Seven Ecommerce Strategies to Grow Your Business this Year
2015 is far from over and the holidays are still months away – now is the perfect time of the year to test a new strategy online. Whether you’ve hit a plateau or are simply looking for some ideas to boost your sales, here are seven great strategies to try:
1. Re-evaluate your customers and build a better relationship with them. Any business owner knows it’s important to know your customers. However, as time goes by, it’s very easy to get distracted by the day to day details. So it’s good to take a step back and do some research on your customers and determine if anything is changing. Think about where they are coming from, why are they buying, what are they buying and so on. These are very basic questions but if you look at your sales data, you might see an opportunity to adjust your marketing or to offer a special promotion that caters to your customers better.
As for building a relationship with your customers, that’s one of the biggest challenges of eCommerce since your customers probably don’t need to interact with you to buy something. But this is an opportunity to stand out.
Use any chance you can to develop your relationship with the people who buy from you. You could:
- Make your customer service phone number more prominent
- Add a live chat feature to your site
- Beef up your social networks – ask questions, have contests, offer special deals, etc.
- Include a thank you note of some kind in every package you sell
- Send email follow ups after a sale – a quick thank you, instructions or helpful tips for the product they bought, ask for a review, etc.
2. Consider a subscription service: This doesn’t just mean starting an email subscription (though that is also a good idea). But if it’s applicable to your products, you could consider an auto-refill option. If you sell a consumable product, this works especially well. If someone re-orders the same product from you every two months, why not offer them an auto-reorder option? It helps you get more sales and it helps save them time. Win-win.
3. Up Sell and Cross Sell: Amazon is the master of this. Whenever you look at anything on Amazon or buy anything on Amazon, they always suggest other products that are similar or complementary. So many products come with accessories that it’s often very easy to suggest another item to buy. You could integrate this feature into your shopping cart, you could have a product page change once someone adds an item to their cart or you could suggest other items underneath the main product. This is also a good way to move products that aren’t selling well.
4. Don’t miss out on mobile customers. If your site isn’t optimized to work on mobile devices, you’re missing out on sales. Google favors mobile-friendly sites in search and the majority of online shoppers use mobile devices to research products before they buy. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it’s absolutely time to do it. If you’re ready to go mobile-friendly, give ioVista a call and we’ll make it happen.
5. Optimize your site for user experience. There’s so much competition out there and it’s far too easy for customers to leave your site and find another. You need your site to be the easiest to use out of all of your competition. So, for starters, you could go through your site as if you were a customer and consider how easy it is for you to complete a sale. Better yet, ask a friend to do this for you since you’re already familiar with your site. This can be a great way to find areas where your site gets confusing or where you’re asking for unnecessary information. Another option is a professional usability audit. There are ways to measure how fast your site loads, how your customers navigate your site and where they leave. If you collect this kind of data, you can start to find areas were you’re losing customers and make changes to amend that. If you’d like a professional usability audit, ioVista can help you with that too.
6. Review what you’re already doing. If you’ve been reading this article and thinking, “I’ve already done that” then it’s probably a good idea to review the strategies you’re already using. You don’t necessarily need to make a big change or find some big, new idea to improve your sales. It’s possible that all you need to do is make some tweaks to your current strategy. Take a look at how you’re doing things and ask yourself if there are more efficient or customer-friendly ways to do them?
7. Check out your competition. You’re probably always aware of your competition but if you haven’t gone through their site in a while, you probably should. You’re not the only one looking for ways to win more customers and sales. The goal isn’t to copy them but you should have an idea of what is working for them and consider how something like that could work for you. Also, there’s no reason to only look at your direct competitors. Products change from site to site but the methods to sell them are usually quite similar. Think of the sites you shop from or the stores you go to and look at their websites. Take note of the things you like and don’t like and then see how your site works in those same areas. You might find little things to change or update that can make a big difference.
No matter what new strategy you try, it’s always a good idea to test it first and see how it works for a small portion of your customers before you roll it out to everyone.
If you’re interested in a review of your website, our team at ioVista would be happy to look through your site and let you know any areas of opportunity we find. Just give us a call or send us an email.