It is just one word but it is too elusive. Too many e-commerce entrepreneurs have failed, and you surely do not want to become just another statistic. But how do you exactly increase ecommerce sales?
Here are nine things that I do:
- Create Great Content That Helps
- Offer Upsells That Are Relevant
- Show Featured Products
- Give Discounts That Matter
- Nudge at Their Sense of Urgency
- Provide Demos as Proof of Concept
- Give Freebies That Are Interesting
- Use Clear Call to Action
Let us tackle each, and study how these best practices can boost ecommerce sales for your website. Whether you are using Shopify or another platform, these e-commerce sales techniques will surely yield results.
1. Create Great Content That Helps
What is content?
Content is a blog post. No matter what kind of online store you operate, you need content that helps people, and you can only do this with blog posts.
If you observe closely, you’ll see that a lot of large companies have a resources page, or a “university.” Why? Because they know that content is king, and that before people buy their products, they need to add value first.
Here are the benefits of writing content for your site:
- You will get ranked in search engines for search terms related to your products
- Get free traffic that will last for a long time
- Develop and prove your credibility as an online store owner
Just think about it. Why would someone buy drones from you just because you have an online drone store?
Let me give you an example.
If you look at Shopify’s website, it has tons of free resources. You do not need to be a Shopify paying member to access these blogs. In the resource page, you can learn how to use the e-commerce platform, how to install apps, what payment systems you can use and so much more.
And all of these are free.
Now, a person who finds your blog helpful is likely to convert. In our drone example, you cannot expect someone to just buy a drone because he saw your Facebook ad.
It takes more than that to convince an online shopper to part with his money. But if you have a blog that helps readers, your sales is going to skyrocket, and you do not even need to advertise!
For our drone example, here are some topics:
- What is a drone?
- What are the different types of drone?
- Drones for beginners: what do you need to know?
- Best batteries for drones
- Best cameras for drones
These topics are just touching the surface. There is a ton of blog posts you can publish to help drone enthusiasts, and those who are planning to buy one for the first time.
The wonderful thing about content is that it is applicable to all products. Whether you are selling dresses, coffee mugs, printed shirts, or cookies, you can write content that helps people.
2. Offer Upsells That Are Relevant
What is an upsell?
An upsell is an attempt to increase the order value of a customer. This can come in the form of an upgrade, or offering more related products.
If you go to Amazon, at the bottom of the page is a section that says “people who bought this also bought…”
Then below that is a carousel of products that Amazon wants you to take a look at.
Why do they do this?
They do this because they understand consumer psychology. If you are buying a wide-screen flat TV on installment for $99 a month, adding another $9 for a DVD player does not seem much, right?
As you can see, the additional high-quality product on top of the first expensive product makes it more palatable. The same thing happens with bundles that are discounted.
Just think of McDonald’s.
It does not make sense buying drinks, burgers, and fries as separate orders. It makes much more sense to a consumer to just buy them in a bundle because they cost less. That, however, does not make McDonald’s lose money.
You have to use the same tactic to improve your sales. It is not that difficult at all. There are apps that you can install in your Shopify dashboard to do the upsell automatically.
All you have to do is to program the app, and it will show the upsell to a consumer who is browsing your Shopify store.
If you are selling a dress, you can upsell a pair of shoes. For drones, batteries. For coffee mugs, a coaster. For a t-shirt, a matching band. For ski boards, gloves.
There is so much you can do with an upsell app. You can mix and match these upsells and bundles, and you can also program one product (Product B) to show only if a consumer is looking at Product A.
Here are some examples:
- Reconvert by Stilyo apps
- Discounted Upsells by Booster Apps
- Upsell Recommendations by Innonic
There are many more. Several of these are free for life, some offer a free trial, and some are paid subscriptions.
3. Show Featured Products
Surely, your store’s theme allows you to create a section on your landing page where you can showcase a featured product.
But what is a featured product?
A featured product is your flagship product. of the hundreds of items you are selling, what is the best of all of them?
Your featured product must overshadow the rest of your items. It does not have to be the most expensive, but it has to be the one that will make customers go “oooh” and “aaah.”
A featured product is also one that is on sale. To help you identify your featured product, take a look below at some possible conditions that apply:
- Item is on sale
- It is the best product
- Product offers the best value
- It is a specialty product
- Item is limited edition
The featured product does not have to meet all these five conditions. One should be enough. If you are dropshipping, a featured product is an item that will give you a high profit margin.
But if you are manufacturing your own product, you can choose to feature items that you want to dispose of quickly, or one that you are really pushing, like an invention or a new product that you made.
The featured product has to be bold, and must occupy a big space on your landing page (home page). Every customer who goes to your online store must see this.
When presenting the feature, you have to make sure that you also provide enough details, why a customer has to buy it, at what price, and what benefits that featured product offers.
4. Give Discounts That Matter
A 5% discount does not matter, and neither does 10%. If you look at how big stores operate, you should not be surprised to see at least 20% in discounts.
How will you do this? There are two techniques to make this happen.
The first one is to price your products high enough at the beginning so you have room to offer this discount without losing money.
Here is a simple example:
- Capital – $20
- Expenses – $10
- Sale Price – $100
If you take of 25% from $100, you will make $75 per sale. Take off $30 for your capital and expenses, and you still have $45 left as a profit margin.
To be able to do this, you need to know what your fixed and variable expenses are, such as taxes, money you pay for ads, salary, power, and so much more.
The second trick is to increase your product price, and then place a huge discount. This is not unusual, as even big box stores do this.
Here is an example:
- Current selling price: $100
- Change to: $200
Then, offer a 50% discount. Now, the item is still selling for $100, but you do not lose money because that was the original amount you sold it for anyway.
To do this, you need to go to your online store’s Global Pricing Rules and apply the change. Then, create the 50% discount to apply to all or only on selected products.
If you are dropshipping, you can do this in dropship supplier tools like Oberlo and Spocket.
SUGGESTED READING: Spocket Review: An In-Depth Look at the Spocket Dropshipping Supplier Tool
5. Nudge at Their Sense of Urgency
Malls and Big Box stores are experts at this. When they launch a sale, it happens only for a month, while some offer sales for as short as three days.
This creates a sense of urgency, and tugs at the mental state of people who do not want to be left out.
In marketing, it is called FOMO, which stands for Fear of Missing Out.
As you can see, many successful entrepreneurs use this. They put out limited items or limited items on sale. You must buy now, or someone else will beat you to it.
Online, you can do this in several ways, such as putting banners saying that the sale is only up to a specific date.
The most effective, however, is to use countdown timers on your store. Whether you are using WooCommerce or Shopify, there are apps and plug-ins you can use to make this happen.
In these plug-ins, you have to set the timer, then choose if you want that timer to apply to all products or only a few.
Examples of these apps are:
- Ultimate Countdown Timer by Sellify
- Countdown Timer Ultimate by KILATECH
- Ultimate Sales Boost by Hextom
Not all of these are free. The basic feature is mostly free to use, but there are complex features which would require you to pay.
6. Provide Demos as Proof of Concept
People think that a demonstration only applies to gadgets. And some also think that it has to be a video.
Both of these assumptions or beliefs are wrong. A demo is nothing more than a highlight of what your product can do, and how it looks like from different angles.
Sure, if you have the budget to create videos, do it. But if you do not have any, use photos that show your product at different angles. You also need to show parts of the product and say something about them.
For example, you may show a close-up photo of a bag zipper. Say something about that to show proof of concept. It is in this regard that you need to help of a copywriter who can write the content for you.
There are apps in Shopify that will help you do this. These apps use a technology called Image Hotspot Linking.
Image hotspot linking is a program where you can choose a specific part of an image, and then add a text.
Once you publish the photo, the image you selected would have a dot. If a site visitor hovers his mouse on that dot, the text you wrote will appear.
The Shopify Prestige theme offers this feature, but it is not a free theme. If you do not want to change your theme, the app you can use is Widgetic (Image Hotspots)by Widgetic.
This Shopify app allows you to enable several parts of your product photos to be interactive. See photos below:
If you do it for one product, you must do it for all.
7. Give Freebies That Are Interesting
Whenever I buy gadgets, I always got something for free. I got laptop bags, smartphone screen protectors, headphones, and many more.
These freebies are cheap, but they are interesting and relevant to me as a customer because I could use them.
Now, this marketing tactic on how to increase ecommerce revenue is not going to work in dropshipping. As a dropshipper, you have no control over the products you sell, much less the shipment.
But if you manufacture your own goods, then by all means do this. Many times, I compare two exact products online before I buy, and I always go to the seller who has something free to offer.
But of course, this only happens of the product prices are the same or slightly different. If a phone costs $999 on one seller with no freebie, and the other one sells it for $1,000 with free headphones, I will get the one with headphones.
Same product. Different sellers. Different value.
8. Use Clear Call to Action
What is a call to action?
A call to action is a phrase or statement that encourages your site visitor to engage. In the online store industry, many entrepreneurs rely on the Add to Cart button. While this in itself is a CTA button, you can do better than that.
Call to actions must be clear. In short, you need to be trustworthy. At the bottom of each product description page, there has to be a clear call out.
This is where you must apply what you have learned previously, like FOMO. At the bottom of your product description, you can say “Buy now or miss out on this massive sale!”
Then, the consumer can click on the Add to Cart button to complete the purchase.
As an online seller, do not just depend on the default Add to Cart button on your e-commerce platform. Use several types of applicable, bit it should not be overboard.
Here are some inspiration for you:
- Create persistent headers
- Create pop-ups and slide-ins
- Use side panels
CTAs can be placed anywhere on your site. Just remember that as an e-commerce store, the customer experience comes first.
If these CTA buttons are obtrusive, your customer is going to leave your shop! Place them in areas where they are seen, but not in a way that they affect your customer’s view of your products.
Eight simple ways, eight effective means to increase your Shopify, dropshipping, or e-commerce sales. Get a notebook and plan how you will go about doing each one, as each of these are crucial to the success of your store.
As an online entrepreneur, you may not be spending so much as one would in a brick-and-mortar business. However, you are still paying for direct costs such as your store platform, your products (if you are not dropshipping), and most importantly, your time.
You need to do something to increase your sales, as it is the bloodline of your business. Without it, your business will fail, and you will become just one statistic.You do not want that to happen, so start planning now and turn things around.