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Building an eCommerce business is not a piece of cake, but do you know what is even more difficult than flagging off an eCommerce website? Boosting its sales. Here, we will be talking about twenty actionable tactics that you could use to boost your eCommerce sales:
1. Intelligent advertising
Advertising does not always mean spending a huge amount of money. You could use social media advertising only towards your targeted audience to reduce costs, and also rely on SEO friendly content on your site to bring in more organic hits. A growing number of websites are using structured data on their websites and also bringing newer changes so as to get better scores when indexed by search engines like Google.
2. Build Brand awareness
Being an eCommerce site is not enough in the long run. You may need funding after functioning for a period of time. You might need more organic hits, which can only be possible through your name spreading through “word of mouth”. All this would be feasible if you are able to convert your eCommerce site into a brand that people can relate to when discussing certain products. This can be possible by sponsoring certain events, or holding your own events, or participating in tech meets, and finding better ways to reach out to the larger crowd.
3. Have better product descriptions, images, and even videos when necessary
We have all gone to websites, where we did not find enough detailed information about the product that we wanted to buy. It always happens for one item or the other. This results in customers moving to a different website or buying products from a brick and mortar shop where they can get a better visualisation and feel of the goods before buying it. The only way to combat such a scenario is to have better item description and details so that you never lose a customer for lack of his understanding of a product from its description.
4. Have a PR team that uses web data
Having a PR team is a must when you are trying to build a brand. And the team needs to have a constant check on any content that is being posted online, which is connected to your brand name. The team needs to focus on managing untoward incidents and scenarios that might tarnish your image. Disgruntled customers often take to social media to rant against brands and in the age of digital media, even post images and other proofs supporting their statements. One such incident might blow to epic proportions and strike big damage to your company. Finding amicable solutions to such instances would be the prime job of a PR team.
5. Focus on your niche
“Move fast and break things.” is something you do not want to do in the eCommerce sector. Selling everything and competing with Amazon who has its own aeroplanes would be a silly risk to take on. It is better. that you focus on your niche products, so that customer can have a sense of faith that for a specific line of products, they can always count on you.
6. Make the checkout process easier
Studies have shown that a staggering 70% of all online carts are abandoned. Of the mere 30% that is left, 50% is again abandoned at checkout. As an avid user of eCommerce websites, I would say that the 50% figure is mainly due to the horrible checkout experience in most eCommerce websites (even the popular ones). Some of the common issues faced during checkout are:
- Item is unavailable.
- Item cannot be delivered to the location that you have chosen.
- Extra delivery fee added to the final bill.
- Extra tax/other charges added to the final bill.
- Higher shipping time is shown in the final checkout page
And these are some of the many problems that millions of Ecommerce users face every day.
While all of these issues are understandable, all of them can be mitigated by making the customer aware of the extra charges, and shipping charges and all the other information even before he/she ends up in the checkout page. This is because on finding these extra unhappy titbits of info in the final page, one feels cheated and leaves the cart immediately.
7. Increase customer trust
Increasing customer trust in your brand name is a never-ending process. By listening to every grievance, and making sure that no untoward issue gets overlooked without the customer receiving proper compensation, you could build a trust factor, due to which customers would be ready to pay an extra dollar, just for your “better-than-average” service methods.
8. Showcase top products
Selling 1000 cellphones of the same model is better than selling 5 of 50. This is important in eCommerce. Having more products means more warehouse space, more advertisements, and more costs. It is better for eCommerce sites to focus on the most popular and the best quality products (focusing on the old proven concept of quality, not quantity). This will help bring down operational costs and also make it easier for customers to find the products they are looking for more easily.
9. Have more transparent shipping costs
Shipping costs are normal, but when you add them at the end of the checkout process, all of a sudden, the customer feels cheated. It is better, that the shipping cost for every product be shown below its price itself so that customers are not in for a surprise in the final stage and end up abandoning the cart.
10. Cross Sell
Cross-selling is a technique used by eCommerce sites all over the globe to increase per order value. The basic logic behind this is when someone adds a product to his/her shopping cart, display some other products that go well with the first product. For example, if someone adds a mobile phone to one’s shopping cart and you show him phone cases and screen guards, the person is likely to buy them too. Using such techniques you can increase per order value and lower your operational costs considerably.
11. Make your site faster
Search for an item on Google. Get a link of it, directing you to some eCommerce site. Click on the link. Then wait for ages to the product image and description to load. This has happened to most of us innumerable times. In the age where people wouldn’t wait an extra second for your page to load, it is a make it or break it situation. So you have to make sure that your pages load as fast as possible and also loading times are seamless with the help of transitional animations so that people actually feel like they are waiting for something.
12. Offer better discounts on bundles or bulk purchase
People like better discounts when they buy in bulk. In fact, it is also cheaper for eCommerce sites to buy items in bulk. So it is only fair that when someone is buying from you in bulk, you should offer him better discounts. Many eCommerce sites have a separate email for contacting about bulk orders. This helps companies provide a more custom approach when a customer needs to place a bulk order. Such extra features not only help you build a better customer base but could increase your revenue and market share considerably.
13. Study at what points are carts abandoned
Cart abandonment is what plagues eCommerce companies the most. That is why studying customer patterns to understand at which points customers abandon the cart and leave your website could help you decrease abandonment percentages and increase overall sales. That being said, it is not a one day job and would need considerable data as well as machine and human intelligence to analyse if anything in the website can indeed be changed to make fewer people leave suddenly after adding items to their cart.
14. Add live chat and intelligent customer care
Live chat in websites is very important, and while simple search and track functionalities can be taken care of by an AI chat engine, you would also need human chat-help for people with more complex problems. Same goes for customer care. There should be automation scripts taking care of helping people with the usual problems, such as returns, tracking, and more, whereas human customer care officials should take over in complex scenarios.
15. Referral discounts
Referrals help bring more customers to websites without the need to spend a dime. And it is a scheme that can help companies get exponential growth- all by using its existing customers! An intelligent reward-based referral scheme can grow your eCommerce site beyond leaps and bounds.
16. Reward verified reviewers
Verified reviews are as important as product descriptions. Unlike everything else, this is not something that you can just go out there and buy. However, if you have a reward system that gives users a point for every 10 verified review or something, not only will more people who buy products on your website, write honest reviews, but people who come searching for goods will get a better picture of what they are about to buy- this would directly boost your sales and result in lesser returns.
17. Have inventory records and display them
Inventory records are important to eCommerce websites. But they are not only for internal use! You need to display them on product pages, mainly for two reasons:
- If a product is out of stock, a customer should know that on the product page itself, and not during checkout.
- Displaying the number of pieces in stock would create a sense of urgency among buyers and they are more likely to buy something if only a piece or two of it is remaining.
18. Partner with other businesses to boost sales
Conquering the world alone is a big task, and since you are no Napoleon, it is better that you take the help of others. You can partner with different types of existing sites to boost sales- such as affiliate marketing websites, advertising websites, review websites, blogs, coupon websites, and more!
19. Optimise your mobile viewing experience
As per records, almost 53% of the web traffic was through mobile phones in 2018. This figure will only grow as smartphones and data packs become cheaper. Smartphones have also become faster and produce a better experience than earlier. Being much cheaper than computers, and their easy availability makes them particularly popular in developing countries. This is the reason why if you want to increase sales in your eCommerce website, you need to optimise it for an amazing mobile viewing experience to carry forward all the features that are available when accessing it from a desktop.
20. Verify sellers to avoid fake products
Fake products are a massacre, and it spoils the brand name of big eCommerce companies, while the obscure seller makes an easy escape with its contract getting terminated. To make sure that the trust that your customers have in you doesn’t die and you can continue to increase your sales with every passing month, you need to have a robust onboarding system for sellers in your path to grow.
Boosting sales is the best way to have an edge above your competition. The greater the customer base you have, the lower the margins you can keep, while still keeping prices low enough to attract more customers, and making enough profits.