Now that you’ve set up your ecommerce store, the sales will just start pouring in, right? Wrong. Just having a store isn’t enough to drive sales. You need to make an effort to encourage people to buy from you to increase ecommerce sales.
That's where it gets tricky, and where many ecommerce marketers get stuck. Luckily for you, here are eight of the most effective ways you can boost ecommerce sales:
Table of Contents
#1: Be Transparent About Shipping Costs
What’s the one thing that compels most shoppers to go through with their purchase? According to Statista, the top online purchase driver is free delivery. 63% of online shoppers go through with their purchases because the store offers free shipping. So this means that online retailers should provide free delivery whenever possible in for ecommerce sales.
Find more statistics at Statista
Ideally, you could set up a free shipping minimum rate in which shoppers will have to buy for a certain amount in order to qualify for free shipping.
But some retailers may not have the means to offer free shipping. High overhead costs and other factors can prevent startup ecommerce stores from offering free delivery.
If you aren't able to offer free shipping, you should still be transparent about shipping costs. When you’re upfront about the extra costs shoppers have to pay for shipping, it can help encourage them to go through with their purchase.
But if you only display the extra shipping costs during checkout, it can result in cart abandonment. In fact, the top reason shoppers abandon their carts is because of unexpected shipping costs, according to Barilliance.
If you want ecommerce sales, it's important that you display the actual total cost of the item on the product page itself. That means you need to display all the extra taxes and costs that could change the total order amount, including shipping rates.
Amazon does a great job of this, as you can see in the screenshot below.
However, it may be a bit difficult to display the shipping costs if you’re unsure what items the shopper will add to their cart. In such cases, you can clearly display the minimum order amount for free shipping. Ideally, you should display this next to, or under the item cost as opposed to a banner on the top of the page.
EXAMPLE: Beauty Bay
Take a look at how Beauty Bay displays the minimum order amount for free shipping right under the price of the item being viewed.
#2: Simplify the Checkout Process
According to the previously-cited Statista report, a quick and easy checkout process is third most popular online purchase driver. The Barilliance report also found that a long and confusing checkout process often resulted in people abandoning their carts. And according to Business2Community, a complicated checkout procedure could result in cart abandonment.
Since this is the case, you need to simplify the checkout process in order to boost ecommerce sales. The goal is to make sure people can easily complete their purchases before they have a chance to change their minds. There are two main ways to simplify the checkout process:
Offer a Guest Checkout Option
Having to create a new account causes 22% of shoppers to abandon their shopping carts, according to the Barilliance report. This makes it the second most common reason for cart abandonment. Instead of requiring shoppers to register for an account, allow them to complete their purchases as guests to increase ecommerce sales.
When you try to purchase something on Nordstrom.com, it automatically takes you to the guest checkout page if you’re not signed in. And it gives you the option to sign in if you already have a Nordstrom account. This is an incredibly easy checkout process and could help in ecommerce sales.
Implement a Progress Indicator
Set clear expectations about how long it’ll take to complete the checkout process by displaying a progress indicator. This indicator will show shoppers which stage of checkout they’re at, and how many steps are left to complete their purchase. This progress indicator also makes it easier for shoppers to go back and make changes in case they made any mistakes.
Check out how MANGO displays the stages of checkout in the screenshot below.
They highlight the current stage the shopper is at, and they show how many steps are left. This sets clear expectations and can reduce frustration. Minimal frustration means the customer can easily complete the checkout process, which can minimize cart abandonment and boost ecommerce sales.
#3: Offer Live Chat Support
Sometimes shoppers may fail to convert because they have some doubts or questions they need clarified. So they leave your website, perhaps with the intention of sending you an email or calling you to ask those questions. It sounds complicated, doesn’t it?
What if you could answer their questions, and solve their problems right then and there? Live chat support enables you to do just that. Several ecommerce marketing tools provide the option of integrating live chat into your website. Using them, you can provide real-time help to your shoppers, which can enhance their experience and enable them to find what they’re looking for.
According to Comm100, the average customer satisfaction rate for live chat is 85.39%. And it takes less than a minute for shoppers to get their questions answered with the help of live chat.
This increased satisfaction rate and lowered wait time can help you increase ecommerce sales. Most of the time, shoppers will go through with their purchases if their doubts and questions have been answered. Live chat can also help shoppers find what they're looking for, which can also result in more sales.
EXAMPLE: Luxury Estates International
For upscale real estate brokerage, Luxury Estates International, the introduction of a live chat feature helped agents convert online visitors more easily. They started providing live chat support on their Las Vegas Luxury Homes website. Using live chat, their agents were able to provide instant responses to customer inquiries and send important files to clients.
The live chat support also enabled them to schedule confidential listing consultations. And customers were able to instantly book property showings. After implementing live chat on their website, the real estate brokerage was able to increase their conversion rate by 30%, according to a LiveChat case study.
#4: Include Trust Badges to Increase Sense of Security
In the previously-cited Barilliance report, another top reason for cart abandonment is concerns about payment security. This suggests that even if people love your products, and are keen on buying them, they still may not make a purchase because they don’t trust you enough.
The solution? Give them a sense of security to reduce their anxiety, and increase ecommerce sales. But how exactly can you increase your shoppers’ sense of security? The answer lies in trust badges.
In a survey conducted by ConversionXL, shoppers reported feeling significantly more secure when seeing a PayPal Trust Seal. The same study found that along with PayPal, trust badges from Norton Security, BBB, and Google were among the most trusted seals.
According to the survey, 25% of respondents felt that PayPal gave the best sense of security. It was also the most trusted seal across all age groups. The Google Trusted Store badge seemed to perform best among millennials, and worse among older customers. Baby boomers tended to favor PayPal Trust Seals, while Gen X consumers favored the SiteLock security seal.
ModernCoinMart, an online rare coin retailer, experienced high cart abandonment rates. After conducting extensive research, they found that shoppers were reluctant to provide their credit card information. To improve conversions, they decided to run a test by adding a trust seal.
During a 30-day split test, they received nearly 75,000 visitors. The page with the trust seal had a 14% higher conversion rate than the one without a trust seal.
Clearly, trust seals, when used correctly, can help increase ecommerce sales.
#5: Offer a Personalized Shopping Experience
How often have you seen an ad or a product recommendation that has nothing to do with your interests? According to a Marketo survey of more than 2,200 consumers, this type of generic advertising is ineffective, and easily ignored by consumers.
If you rely on this type of marketing, you could be losing out on potential customers. You need to offer consumers a more personalized shopping experience if you wish to increase ecommerce sales.
Infosys conducted a study of 1,000 consumers and their opinions regarding shopping experiences. Here are a few interesting findings to support personalization:
- 86% of respondents said that personalization had some impact on their purchase decisions
- 25% said that personalization had significant impact on what they purchase
- 31% of respondents expressed their desire for a more personalized shopping experience
These stats suggest that it’s high time you provide a more personalized shopping experience to your customers. Here are some ideas on how you can enhance personalization to increase ecommerce sales:
Personalized Offers and Deals
According to the Infosys survey, 67% of those who have experienced personalization highly prefer personalized coupons. Additionally, 62% are highly in favor of personalized offers and promotions based on their previous experiences.
You can try customizing deals and offers for individual customers to encourage repeat purchases and increase ecommerce sales.
However, it’s important to be careful about offering deals and discounts to your customers for ecommerce sales. Providing personalized discounts to each and every customer could be a huge loss for you. Instead, try executing these personalized offers and deals only for high-value customers who haven’t made a purchase for a while. Or provide deals to welcome new potential customers, and encourage first-time purchases.
EXAMPLE: Kate Spade
Kate Spade offers an attractive deal for new shoppers in exchange for them joining the brand's mailing list. The deal is for 15% off on their next purchase, along with free shipping. The brand displays the deal in the form of an overlay when you enter their website.
Personalized Product Recommendations
The same Infosys survey found that 58% of those who have experienced personalization favored product recommendations based on their previous purchases. So even if you can’t offer personalized deals and discounts, you can still personalize your product recommendations to increase ecommerce sales.
Here are a few ways to personalize product recommendations:
- Send shoppers email reminders about items left abandoned in their carts.
- Send emails to update customers about new products added in their favorite categories.
- Display recommendations on your website based on items that the shopper has recently viewed or purchased.
Amazon does a great job of this by personalizing product recommendations based on a customer’s shopping trends for ecommerce sales. This works because the customer’s purchase habits could influence future purchases as well.
If a customer frequently buys items from a particular category, it’s likely that recommendations in this category would have a significant impact on ecommerce sales.
The Amazon homepage normally contains a whole range of personalized recommendations made according to a customer’s individual shopping behavior.
For example, they personalize recommendations based on a customer’s wish list, recently viewed items, etc.
Personalization Based on Individual Needs
Another effective method of personalization is to customize the shopping experience based on a shopper’s specific need. Not everyone is visiting your website looking for the same item. They have unique needs and desires that they need fulfilled.
Provide them with a unique shopping experience that will help meet their specific needs. For example, you could have them answer a few questions to help them find exactly what they need.
An excellent example is how Memebox categorizes their product pages based on common skin concerns. As you can see in the screenshot below, shoppers can filter products based on what type of skin problem they have. If you have acne-prone skin, you can get a list of products recommended to help control acne.
#6. Leverage Instagram
As of November 2017, Instagram reported having nearly 25 million business profiles on the platform. According to Statista, there are 2 million active advertisers on Instagram. Instagram is a huge social platform with more than 800 million monthly active users.
Image Source – Instagram and Statista
With these kinds of numbers, Instagram surely carries a huge potential to increase ecommerce sales. All you need to do is focus and use the right combination of common and specific hashtags. When posting a picture of your brand or product, ensure to post a high-quality and attractive picture.
Also, to generate a maximum engagement rate, you should post your photos and Instagram Stories at the right times. The key to boosting your sales through Instagram is to increase your engagement rate with your followers.
Now, what are the best ways to increase the engagement rate with your followers?
You can try organizing contests or show some behind-the-scenes pictures of your products to your followers. Although the best way is to post pictures showing your customers in action with your products.
This is called user-generated content (UGC). UGC is a great way to showcase to your prospects that you have a happy customer base. UGC is also excellent for social proof.
You can adapt any of the above-mentioned methods to engage your followers in a more efficient way. This will lead to and increase in ecommerce sales of your brand by many folds.
The screenshot below is an excellent example of using UGC to trigger engagement with followers. Fit Little Bride, a work-out clothing brand for women uses a lot of UGC on their Instagram platform.
Image Source – Instagram
#7. Product Demonstration Videos
Most people love and prefer watching videos over reading blog posts. According to the latest report on video marketing from HubSpot, the use of videos for marketing is increasing. More than 80% of the marketers are using videos as a marketing tool.
Did you know, the time an average user spends on a website increases by 88% when the website has videos? Videos are easy to understand, and you can easily establish a connection with your prospects.
This means videos are a very powerful tool draw and hold the attention of your potential customer for much longer amounts of time. This will lead to generating a higher engagement rate. Eventually resulting in increasing your ecommerce sales.
So, what sorts of videos should you create? You can create product unboxing videos or product demonstration videos. Make sure the videos consist of some amount of useful information regarding your product or services. 97% of marketers agreed that videos have helped them to increase their audiences’ understanding of their services or products.
For example, Nato Smart Mount is a magnetic smart service holder, which can be used in cars, homes, or in offices. Their website has many videos explaining a demonstrating the products in a simpler manner.
The screenshot shown below is taken from one such useful video from their website.
Image Source – YouTube
#8. Showcase Your Top Selling Items
When a user visits your website for the first time, they should not feel lost. You must guide them in some directions. A great way to do so is to highlight your best selling products.
To do so, you can include a category of “bestsellers” on your homepage itself. This can help increase your ecommerce sales. Also, a new user on your site will get to learn about your most popular products.
A new user to your site is not familiar with the navigation of your site. Especially if you are an ecommerce website selling a wide range of products. So, putting your best-selling products right in front of them will surely help them.
For example, Sephora is a very famous and popular retail brand of beauty and makeup products. They have a category of bestseller items on their homepage.
Image Source – Sephora
These are eight of the most effective ways you can increase ecommerce sales. As you can see, all of these tips revolve around the customer and enhancing their shopping experience.
You need to make sure shoppers can easily complete their purchases without any hassles or payment concerns. And you should also help them find what they need as quickly, and easily as possible for ecommerce sales.
Got any questions about the tips given here or any tips to add? Let me know in the comments below. And if you need my help to increase conversions, reach out to me so I can analyze your strategy, and help you improve your ecommerce sales.