Operating an eCommerce business is not just about selling products online; there is a lot you can do to improve your store, speed up sales and increase revenue.
In this article we bring you some eCommerce tips that will help you go above and beyond in making the most of your online store, so that you can ensure you are not missing out on potential sales or revenue:
1. Personalize your content
Personalized content is all about making the experience as relevant to your customers as possible, offering them a more tailored customer journey. There are several ways you can personalize your site’s content:
One of the ways, especially if you operate internationally, is by offering multi-lingual options. You could have your site automatically provide the right language depending on the country the website is being accessed from, or you could include a drop-down menu at the top of your site allowing users to jump to their language of choice.
Offering multi-lingual options can open up sales opportunities to a much wider audience.
User-generated content is another great way to personalize the customer experience by offering users insight from other customers like themselves, for example through product reviews.
Product reviews and ratings can also significantly increase your company’s credibility and encourage customers to make purchases. And the best part? It’s completely free. You can speed this process up by sending recent customers an email encouraging them to rate their purchases, and they’ll do the rest.
Online shopping can be a frustrating experience and being unable to get support often leads customers to drop off without purchase. A live chat option can provide just the right support at the right time, walking customers through the checkout process to ensure they are able to make their purchase. This kind of customer service will also increase your customers’ trust in your brand and provide them with confidence and peace of mind.
2. Optimize for mobile
Research shows that by 2017 mobile commerce will equal 50% of all digital commerce revenue. If your website is not yet optimized for mobile, this could mean huge missed sales and revenue opportunities, as users will not be encouraged to shop on a site that isn’t easily accessible on their smartphone or tablet.
By making an investment in ensuring your site is easily accessible on mobile devices you can go a very long way towards increasing mobile sales and revenue.
3. Optimize your checkout process
A smooth and intuitive checkout process can have a bigger impact on online sales than most people realize. In fact, up to 27% of online shoppers abandon an order due to too long or complicated checkout processes. This is a huge number when we consider total revenue losses, but fortunately there is a lot you can do to avoid this.
Simplify your checkout process
The most basic approach is to simply remove a step to shorten the checkout process. For example, you could allow users to check out as “guests” instead of asking them to create an account, cutting down checkout time considerably.
Another approach is to simply reduce the number of form fields that customers are required to fill in. For example, by enabling them to simply check a box when their billing and shipping addresses match, you can prevent them from wasting time entering it all over again.
But you can do much more than simplifying your checkout process to increase revenue. The checkout stage also provides a perfect opportunity to upsell your products to your customers by encouraging them to buy “upgraded” and more expensive versions of the products.
You can do this by clearly displaying the upgrade options as one of the checkout steps. This will be particularly efficient if you include positive ratings, add a “most popular” tag or offer a discount for the upgraded versions of the product. This kind of social proof will give your upgraded products the credibility customers are looking for.
4. Reduce abandoned orders
Optimizing your eCommerce platform is not only about encouraging users to complete their purchase; reaching out to users who didn’t complete it can bring in additional revenue too. There are various tools you can use to do this.
Abandoned carts and wishlists
Sending reminder emails to customers who dropped off the site with items still in their cart is a powerful way to speed up the purchasing process. This will bring your products back to their mind and potentially encourage them to buy them.
This also works for “wishlist” or “save for later” options, if your website offers them. Periodic emails reminding users of items in their wishlist will encourage them to keep these products in mind and potentially make a purchase.
Cross-selling is another good way of encouraging increased sales, in this case by suggesting complementary products to the ones purchased. You could send emails a week or two after a customer has purchased an item to recommend other products that they may be interested in. Not only is this a powerful tool to increase revenue, but most customers also find these kinds of recommendations extremely helpful, which will increase their trust in your brand.
Remarketing is a form of advertising that allows you to target users who have visited your website and looked at specific products. As they continue to browse other websites, ads for these products will pop up on their browser, reminding them that they did not purchase them.
A well-planned remarketing campaign will target customers for a specific period of time, ensuring the ads are seen multiple times.
5. Leverage email marketing
Compiling an email list will give you great opportunities to engage with customers and encourage them to purchase products in the future. You can compile their email addresses during the checkout process, or ask them to sign up to your newsletter. Newsletters are perfect ways to promote your latest products, for example by offering special customer sales.
A loyalty program is another way to further engage your existing customer base. By rewarding them with special offers, point accumulation and other incentives you can make customers feel appreciated and encourage them to spend more money on your site.
Giveaways can be carried out on social media as a way low-cost way to capture new users’ email addresses. Giveaways also encourage users to share your content with their friends and followers, which can lead to increased traffic to your site, often highly targeted.
6. Check metrics
Finally, data analysis is fundamental to any eCommerce strategy. This should take place before, during and after launching your site, as it will give you key insights into how the site is performing, what’s working and what isn’t.
There are many metrics you could track depending on your specific needs and strategy, but some of the key ones that you can look at are:
Conversion rate by landing page
Conversions are the number of website visitors who completed a purchase. Looking at this by landing page will show you what pages are performing best; is there a product or promo page that is particularly effective? Has a particular page’s performance increased or decreased over time? And why?
Having a good idea of the average value of each transaction is a helpful way of determining what products are most salable. It is also a great metric to keep in mind when running special promotions, for example by offering a promotion at a value slightly higher to the average sales value, encouraging visitors to spend a little more.
Click-through rate (CTR)
If you run advertising campaigns, CTR metrics will show you how your ads are performing and help you improve future advertising strategies. This also applies to content, whether it’s product pages or blog articles. A low CTR will indicate, for example, that the title or description for that particular page is undesirable or has room for improvement.
We hope you found these eCommerce tips useful! If you have any other helpful eCommerce tips, please let us know in the comments section.
If you would like to find out more about how Agility CMS can help you, request a free demo now.