In the future, when the pandemic’s impact on global business is analyzed, it’s likely that the biggest impact will be how it accelerated the growth of the modern ecommerce era. In many places around the world, shopping online hadn’t been possible because of underdeveloped technology infrastructures and a lack of access to electronic payment systems for consumers. However, COVID-19’s disruption has forced rapid global change and ecommerce growth has, and will, continue to skyrocket.
Of course, even with skyrocketing demand, running an ecommerce business comes with its fair share of pros and cons. And while it’s normal for sales to fluctuate based on market demand, it can be frustrating trying to consistently grow sales. Fortunately, there are best practices that you can adopt to succeed, as long as you’re willing to put in the effort. In this article, I’ll give you a few easy tips to help boost and maintain your sales growth profitably:
Take Advantage of Affiliate Marketing
If you run an eCommerce website, you may want to consider creating an affiliate marketing program. Affiliate marketing has proven to be a highly successful marketing strategy for online businesses. In fact, affiliate spending is expected to reach $8.2 billion by the year 2022. The represents significant sales lift for your business if you properly activate affiliates. Check out one of the many simple affiliate marketing program plug-ins to get your program up and running
Rethink How You Promote Products
Savvy millennial consumers are far less likely to respond to product promotions that come across as pushy and “salesy”. Up to 86 percent of consumers now rank authenticity as a deciding factor when supporting a brand. The most effective stories and promotions take a far more genuine and purpose-driven approach. When in doubt, think about the type of content your audience actually wants to see and why they should care, and use that to drive your approach to promotional content. The goal is to give the target audience a reason to listen, a reason to care and a reason to to engage with you, rather than just pushing a promotion to “sell” them.
Attract Leads with Valuable Content
Your site should be an invaluable resource for your target audience to engage with when they need help in a specific area. Showcase your expertise so that your customers trust your brand story. The best way to do this is to create content that is genuinely useful to the people you’d like to attract as buyers. Expert tutorials, guides, and product demos are a great place to start. This strategy is a win-win. You’ll attract the right audience, tell your brand story and boost your credibility and relevancy at the same time.
Make Time-Sensitive Offers
When it comes to conversion and closing sales, there are a few simple techniques that can help activate customer purchase intent. One of the most effective tools is limited-time discounts and offers. I’m sure you’ve seen this before– you enter a site and see right away that they’re offering a 50%-off discount for a specific timeframe, or free shipping if you place your order before the end of the day. They might even have a countdown timer on the page to create a sense of urgency. As simple as this seems, it’s actually super-effective for increasing conversion and driving sales.
Offer Upsell Options
This tip won’t necessarily increase conversion, but it will help you make more money on each sale. Here’s how it works. You start by offering the basic version of a product or service. Next, you offer the buyer a few ways to upgrade the product with other valuable and complimentary products or services. Of course, those upgrades come at an additional cost. For example, let’s say you offer a meal delivery service. You might offer a basic package that includes two fresh meal kits for $25. An upsell for this might include desserts and two snacks for an additional $8. A good upsell will make the customer feel like they got a deal while giving them incremental benefits or solving an additional problem for them – all while increasing the overall value of the sale.
Highlight Customer Reviews and Testimonials
When people are shopping online, they’re looking for hints and signals that the product is legit and of a certain quality. A great way to reassure your customers is to include reviews and testimonials directly on your site. In fact, 95% of people read reviews before they even consider making a purchase online. So if you don’t have customer reviews, you’re starting at a serious disadvantage. Customers may be attracted to your brand story, but they are far more likely to believe and buy when your brand story is told by other customers. Be sure to set up a customer review area for each of your product categories to make it easy for potential buyers to see what other customers have to say. Encourage customer reviews by sending an email after a purchase is made, requesting a review or a rating in exchange for a future product discount or free complimentary service.
When it comes to improving online sales conversion, authenticity is the name of the game. You can embody this trait by taking advantage of trust-building affiliate marketing programs; relevant and valuable content; and compelling customer reviews. Stick to these best practices and you should begin growing your ecommerce sales in no time.
If you’re looking for more tips on formulating your eCommerce strategy, transforming your online marketing, or creating winning digital campaigns, subscribe to the TopRight blog! Or connect with me on Twitter and on LinkedIn. If you’re still on a quest for more marketing insight, pick up copies of our latest books: Strategic Analytics and Marketing, Interrupted.