How to Increase Ecommerce Sales: 25 Actionable Tips (2024)


Shopify, WooCommerce, and other platforms allow you to set up an online store within hours—that’s the easy part. The challenge lies in knowing how to increase ecommerce sales.

A good starting point is to research your audience so you can deliver personalized shopping experiences they love. Then, optimize your website for search engines and leverage social media marketing to gain visibility online. 

We’ll walk you through advice for both.

Why You Need an Ecommerce Strategy to Increase Sales

According to Statista research, global retail ecommerce sales will reach $8.1 trillion by 2026. 

Good news for online shoppers: More sales means more competition. Purchasers should have more and better choices. 

For online retailers, more competition creates complexity. They’ll likely have to work harder to get seen by potential customers. And because the consumers have so many choices, their expectations are likely to increase. To be successful, retailers have to meet them.

Enter: The ecommerce strategy.

An ecommerce strategy allows you to market your products in a way that resonates with potential buyers. To get their attention and gain trust and loyalty.

Your ecommerce strategy will also serve as a roadmap for your marketing and sales teams. It should improve their operational efficiency. And your total costs. That means you can reallocate resources to marketing efforts that work.

Not sure how to get started? Below, we share 25 expert tips to increase sales and drive repeat business.

Let’s dive in.

1. Learn About Your Target Audience

Leverage social media, website analytics, market research, and online surveys to understand your customers. Learn about their purchase behavior, expectations, and pain points.

For example, you could join Facebook groups related to your business or industry. See what questions your potential customers have, what they complain about, and what features they want to see in a product like yours.

The more you know about your target audience, the better you’ll be able to meet their needs as you design products and create marketing campaigns.

2. Develop a Content Marketing Strategy

A full 66% of top enterprise survey respondents said they had success using content marketing to nurture their leads, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Approximately 75% of them found success building customer loyalty with content marketing. And 56% said it helped them generate sales and increase profits. 

To reap the benefits for yourself, create quality content for your website, email messages, and social media pages. Use a mix of informative and promotional content in various formats, such as:

  • Blog posts
  • How-to guides
  • Case studies
  • Press releases
  • Listicles
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Images
  • Product demos
  • Podcasts
  • Cheat sheets

Go one step further and leverage user-generated content (UGC) to drive engagement. 

For example, publish blog posts, videos, or product photos created and shared by happy customers.

User-generated post on Instagram

In addition to providing scale to your content marketing efforts, UGC also serves as social proof. That can help shoppers build trust. To many, UGC feels more authentic than brand-created content or ads.

3. Use A/B Testing to Fine-Tune Your Marketing Messaging

Test different versions of your landing pages, headlines, and call-to-action (CTA) buttons to see which ones perform best. Do the same with your online ads.

Here’s how.

Let’s say you want to optimize an existing product landing page. Start by creating an alternate version of each of the following:

  • Product image
  • Product description
  • Promotional offer
  • Wording for your CTA 
  • Page layout
  • Color scheme

Then, create a second version of your product landing page. The original becomes the control, where all elements stay the same. On the other, you test.

Test one variable at a time (e.g., first your CTA text, then your product image). Use analytics tools to track traffic, click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and other metrics. Compare them to the same statistics on the control page.​​

Product image and CTA text A/B testing example

When you identify elements that perform better, update them on your primary page.

With A/B testing, you can discover a number of small (or big) changes that together, can really impact your conversions. Perform these tests often for continuous improvement.

Further reading: What Is A/B Testing? A Comprehensive Beginners’ Guide

4. Market to All Stages of the Funnel

A visual of marketing funnel

Customers go through several stages before making a purchase. The combination of stages is known as a purchase funnel, because the number of customers who make it to each subsequent stage decreases each time.

Those at the top of the marketing funnel are information-seekers just beginning to discover your brand or products. Those at the bottom are ready to make a decision.

Each stage of the funnel requires a different approach from marketing and sales. Here’s what this means in practice:

  • Top of the funnel (awareness stage): Focus on raising brand awareness. Share informative content to introduce potential buyers to your product. Show them how that product would fit into their lives.
  • Middle of the funnel (consideration stage): Drive customer engagement and increase trust. A good strategy is offering product demos, sharing case studies, and hosting webinars or live Q&A sessions to educate prospects.
  • Bottom of the funnel (conversion stage): Customers at the bottom of the funnel are familiar with your brand and products. Now, it’s time to convert them into buyers. You could offer a special discount, share social proof, send promotional emails, or offer a free trial to give them that extra push.

Further reading: The Marketing Funnel: What It Is & How It Works

5. Personalize Your Marketing Messages

Personalization is an expectation in modern marketing. 

Seventy-one percent of buyers expect personalized experiences from brands, according to a survey by McKinsey. About 67% of respondents said they want custom product recommendations, and 66% expect companies to tailor messaging to their needs.

McKinsey's survey results on consumers expecting brands to demonstrate they know them on a personal level

Images Source: McKinsey & Company

A good starting point is to personalize your marketing emails. 

This could mean including the recipient’s name in the subject line, aligning your messages with the buyer’s journey, and rewarding loyal customers with freebies or discounts.

You can take it a step further, too. Personalize the customer experience by creating buyer personas and sending targeted emails with dynamic content created uniquely for each one. 

For example: Let’s say you’re rewarding loyal customers with a deep discount on your clothing brand. In the email with the reward, you plan to dynamically insert a collage of product images. You can highlight clothing from your teen line for customers whose demographics match your “female shopper with children” persona. And include products from your women’s line for the “female shopper without children” persona.

6. Strive for Customer Service Excellence

Companies that focus on enhancing the customer experience can see a 2-7% surge in sales revenue and a 1-2% boost in profitability. 

If you want to know how to increase sales in ecommerce, look to Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and other brands known for excellent customer service.

Amazon delights its customers with personalized email campaigns, flexible return policies, and multiple shipping options.

Target ensures its employees are experts in the products they sell. This knowledge allows them to assist buyers with product choices, creating positive experiences.

You don’t have to be Best Buy or Target to implement similar levels of customer service support. 

Choose scalable options like adding live chat or a chatbot on your site to deliver real-time support. Or creating a self-service knowledge base—a digital library where customers can find everything they need to know about your products, services, and store policies.

7. Encourage Repeat Business

You can do this in a variety of ways.

Consider starting a customer loyalty program to drive repeat sales. Incentivize members with exclusive discounts, bonus points, free shipping, rewards, or early access to product launches.

It could pay off big. 

Customers enrolled in top-performing loyalty programs spend 15% to 25% more annually when redeeming the points accumulated, according to McKinsey

Another option is to find ways you can engage with your customers after they make a purchase. Repeat buyers spend 67% more than first-time customers. And, selling to an existing customer base is six to seven times cheaper than getting new buyers. 

It could be as simple as sending them a “Thank you” email or a discount code for their next order.

Repeat buyers spend 67% more than first-time customers

8. Focus on Cross-Selling and Upselling

Still wondering how to increase ecommerce sales? 

A popular strategy is to get your existing customers to buy a more expensive version of a product they previously purchased. Or other products you sell. The former is called upselling. The latter: cross-selling.

Let’s say, for example, that a customer bought a wallet on your website. You may show them handbags, purses, or a clutch with additional features, such as a chain strap or tassels. That’s upselling.

Alternatively, show them complementary products like a pair of shoes, a dress, or a scarf that matches the previously purchased wallet. That’s cross-selling.

Display these product recommendations on your site or in your marketing emails. Stick to a few relevant items and get creative with your offering.

9. Showcase Your Top-Selling Items

You can also increase sales by using marketing techniques that increase your product’s perceived value.

How? 

Put your top-selling items in the spotlight on your website and social media platforms. And make it clear they’re your most popular. 

For example, some of the products available on Amazon are labeled “Best Seller” or “Amazon Best Choice.” And in social media content, brands often say things like, “Finally back in stock.”

These tactics help drive sales because a product that’s in high demand is often seen as more valuable. 

Putting your top-selling items on display helps in another way too. Those items often have more customer reviews and get more attention online. The buzz around them serves as social proof, which increases trust and helps inspire sales.

Top-selling item on display

A whopping 89% of consumers reported that they’d been convinced by a video to purchase a product before, according to a 2022 survey. And approximately 96% said they watch explainer videos to learn more about the products they’re interested in.

To take advantage of videos, consider creating how-to, promotional, or educational videos around your most popular items. 

For instance, a clothing store may create videos featuring human models wearing and modeling their items. Customers can see how the clothing item would fit and move on their body, giving them more confidence in their purchase. 

If you sell software programs or gadgets, create demo videos to show your products in action. For example, this video introduces the Apple Vision Pro, emphasizing its features and benefits.

Youtube video thumbnail

11. Incorporate Instagram into Your Marketing Strategy

Share high-quality product images on Instagram to reach a wider audience. 

This social media platform boasts an estimated user base of over 1.35 billion.

But don’t limit yourself to simply sharing product shots. Post employee spotlight images, behind-the-scenes photos, customer photos, announcements, infographics, and memes. 

Video is a big hit, too.

Based on our research, Instagram Reels are a win for any business. This type of content generates 75% more engagement and 41% more impressions than image posts. It can also drive 59% more engagement and 18% more impressions than carousels.

12. Learn How to Increase Ecommerce Sales with SEO

Use relevant search terms—keywords—in your product descriptions, image alt text, page URLs, headings, and copy.

Combined with other SEO strategies, this can improve your website’s rankings and visibility in search results. That can mean more traffic.

It can also increase your clicks. For instance, keyword-rich URLs have 45% higher click-through rates than those containing no keywords. And longer keywords, such as “women’s black evening dresses,” get significantly more clicks than shorter keywords like “black dresses.”

URLs with keyword terms have 45% higher click-through rates than those containing no keywords

SEO can also enhance the user experience. That helps with higher engagement and more sales, too.

To see how your site is currently doing and discover new strategies to improve your search rankings, use Site Audit from Semrush.

To get started, open the tool. 

If you don’t have any existing projects in Semrush, you’ll see a text box. Enter your domain and click “Start Audit.” 

Site Audit tool search bar

If the domain you want to audit is already entered as a project in Semrush, click the blue “Set up” button to set up your audit.

"Set up" button in Site Audit tool

If you already have projects but want to start a new one, click “+ Create project.” 

"+ Create project button" in Site Audit

You’ll be asked to enter your domain and optionally, a project name. When done, click the “Create project” button. 

"Create project" pop-up window in Site Audit tool

Now, set a limit on the number of checked pages per audit and select the crawl source (e.g., your website). A free Semrush account allows you to check up to 100 pages per audit.

Click “Start Site Audit” and let Site Audit do the rest. 

"Site Audit Settings" window

It may take a while for the tool to analyze your website’s health and generate actionable insights. You’ll see a status message reading, “Auditing site…Please wait or come back later.” 

“Auditing site…Please wait or come back later" status in Site Audit

When the audit is complete, the status circles will be replaced with an overview of findings. Click the project name to open a more detailed view. 

"yourdomain.com" project selected in Site Audit

Click the “Issues” tab to see the problems you might want to address. 

"Issues" tab highlighted in Site Audit

Hover or click the “Why and how to fix it” text to the right of each issue to learn more about it and see instructions on how to fix it.

Why and how to fix an sitemap.xml file issue explained in Site Audit

Work through the problems identified here to improve the functionality of your site, user experience, search rankings. 

Further readingEcommerce SEO: A Simple Guide for Beginners

13. Create a Compelling “About” Page

Your About Us page should tell your brand story and highlight your unique identity and value. 

Customers feel more connected to a brand’s products if they resonate and align with the brand’s values and goals. A compelling About Us page can give customers another reason to buy from your brand.

Here’s some ideas of things to include on your About Us page:

  • How it all started (what inspired you to start the business?)
  • Your mission and values
  • The little things that set your brand apart
  • How your products could fit into customers’ lives
  • Employee photos and behind-the-scenes shots
  • Customer reviews and testimonials

Keep your ideal target audience in mind as you create this content. Consider their beliefs, needs, and wants. Look for opportunities to demonstrate your alignment or related purpose in your brand story.

For example, Allbirds built its About page around customers’ need for comfortable footwear. The company leverages storytelling to build rapport with its target audience. 

A section of Allbirds's About page

14. Enhance Your Website’s Reputation

Improving things like your page load speed, the quality of your content, and your backlink profile, will help your website’s reputation. 

How?

Those factors influence the user experience. 

For instance, a slow-loading website is one of the best ways to frustrate users. In fact, the chances of a customer leaving your site increase by 32% as page load time goes from one to three seconds, according to Google. And when those visitors leave over slow load times, they leave with a bad impression of the brand.

The content you promote on your website also matters. Every blog post, webpage, and article should have a clear purpose and provide genuine value to those who see it.

To help guide content creation, ask yourself what visitors would want from that page. 

Let’s take product pages as an example. 

Potential buyers came here with intent to learn more about your offering, so give them the intel they crave. Add a thorough and compelling product description, include sizing charts, present clear product photos that highlight key features and all relevant angles. Videos and customer reviews help too. Your goal is to answer all their possible questions. Uncertainty can be a barrier to sale.

Further reading: What Is Page Speed & How to Improve It

15. Highlight Product Use Cases

While describing your products in compelling detail is important, it’s a slightly different task to paint a picture of its benefits. 

Imagine you sell a laptop bag made by Dell or Asus. The product description says the bag features an RFID-safe top pocket, reflective prints, and other cool features. But what does this mean for a potential customer? Why would they want an RFID-safe top pocket? Or reflective elements?

It’s your job to educate them to see the value. 

FAQs, blog posts, articles, and social media are all great places to tell these stories. Or, for more in-depth product offerings, a case study might do the trick.

Using our example above, a blog post about radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology would be helpful. By reading it, your visitors would understand that this tech is commonly used in credit cards, passports, and other sensitive documents. And that unauthorized scanning can be a security risk. Readers will understand immediately why a pocket on a laptop back that’s RFID-safe would be appealing. 

And the reflective elements? Perhaps include product photos that demonstrate a business commuter with their laptop bag well illuminated while walking next to traffic downtown on a dark night. 

Bottom line: Anticipate their questions. Tell your product story with the details they’ll easily understand. 

16. Incentivize Customers to Join Your Newsletter

Looking for more tips on how to increase sales for ecommerce stores? Incentives can help.

Freebies are a good way to lure customers to join your email list. Here’s an example from WP Standard:

WP Standard offering customers to wind a free tote

Image Source: Omnisend

The more customers who join your list, the more people your marketing messages will reach. And with a broader reach, there’s more opportunity to nurture people further down the sales funnel toward purchase. 

That is, if your email marketing strategy is on point. Freebies can drive repeat business and increase customer loyalty.

Consider offering coupon codes, branded merch, free samples, or gifts to boost newsletter signups. You could also give subscribers free access to webinars, ebooks, or online courses related to your products. 

Use marketing tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights to track your customers’ footprints.

Yes. Consumers leave digital footprints whenever they go online. These may include browsing history, social media activities, IP addresses, and other data.

Ecommerce companies can leverage these insights to understand customer behavior better. Google Analytics and other tools allow you to collect, analyze, and interpret data that you can turn into actionable insights.

For instance, your website analytics can reveal your customers’ locations, how long they stay on a page, and which keywords they use. You can also see their actions, such as link clicks and video views.

Use this data to fine-tune your SEO and marketing efforts to increase sales.

Let’s say you realize mobile shoppers spend less time on your site than desktop users. Based on these findings, consider optimizing your pages for a better mobile shopping experience. Improving customer experience can boost sales and profits. 

Further reading: A Guide to Mobile Marketing: Definition, Examples + Best Practices

18. Implement Live Chat

If you’re asking yourself how to increase sales for an ecommerce website, implementing live chat support could be a good start. 

Consumers who use web chat are 2.8 times more likely to buy a product or service than those who don’t, according to Forrester. Additionally, they’ll spend 60% more.

Live chat software programs like Zendesk, Genesys, and Tidio leverage AI to streamline customer service. Some platforms integrate chatbots, offline forms, automated translation, and other helpful features.

Choose one that meets your needs, and install the software on your website. Offer 24/7 support and provide customers with the information they need when they need it.

Customer support chat

19. Disable Account Registration Requirements at Checkout

Allow customers to place orders without creating accounts. 

While it’s tempting to collect data by requiring shoppers to become registered customers, this extra step may deter prospects. 

It’s well documented that a complicated checkout process can increase shopping cart abandonment and hurt sales. The same can happen if the checkout process takes too long.

"Proceed as guest" option shown under Uncommon Goods' checkout

When possible, offer a one-page checkout with as few fields as possible.

20. Offer On-Demand Delivery

When goods, services, or digital content are delivered easily and quickly, customers win. 

Inspire more sales by giving customers clear and simple options to have their goods delivered swiftly and at a low cost. 

For digital products, this might mean instant delivery post purchase. For physical inventory, partner with on-demand delivery companies like DHL, Dropoff, or Dispatch.

It may pay to offer a range of options. Three out of five shoppers prefer to buy from retailers that offer multiple shipping options, according to nShift. But make sure as many options as possible allow buyers to track their orders. That’s because 90% of consumers want this option, according to a DispatchTrack survey.

21. Remove All Dead Ends

Make sure your web design and content are built in a way that keeps site visitors moving. 

Your homepage should have clear navigation to your products, your contact information, and information about your brand. Your product pages could start strong with limited-time offers and end with a compelling CTA. Your contact page should channel customers to a live chat agent, help desk, or email address where they can submit their inquiries. 

If your website has a search tool, it should return high-quality relevant results. A search for “black leggings,” for example, should show results as if they’d searched for the correct spelling, “black leggings” instead.

The point is to keep your visitors moving effectively through your site. Easily finding whatever it is they might be looking for. 

22. Increase the Effectiveness of Paid Search Placements

Leverage paid search placements to bring your top-selling products into the spotlight. Promote compelling product landing pages through targeted advertising campaigns to drive sales.

Paid ads generate $2 for every $1 spent, according to Google’s research (click on Google Search and Ads to see this detail). That’s a 200% return on investment (ROI). 

Although this number may vary by industry, paid advertising can be an effective way to reach more customers and win their business. 

Further reading: Paid Advertising 101: A Beginner’s Guide

23. Provide Multiple Payment Options

Allow your customers to pay with digital wallets, Stripe, PayPal, cryptocurrency, or prepaid cards, in addition to debit and credit cards. 

Why?

They’re wildly popular. 53% of Americans claimed they use digital wallets more than traditional payment methods in 2023.

By offering multiple payment methods, you can reach more buyers and improve their experience with your brand. And if you’re wondering how to increase sales on ecommerce platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce, use the same approach.

Multiple payment options offered at checkout

24. Sell to International Markets

Consider expanding your reach to a global audience to generate more sales. Do it gradually by moving into one international market at a time. 

Let’s say some of your traffic comes from the U.K., China, or Western Europe. Choose one market, research its potential, and define your target customer base for that region.

Determine what marketing channels you will use and translate your website (if necessary). Choose a fulfillment partner or find a way to sell directly to customers while keeping costs low.

25. Add a Post-Purchase Survey to Your Website

Ask your customers to take a brief survey after their purchase. Gain insight into their needs and how they perceive their online shopping experience.

Say you want to know how to increase sales on your ecommerce site. To gain more clarity, consider asking the following:

  • How would you rate your overall purchase experience?
  • What can we do to improve the experience?
  • Did the product meet your expectations?
  • How satisfied are you with the shipping/payment options?
  • Why did you decide to buy from us?
  • Did you encounter any challenges?

Ideally, tailor your survey to different customer groups.

For example, repeat buyers are more familiar with your brand and products than first-time buyers. They can answer more complex questions about product quality and other aspects.

What matters most is to act on their feedback. Review their answers, put all the pieces together, and identify areas for improvement.

Take Your Ecommerce Sales to the Next Level

Ecommerce marketing involves more than just creating products. You also have to consider how customers interact with your site. 

Use the 25 tips in this article to improve user experience, find more customers, and drive more sales. 

Do it with the help of your tech stack. And Semrush.

Semrush provides the tools you need to gain insights into consumer behavior and optimize your site for higher conversion rates. Start with a website audit, continue with keyword research, and analyze your traffic to identify growth opportunities. 



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