The road to selling a product online is long and full of obstacles. You could lose customers with a slow website, customers may abandon their shopping cart midway through a purchase, or your competitors may offer better deals. We’ll help you remove impediments and acquire more customers by identifying the 7 influential factors that drive ecommerce sales.
The best things in life are free, and this is especially true in the world of ecommerce. The Walker Sands Future of Retail report found that offering free delivery encourages 9 out of 10 users to buy a product.
If you’re in position to do so, you should offer free shipping for your products, especially since you’re tapping a consumer base that can easily choose Amazon over you for similar products.
If you’re on a budget, you can still offer free shipping in a more limited way. One way to test free shipping is to offer it at certain times of the year such as holidays when most customers expect shipping fees to be waived. You may also offer free delivery on certain items where your margins are higher. Lastly, you can offer free delivery with a minimum order value, like $25 or $50, to encourage larger transactions.
Website Loading Speed
Online consumers are always on the go and won’t think twice to abandon their carts if load times are even a few seconds slower than your competitor. If you manage to decrease load time, you can expect sales to shoot up. Aionhill writes that conversion rates climb by 74 percent when loading speed goes from eight to two seconds.
Increasing page load speed is easier said than done, but it’s possible with some effort:
- Select a web host with good uptime and response times.
- Eliminate unnecessary elements from your website that could be increasing load times (e.g. too many videos or images).
- PageSpeed Insights, a web-based tool from Google, provides a summary of high and second priority fixes which can help trim precious seconds of load time.
- Consider investing in a web developer who can determine whether the fixes can actually result in increased load speed.
Reduce load time and watch sales skyrocket.
Increased Use of Mobile Commerce
Apart from maintaining a user-friendly website, having a mobile version of your website or a mobile app is equally important.
As reported by SmartInsights, mobile now accounts for 59 percent of all sessions for ecommerce sites.
Leverage mobile commerce now by taking notes from some global online retailers:
- Etsy is the epitome of mobile simplicity, integrating clean design elements so consumers can easily find what they need on mobile.
- Amazon uses continuous scrolling so customers don’t have to jump between pages when looking at different items.
- Buzzfeed uses large buttons at the bottom half of the screen to help make sure that customers don’t leave because they keep hitting the wrong button.
Optimize your mobile website with these strategies to help boost your sales.
Clear Presentation Of Discounts & Offers
No shopper ever wants to see an alluring sale, only to be surprised with additional fees later. A Oneupweb consumer study reports that 25 percent of online shopping carts were abandoned because the product cost more than expected. If you post a tempting offer, make sure you follow through, and don’t hike up the final price later.
It also helps if the offer is posted at a location that attracts the most attention. A Nielsen Norman Group study shows that people spend twice as much time viewing the left side of the page compared to the right. Visit the homepages of Costco, Ebay, and Netflix: all display offers and discounts at the left side of the page.
Clear and highly visible offers can lure more consumers and help maximize your returns. Referral programs are also a great way to use your existing customer base to drive sales.
In the digital age, email marketing is an oldie but a goodie. In fact, Wolfgang Digital writes that email marketing accounts for 20 percent of traffic driving e-commerce sales. Email marketing remains effective because you reach a large number of prospects with just a few clicks.
However, email marketing is more than just a numbers game. Equally important is content and its relevance to your prospects. Boost sales with strong emails consisting of the following elements:
- A relevant subject line that clearly communicates your offer
- A catchy first line that conveys the idea behind the email
- A short body to whet the prospect’s appetite
- Call to action telling the customer how to take advantage of the offer
Incorporate these strategies to help drive e-commerce sales.
Social Media Marketing
While social media is rarely used as the main purchasing channel for online stores, it serves as a good starting point for consumers to find your business’ online footprint. In a report by HubSpot, 92 percent of marketers confirmed that their social media marketing efforts increased their online store exposure and 80 percent said that social media drives traffic to their website.
Social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram employ sophisticated algorithms that allow online marketers to implement a hyper-targeted marketing strategy that can effectively reach your desired audiences. For instance, if you want to drive up sales among women ages 25-35, living in New York City, with a college degree, you can run Facebook ads targeting just that group.
Facebook currently reigns as the single most effective social media marketing channel. The Future of Social Marketing report shared that 95.8% of online marketers claimed Facebook as top driver of return on investment (ROI) among all social media channels, followed by Twitter at 63.5% and Instagram at 40.1%.
Maintain a good and active presence in social media channels appropriate for your business and help drive customers to your website or online store.
Personalized Shopping Experience
One way to sustain customers’ buying appetite is to offer them something that is in line with their interests based on their past purchases and general online behavior. 53% of consumers think that businesses who personalize their online shopping experience offer a valuable service while 45% are more likely to purchase from an online shop that provides personalized recommendations.
By collecting data based on a customer’s actions online, businesses can predict the kind of products and services that will appeal to them, making their marketing efforts more effective.
Google Analytics is a powerful yet easy-to-understand tool that lets you measure and analyze consumer behavior on your site. It provides data on types of products bought by customers, website conversion rate, total number of transactions, and more.
Leverage data and build personalization strategies to increase conversion rates.
An effective ecommerce strategy doesn’t simply mean having a good website in place – there are a lot of considerations and tactics to experiment with before you can see an increase in your sales. On top of that, your efforts should be able to utilize multiple touch points that will make online shopping a complete experience for your customers.
Putting these 7 factors into place is a great start to boost your ecommerce marketing efforts.