Increasing sales is the dream of every store. With the increasing trend of online consumer purchases – around 80% of businesses have shifted towards online mediums – more people are interested in earning money online. But how will you generate traffic and increase sales for the online medium? Increasing ecommerce traffic and sales isn’t complex but requires a basic understanding of growth marketing.
Are you wondering how to increase the traffic on the website and increase the sale as well? Let us walk you through the 10 e-commerce marketing tactics that will increase traffic and grow sales. However, remember that it isn’t an overnight process, so some patience is required. Changing things haphazardly out of frustration is a dangerous approach. Below we have compiled some of the marketing strategies and tactics to help you in the best manner.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing has become more prominent over the last few months, corresponding to the increase in online purchasing. Likewise, many companies are looking to expand the ways in which they sell their products. Affiliate marketing avoids the need to buy and resell products. Instead, you promote products for a company and get a commission from any sales for which you’re responsible. Many affiliate marketers create a blog with content that works to promote these products. When purchased using your referral link, you can earn some money. The process isn’t difficult but requires time, and effort, which you can circumvent to some extent with the right affiliate marketing tools.
On the flip side, if you’re a company looking to expand their sales efforts, affiliates can be a great way to fill the pipeline. In this case, affiliate software like OSI Affiliate takes care of the mechanical aspects of starting an affiliate program. Getting signups, offering rewards and coupons, creative assets, and email templates can be challenging unless you have a software suite that supports all aspects of an affiliate program.
2. Optimize the Checkout Process
The next most important thing to consider if you own an eCommerce store is optimizing the checkout process. Shopping cart abandonment often occurs either because of technical issues that make it impossible to complete the purchase, or poor user experience that quickly causes disinterest. Address any technical issues first before modifying the offer with free shipping, discounts, or any upsell offers.
3. Add Product Descriptions
Clear and accurate product descriptions are key to getting an online sale. Remember, prospects can’t physically experience the product and most often make purchase decisions based on a two-dimensional picture along with written text. Do everything in your power to create descriptions that remove any buyer concerns and address their objections.
4. Indicate Shipping Costs
Whether you like it or not, shipping costs almost always factor into the purchasing decision. Providing clear and concise information about these costs is the best way to win trust and seal the deal. Simple always wins when compared with complicated shipping calculations, even when the result isn’t in the customers’ favor.
Why? Because most consumers shun complexity, become suspicious, and are prone to making errors under these conditions. Whenever possible, offer free shipping, even if you have to set a minimum order. In fact, that minimum can encourage larger size orders as consumers are likely to purchase more to get free shipping.
5. Integrate Instagram and Facebook
Most E-Commerce businesses are now running on Instagram and Facebook because of the better traffic and straightforward approach. Businesses of all sizes can take advantage of Instagram ads, Facebook ads, and sponsored stories. While organic reach on these platforms is difficult to achieve, paid ads can build brand awareness, drive a significant amount of traffic, and increase sales..
6. Offer a Wide Range of Payment Methods
The wider the variety of payment options, the more likely you are to make a sale. In addition to major credit cards like MasterCard and Visa, and payment processors like PayPal, you should consider other payment alternatives. Recently, buying now and paying later in installments has gained popularity. An increasing number of payment processors have started offering this ability to merchants. The benefits attributed to this payment offering are better conversions and a larger average order size.
7. Retarget Your Customers
Getting more business from existing customers is far easier than obtaining new business from prospects. Retargeting is a marketing tool that simplifies connecting with anyone that visits your website. It’s used in conjunction with paid ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram where they can track these visits. Segmenting your audience based on specific criteria helps personalize advertisements with relevant ad copy. For instance, you could serve specific ads to people who have visited your site in the past but abandoned their shopping cart. Retargeting generally provides a better return on investment since response rates and average order size tend to increase.
8. Create an Automated Email Marketing Funnel
An automated email marketing funnel is a great way to maintain contact with clients and prospects to encourage new sales and repeat business. It’s used in a number of ways including new product announcements and special deals. However, you decide to use it, remember to make the offers hyper-relevant, otherwise recipients on your email list will quickly unsubscribe. Another important step is to make sure you have good email authentication protocols such as DKIM, DMARC records set up to ensure that your emails will reach the receiver in the first place.
Speaking of which, getting people to subscribe to an email list has become increasingly difficult. Consumers are demanding an immediate benefit in exchange for giving up their email address — many eCommerce merchants now offer a first-order-discount as an incentive.
9. Make it Easy for Customers to Navigate.
If they can’t find it, they can’t buy it. That’s why it’s critical to make site navigation as simple and direct as possible. Unfortunately, making things simple can prove to be difficult. Site architecture is an in-demand specialty and you may not have the resources to implement a complete site change. If you’re in that situation, or can’t simplify the site architecture any further, consider offering chat support in the way of a chatbot. Employing chat support is a win-win situation for both you and your customers. They get immediate help and you get valuable feedback to discover the failure points in your site design.
10. Create Credibility and Trust
Focusing on the customer first is the best way to build credibility and trust. Circling back to your email funnel, that means only sending customers information from which they would benefit, not information that you want to send them. Again, this comes back to creating hyper-relevant personalized communication at every stage.
Below are some bonus strategies that might work for your business.
Bonus #1 – Optimize for Voice Search
Consider optimizing your content for voice search. The jury is still out on the impact of voice search, but the greatest competitive advantage usually goes to the first movers. If you wait too long for absolute certainty, any advantage will have disappeared and you’ll just be trying to keep up with the competition.
Bonus #2 – Pay Attention to Site Speed
Speed matters. A Google study found that “mobile pages that loaded one second faster saw up to 27% increase in conversion rates. On the other hand, longer load times led to higher bounce rates, averaging at 13% for loads under three seconds and going up to almost 60% after nine seconds.” Although this study is a few years old, the principle is still valid. If anything, consumers are more impatient and distracted than ever.
Bonus #3 – Relevant Videos Make a Difference.
Product descriptions are great, but for some people, videos are even better — specially if they show the product in use. There’s no doubt that video is more expensive to produce than written content, but don’t let that discourage you. In fact, raw footage shot with your smartphone can be more authentic than a video created with a Hollywood budget. The key is to make sure to always put your customer first. Host these videos on YouTube to create another marketing channel to drive additional traffic.
Increasing traffic and sales on your eCommerce site is a process that requires a well-developed strategy, sound tactics, resources, and time. Without a clear path, it’s easy to jump from one thing to another. For best results, work on one tactic at a time. Execute, gather data over a period of a week or two, and then re-evaluate. Use that insight to further revise your tactical execution.
Arlen Robinson, the co-founder and VP of Business Development at OSI Affiliate Software, wrote this post. He’s also the host of The Ecommerce Marketing Podcast where he discusses marketing strategies with experts from all over the world.