If you’re in eCommerce, sales are your lifeblood. No sales equals no revenue. Without revenue, you’ll be forced to shut down. There have been thousands of eCommerce stores that seemed like great ideas, yet eventually collapsed because they couldn’t generate enough sales.

Of course, it’s one thing to talk about generating sales, but it’s another thing altogether to actually do it. In order to help you succeed

#1 – Cut Down On Abandoned Carts

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Inevitably, you’re going to have shoppers who abandon their carts mid-purchase. Maybe they don’t have their credit card accessible. Maybe they start having second thoughts. Maybe they want to check other websites to compare prices. Whatever the reason, abandoned carts represent money on the table.

If you can cut down on your abandoned carts, you’ll significantly increase your revenue.

There are a number of ways to do this.

Immediately send a follow up email sequence. When a cart is abandoned, don’t let days pass before you follow up. Send out an email immediately, followed by several more as the days go by. In order to do this, you need to capture their email address before they begin the checkout process.

If they don’t purchase after the first email, consider giving them incentives to purchase, like discounts.

Retarget them with ads. If you have a Facebook pixel on your website, you can retarget those who abandon their carts. When they go on social media, they’ll see ads for your product, reminding them that they still need to purchase.

#2 – Build Your Email List

Few things are more powerful for online marketing than an email list. In contrast to social media, where a person simply scrolls through an endless feed, mindlessly looking at videos, you actually have their attention with email. They have to click on your email, whether they’re going to read or delete it.

This attention difference leads to a much higher click through rate and far more eCommerce sales than social media channels.

Of course, you can’t generate these sales if you don’t have a substantive email list. So how do you build a healthy email list? A few tips:

  • Offer discounts and coupons in exchange for email signups.
  • Provide valuable insights in your emails that they couldn’t get elsewhere. For example, if you sell coffee products, provide people with tips for making the best cup of coffee.
  • Offer a rewards program for those who sign up.

Once a potential customer signs up, it’s crucial that you don’t bombard them with emails. Use your list strategically, only sending emails when you have something truly valuable to offer.

#3 – Use The Power Of The Upsell

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When someone purchases a product, they’re in a buying mood. They’ve got their wallet out, they’ve already plunked down cash, and they’re probably feeling the euphoric rush that comes with shopping. More than ever, they’re ready to buy something else.

Amazon recognizes this, which is why they constantly upsell you. Before you purchase, they present related items that will upgrade what customers are already purchasing. They want you feel like you’re getting a superior deal for a reasonable price.

Why does Amazon do this? Because it dramatically increases their sales. When they first introduced upselling all the way back in 2006, they saw a 35% increase in sales. That represents hundreds of millions of dollars.

There are several reasons using upsells work so well.

First, many times customers aren’t aware that you offer better options. They don’t know that you offer a version of the same t-shirt with slightly softer cotton or the same computer with a faster processor. Once they’re informed of the better option, they’re more likely to see the value.

Second, customers may not understand why they need the upgrade. In this case, you need to convince them why it’s a great idea to get the upsell. You need to clearly explain the benefits of the warranty or the superior cotton or the faster processor. If you can’t clearly articulate the value of the upgrade, they won’t see any need to purchase it.

Two things to note with upselling:

  • Keep your upsell related to the first product. If the original product is a stroller, don’t upsell a phone charger.
  • Be careful with your price range. If the upsell involves a massive jump in price, it will probably be much harder for customers to justify in their minds.

#4 – Crush It On Instagram

Instagram is a hugely powerful social media platform for eCommerce retailers. Why? Because shopping is primarily a visual experience. People want to see products in action. They want to see what they look like and sound like. If they can’t touch them, they want the next best thing.

Instagram, with it’s sole focus being images, is ideal for this. And now that they’ve incorporated numerous videos features, you can double down on the power of this platform.

A few suggestions for crushing it on Instagram:

  • Ask those who have purchased to post pictures of themselves using your product on Instagram.
  • Develop a unique hashtag around your product that users can share.
  • Run contests where you give away products.
  • Consider giving away products to influencers in exchange for them posting photos.
  • Engage with your customers in the comments section of photos.

By developing a steady presence on Instagram, you’ll connect with more new customers and retain existing customers.

#5 – Let Customers Create Wishlists

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This ties in closely to abandoned carts. There will be many times when a customer simply wants to mark an item for the future, rather than purchase it in the moment. Ensure your customers can do this by adding a wishlist function to your website.

Once people begin adding items to their wishlists, you can periodically remind them of these items through email or Facebook retargeting ads. If one of their wishlist items goes on sale, send them an email with a coupon for it.

Wishlists also let you cross sell more effectively. When you know what your customers want, you can promote other closely related items. Wishlists give you insight into what each customer desires and then allow you to promote very specific items to those customers.

#6 – Have A Store That Really Works

Few things are more frustrating for customers than eCommerce stores that are slow, glitchy, and difficult to navigate. If people don’t feel a website is professional and easy to navigate, they’ll quickly go elsewhere.

When creating your store, be sure to do the following:

  • Write clear, compelling product descriptions. Include the design specifications, but don’t go on endlessly about them. Rather, focus on the benefits of the product.
  • Include easy to see, zoomable, professional photos. If your pictures are grainy or look like they were taken in a garage, people won’t want to purchase.
  • Make your site simple to navigate. Clearly divide products into the proper categories and subcategories and make your menus simple to use.
  • If possible, include product demonstration videos.

Few things are more important than a well-designed store. Without one, there’s almost no way you can do well in eCommerce.

#7 – Secure Product Reviews

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When you look at a product on Amazon, what’s the first thing you do? You look at the customer reviews. If there are positive reviews, you’re more likely to purchase, while negative reviews will cause you to have second thoughts.

The more positive customer reviews you can generate, the more likely customers are to purchase from you. Additionally, customer reviews create more page content, which increases the chances that Google will find the product in searches.

A simple way to generate product reviews is to send a follow up email several weeks after a purchase asking the customer to review the product. If they have a complaint about the product, you can address it then as well.

#8 – Hyper Focus Your Ad Spending

The beauty of online advertising is you can make it incredibly focused. If you sell Crossfit products, you can far beyond advertising to those who like the sport. You can target Crossfit lovers who are between the ages of 18-34 who live in England and vote conservative.

Additionally, you can make small bets in your advertising. Rather than starting at $5,000, you can spend $100 on a target demographic and see what your results are. As you make these small bets, you’ll be able to increasingly narrow your focus until you’ve identified your perfect audience.

Conclusion

eCommerce shouldn’t be complicated. Yes, it’s hard work. Yes, you need to put in the time. But if you know what to do, you can find success.

The most successful eCommerce companies have won because they’ve persisted. They’ve determined what works and what doesn’t.

The formula goes something like this: Time + Experience + Experiments = Success

Don’t give up. Stick to the formula.