. Recent Google research shows that 53% of internet users are likely to leave a webpage if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Optimize website performance to ensure that site visitors have a positive experience. Keep website loading speed as fast as possible, ideally targeting first contentful paint (the first visible activity on the website) load time within 2 seconds.
Streamline the purchasing process
You can increase eCommerce sales by making the purchase process as easy as possible. Minimize the number of steps to add to cart or checkout and offer one-click checkout if possible. Do you really need users to sign up on your website? Or can you offer checkout without sign-up
The Baymard Institute found that when eCommerce websites require account creation during checkout, 23% of users immediately abandon their carts. Make it as easy as possible for the customer to check out and make their purchase. Run through the checkout process internally and identify every action the customer needs to take. Automate as many of these steps as possible.
Offer users multiple payment options (localized and digital wallets, buy-now-pay-later, etc) and all shipping options, including BOPIS (buy online, pickup in store), curbside pickup and 24-hour delivery options. Encourage purchase with transparent and customer-friendly return/refund policies, and delivery or shipping deals where possible. According to MCM, 46.5% of SMB eCommerce players found that their profits increased when they offered free shipping.
Help users find products easily
Ensure that you share high-quality, attractive images on the website. Support the images with text content that explains the features and benefits of the product.
While it’s important to get your product page right, users need to find it before viewing it! Equip your eCommerce website with highly accurate site search. After all, 93% of online interactions begin with a search. Enabling search autocomplete and prompts makes searches even easier. You can also enable voice and image search, where possible. These methods can increase ease of access to your products and thus decrease exit rate, increase conversion rate and likely even your average order value.
Personalize your user experience and marketing
Learn more about your customers through polls, reviews, and regular user testing. Develop strong, clear buyer personas using this data, and tailor your communication and UX to suit each persona. Through real-time deep-segmentation of your buyers, you can customize the user experience dynamically.
Once the user segmentation is ready, email data can be used to send personalized mail and message content to each audience segment in order to encourage repeat visits and further purchases.
By tracking the pages visited by each kind of user and the products they view, you can present targeted offers and recommend other products which they may find useful. This helps with upselling and cross-selling and increases the average order value and customer lifetime value.
Product recommendations are an excellent way to encourage upselling. You could recommend items in a similar size or style or associated products and accessories that could combine well together. Product recommendations also drive conversions, as customers who click on a recommended product are 5.5x more likely to convert to purchase than those who do not.
Boost sales to existing customers
Retaining an existing customer is much more cost-effective than new customer acquisition. It is easier to convince existing, engaged customers to return to the website and make repeat purchases than to acquire and convert new visitors to customers. Indeed, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profitability up to 95%.
Keep in touch with your customers through email, social media, and SMS marketing, with story-based marketing and timely promotions. Promote automatic continuity programs such as ‘Subscribe and Save’ schemes to convert your users into long-term customers.
eCommerce sites are potentially losing $3 billion every year due to cart abandonment. Prevent it by providing your users with offers on the website as soon as they attempt to exit the online store to keep them on the site longer and promote conversion. Follow up with an email if needed to encourage them to come back and complete the purchase.
Invest in brand awareness
Brand awareness makes your users aware of your brand, which leads to trust-building and promotes search engine optimization. That’s why it’s essential to plan branding and lead generation across all channels as part of your eCommerce sales strategy.
Plan your organic communication across the various social media platforms, your own blog, and third-party blogs. Using SEO, paid advertising, remarketing, and even marketplace integrations, you can be visible to your customers wherever they are.
Improve conversions through loyalty programs
Loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase and 7x as likely to try a new offering compared to new customers. Consider customer support via chatbots and leverage more complex engagement automation strategies to engage your users and convert them into loyal, long-term customers.
Simple email automation, such as special offers for their birthdays or anniversaries and right-time-right-location push notification automation, are two examples of automation strategies that can result in higher engagement and thus increase customer loyalty.
Present social proofs, such as customer reviews. This helps to retain customers as well as to upsell and cross-sell to them. Prioritize your email marketing strategy. Social media channels may come and go, but your database and email are your own property!
Carry out deals, promotions and offers
You acquire more users and drive eCommerce sales when you promote strategic offers like flash sales, coupons, and deals on social media and other ad platforms. Set up a clear space with ‘on-sale’ products to encourage purchase for existing users. You can also drive decision-making through time-sensitive deals and offers pushed via the website, email, and social media.
Optimize through testing and monitoring
Keep making changes on the website UX and on the lead funnel to optimize conversions. Each change made on the site should be analyzed using A/B testing. At the same time, take the opinion of your internal users, customers, and other stakeholders and benchmark against the competition. Monitor your brand reputation by mining customer reviews for patterns and issues to understand the gaps in your eCommerce brand experience.
By creating a solid eCommerce sales strategy that works across channels, including the eCommerce store itself, you can optimize conversions on the eCommerce website. An online store that follows these guidelines will likely see a significant increase in eCommerce sales.
The tips mentioned in this article are just a few ideas on how to increase eCommerce sales. Do reach out to our experts to discuss how you can further optimize your online presence and eCommerce website. By working closely with a full-service eCommerce and digital marketing agency, such as Ziffity, you can drive eCommerce sales and build a brand that lasts over time. Contact us today.