With the development of Shopify and Woocommerce, the design and build of an eCommerce store is relatively straightforward. The not so straightforward part is finding customers. There are a number of different points in your customer’s journey that can make the difference in whether or not you gain a sale. From getting them over to your site in the first place, the experience they have when they get there, the sales process, and then if they leave – how you might then re-capture them later. Testing what works and what doesn’t for your business is essential. We’ve looked at ten key tips you can implement today that will impact sales in your eCommerce store.
Email marketing is as old as the internet. That’s part the reason why it works, it’s a trusted medium. People expect to see marketing email in their inbox and a good amount of people will open them. Email marketing and its effectiveness could be a whole article on its own. Capturing emails is pretty standard for eCommerce stores, especially within part of the checkout process. But to make the most out of email marketing you should also be capturing an email as your customers browse. This can be done either as a pop up or with a notification bar. Shopify has some great email popup / exit intent apps to help businesses capture visitors emails such as Privy. Email sign-ups usually state a clear offer and use minimal words. Think of a useful offer for your customer, could be a discount code or a free guide. Whatever it is, it needs to incentivise a browsing customer to give their email address.
Segmenting your customers into different lists will mean you can market to them directly as personalised emails are essential for engagement. Personalisation is a growing trend that will continue in marketing for 2018. Emails provide a great opportunity to personalise your marketing. Email topics can be anything from ‘behind the scenes’ to motivational or funny and in-store offers. To really use your list, you should be sending emails that contain regular engaging content, so people are engaged with your brand and are already warm leads for your products when you do decide to sell to them.
Over 60% of shopping carts get abandoned before completing a purchase. That’s a lot of lost customers. They may have got distracted, gone to get their credit card and then realised the bills are too big this month, their internet crashed, or they simply changed their mind at that moment. These people like your stuff and you can still get sales if you re-engage and recapture them. One way to recapture these people is to embark on an email recovery campaign. Email them and ask if they intended to leave, show them what was in their cart, and entice them back to their cart to fulfil their order. Some apps that help you send customer reminder emails about their abandoned carts are Consistent Cart and Recart.
Relevant and optimised content
There are books, websites and a heap of other websites dedicated to helping you find ways to drive traffic to your website. One of the essentials is social media which we discuss next. Other ways include making sure your website content is search engine optimised. But most importantly making sure it is content that people want to read, that they are interested in, and that they will want to share with their friends. Secondly, Brian Dean at Backlinko suggests making the content appeal to the bloggers and influencers in your niche and include ‘share triggers’ such as content that people share to make them look good.
Utilise Social Media
Using social media to drive sales is pretty essential. It’s not just about you repeatedly posting about your offerings. This can take time to pick up traction without paid advertisements. One way to leverage social media is to think about customer and employee advocacy, whereby they share your offerings with their friends and family. This works well on Instagram by having user-generated images. Your customers take a picture of them using or wearing your product and they put it on their feed and then you share it on your feed. This also acts as social proof that people like and use your brand and product.
Facebook Store and Instagram
To increase your reach, you should have already registered to the free elements of these two giants, Facebook store and its sister platform Instagram. Instagram is also now fully integrated with Shopify meaning businesses can tag products on an image, and people can buy directly from that image. This streamlines the buying process making it easy for your customers to buy from you in a few simple clicks. Facebook also has an online store that is simple to set up and sell from.
Facebook and Instagram have, by far, the biggest social media platforms for eCommerce businesses. The next stage is to look at using Facebook and Instagram ads as well as Google ads to build brand awareness, drive sales and engagement. The trick with ads is to test and try. Sometimes it takes a few times to get it right. If you’re not sure where to start it is definitely worth hiring a social media marketing expert.
By tracking buyer trends, you are able to target them with particular products that they might be interested in. Other ways to personalise the buyer experience is to use personal customer care chat bots. H&M use chatbots that offer outfit advice that is configured on a buyer’s likes and dislikes and buying habits. Make it easier for your buyer to choose you. Think about micro moment content, impulse buying appeal and quick decisions. If you want a bit more info on messenger bots and micro moments check out our article: The top 5 digital marketing trends for 2018 (to add link)
Visual impact is important in web design and this applies equally to eCommerce websites as it does any other. In eCommerce, it is not uncommon to have products on the homepage. The principle behind eCommerce website design is to a make it as easy as possible for people to see and then buy a product. Customers have an expectation from that there will be a product image on the left and a description and buyer options on the right. There is some variation on this, but because of the amount of trust required for a person to buy, they might get suspicious if your website is layout is any different.
The advantages of blogging for an eCommerce store isn’t as obvious as some of the other points we’ve made here. But a blog will improve SEO and engage your audience with your brand. It will help them to trust you and it’s an opportunity to grow a loyal following. Blogs are also good for generating traffic and SEO as it shows search engines that you have up to date relevant content, which in turn, helps with your visibility and ranking.
Up-sell and cross-sell your products
You don’t go to Maccas to get a burger. You go and get a burger with fries and a drink. That is a classic cross-sell. Then whilst you’re hungry they offer you a large. That’s an up-sell These classic selling techniques are all around us and in the online world it’s no different. You can tackle this in a number of different ways. You could even personalise suggested up-sells and cross-sells with products they are more likely to buy. For example, businesses can use and incorporate ‘related products’ and ‘recently viewed products’ on the website.
Deemly sum this up well in their infographic. In summary, a product review works in the same way as social proof. It will have an impact on whether customers make a purchase. Potential customers will also look at the number of reviews. If a product has no or few reviews compared to another with more reviews, the customer will be more convinced by the one with more reviews.
This is a pretty big (and speedy run through) of actionable things that you can do today. They will have an immediate impact on your eCommerce sales. You don’t have to do them all at once. In fact, it’s better to stick to doing one or two at a time so you can try to track and measure any impact they have. The key take-home is that your marketing focus always needs to remain with the wants and needs of your customers. If you’ve had some amazing results with your eCommerce website and would like to share some tips, we’d love to hear them below!