How to Kickstart Your Ecommerce Sales

30 Mar 2017 5 min read

If you’re like most online retailers, you’ve put a lot of time and effort into building a beautiful ecommerce store that your customers will love, and it’s tempting to sit back and admire it. But your work isn’t done yet! If you want to ramp up your sales from the get-go, you’ll need to find ways to

  • drive more visitors to your site and keep them browsing
  • convert those visitors to customers (turn traffic into transactions)
  • encourage those customers to keep coming back for more.

We’ve come up with a few simple approaches to get you started.

Drive More Traffic to Your Online Store

There are many ways to get more eyes on your ecommerce store—too many to list here. So we’ll focus on a few of our favourites that are easy to implement and offer you a great return on investment.

Personal recommendations are valued over critics’ reviews by 86.9% of online shoppers, so your first task is to get your networks working for you. Start by talking to people you know—your friends, family, neighbours, former colleagues, accountant, hairdresser, barista, local shopkeeper. Everyone! Tell them what you do and why it’s special, and then get them to tell the people they know. Sweeten the deal with referral discounts.

Word-of-mouth marketing also works on social media, where 62% of online shoppers read product-related comments by their friends. Consider encouraging your customers to spread the word with a “like and share” or “tag a friend” promotion on Facebook, with a small random draw prize for participants. Or you might ask customers to post Instagram photos of themselves using your products and tag you in the photo. (Regulations for running competitions can vary depending on where you’re based, so be sure to check with your local or state government.)

Another way to use social media marketing is to tap into themed networking groups that represent a niche for the products you’re selling. If you’re selling blind-date books, you could search for local book clubs on Facebook. For office supplies, you might focus on B2B sales instead, searching LinkedIn for small businesses in your area. But you don’t want to be accused of spamming the participants, so it’s best to contact group administrators before you post any targeted offers or promotions.

And don’t forget about search engine optimisation (SEO)—the higher your online store ranks in search results, the more likely people are to click through and browse.

Boost Your Conversion Rate

Getting those new customers to your store is only half of the battle. You’ve still got to convince them to stick around and buy something, and research shows that you’ve got under a minute to do that before they move on to some other site. So give some thought to how easy it is for your ecommerce website visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for, whether they’ve arrived there from a web search or a campaign ad. Keep in mind that 70% of online shopping happens on mobile devices, so make sure your online store is optimised with a mobile-responsive design, original and compelling copy, and simple navigation.

Put some time into monitoring your website traffic with tools built into your ecommerce platform or third-party products such as Google Analytics. You’re able to follow each anonymous customer’s journey from their site entry point to their exit, so you can find any pain points they may experience and remove those obstacles. If they’re not getting past your homepage, you might need to rethink your design, copy or call to action. Or perhaps they’ve added items to their online shopping cart and started the checkout process, only to discover some unexpected shipping charges that weren’t mentioned on the product listing—an easy fix.

And don’t give up your prospective customers once they’ve left the store. If you’ve got their details, send them a discount offer for the items they’ve left in an abandoned shopping cart—it results in a sale 54% of the time.

Keep Your Customers Coming Back for More

We all know that recruiting new customers can be hard work. On the other hand, your existing customers have already shown a genuine interest in what you’re offering. So it can really pay off to keep in touch with them and encourage them back to your ecommerce store time and time again. Give them a great customer experience that goes beyond the transaction itself, and give them a reason to keep coming back. You can

  • send a coupon code with their order confirmation
  • include social media links and links to products they may like on each email you send
  • send a voucher or thank-you note with their delivery
  • request feedback about your online store
  • invite them to sign up for your marketing newsletter
  • reach out to them with a special discount offer, if they haven’t ordered for a while

This can pay off doubly, with 72% of customers likely to spread the word about a positive experience…leading us back to those new site visitors for the top of our sales funnel.

So don’t wait! By working to bring in those new customers and extending the invitation to your loyal fans, you’ll find yourself in a strong position to not only ramp up your sales but also generate repeat business. If you’re looking for a leading ecommerce platform designed specifically to help you reach your customers across multiple channels, check out Neto. And if you’re looking for more information on conversion-centred design and copy, we’ve got that covered, too.