Whether you’re just starting out in the ecommerce marketplace or you have a well-established shop, there’s always room to grow your startup’s revenue, and there are many tactics you can utilize to help you do just that. Whether you’re trying to cut down on abandoned shopping carts or you want to increase the average order total, a relatively small investment of time and advertising can have a huge payout when it’s targeted in the right place.
Know Your Customers
You’ll never be able to target your marketing and customer relations efforts appropriately if you don’t really understand who your customers are and what they need. This comes into play certainly on the marketing side, as knowing what social media platform and other sites send most customers your way can greatly improve the efficiency of your efforts to drive customers to your site.
Increased traffic doesn’t always translate into higher revenue, though, as you need to convert those visits into sales. Partly that means making sure you’re attracting the right customers to begin with, but it also means highlighting products they’ll be interested in. This is especially helpful when it comes to upselling and cross-selling, as it allows you to suggest items related to the main purchase your customer is making.
To do this properly, you need to know why a person would buy what you’re selling. Cross-selling then becomes a matter of common sense, as you can suggest that they add on items to complement their main purchase. For example, someone buying a garden shovel may also be interested in gardening gloves and a rake, and making it easy to add these items to their cart is a good way to boost the total value of that sale.
Upselling is another good way to boost revenue, but it sometimes requires a bit more finesse. It essentially involves highlighting how much better a moderately more expensive item might be compared to the one the customer is considering, and it’s best accomplished by focusing on a few specific features or uses of the product. It’s also important that you stay within 25% or so of the price of the original item the customer was viewing in order to keep them from dismissing the suggestion out of hand.
Reviews and Photos
Presenting your products in the best possible light is essential if you want to maximize sales. No matter how great an item actually is, a bad photo of it will discourage people from buying it. Make sure all of the photos on your site are high quality and highlight your products’ best features. For selling purposes, video is often even better than still photos, and so utilizing that wherever you can will help you boost sales as well.
Another way to win over shoppers who may be on the fence about purchasing your product is through customer reviews. A positive review from a fellow shopper will give your claims about your product instant credibility in their eyes, and so it’s in your interests to make sure leaving a review is as easy as possible for your customers. You can even offer discount codes or other incentives as an added bonus for leaving a review, and you can remind them through a series of follow-up emails as well.
Avoiding Abandoned Shopping Carts
No matter how many good leads you drive to your site, and how well you represent the products you’re selling, you still need to close the deal to increase your revenue. That means avoiding abandoned shopping carts as often as possible. Although there are plenty of reasons customers choose to abandon their carts before completing a purchase, the vast majority of them have to do with the unexpected costs added by shipping and handling.
Of course, for most sellers, there’s no way to avoid adding shipping and handling to the purchase price, but you can help ease the shock by mentioning shipping costs early in the process. Even if you can’t be specific about how much they’ll ultimately add, having them in the customers’ minds will make it less likely they balk at the added cost later on.
You can also experiment with introducing a cost threshold for receiving free shipping for an order, as this can have the added bonus of encouraging people to throw in an extra item or two, while also making them aware that there will be shipping charges applied to any orders that come in below that total price.
When carts are abandoned, you can help encourage those customers to return and complete the purchase through follow-up emails reminding them about the items they were considering. You can even include discount codes in these emails, or you can let them know that stock on something they want to purchase is getting low but that you’re willing to hold it for them for a certain period of time.
Other Ways to Increase Revenue
There are plenty of other small and not-so-small steps you can take to increase your ecommerce revenue as well. These include:
- Mobile Selling – More and more sales are completed through customer’s mobile devices these days. Optimizing your site for mobile selling will give you an advantage moving forward.
- Facebook Stores – Depending on your niche, setting up a store directly through Facebook could be a great way to increase your opportunities for sales.
- Loading Time – Optimizing your site speed will keep customers from walking away when pages take longer than they expect to load.
- Live Chat – Online shoppers today are used to immediate responses, and so adding live chat to your site to help with customer questions or issues, particularly during the checkout process, can help you complete more sales successfully.
- Managing Inventory – One quick way to lose sales is to run out of in-demand items. Managing your inventory well is essential when you’re trying to maximize revenue.
- Discounted Bundles – Offering bundles of items at a discount can encourage more and higher-dollar amount sales.
- Find Partners – Depending on the type of products you sell, you may be able to partner with another company that sells complementary items to cross-promote each other’s products.
- Offer a Money-back Guarantee – Many times, customers want to make a purchase but they also want to be sure they’re not wasting their money. Offering a money-back guarantee eliminates that impediment, and it also shows that you stand behind the quality of what you’re selling.
You may be doing some of these things already, and of course you can only implement a limited number of changes at once. But making small adjustments here and there will keep you moving forward, and they will all combine to help you increase your ecommerce revenue over time.