You just analyzed the latest sales report of your E-commerce store. The numbers aren’t looking good. But you did everything right this year.
Hired more staff.
Spent more on marketing.
Streamlined your logistics.
Still no improvement. You now feel the pressure to increase your sales faster. At the same time, you do not want to compromise on the quality of your service. What to do?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we will take you through some of the best and proven strategies to improve sales for your online store.
1. Optimize Your E-commerce Store For SEO
When your E-commerce store ranks higher in SERP (Search Engine Results Page), it not only improves your brand’s visibility but also drives more targeted traffic to your website. In other words, your store will be visited by all those people who are actively searching for products similar to what you offer. This will increase the likelihood of conversion.
Here are some tips you can adopt to improve the SEO score of your online store-
- Embed your product titles with relevant keywords.
- Generate unique and compelling meta descriptions for every product you upload.
- Ensure that your URLs are descriptive and include keywords.
- Optimize product images with descriptive file names and alt tags.
- Improve site speed for better user experience and search rankings.
- Ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices.
2. Use Paid Ads Strategy To Boost Sales
Sometimes just optimizing your website for search engines might not be enough to attract visitors to your website, especially if you want results quickly. For such cases, you must embrace Paid Ads along with SEO to boost sales. Here are some strategies related to paid ads you can adopt-
Drive Traffic With Facebook And Google Shopping Ads
Facebook and Google offer robust ad platforms that you can use to easily target the right people at the right time. Both these platforms have a large user base who are active and always on the lookout for solid information to consume and high-quality products to purchase.
While posting ads on these platforms, make sure your product images and creative copies resonate with your target audience. Also, not all your ads have to be about your products. You can even include videos about your customers or how your store works to build deep customer relationships. Here is an ad from Yogabar that is not about their brand or product. They have instead focused on one of their CSR activities involving an NGO. The goal of such ads is to drive brand awareness.
Use Lookalike Audience To Target
Lookalike Audience is a Facebook feature that lets you target people who haven’t heard about your brand but share similar characteristics with your ideal customers. By using a lookalike audience, you can drastically improve conversions for your store as you are essentially targeting those people who are more likely to buy from your brand.
While creating a lookalike audience for your brand, ensure that there is no audience overlap and you pick the audience from a quality source. Also, it is recommended to have at least 1000 people in your source audience to have a desirable effect on your targeting.
Focus On Retargeting Ads To Improve Conversions
Not all first-time visitors to your site will end up becoming a customer. Most of them will leave without purchasing anything. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about them. You can win them back with the help of retargeting ads.
Facebook, for instance, offers the Pixel which can detect who visited your website, whether they purchased anything, from which page they left, etc. Armed with this vital information, you can use Facebook Ads to attract these people. The goal of retargeting ads is to generate more exposure for your store, which will push the visitors to eventually buy from you.
Here is a great example of a retargeting ad-
Some of the best practices you can follow while creating and managing retargeting ads include:
- To ensure that your ads don’t go unnoticed, make sure to highlight your logo and branding across all ad units.
- Do not overexpose your ads as your potential customers may start ignoring your ads. It is advisable to set a frequency cap that will limit the number of times a tagged user will see your ad. We recommend anywhere between 15-20 ads per user per month.
- Always exclude your converted users from your retargeting list. The last thing you want is annoying your customers. More importantly, why waste valuable impressions on those people who have already converted.
- Do not run the same set of ads again and again. Your users will no longer be curious and will end up ignoring them. Rotate your ad creatives after every 2-3 months.
3. Create An Email List And Build An Email Marketing Strategy
Emails are still as relevant as they were a decade ago. More importantly, it is a great marketing channel as it offers a way to communicate with your prospects directly. But successful email marketing requires thorough planning and seamless execution. We suggest adding additional information while creating an email list. Add information like, your prospect’s interest, purchase history, or last communication with the brand. It will help you personalize your communication.
Here are some more tips to master email marketing for your store-
- Ensure that your emails are responsive. In other words, every element in your email must be clearly accessible on all kinds of devices
- Never send an email without a clear and prominent call-to-action button. It should encourage recipients to take the desired action
- Consistently monitor email metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, so that you optimize your email campaigns for better performance
- A/B test different email formats, layouts, and content to identify what resonates best with your audience and yields higher conversion rates
- Add customer reviews and testimonials in your emails to build trust and social proof.
- Give your emails a personal touch without compromising on the professionalism aspect. The best way to do this is by by sending it from a specific employee with the pattern: <your first name> from < company>
- While determining when to send your emails, keep your audience and mail type in mind. For instance, if your target audience is working professionals, and you are sending emails with a discount coupon, then you may want to send it during the lunch break or in the evening after office hours–simply because your target audience might be more likely to check it during that time
- Lastly, your email copy should be concise and to the point. It should have actionable verbs to inspire action and effortlessly blend with your CTAs
4. Utilize Popups And Signup Forms To Capture Visitor Information
Time and again, popups have proven to be a great ally for marketers. Despite its intrusive nature, it can still grab the attention of visitors and get them to interact with your brand while they are browsing. To reduce the intrusiveness, you can trigger them during different scenarios like when a customer spends a certain amount of time on your page or when they scroll down the page to a certain point.
Your popups could be designed to offer various incentives, such as exclusive discounts, freebies, or access to insider information. This will encourage visitors to provide their email addresses willingly.
Here is a popup on the website of Pepperfry, asking guest users to signup in return for credits that they can use while making the first purchase.
You can also trigger signup forms to capture visitor information, such as email addresses, which then allows you to build a valuable email list for your email marketing strategy. Remember to keep the form fields simple and minimize the number of required fields to reduce friction. In other words, make the signup process quick and easy. Here is an example of pop-up to collect email addresses by Bunnai:
5. Make It Easy For Customers To Purchase
Remove obstacles and reduce friction throughout the buying journey to ensure that your customers complete a purchase. Here are some strategies you can adopt to make it easy for customers to purchase-
Offer A Variety Of Payment Options
If there is one thing you don’t want, it is your customers leaving your store without completing a purchase just because their preferred payment option was unavailable. Gone are the days when simply offering credit cards, debit cards, and Internet banking was sufficient.
Today’s generation wants payment methods like mobile wallets, UPI, and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL). BNPL, in particular, has become quite popular because it offers customers the flexibility to spread their payments over time. This is ideal for all those customers who prefer more financial flexibility or those who may not have immediate access to funds. Myntra, the popular fashion brand offers a variety of payment methods to cater to every type of customer out there.
Low Shipping Charges Or Free Shipping
Today’s customers not only expect convenience and fast shipping but also free shipping or at least minimal shipping charges. If you manage to offer no-charge deliveries on all your orders, customers will be more likely to choose you over other brands. You could give free shipping on products with the highest margin or only if the order value reaches a particular amount. Hamleys, the popular toy store offers free shipping on all orders above ₹999 and they have highlighted this on their homepage.
You could also keep free shipping only for loyalty program members since they’re more likely to make repeat orders from your shop and that means you have a lower customer acquisition cost. Here are some smart ways to reduce shipping costs.
Fast Delivery & Easy Returns
Most customers value quick delivery and a seamless returns process over everything else. They feel confident in purchasing from brands offering top-notch experiences. You must have a dedicated returns policy page highlighting all the information about the returns process, including the time window for initiating returns. Similarly, offer multiple refund options like store credits or the original mode of payment. Finally, you should display the return policy link on the footer or your product page for easy access.
Ajio has designed its returns policy in the form of FAQs so that customers can quickly get their queries answered.
6. Run Strategic Promotions On Your Website
A well-thought-out promotion strategy will resonate with your customer base and automatically drive conversions.
You can run time-sensitive promotion campaigns that create a sense of urgency such as “flash sale” or “limited time offer”. Display a countdown timer for such promotions to encourage customers to act quickly and take advantage of the deal.
Another type of promotion that you can run is exclusive promotions. You can offer discounts to your email subscribers or loyalty program members to reward their engagement and encourage continued brand loyalty.
Some brands also go out of the box and run other varieties of promotions such as contests, giveaways, and referral programs to generate excitement and encourage participation.
Here are some tips to adopt while you run promotions on your website-
- Use visually appealing banners and eye-catching graphics on your website to highlight the promotion and draw attention to the special offers.
- Amplify the impact of your promotions by talking about it in all channels, particularly in social media. This will help you reach a wider audience.
- Consider collaborating with influencers to generate buzz around your promotions.
- Monitor and analyze the performance of your promotions. Track metrics like conversion rates and average order value to see if your strategy is working. If the numbers are not improving, you can fine-tune future campaigns.
Here’s Shoppers Stop, prominently displaying their current sale on their home page.
7. Create Urgency And Scarcity To Drive Sales
By creating a sense of urgency, you essentially tap into the psychological triggers that motivate customers to purchase from you. And the easiest way to instill urgency in the minds of customers is through scarcity. Using scarcity, you are helping the customers see the perceived value in making an instant purchase. Some of the different ways in which you can drive scarcity include:
- Show stock quantities on product pages to trigger FOMO
- Show how many people are currently browsing or have bought that particular product.
- Using phrases like “Limited stock” or “Hurry, only a few items left” etc.
- Allowing customers to pre-order select products or give them access to pre-sale opportunities
Here is an example of a brand using phrases like “Limited Stock” to create a sense of scarcity on their E-commerce website-
8. Upsell And Cross Sell To Your Existing Customers
Upselling is all about encouraging customers to upgrade their purchases or opt for higher-value products whereas cross-selling is about selling additional products that compliments the initial purchase. This is an effective strategy because you are mostly selling to those who already know you. You need to understand customer preferences and needs and present compelling offers to increase the average order value.
For example, if a customer reaches the checkout page to purchase a mixing bowl, and they get a personalized recommendation for a bigger one – just for ₹50 more. They’ll be obviously tempted to upgrade their product. Upselling not only increases revenue but also helps in building long-term relationships with your customers.
Here is an example of Upselling by Body Shop-
9. Minimize Cart Abandonment By Optimizing The Checkout Process
Here’s the harsh truth – You can never eliminate cart abandonment. However, you can improve the conversion rate by optimizing your checkout process. One of the reasons why most customers leave their carts is the lack of transparency. When your customers can’t see shipping fees, taxes, and other additional costs displayed on the checkout page, they will start rethinking their entire purchase. So ensure that you have a detailed order preview page that includes all the costs involved. You can also incorporate visual elements like progress indicators to reinforce transparency.
The other reason for cart abandonment is a complicated checkout process. The longer and more complicated your checkout process is, the greater the possibility of cart abandonment. You can simplify your checkout process by leaving out unnecessary form fields, allowing visitors to checkout with a guest account, and so on. Here’s Ikea offering guest checkout for all its customers-
10. Display customer Reviews To Build Trust And Credibility
Most customers will look for social proof and acknowledgments from others before making up their minds about a product. So it is important to have reviews and testimonials highlighted on your E-commerce website. You need to ask your customers to leave a review after every order is placed. However, not everyone will leave a review. To encourage them you need to offer incentives like freebies, cashbacks, or discounts on their next purchase.
Most importantly, you need to display the reviews where they will create maximum impact. Here’s Mamaearth displaying customer testimonials and marketplace reviews, on their homepage.
11. Showcase Your Top-Selling Items
This strategy works on a very simple idea – everyone wants to lay their hands on products everyone else is buying. Listing and showcasing your top-selling items on your website is a great way to get customers excited about trending items. When customers see the top seller label, it makes those products more appealing and reassuring as it has been bought and enjoyed by many in the past.
Showcasing your top-selling items can also simplify the decision-making process by presenting customers with the most popular and trusted choices. This will make it easier for them to make a purchase.
Here’s Juicy Chemistry displaying all their best-selling items on their homepage.
12. Add A Post-Purchase Survey To Your Website
Post-purchase surveys give you a lot of information about your customers’ experience. For instance, you can learn about what convinced them to buy from you, what was the deal breaker, and what could have improved their overall experience. Such key pieces of data can help in learning about your own strengths and weaknesses through the eyes of the customers.
To increase the number of responses, you can reward survey-takers with a discount for their next purchase. You must highlight the reward right before the survey to encourage them to leave feedback. It is also important to implement the changes based on your respondents’ feedback, to show that you value their opinion. Here’s an example of a post-purchase survey from Decathlon-
13. Use Conversational Commerce To Keep In Touch With Your Customers
Conversational Commerce is a great way to have meaningful interactions with your customers. Using it, you can offer personalized support that will improve satisfaction and loyalty among customers. Two popular ways in which you can adopt conversational commerce include live chat support (both bot and human agent) on the website and WhatsApp chat.
Using Conversational Commerce, you can promptly respond to customer inquiries, provide product recommendations, and address any concerns or issues they may have. The proactive nature of Conversational Commerce showcases the importance you place on customer experience, which will ultimately drive ongoing engagement.
Here’s Bombay Shaving Company actively engaging its customers through WhatsApp Conversational Commerce.
How to Boost E-commerce Sales: Conclusion
As you have seen in this post, learning how to increase E-commerce sales doesn’t have to be incredibly difficult. There are plenty of strategies that are easy to implement and highly effective at the same time. It’s also a good idea to try out as many strategies as possible and find out which ones have the most impact in your sales.
However, if you want to put your entire E-commerce store in autopilot mode and focus on other aspects of your business, you can join hands with ANS Commerce. ANS Commerce can handle the A-Z of your online store, right from setting up to running day-to-day operations. To know more about ANS Commerce and how we can help, book a free demo now.