If you’re an online retailer then you know how difficult it can be to make a sale. You need to figure out how to get people to your site and then convince them to buy something when they get there. This can be a challenging and frustrating process in the beginning but it doesn’t mean that it has to remain that way. Here are ten proven tips to help you grow your ecommerce business by 50% or even more. None of these tips are very complicated or difficult to implement but if done in conjunction with each other, they can begin to generate some pretty significant improvements to your sales and profits.
Tip 1: Focus on One Product and Grow From There
You don’t need to sell tons of products to do well. If you focus on one or two products that have good margins and sell a lot of them then you will achieve significant sales and profits and eventually grow your ecommerce business by a lot.
You can always add more products later but first try to pick a product that solves a pain point for people. If your chosen product doesn’t solve a pain point then it will be very difficult to get people to buy it unless it is a fad. So, make sure you focus on one product that solves a real problem and is in demand in the marketplace.
Think of it this way, if you have one product that makes you $10 in profit and you sell just ten of them a day, then over a thirty-day period you’ll have $3000 in your pocket. Once you’ve optimized your first product then move onto the next product.
Selling only a few products has other benefits as well. Having fewer prdoucts means that you’ll have less headaches to deal with, which makes life a lot easier.
Tip 2: Make Sure to Upsell and Downsell
Some of the top companies in the world use upselling, downselling, and cross-selling to increase conversions and revenues. If used properly, these marketing techniques can benefit both customers and business owners alike. We’ll discuss cross-selling below but let’s explore what upselling and downselling are and how we can use these techniques to improve sales and to provide more value to our customers.
An upsell occurs when you offer a customer a more advanced product than what they were originally planning to buy. This technique involves selling a more expensive or more advanced product than the product the customer had originally chosen, thereby increasing your overall profit margin for that sale.
The best example of upselling is when they offer to “supersize” your order at McDonalds. Whenever you order something they always ask you to “supersize” the order. They’re basically offering you a larger version of the meal you were planning to buy. The key is that the upsell is a better value than if you were going to buy the larger size by itself.
Another example of upselling is when you want to buy a bag of coffee. In an upsell you would be offered the opportunity to buy a three-pack of that coffee for a cheaper price then if you were to buy three bags of coffee individually.
Upselling is a great way to make your customers aware of products and services that they may not have otherwise seen at a better value while providing you (the seller) with more profit. If done ethically, it can be a great win-win opportunity for both the buy and seller.
A downsell is when you offer a lesser (and likely more affordable) product or service in case a customer appears hesitant to make a purchase. Downselling is effective when the customer decides to back away from making a purchase. With downselling, you can offer a less expensive product, thereby increasing the chances that he will make a purchase. The goal is to acquire this customer even if you profit less in this initial sale because the lifetime value of this customer will be much higher in the long term. Even if you don’t think this customer will ever make another purchase from you, it’s good to at least get a sale from them even if it at a lower price.
Car dealerships use downselling all the time. While they are happy to show the most expensive cars first, they usually end up showing a more affordable model once they realize the higher priced models are not in a customer’s price range.
Downsells can be effectively used online as well. For example, when your site notices a customer leaving your site (i.e. bouncing) you can offer a discount using an exit popup tool. By offering your product or service at a lower rate, you increase the chances that a visitor will make a purchase instead of abandoning your site.
Tip 3: Cross Sell: Sell Related Products
Cross-selling is when you offer products or services to a customer that are related to the first item they were planning to purchase. For example, if you sell men’s razors, then your related cross-sell products can include shaving cream, after shave, more razors and anything else that will aid in shaving.
This is a great way to increase profits and to increase the average order size. In keeping with the McDonalds example, the best example of cross-selling is when they ask, “Would you like fries with that?” The fries not only enhance the meal for the customer but they also increase revenue and profits for McDonalds.
In the online world, cross-selling works extremely well. Say you are selling TVs on your site, a great set of cross-sell products would include things like an extended warranty plan, HDMI cables, TV wall mounts and anything else related to enhancing the TV experience for the customer.
Tip 4: Advertise to Grow Your eCommerce Business
There are tons of ways to advertise but the two most prominent methods these days are Facebook and Google AdWords. They can both drive a lot of sales if you use them correctly and strategically to grow your ecommerce business.
Facebook advertising is good when you want to make people aware of the products and services that you sell. For example, if you’re in the beauty space, you can target everyone on Facebook who is interested in beauty and show them some cool new products that they otherwise wouldn’t have seen on your site. Even though they were on Facebook to see what their friends were up to, if you offer them products or services that match their interests you can easily capture their attention and begin to engage them to build a relationship with your site.
On the other hand, Google AdWords is great for targeting customers that already know what they want to purchase. For Example, if you know that people are looking for a makeup brush, you can show ads on Google for your makeup brush and drive targeted traffic to your site.
If you want to learn more about pay-per-click advertising, make sure to read our other post on this topic: Pay-Per-Click Advertising: Is It Worth It?
Tip 5: Capture and Send Emails
Capturing email is one of the biggest favors you can do for your online business. This is because of the potential it gives you to continuously engage your customers and to build and maintain a relationship with them.
The more email addresses you collect, the more chances you have to increase revenue. When it comes to building an online business, your email list can be a huge asset. Email gives you the ability to directly engage your customers and build a relationship with them. An added benefit to collecting email addresses is that you can use them to develop effective social medial campaigns. This is the gift that keeps on giving.
As long as you treat your email subscribers ethically and don’t abuse their trust, they will appreciate the content and offers you present to them.
Tip 6: Leverage Subscriptions
On Amazon, they give you a discount if you subscribe to a product. So, make sure you offer subscription options on your site as well. For example, if you’re selling makeup or lipstick then you know that people will need to replenish them on a regular basis. So why not give them an option where they can just subscribe and continually get new makeup? Why do you think Dollar Shave Club was bought for $1 billion? It’s because they did razor-based subscriptions and they guaranteed themselves recurring revenue. Everyone is already buying razors so why not make it easy and just automatically deliver razers to them.
If you’re using Shopify, you can use a tool called Recharge to make your product eligible to become a subscription-based product.
Tip 7: Recover Abandoned Shopping Carts
Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem in ecommerce. For example, according to some estimates 75% of shopping carts get abandoned on a regular basis. That means that out of every 100 people who put an item in their shopping cart, 75 of them will just leave. What’s more, they aren’t going to come back unless you can convince them to come back.
How do you do that? You need to implement some abandonment recovery solutions. One great way is to get their email early in the checkout process so if they leave you can email them and give them an incentive to come back and complete the purchase. For example, you can offer them a discount if they agree to complete their purchase.
You can even implement abandonment recovery techniques before you even collect their email. This can be done by implementing what are called, “Exit Intent Offers” by using tools like Hello Bar, which detect when a user on your site is leaving. You show them an exit offer that says, “hey, you were thinking of leaving? Put in your name and email and I’ll send you a 10% off coupon or a free shipping coupon.”
By trying to at least salvage some of these abandoned opportunities, you will soon find that you’ll begin making sales just by using a few simple tools to convince shoppers to complete their purchases. Just reducing that abandonment figure from 75% to 65% will add a huge amount of revenue to your site.
Tip 8: Optimize Your Checkout Process
If your checkout is too long or has a lot of unnecessary fields, then you need to optimize. One way to optimize your checkout process is to implement a two-step checkout.
For a while, single-page checkout forms had become very popular because they seemed more convenient. What online merchants soon realized was that they drove a lot of customers away because they had so many fields to fill out on one page. People were getting overwhelmed and just leaving.
With a two-step checkout, on the other hand, you capture name and email on the first page and the shipping and credit card info on the next page. Even though you are asking for the same information as if it was only one page, psychologically it seems easier to the user, thereby making it more likely that they will complete their transaction.
Tip 9: Leverage a Referral Program
If someone is buying from your ecommerce site, then they probably also know someone else who has the same problem or need for your solution. A Referral program is a great way to get people to recommend your site to people who otherwise would have never known about you.
You can implement a referral program through a tool called Referral Candy. This tool allows you to do simple things like offering $20 to someone who refers a friend that also signs up and buys. This way both the person making the referral and the person receiving the referral get the $20 discount.
You can get really creative with your referral program by offering things like a dollar off coupon, a percentage discount, free shipping or whatever else you decide to offer as your incentive.
The key is to incentivize both the person who is doing the referring and ALSO the person who is accepting the referral. For example, in Uber’s referral program both the person making the referral and the person joining get compensated.
Tip 10: Leverage Affiliate Marketing to Grow Your eCommerce Business
Drive traffic to your site through affiliate programs. Affiliate marketing is a marketing model that rewards affiliate partners for driving a desired action. These actions can include site visits, completion of a lead form and/or a conversion into a sale. Affiliate marketing can be a low-risk way to promote your products because you only pay when your desired action is completed.
One of the main advantages of having an affiliate program is that it is entirely performance-based. This is because affiliates are only paid a commission once the desired action has taken place.
Moreover, partnering with trusted affiliates such as bloggers or reputable websites has the added benefit of bolstering your site’s reputation. Associating with these partners will solidify consumer confidence in your product or service.
Therefore, affiliate marketing can be extremely cost effective because you’re only paying commissions when the desired conversion occurs. Furthermore, recruiting affiliates in new markets is an easy way to branch out into that market without the overhead cost of creating an entire marketing campaign.
What’s more, affiliate marketing will allow you to scale traffic faster. The more sites that link to your pages, the more opportunities you’ll have to convert those users into paid customers, not to mention the SEO benefits of having all those sites link to your site.
As you can see, by implementing some pretty simple but effective marketing techniques, you can generate more revenue and grow your ecommerce business tremendously. None of the tips described in this post were particularly complicated or difficult to implement but their use can have lasting benefits for your site. What’s more, each one on their own if effective but if you implement them together, they will have exponential benefits because they will complement each other. The key is to make a plan and begin implementing each one so you can reap their benefits. Before you know it, you will see significant increases in your revenue and profits. Happy selling!
Business Consulting Services: If you’re a small business owner looking to start or improve an online business then let me show you how to benefit from my experience. I have helped several online resellers grow their businesses by developing an online strategy to sell on Amazon, eBay or any other marketplace. Call me at 310-574-2541 or email me at Pez@Pezlogic.com for a complimentary business review.