10 tip to increase ecommercesales in 2021

10 Tips to Increase Ecommerce Sales in 2021

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 12 Mar 2021 by Rich Clarke
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10 Tips to Increase Ecommerce Sales in 2021

Think back to the last time you made an online purchase? I bet it wasn’t that long ago, was it?

Ecommerce has been expanding rapidly over the last few years with the recent global pandemic accelerating this growth even further.

In 2019, the ecommerce share of total global retail sales was 14.1% with 2023 forecast to be 22%.

In the UK the average monthly ecommerce share of total retail sales was 28% in 2020, and January 2021 hit a staggering 36%.

If you have a website where people can buy your products or services and want to know how to increase ecommerce sales in 2021 then read on.

The first thing to point out is that this blog is not about driving more traffic to your site, that is a huge subject that involves your campaigns for SEO, PPC, Social Media and much more.

This blog is about increasing the chance of your web visitors converting into paying customers. With these top tips you’ll be able to achieve;

  • A larger number of sales
  • Higher revenues
  • Better conversion rates
  • More loyal customers

 

10 Tips to Increase Ecommerce Sales in 2021

(Click to jump to section)

  1. Focus on Your Existing Customers
  2. Be Mobile Ready
  3. Answer Every Question in Your Copy
  4. Create Urgency
  5. Promotions
  6. Get a Competitive Edge by Using Free Shipping
  7. Build Trust Through Badges and Reviews
  8. Simplify The Transaction Process
  9. Build Email Lists and Develop Your Email Marketing Strategy
  10. Use Remarketing To Catch The Ones That got Away

Focus on Your Existing Customers

When a business is looking for growth the first thought is normally “how do we attract more customers?”. Well, there’s a strong case that you should start by targeting your existing customer to keep them buying from you.

On average, existing customers add more items to their cart, spend more money and have a higher conversion rate. Loyal customers can be worth up to 10 times the value of their first purchase. Plus the chances of selling to existing customers is around 60-70% compared to a 5-20% probability of a sale with new customers.

Add the fact that customer retention is much more cost effective than customer acquisition and you’ll soon see that instead of focusing everything towards attracting new customers, improving your customer retention strategy can yield fantastic results.

Your loyal customers have already bought into your brand, are familiar with your products and most importantly trust them. Loyal customers are far easier to convince to buy again from you compared to new customers. So how do you tap into this goldmine that you’re sitting on? Simple, focus on things that will enhance their experience.

Establish a loyalty reward scheme to keep existing customers buying again and again by giving people an incentive to spend more money with you. Reward points can be used for free products, discounts, special promotions or even free shipping.

Use email to stay at the forefront of their memory and make them feel cared for. Notify them of product launches, suggest recommended products or send them a birthday coupon.

These devoted customers are also a huge source of information so listen to what they have to say, or better still, be proactive and ask. You may uncover trends you weren’t aware of or unveil new needs that will help guide the way forward.

Be Mobile Ready

Searches on mobile devices have overtaken those on desktop and continue to grow. More and more people are now shopping online via smartphones so your ecommerce site needs to be mobile ready.

51% of online shoppers make purchases via smartphones in 2019.

If your ecommerce site is not optimised for mobiles then this needs to be at the top of your to-do list. Whether it’s a few design tweaks or a complete redesign, you need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find, and buy your products. To achieve this focus your attention on navigation and user experience (UX). Page loading should be as fast as lightning with a simple checkout process to minimise friction.

In summary, your site should:

  • Be responsive
  • Load quickly
  • Be easy to navigate
  • Have a simple checkout process
  • Make it effortless for users to make a purchase

mobile ecommerce

Another consideration is to build a mobile app.

Apps have grown in popularity with users and here are some of the top reasons why consumers are favouring apps compared to mobile sites.

  • More convenient
  • Faster
  • Settings are stored
  • Benefits/rewards for using it
  • More personalised content
  • Better deals

Plus users tend to spend 3-4 times longer on apps and spend twice as much money on apps than on desktop or mobile sites. Food for thought…

Whether you have a site or an app, improving the user experience on mobile devices will help to boost sales and drive up revenue.

Answer Every Question in Your Copy

First and foremost your sales copy needs to be honest. This is vital for your company’s reputation and promotes trust in your brand. Making unsubstantiated claims won’t wash with consumers today. They have a finely tuned radar to identify fake claims when things are too good to be true.

A straightforward approach to your sales copy will win you more customers and should be consistent whether on your home page, product page, social media or emails.

Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, be upfront. If you’re a small business then take pride in that. Many customers are actively seeking out smaller independents specifically for the individualised service and personal touch they can offer.

Secondly, don’t make assumptions about how much your potential customers know about your products or services. There are so many businesses that wrongly assume their customers know more than they actually do. This can lead to unanswered questions and objections that may be easily overcome with the right information.

To scoop up these potential sales, brainstorm every possible question and objection consumers could have about your product or service and answer them in your copy. If you’re worried about the length of your copy then trim it down a bit but remember that this is the information your customers are looking for to arrive at a purchasing decision. Stick to how the customer benefits rather than why your company is the best.

Use the voice of the customer to create compelling copy that resonates with your audience. The voice of the customer is a market research technique that addresses the wants and needs, pain points and expectations of your target audience with messaging that uses the same language as your customers. This can be an extremely powerful technique.

The only accurate way to find out this crucial information is to observe or ask them. There are many methods to use such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, online forums and review sites. Whichever method you choose, look out for common phrases and pain points, along with what users want from your product or service and their expectations.

Create Urgency

Online shopping behaviour is always evolving. Nowadays, consumers expect to have what they want, when they want it. Modern technology has made it easy for people to reach for the mobile and buy whatever they want almost instantly, without even getting out of bed.

How many of us have been browsing and added items to the cart only to mull it over for a while before either not purchasing or going elsewhere? I’m sure you’ve done it too.

Creating a sense of urgency or FOMO (fear of missing out) is a crucial technique to nudge visitors into becoming customers. By showing limited availability, time-sensitive offers or limited edition products you can persuade prospects to act fast rather than waiting until later to buy – which they more often than not won’t do! Many people respond positively to these techniques which offer an incentive to take immediate action.

Displaying a limited amount of available stock can spur many on to complete the purchase or risk missing out altogether. To develop this further, if you have similar products but with low, medium and high price tags, scarcity of the lowest priced item induces a fear that not buying now will result in having to spend more money later on. This is effective for price-sensitive shoppers, which is the vast majority of us.

Another way to achieve this sense of urgency is to run flash sales or other financial incentives for users who go ahead with the transaction there and then. This could be in the form of a discount or free shipping.

Whichever way suits your business best, creating urgency is an effective way to drive more sales whatever your product or service.

Promotions

Who doesn’t love getting a good deal? Promotions can be a potent weapon in your arsenal when used well. The right promotion can accelerate your marketing fourfold, but what makes a great promotion?

ecommerce promotions

A great promotion should include features & benefits of your product or service but not only the functionality but also how that fits into the life of the prospect as well as the emotional benefit of how it will make them feel. This is an opportunity to differentiate your company from your competitors. Also include price, terms of the promotion and a guarantee to reduce any perceived risk. Focusing on the individual elements of the promotion will lead to better conversion rates.

To really get the most out of promotions you need to incorporate a variety of promotions at different times and intervals. For example, you may want to create quarterly themes for your promotions that drive an influx of traffic, while at the same time reach out to previous customers or inactive leads to get them to re-engage and spend their money with you.

Step up promotions around holidays as these peak shopping times are when people are looking to buy gifts for others, and themselves, and generally spend more.

Get a Competitive Edge by Using Free Shipping

Free shipping can be a powerful tool to get those wavering prospects over the line. Often consumers will end up buying more if shipping is free. If you’re not convinced then just consider a heavyweight in ecommerce like Amazon.

This tactic can actually be more effective than a percentage discount, even when the discount is larger than the shipping costs. Amaze and amuse your customers with free shipping and they’ll likely be back for more.

free shipping for ecommerce

Consider offering it across your entire inventory or set a spend threshold to be eligible for free shipping. Or why not combat abandoned carts with free shipping which can be done via email or better still at the exact moment with an exit-intent popup offer.

Shipping confirmation emails are opened 1.5 times on average so this is a perfect opportunity to engage with your customers and turn them from one-time buyers into loyal customers.

Building Trust Through Badges and Reviews

With cybersecurity in the news regularly, many shoppers are wary of submitting personal details to unfamiliar websites. Put simply, consumers won’t buy from you if they don’t trust you.

The first item on your checklist has to be an SSL certificate. Google has been pushing SSL certificates for some time now and not having one negatively affect your rankings. But most users are aware to some degree that at least they need to see the little padlock next to the URL.

Displaying icons or trust badges is a great way to show your site is trustworthy. A simple start for this is to display the accepted payment methods such as Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Pay. Other options to include are money-back guarantees and shipping.

trust signals fro ecommerce

The checkout process is the obvious place to have these symbols but aim to have trust signals throughout the buyer’s journey. Social proof (reviews, testimonials and social shares) can be added to your product pages, landing pages, pricing page and even your home page to provide trust signals at every point.

Online reviews are a vital part of ecommerce with many people using them to weigh up whether or not to go ahead with a purchase, so include them. Don’t fret about the odd negative review. As long as the majority are good then a sprinkling of disgruntled customers can actually make people trust them more. Be sure to address any negative reviews promptly to demonstrate a high level of customer service.

If you can, enhancing your reviews with images or videos will take it to the next level. Sellers are now offering discounts to users who agree to film themselves opening and using the product for the first time.

Simplify The Transaction Process

A simple checkout process is essential to improving conversion rates. By reducing friction during the transaction journey, you’ll make it easier for users to make that purchase which will have a huge effect on sales.

Abandoned carts are one of the largest obstacles that ecommerce companies face.

On average 7 out of every 10 shoppers will abandon their cart. For mobile users, it’s even higher.

Thankfully there are many things you can do to improve conversion rates and combat abandoned carts. Be sure to only include necessary steps, eliminating those that aren’t and only include fields in forms that you absolutely need. Below you’ll find a list to work through

  • Display trust signals at each point of the checkout process
  • Create a progression indicator so user know how many steps are left
  • Have thumbnail product images displayed during the process
  • Allow for easy navigation between cart and store
  • Allow shoppers to use a variety of payment methods
  • Have a clear call to action on checkout pages
  • Allow users to save carts easily
  • Don’t time out users causing them to start the process from scratch
  • Allow shopper to checkout as a guest
  • Include money-back guarantees
  • Show shipping options and costs along with any other costs early in the process
  • Use analytics to identify any steps where users drop off mid-process
  • Ensure page loading speed is good

To give your sales an extra boost be sure to include up-selling and cross-selling in the process. Just think of Amazon’s “frequently bought together” or “related products”.

Build Email Lists and Develop Your Email Marketing Strategy

Email marketing is an underutilised marketing strategy that is key to unlocking potential sales and increasing revenue and should be an integral part of your marketing strategy.

The power of email marketing lies in the fact that you are targeting consumers already interested in your products. They have given permission for you to communicate directly with them without having to pay for ads. Plus you create an opportunity to build a community

Send your customer base regular emails which are personalised and relevant. An effective email marketing strategy encourages repeat buying.

Aim to continuously grow your email list through your organic efforts to allow you to sell more often to them. Building an email list may seem a little daunting, to begin with, but there are many options to accomplish this.

Popups are remarkably effective in building email lists when executed correctly. The key is that they don’t annoy or frustrate the user so think about how the popup is triggered. This can be activated when a user scrolls to a certain point on the page or is on a page for a particular amount of time.

Opt-in checkboxes provide a useful tactic that is much less intrusive and can be incorporated into the checkout process. This is a prime opportunity as the consumer is already engaging with you to make the purchase and will likely have just entered an email address as part of the checkout process.

With either option, you can include an opt-in incentive, such as a discount to give the shopper extra motivation.

email marketing for ecommerce

The beauty of your email list is that you own it and have full control of it. Changes in policy from Google, Facebook and other platforms happen all the time and you could be left to pay the price. With email, you will always have the ability to directly communicate with your customers.

Combating abandoned carts, as mentioned previously, is a huge challenge for every ecommerce site. Sending out abandoned cart emails is a great way to recoup some of that lost revenue but also provides an opportunity for up-selling which shouldn’t be missed.

Create a nurturing campaign to revive a stale email list. Use personalisation and segment your list to get your message on point to make your email marketing much more effective. When your list is segmented you’ll be able to send promotions that are more relevant to each individual. When emails use personalisation, your customers are more likely to engage with your brand.

Create workflows that trigger emails depending on user behaviour. Track users as they navigate your site and set up emails to be sent automatically when certain pages are viewed or products are clicked. There are so many good tools out there to help you accomplish this.

Don’t just use email marketing for just discounts and promotions though, tell a story, tell your story and make the recipient feel part of your club. This is a slow play move that may not produce instant ROI but will pay dividends in the long run.

Use Remarketing To Catch The Ones That got Away

Any digital marketing campaign takes time, effort and money to start bearing fruit. The thing to remember is that prospects will rarely purchase the first time they visit your site. Perhaps not even the second time, but the more exposure to your brand they get the more likely that they will become a customer.

This is where remarketing comes in. By remarketing with paid search or paid social you’re able to position your brand at the forefront of the minds of your potential new customers and provides additional possibilities to persuade them to convert.

Try targeting users that have visited your site but not purchased, or ones that have clicked on a particular product. If a prospect abandons their cart then offer an incentive to complete the transaction of those specific items.

The customer journey today is far from linear, in fact, a user will most likely have several touchpoints along their journey from a variety of channels. Remarketing compliments this trend very well and may just be the final nudge they need to become a paying customer. And we know it’s much to convert existing customers once they’ve bought into your brand.

Conclusion

  • Focus on Your Existing Customers
  • Be Mobile Ready
  • Answer Every Question in Your Copy
  • Create Urgency
  • Promotions
  • Get a Competitive Edge by Using Free Shipping
  • Build Trust Through Badges and Reviews
  • Simplify The Transaction Process
  • Build Email Lists and Develop Your Email Marketing Strategy
  • Use Remarketing To Catch The Ones That got Away

Of course, there are many other ways to increase sales for your ecommerce site but these 10 tips to increase ecommerce sales in 2021 is a good place to start and will set you on the road to success. Of course, if you’re looking for more advice or even a little helping hand then chat with our team today!

 

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