It is common knowledge these days that launching a company is easier than ever thanks to technology. The hassle has been taken out of setting up shop, there is no need for expensive overheads and a local business can now reach a global audience. It is why we have seen a huge rise in eCommerce stores and, if you are reading this, then we can only presume that you have established your own online store. Congratulations. The first step is done.
However, as you may or may not have come to realize, just having an online store isn’t enough. There is so much white noise out there, so much competition vying for a piece of the market (whatever that market may be) that you need to know how to improve your operation or, in a word, optimize.
Optimizing your store requires knowledge, though. It requires a little bit of strategizing to really engage your customers and grow your sales. Sure, attracting new customers is a great way to grow your sales leads and thus boost your revenue, but one of the easiest ways to become successful is to better utilize your current customers. Trust us, there are always things you could be doing to better engage your current customers, always.
Harness The Power Of Social Media
Your business is operating solely on the internet, which means your best bet when it comes to exposure is harnessing the power of social media. You probably know this. Chances are you probably have a page set up on Facebook to help improve your SEO as well as using it as an organic marketing tool. But Facebook isn’t the only option, and organic growth isn’t the best method.
You see, other social media platforms that have been proved to be successful are Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Twitter and even Reddit. These are considered to be sites that deliver a real punch. Of course, which one suits you best depends on what you are selling, but it is well worth expanding your presence and marketing on these sites because, well, they have been known to boost sales by up to 40%. That’s a huge increase. However, it means spending on ads.We know proving the return on your investment can be tricky and that makes you hesitant, but by not spending here you are going to fall behind your competitors and miss out on a lot of business.
Time To Go Mobile
This alludes to two things. The first is having a website that is primed for mobile use. The reason for this is most people surf the internet on mobile devices these days, namely smartphones and tablets. That means your site has to be optimized to accommodate this. But that isn’t the only thing we mean when we say go mobile.
You see, people are addicted to their phones. That’s a fact, and it is one that social media platforms have latched onto. Snapchat uses a points system to keep you hooked, and Facebook uses notifications. It is the same thing that keeps gamblers addicted. Think about it. People hold their phones in their hands at almost all times, and they scroll through them without even realizing, so why not capitalize on this addiction with an app.
Don’t worry, it’s learning how to build a mobile app is pretty simple, and by having a permanent piece of real estate on your customer’s phone you are making it easy for them to make a purchase. Some of the biggest names in retail have gone down this route to great effects, such as Asos and Boohoo to name a couple.
Start Up-Selling And Cross-Selling
Let’s start with up-selling, which is a common trick used by all experienced and successful retailers. Imagine you are the customer for a minute and you need to buy a new laptop. In a few years that laptop is going to be redundant and you’ll be looking to upgrade. That is when the retailer will up-sell you a better quality laptop, one that is more expensive. That is up-selling.
Of course, now you have a sparkling new laptop you’ll want and need all the extras that can go with it. You’ll want a hard shell to protect it, a soft case to put it in when you are travelling, maybe even a laptop backpack, and a stand to bring it up to eye height when you’re working at your desk, and an external hard drive as well as a wide range of plug-in adapters. This is called cross-selling and it is a matter of selling items that you know will go nicely with the other products you sell.
Once you know what items you have, make a list of what equipment can pair with one another, what bits and bobs customers will want to accompany their purpose. You may think this is a lot of work for not a lot of reward, but Amazon makes almost 39% of its revenue from cross-selling. Yup.
No More Abandoned Shopping Carts
Roughly 65% of online shoppers abandon their carts, meaning your eCommerce business is either losing money or leaving it on the metaphorical table. That accounts for a lot of money, which is why you need to find ways to reduce the amount of abandoned shopping carts your business encounters. This starts with knowing why they have been abandoned in the first place.
The most common causes are fees they didn’t anticipate, mainly shipping costs, taxes and other hidden extras. All of these will push a customer elsewhere, even if it just to price match. As such, make all the fees clear from the outset. Have a banner that says all your shipping fees are set at $5, so they know this, state that the price includes VAT and any other taxes that you may have to include.
As such, why not encourage your customers to come back to their abandoned carts by optimizing your automated email correspondence. This could be reminding them off what is in their cart with bold and beautiful images of the products they left behind. It could be you send them a discount code worth 10% to get them back to your store and commit to that purchase. Maybe the item is running low on stock, in which case tell them. All of these will see you reduce the number of abandoned carts you suffer from.