Which e-commerce website owner doesn't dream of higher sales numbers? From boosting your site’s traffic to increasing your average order value, there are an overwhelming number of growth opportunities – not to mention that many of these tactics are expensive and time consuming.
Making a plan and building a skilled team to increase sales on your website is not an easy mission, but it’s not impossible either. All you need is to focus, clear rules that suit your project, and a serious plan for implementation them.
Here are e-commerce strategies you should plan to implement in 2015:
1. Improving customer experience: The most important element for the success of your online store is the customer experience. Successful eTailers (amazon, zappos, bestbuy,…) continue to focus on improving customer experience with the goal of increasing customer loyalty, satisfaction and sales growth. ere are four areas where online merchants could improve the shopper experience now while laying the foundation for successive improvements over the next several years.
- High speed: Slow site makes shoppers less likely to come back and might even prevent them from buying at a retailer’s physical store. An under-performing site has serious consequences to revenue – online and across channels. Today’s shoppers have high expectations when it comes to buying online. Websites which take too long to load can result in negative brand perception, diminished goodwill and a significant loss in overall sales.
- Intuitive Search and Navigation: If your online customers struggle to find the items they want, they are more likely to abandon the purchase. This missed opportunity highlights more than a lost transaction; it also damages your reputation for your customer who is then more likely to try online shopping somewhere else… Those businesses that make their goods and services easy to find not only encourage purchases, but also make online shoppers happy .
- Detailed Product Information: Your customers can't hold your product in their hands when they shop online, so they rely on you to provide them with information to help them make the right buying decision . Your product pages should incorporate the best in text, imagery, tools, and customer service information, as online shoppers rarely buy from an ecommerce site with incomplete information for fear of disappointment.
- Appealing User Interface Design: When designing your site pay attention to layout, typography, images, consistency issues and style because these all affect how users perceive your website and what kind of image you project. Learn more about your customers and create unique branding by using unique color combinations, site layout and innovative logo. Be different (but not loose) in order to create a positive appeal in the minds of your customers for achieving e-success.
2. Let social media bring in the visitors: You have at least one social media account, right? If not, now’s the time Set up your account and create your store’s profile, then be sure to add interesting and appropriate content regularly – product promotions, sales, and links to articles your shoppers may find interesting. To appeal to users of different social media outlets, have your accounts set to automatically cross-post between platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
3. Email marketing Email marketing is becoming increasingly more important for ecommerce businesses in order to build customer loyalty, increase conversion rates and run a profitable online business. Here are some examples of email campaigns:
Welcome emails - Monthly newsletters with new products and promotions - New arrivals for similar products purchased- Purchase review and feedback request- Abandoned cart trigger emails- Milestone events- Encourage visits from dormant customers .
4. Return Policy: As a consumer, this is one of the first things you’ll look for before making a purchase. Since it’s difficult to be 100% sure you’ll be satisfied with a product you purchase over the web, you want to have a good understanding of the return policies for an e-shop. Don’t make customers go crazy looking for your policy, a good place to share your return policy is on the footer of your site so that customers can refer to it from any page. Be as clear and specific as possible in your return policy so that it doesn't leave room for customers to hesitate.
5. Shipping strategies: Offering shipping incentives is an effective way to increase conversion rates and decrease shopping cart abandonment.
- Threshold Free Shipping – if you can afford it, do it! Set a threshold for free shipping to ensure it’s worth it i.e. free shipping on orders over $50
- Express Delivery – for customers who need their products fast, give them options with 1, 2 or 3 day express shipping
- Flat Fee Shipping – effective when you sell similar products that don’t vary too much in weight and size
- Free Return Shipping – this technique helps build customer’s shopping confidence
6. Cross-Selling and Up-Selling: Cross-selling techniques improve sales encouraging customers to buy more products. Up-selling techniques encourage customers to buy more expensive items by suggesting premium products or upgraded versions of the product that they are currently viewing. During up-selling you get your customers thinking about upgrading the products they are viewing by suggesting alternative premium products of higher value to them . Apply cross-selling and up-selling as an additional service to your customers that improves their shopping experience and their satisfaction.
7. Your E-Commerce Business Needs a Blog: A blog can be an incredibly effective tool for generating site traffic – and sales – plus building an overall audience for your e-commerce business. Here are three solid reasons to start one. : To help your site rank in search engines. Even with a small readership, a blog’s impact on search-engine optimization (SEO) can be huge. A blog provides additional pages on which to include pertinent keywords and phrases, which helps your site appear in more searches. To tell your story. Blogging gives a personal voice to your shop and helps establish an emotional connection with existing and potential customers. To get noticed. Reporters and high-profile bloggers are always looking for new content, and a blog about what you sell may be just what they’re looking for.
8. SEO: Search engine optimization can make all the difference. SEO can be your site’s best friend – but if Google’s search algorithms can’t find you, SEO can quickly turn into your worst enemy. Submit a reconsideration request if you’re a victim of an SEO error, and make sure to add your URL to other popular search engines to bring in more traffic. Update your Meta descriptions to both accurately reflect your store and to attract customers. Finally, a new site map outlining your layout can go a long way toward SEO optimization.
9. Use multiple alternatives payments methods: Alternatives to entering credit card numbers can provide customers with more payment choices, streamline checkout for mobile devices, and potentially save merchants money. There are digital wallet solutions for mobile and online use, peer-to-peer money transfer services, and payment networks and platforms.
10. Use Multi-Channels: Offer products to as many channels as possible. It is easier said than done, but starting with one new channel is a good start. Apart from eBay and Amazon it is good to explore other opportunities such as having your own web store and building your brand on it. You can learn what customers want from your sales on eBay and Amazon, and offer better prices or offers from your website.
11. Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a powerful tool to understand the behavior of your visitors. It provides you with essential information to help you identify your visitors and how they interact with your online store. With Google Analytics you can find out what interests your visitors to improve your marketing efforts and increase e-commerce sales.