6 ways to boost e-commerce sales this year

The entire point of an e-commerce store is to make sales and boost revenue. If you aren’t meeting the goals you put in place, it could be that your strategy to increase your return on investment (ROI) is a little shabby and could use some work.

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to sell awesome products that you’re certain your target customers will love. Before a customer makes it all the way down the sales funnel, they start at the very top where they need reassurance, trust, and credibility from you. Rarely do people make purchases without knowing anything about the product or how it can help them. People carefully research and buy products that are most suitable for them.

But there’s a lot of merit in finding your target audience, marketing to their needs, and getting them to purchase from your online store out of the 1.9 billion digital buyers worldwide.

If you’re looking to boost the ROI of your e-commerce shop, here are three ways to help you get started.

1. Create email campaigns

An important part of running a successful e-commerce shop depends on creating a stellar email campaign. Email is a surefire way to connect with your audience, discover their buying patterns, and grow your revenue. You just have to know how to do it so that your subscribers are enticed and willing to interact.

Campaign Monitor’s annual report reveals that for every dollar spent on email marketing, you can expect a $44 ROI from its efforts. The better your email campaign is, the more subscribers you’ll end with each month and the number will keep increasing. Send regularly scheduled emails to your subscribers with different purposes: offers and discounts, promotions, what’s new in the business, abandoned cart emails, and more.

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Optimize your headline so it catches the reader’s attention. Remember, your buyers probably get tons of emails flooding their inboxes and they don’t want more clutter. Personalize your emails and suggest items similar to products they previously browsed on your website. Ask them questions and encourage them to reply to you directly in case of any queries.

 

2. Leverage the power of chat

A great way to distinguish your e-commerce shop from your competitors is by offering awesome customer service. Some businesses are so focused on their products and numbers that they neglect how they can make their customers happy and improve the customer experience (CX). When it comes to support, be instantly available to your buyers when they have questions or need help.

Adding chatbots to your conversion strategy will increase user engagement and keep customers satisfied with their shopping experience. Use Freshchat’s chatbot feature to capture and qualify leads, reduce website drop-offs, and improve user experience on your website. If your e-commerce buyers live on Facebook Messenger, you can leverage the power of Freshchat+Messenger to boost sales or use OptinMonster’s chatbot integration to engage with customers.

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3. Display social proof

E-commerce shoppers have a heightened sense of avoiding websites that don’t look trustworthy. Your website’s URL, design, copy, products, and everything else about your interface have to look credulous. Buyers have a very short window to decide which websites they want to do business with, so you have to make sure every aspect of your e-commerce website looks trustworthy right away when prospects land on your web page.

That’s where social proof marketing can come into play. Social proof can be anything from online ratings to product reviews to the high number of users who have bought your products. It’s a badge of honor you can wear on your website to show new users that your business is worth their time and money.

If you need more social proof, ask your happiest customers to chime in. Incentivize ratings and feedback from customers not only so you can put them on your website, but so you can truly know how people feel about your business.

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4. Improve your CX

You can’t expect your e-commerce site to gain any sales traction if the CX is shabby. You could have the best products listed on your website, but if the process of purchasing those items is a hassle, your sales performance is going to suffer.

The main premise behind a good CX is being present and available for customers when they encounter issues. Consider implementing an AI chatbot to your website that can help consumers with any immediate problems. You can program it to have its own character, name, and personality so it feels like consumers are interacting with a real person behind the screen.

Make sure the buying and checkout process is simple. Keep your shopping cart visible no matter what page a user is on so they always have access to their items. Use Google PageSpeed Insights to test your website’s page loading speed.

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5. Use Retargeting ads

Shopping cart abandonment is, unfortunately, an inevitable truth in the e-commerce domain. Just look at the stats and you will find that customers abandon a staggering 70 percent of shopping carts on an average. That’s a huge loss in revenue for businesses that almost converted their prospects into buyers.

But abandoned carts are not a lost cause entirely. Since you already know customers were evaluating a purchase before they abandoned their carts, it’s worth trying to win them back into completing their purchase. Retargeting ads are a great way to get in touch with customers who lapsed through your sales funnel. Retargeting makes it easy for you to find the items that the customers had added in their carts and display them as ads. Retargeting ads use cookies to track the customers’ navigation and display relevant ads in their browsers. It jogs their memory on what they left behind and compels them to complete their purchase if they still have the need to buy the item.

Facebook ads are one of the most popular and widely used ways to retarget customers. Here’s an example of what it would look like for someone browsing their social media:

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It’s important that you optimize all of the important elements an ad needs to have to entice users to follow through with a purchase, including:

  • Image
  • Text/copy
  • CTA
  • Enticing offer
  • Targeted audience

Elumynt was able to increase their ROI by 500 percent simply by optimizing their CTA button so it stands out to customers:

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6. Offer irresistible incentives

Your customers, especially those that are new to your website or brand, will rarely stumble across your products and make a purchase on the spot. They need something to entice them to do so that makes them feel like buying from you will be worth it. 

Luckily, there are several ways you can create incentives that will encourage them to buy from your e-commerce business, such as:

  • Referral programs: If customers refer a friend to buy from your business, they get some sort of reward, such as a discount or points added to their account.
  • Free shipping: The National Retail Federation reports that 61% of millennials expect free shipping when shopping online.
  • Flash sales: Not only do flash sales excite customers and usually offer great discounts, but they also help you get rid of inventory that’s been stockpiled for quite some time.
  • Loyalty programs: A great way to value your customers and encourage them to continue buying from your brand is to set up a loyalty program that rewards them every time they make a purchase. This could include giving them points for every purchase they make that they can rack up to use later.
  • Free gift with purchase: This is a little extra something you can offer customers for being committed to your brand and choosing it over the thousands of other options. It shows them you care and are willing to go the extra mile to show your appreciation for their loyalty.

Here’s how North Face explains their loyalty program on their website:

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Wrapping up

When you’re just starting out, getting the ROI and revenue you envisioned for your e-commerce business can be tough. E-commerce is one of the most competitive domains in today’s business landscape. It just takes minimal effort for today’s e-commerce buyers to switch to brands that offer them the best deals, incentives, and experiences.

Increasing your revenue is about knowing what your audience wants, helping them when they need it, and building a credible, reliable relationship that thrives on both sides. In addition to the tactics described above, make sure you experiment with new ideas to boost sales for your online retail store and keep your marketing fresh.

(Blog illustration designed by the awesome Sudheesh Chandran)