Written by David
20th January 2014 • 10 min read
When you’re making enough ecommerce sales to get by, it can be easy to fall into a groove and forget that you could be doing better. After all, the fact that you run a successful business means you’re already awesome.
How about ramping up the volume on your awesome-ness? Get your jive on to move beyond good enough to the best you can be.
Increasing your sales (and your profits) can be easier than you think.
Here are 11 simple techniques from ecommerce experts you can use today to boost your ecommerce sales, starting today.
1. Make Your Shopping Cart Stand Out
“Too many websites hide the shopping cart away. However, this is a crucial step in shopping and the first of the checkout process. In affect the shopping cart is an ecommerce websites primary call to action. With this in mind we wanted to make the cart as prominent as possible. We achieved this in three ways:
1. We made the shopping basket button visually different from the rest of the site using colour;
2. When items were added to the basket it was visually updated;
3. We tethered the basket summary to the top of the screen so that it would always be visible even when the user scrolled.”
Paul Boag, 8 ways we increased ecommerce sales by 10,000%.
2. Offer New Deals Each Week
“Offering good products or great services sometimes isn’t enough to generate a sustainable amount of customers. To this end, you need to be able to pull in new customers who would have otherwise walked on by. You do this by creating a weekly sales page which lists several items at a discount. This is not only great for getting rid of older stock and products, but it’s a great way to increase the amount of unique visitors you receive to your website.”
Panphoenix, 3 Incredible ways to Boost Sales on your eCommerce Website.
3. Get the Best Search Bar You Can Afford
“Even if your site is easy to navigate, nearly every successful website has a search bar. It’s a quick and convenient way for customers to find exactly what they need… [A] search engine [should be] more than just nice to look at. A rapid-search mechanism makes it easy to search for the brands [your] website features.”
Christine Erickson, 10 Ways to Boost Sales on Your Ecommerce Website.
4. Invest Your Ad Budget in Remarketing
“Remarketing… puts display ads in front of users who visited your site without completing a purchase. It’s effective in reminding people to go back to your store and it has a relatively high conversion rate because it targets users who already expressed interest in your products.”
Jerry Jao, 9 Back-to-school Tips to Increase Sales.
5. Be Transparent About Stock Levels
“Urgency can be a key tool for ecommerce sites, one which allows them to turn low stock levels to their advantage. When used well it performs two functions: providing clear information about stock levels and product availablity, and nudging the customer into making a purchase decision faster than they may have done otherwise… If they were planning to go away and think about the purchase, a message about low stock levels might change their minds… It also acts as a form of social proof in some cases, as low stock levels suggest a popular product that many customers have already ordered.”
Graham Charlton, email interview and 15 ways ecommerce sites can use urgency to increase conversions.
James Gurd of Digital Juggler adds:
“The goal should be to provide transparency over stock availability to help customers decide how urgent the purchase is.”
6. Offer Free Shipping
“High shipping costs [are] rated as the number one reason why consumers [are] not satisfied with their online shopping experience. In fact, shipping costs are the main reason why people prefer brick and mortar to online. People want free shipping, no surprise there. But how attractive is it? In fact, orders with free shipping average around 30% higher in value those that charge a few bucks for transport. Makes business sense.”
7. Display Customer Reviews
“Providing customers with feedback from other users about their purchase increases trust in the product(s) they’re about to purchase. Customers want to know about other people’s experiences to see if it matches up with what they’re looking for. Additionally, allowing users to submit public reviews can be good for SEO as well. [According to eMarketer] consumer reviews are trusted nearly 12 times more than the description.”
Mitchell Abdullah, 10 Simple eCommerce Design Tips That Will Increase Sales.
Ivan Lim adds: “Establishing trust is not hard. It can be achieved with simple trust signals [such as] showcasing testimonials, reviews and awards. Give customers plenty of reasons to trust you.”
Ivan Lim of Tweaky.com, email interview.
8. Invest in Quality Product Images
“Consistency and quality of product images directly impact conversion rate. The importance of quality photography is twofold: Merchandising of the product and brand identity of the website. Successful merchandising provides enough visual imagery to support the purchase. Brand identity plays a large role in user confidence; [customers feel] they are purchasing from a reputable and reliable source.”
9. Practice Upselling
“Imagine yourself buying a can of soft drink from a convenient store and the cashier asks if you want to also buy, let say, some snacks to go with your drink. Familiar? And guess what? Many customers will actually just grab a packet or two of those snacks. Even if they don’t, it doesn’t affect their initial decision of buying what they originally want to buy. And this is the beauty of upselling… you get more sales if you ask, but you never get less if customers don’t accept the offer! So why not start asking away?
“One trick I have implemented for my online boutique client is that I recommend them to choose a reasonable price that will entitle the customers to free shipping (my client eventually chose 50 bucks as the bottom line for getting free shipping). Then I created a plugin for them, and that plugin will trigger a recommendation page to ask the customer to buy more to save on shipping.”
Woon Cherk, Panorazzi, Four Tried-and-True Techniques to Improve Conversion Rate on your e-Commerce Store.
10. Tell the Story Behind Your Products
“Ecommerce is very much a game of managing the perception of risk that a customer has when they consider purchasing. If you can show them that you’re trustworthy and real then they’re more likely to purchase. Something that works really well is photos behind the scenes. This could be team photos, pictures of the office or even how the product is packaged or made.”
11. Display Your Credentials
“ExpressWatches increased sales by 107% by replacing a ‘Lowest Price’ image with an ‘Authorized Seiko Dealer’ badge. This indicates that it’s very important for customers to trust you and you should work to increase that in all possible ways.”
What is your biggest insight from this list? Are there any other tweaks you’d add? Please share in the comments.
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