So you’ve just set up an awesome ecommerce store. You’ve picked out trending items, gotten a great website design prepared, and are ready for the sales to roll in.
But so far, your results are nothing short of underwhelming.
Getting an ecommerce store up and running is only the first step of launching a successful business online — now you need to establish sustainable strategies to increase ecommerce sales.
Boosting ecommerce sales isn’t as difficult as you might think! It certainly doesn’t require you to burn yourself out in the process. More often than not, it’s a combination of small techniques working together in unison to help you reach your revenue goals.
Here are 13 tactics to boost ecommerce sales without spreading yourself too thin.
1. Build an email list
This first one is a biggie! Sure, it may seem like a daunting task at first, but there are countless ways to build an email list for your ecommerce store without reinventing the wheel.
When you build a tribe of loyal customers, you’re checking off several critical business-building tasks:
- You’re retargeting people who are already interested in your products.
- You’re getting permission to send promotions without having to pay for ads on social media.
- You’re creating an opportunity to build a community.
Email works so well because your customers choose to opt-in to hear more from you instead of getting targeted by paid promotions. Plus, you have full control of your email list, whereas you don’t own social media platforms. Remember when Instagram and Facebook went down for nearly an entire day?
Now, if you’re wondering about the best email list building strategies, popups work incredibly well for online stores. To make sure they don’t appear in an annoying way, you can trigger them when a customer spends a certain amount of time on your page or when they scroll to a certain point.
Because the last thing you want is to repel the customers who are browsing all the cool things in your shop!
For example, check out this slide-in form displayed after a visitor scrolls down over 50% of the page:
Or this form that only takes up the top section of the page:
You can quickly recreate the slide-in and the floating bar from the examples above using GetSiteControl email subscription form builder.
Another effective tactic to build an email list is to add an opt-in checkbox during the checkout process. This is much less intrusive than a popup.
Not only that, but the customer who’s checking out is already engaged and on the verge of buying from you. They’re already entering their email address to order, so might as well add that checkbox to get their permission to add them to your list! Adding an opt-in incentive, like a 10% discount, will give them that extra nudge to complete the purchase — while gaining you a new subscriber.
When building your opt-in forms, be sure to optimize your call-to-action button instead of writing a placeholder text like ‘Sign Up’. CTA buttons may be a small portion of your store, but they’re so so so powerful when used to their maximum potential! Just replacing ‘Sign Up’ with ‘Get Started’ is already much more action-oriented and effective.
2. Implement a solid email marketing strategy
The obvious next step to building an email list is to make it an integral part of your marketing strategy.
You could choose to send the same weekly newsletter to every subscriber, but that isn’t the best way to get the most out of your list since that information won’t be as relevant to all of your audience.
Instead, segment your audience according to their personal actions — what type of products have they purchased from you? What are their preferences when it comes to receiving email promotions from you?
You can implement these personalizations and more using your email list provider. For instance, when asking visitors to confirm their subscription, you could add checkbox options to get an idea of:
- The category of products they like from your store
- What types of promotions they’re interested in hearing about
- How they heard about your store
When you segment your subscriber list, you can send newsletters and promotions that are more relevant to each person. With personalization, your audience is more likely to engage with your brand and remain subscribed.
3. Use scarcity tactics
Nothing gets the blood pumping more than scarcity.
If your product seems to be available in limited supply — or if a sale is only available for a short time — your visitors will be more likely to buy from you now, since they can’t be sure that your items will be available at this price (or available at all!) later down the road.
Here are a few ways to use scarcity to boost your ecommerce sales:
- Host flash sales
- Add a countdown timer on your site during sales
- Display ‘only x remaining’ on your items
- Add scarcity for item sizes
Using scarcity in your email marketing can increase your click-through rate by 14% and double your sales, and it’s so easy to implement! Just add a GetSiteControl sticky bar at the top of select webpages with a brief message and/or a coupon code to take advantage of the offer.
4. Upsell your customers
When your visitors add an item to their cart, you could celebrate that fact and do a happy dance…
… Or you could upsell your visitors to increase your potential for sales.
Online stores that offer upsells get an average of 70-95% of their revenue from upsells and renewals — that’s a huge amount of revenue that you’re missing out on if you don’t implement this tactic!
Not only that, but it’s also 5x easier to sell to existing customers than to attract new ones. Upsells are an effortless method to make the most of your existing customers.
One of the easiest ways to add upsells is to insert popups to offer a better, more expensive item (or a related item) to your visitors when they add a related item to their cart.
5. Optimize your store for mobile
People love shopping on their phones, and that trend is on the rise. Statista estimates that 44.7% of US ecommerce sales in 2019 will happen on mobile, compared to 39.6% in 2018.
But you may be surprised to learn that while people are shopping on mobile, they’re not buying! Last year, desktop conversion rates were at 3.91%, while mobile conversions are at 1.61%. Uh oh! So what does this mean exactly?
Ecommerce store visitors are using their mobile devices to shop, but not enough stores are providing a frictionless mobile experience that’s optimized for conversions. Many sales opportunities are lost because of this.
If you want more sales, make your website user-friendly for all platforms. Don’t forget to optimize your pop-ups for mobile, too!
6. Use SEO plugins
Optimizing your ecommerce store for search engines will increase your organic traffic, especially if you manage to rank on the first page of Google for a given keyword.
And who doesn’t love free traffic?
If you’re tempted to run away at the mention of SEO, I get it — SEO is a beast to tackle in and of itself.
But SEO for ecommerce stores isn’t really that time-consuming, and you can choose from several great plugins to simplify the process. Some are paid and some are free but ultimately, these plugins are mostly affordable and will provide a great ROI when used to their maximum potential.
Think of it this way — every time someone lands on your website via an organic search, you’re saving on paid promotions.
7. Minimize cart abandonment
Every ecommerce store owner has had this happen: you get a notification saying that someone filled up a cart with goodies from your store.
You get all excited about the hefty sale coming your way and start thinking that things are finally taking a turn for the better. But your visitor suddenly abandons their cart without finalizing the sale. Aww, shucks.
This probably happens more often than you’d like and may leave you feeling helpless. But there are effortless ways to minimize cart abandonment.
For instance, exit intent pop-ups can make your visitor think twice before clicking that ‘x’ button on your store’s tab.
These types of forms automatically detect when your user is moving their mouse away from your store and gives them a last chance to redeem a tempting offer if they complete their sale.
Find out how to create an exit-intent popup in GetSiteControl within few minutes.
8. Showcase your top selling items
What does your ecommerce landing page look like right now?
Your store’s landing page should be home to the best-selling products on your store. This is the first thing your visitors will see — it’s your one chance at a first impression.
By showcasing your best-selling items on your front page, you’ll not only make a great first impression, but you’ll give a starting point for your visitors’ shopping spree instead of overwhelming them with all your existing product choices via your menus.
Plus, if these products are best-selling, they’ve proven their worth so far. They’re best-selling for a reason. Leverage their power to entice all newcomers to your store.
9. Integrate Instagram
Did you know that Instagram now has Shoppable Posts? If your business is located in one of Instagram’s supported markets and complies with their commerce policies, you can use your Instagram Business profile to link directly to your ecommerce store.
With a monthly active user base of 1 billion people (and 500 million daily users, what??), Instagram provides a wide open window of sales opportunities.
This is especially true if your store’s visual branding is on point. You can use enticing images of your products to catch the eye of your Instagram followers and then link back to a product page on your store.
Another way to integrate Instagram is to add your feed to your ecommerce site directly. This will encourage social engagement from your visitors.
And engaged visitors are much more likely to buy again from you in the future.
10. Display your social proof
Did you know that 70% of customers use online reviews to inform their purchases?
If you’re not using reviews, you’re losing out on a huge chunk of potential income.
One easy way to leverage social proof is to add ratings on your products. Be sure to prompt buyers to leave a review, or they might not think of doing it themselves.
Another way to power up your social proof is to reach out to some of your most loyal customers — those who have repeatedly bought from your store — to ask for a testimonial. Testimonials differ from reviews because they’re not necessarily related to a specific product — they can build trust in your brand as a whole and recommend the overall experience of shopping on your site.
Use your email list to reach out for testimonials since this is where you’ll find your most loyal customers.
Once you have these testimonials, showcase them on your landing page to immediately put on a trustworthy face for new visitors. Testimonials work even better when you use a real name and photo, since your visitors can identify the customer as a real person.
Here’s a great example from Madsen Cycles, where they feature reviews next to photos of real people using their products:
11. Implement live chat
Live chat is another one of these ecommerce tools that sounds difficult to implement, but that is much more simple than you think.
Adding a live chat option on your store allows you — or your customer service reps — to directly speak to visitors in case they have a question.
Sometimes, visitors want to buy something from you but they have a burning question that needs to be answered first. And if you’re making your prospective customers jump through hoops to get in contact with you, they’re more likely to click away entirely.
For instance, imagine this:
Your visitor needs to know if your clothing is true to size before picking which size they’d like to buy. To get in contact with you, they need to click on your contact page, copy your email, open up their email app, and type out their question in an email.
That’s a lot of steps — and you’re taking your visitor away from your store, which might end up costing you the sale.
And this isn’t just speculation — 77% of customers won’t make a purchase on a website if there’s no live chat option.
On the other hand, if you have a live chat tool implemented directly on the page, your visitor can stay right on the page and interact with your customer service rep without additional friction, like on the Aunt Jessica Cares website:
It’s an effortless way to establish a connection between potential buyers and your brand.
Live chat boxes are non-intrusive additions to your ecommerce store, but can also be used to prompt visitors to interact.
12. Use A/B testing
How do you know what works best and what doesn’t work at all when it comes to your store’s conversion optimization?
The short answer is that you don’t. The only real way to figure out what works is by testing your options.
Enter A/B testing. This method pits two different headlines, product descriptions, page layouts, or more against one another to see which one performs better.
Most A/B testing tools offer key metrics to get detailed insight on the performance of your instances. When you understand what works better, you can iterate improvements to your store’s experience and keep testing various options against one another.
Each new iteration will help you boost your ecommerce sales since you’re relying on pure data to optimize your conversions.
A/B testing ultimately helps you create an increasingly better experience for your customers. The better the experience, the more likely your customers will come back to buy from you again.
Of course, this technique isn’t 100% effortless. It requires you to constantly improve your store. However, with the right tools, you don’t need to fight against the tech to implement these tests — all you need to do is come up with great content to test.
13. Retarget your visitors on social media
More often than not, first-time visitors on your store browse for a while then leave without making a purchase.
Although that’s part of the reality of having an ecommerce store, it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to leverage bouncing visitors.
That’s where visitor retargeting comes in. Using a Facebook pixel, you can detect who has visited your site and whether or not they made a purchase. From there, you can target your paid social media ads towards these people.
There are many ways you can use retargeting. For instance, if a visitor left your store, but clicked on a certain product, you can promote this product to them on social media and offer them a limited time or quantity discount (scarcity!).
On the other hand, if someone filled up their cart and left, you can call this out specifically and offer them a bonus if they complete their purchase.
Here’s the deal — customers might not buy from you the first time they interact with your brand. They might not buy the second time, either.
But the more exposure they get to your store, the more likely they are to eventually buy something from you.
And making that first purchase is the first step to becoming a repeat customer. That’s important because remember, it’s so much easier to convert pre-existing buyers.
Increase online sales fast with these tactics
There you have it — 13 tactics that will boost your ecommerce sales without burning you out.
On their own, each of these tactics is quite effective. However, when implemented together, they’re rocket fuel for your ecommerce sales.
And many of them are effortless with GetSiteControl’s widgets, from cart abandonment and email opt-in form popups to live-chat support and sale announcements.
Try implementing just one of these tactics today — you’ll be able to measure the difference in sales and see what all of these techniques could do for you over time.
Charlene Boutin is a B2B writer for hire specialized in creating compelling case studies, blog posts, and converting copy for digital entrepreneurs and SaaS businesses. When not writing, she can be found prototyping weird games in Unity or playing on her Nintendo Switch.