Every ecommerce business wants to increase sales, but trying new strategies can feel like taking a step into the unknown. On the other hand, it’s important to experiment with different ideas and keep moving your approach forward.
If you’re interested in driving ecommerce sales but aren’t sure where to start, this article will cover some of the most effective ways to start improving your results. Don’t stop making changes once you notice an impact—no matter where you are, there’s still always room for improvement.
#1. Build an Email List
A long email list of high-quality leads is one of the most valuable commodities in ecommerce, and building an email list should be a top marketing priority. While it takes time to achieve organic email growth, you’ll continue to add subscribers as long as you focus on audience engagement.
Email is one of the most effective marketing platforms, but it’s not easy to create an interesting campaign that your audience will find relevant. Many businesses continue to provide the same generic content to their entire audience, but this strategy will only increase your unsubscribe rate—it’s important to personalise your email marketing campaigns as much as possible.
You can increase the sign-up rate on your website by using dynamic sign-up content like popups and targeted landing pages.
Some marketers also develop lead magnets to get more users interested in subscribing. Your goal is to turn newly interested users into loyal customers, and adding them to your email list is the first step in that process.
Don’t forget to ask for additional information like birthdays and phone numbers during the sign-up process. You can use this data later to create targeted audience segments.
If you’re struggling with unsubscribes, you should also consider giving new subscribers the ability to select how often they want to hear from you. It’s better to communicate with a lead once or twice per month than to have them unsubscribe after receiving too many emails.
#2. Eliminate Abandoned Carts
The majority of online shopping carts are abandoned, making abandoned carts a great place to start with marketing automation. Converting even a small percentage of abandoned carts will have a surprising effect on your bottom line, and you can start experimenting with other workflows once you’re comfortable with this one.
Users who abandon carts are clearly interested in your products, and they’re much more likely to convert than the average email lead. Simply reminding them of the item they were considering is often enough to make the sale, and you can write an initial cart abandonment reminder in just a few minutes. Set this email to send roughly an hour after the user leaves your site, while the product is still fresh in their mind.
If the first email doesn’t lead to a conversion, you can send a second one sometime the next day. Make sure to include a discount or exclusive offer in the last email in your cart abandonment sequence—the ability to save just a few dollars will convince many customers to reconsider.
Remember to use A/B testing to identify your best content, both in abandoned cart workflows and elsewhere in your digital marketing campaigns. Split testing content gives you the chance to test two options against each other and see which one is more effective. You can test your email subject lines before sending the campaign.
In a cart abandonment sequence, for example, you might test two different offers such as free shipping and 10 percent off. After a short trial run, you’ll know which option led to more conversions, and you can use that one for the rest of the campaign. Furthermore, A/B tests are the perfect opportunity to try out new strategies in a low-risk situation.
Beyond converting users who have already abandoned their cart, you can also decrease your cart abandonment rate by simplifying the checkout process. Every button and screen between the product page and order confirmation increases the odds that a customer will leave before finishing the purchase. Visit your own website periodically to confirm that the user experience is clear and convenient.
#3. Upsell and Cross-sell Products
It’s almost always more cost-effective to sell to current customers rather than new ones, yet many ecommerce businesses don’t do enough to target their existing audience. Upselling and cross-selling are great examples—you’re much more likely to upsell or cross-sell than to convert a new lead.
Upselling involves increasing the value of a sale by offering customers a more expensive product than the one they’re already looking at. If you provide a free and paid subscription, for example, you might occasionally remind your free tier of the benefits they’re missing out on. You’ll notice an immediate increase in sales after implementing more upselling opportunities on your website.
Some marketers use upselling and cross-selling interchangeably, but there’s an important conceptual distinction. While upselling tries to get users to buy a pricer version of the same core product, cross-selling targets different items they might be interested in.
Marketers often use cross-selling to recommend products that somehow complement whatever the customer is already planning to buy. Someone purchasing gardening gloves, for example, is more likely than the average lead to be interested in a shovel. If you’ve ever seen products “frequently bought together” on Amazon, you’ve been targeted by cross-selling.
One of the most common challenges involved in upselling and cross-selling is determining which products different users are most likely to buy. Fortunately, marketers have access to a variety of tools to make this process easier. If you use a platform like WooCommerce or Shopify, you can download plugins to automatically display the right products for each customer.
Upselling can feel too aggressive if it’s not done right, so it’s important to explain exactly what makes the more expensive product worth the money. Highlight the key advantages of the upgraded version or add-on and explain when its features could be useful.
Think of upselling from the customer’s perspective—upselling should always respond to audience needs rather than simply being used to make more money. Focusing on sales over information and value will only turn customers away.
#4. Facebook Remarketing
Remarketing is one of the most effective ways to increase conversion rates on your ads, and Facebook offers all the tools you need to run amazing remarketing campaigns. Remarketing involves targeting users with relevant ads after they visit your website. Ecommerce brands often use remarketing to follow up after a customer views a certain product.
You can set up remarketing campaigns on Facebook by using Custom Audiences. The platform allows you to set up remarketing audiences using app activity, website traffic, or existing customer lists. Try remarketing with different audiences and compare their results to determine which ones offer the best return.
Website traffic is the most common trigger for remarketing campaigns, and it’s easy to configure this kind of audience once you’ve set up the Facebook pixel on your site. You’ll be able to target specific audience segments based on the pages they visited and the products they viewed.
The app activity option is designed for businesses with a mobile app, and you can segment your audience based on behaviors like opening, purchasing, or abandoning a cart. All three types of remarketing can achieve great results if used effectively.
Facebook offers the largest audience of any social media platform, and it can be tough to find high-quality new leads on Facebook or any other website. Starting with users who have already engaged with your brand will help you achieve much better conversion and engagement rates.
Facebook provides unmatched opportunities for audience segmentation, so you can use extra filters in addition to your remarketing triggers. Rather than targeting all users who have visited your website, for example, consider narrowing that group down even further and limiting it to those who have liked your Facebook page.
You can also use Lookalike Audiences to find new Facebook users with similar attributes to an existing audience. This is the best way to identify new leads that have a higher chance of being interested in your brand. Remarketing groups are the perfect starting point for your next lookalike audience.
#5. Increase Purchase Frequency
While adding leads is always valuable, you can often make more money by increasing the lifetime value of each existing customer. If you can get the average user to make a purchase more often, you’ll have a sustainable source of revenue that’s much cheaper than marketing to new targets.
Upselling and cross-selling are two of the easiest ways to increase purchase frequency and add more value to each order. If a customer only buys one item, for example, you can send a follow-up email later describing products that go well with what they bought.
If your items are designed to last for a certain amount of time, you should also send reminder emails when a customer approaches the end of the product life cycle. Following up before they’ll need to replace it improves the odds that they’ll buy from you rather than from a competitor.
You can also target inactive users to re-engage them with your brand and further increase their lifetime value with your company. Like converting abandoned carts, recapturing inactive customers is a great way to get more from your existing audience rather than looking for new leads.
There’s no way to avoid the fact that some users will ignore your emails, but that doesn’t mean they’ll never make another purchase. Consider retargeting these subscribers on other platforms so that they don’t need to open your messages to get back in the sales funnel. Make sure to personalize your content to keep it interesting for each audience segment.
#6. Work with Affiliates
Affiliate marketing is becoming more and more popular in a variety of fields, and it’s often a great way for ecommerce businesses to improve their visibility. Affiliates typically charge for each sale, so you won’t have to pay as much if you don’t achieve your desired results.
Affiliates use a variety of marketing tools to bring new users to your brand, and they have just as much of an incentive to succeed as you do. You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate on a marketing campaign that takes advantage of the strengths of both sides.
The most obvious advantage of affiliate marketing is that it connects you to readers who already trust the affiliate. Their followers choose to stay engaged with them, so they will see your content as more than just advertising. This allows you to achieve higher click-through rates with an affiliate compared to other forms of outreach.
If you’re looking for an affiliate to promote your brand, you can find a variety of qualified people using a dedicated affiliate platform. That said, you can also find excellent affiliates on your own, and there are tracking programs that can help you identify the best candidates.
It’s important to work with an affiliate who aligns with your brand’s mission and can act as a more organic voice. The best affiliates only collaborate with companies they truly believe in, and your audience will know if an affiliate is only there to sell products. Affiliate marketing is also a collaborative process, so you need someone who understands your vision.
With that in mind, it’s better to pay more money for the perfect affiliate than to settle for someone else. Continue to analyse your affiliate marketing results as you would for any other campaign, and make sure to follow up with the affiliate if things aren’t on track.
Customers are more wary of being sold to every year, and influencers will only take on a larger and larger role in the world of digital marketing. If you’re not already using affiliate marketing, you could be missing out on an extremely lucrative opportunity.
You’ll continue to get the same results if you keep using the same strategies, so every marketer should constantly be looking for ways to improve his or her tactics. These are some of the best ways to upgrade your approach to ecommerce marketing and put your business ahead of the competition.
Evaldas Mockus is an Experienced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and Saas companies. Currently, he is associated with Omnisend, an e-commerce marketing automation platform built for growing e-commerce businesses.