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Business owners know it is important to get bang for your buck, but fear of investment, even just a small investment, can hold you back. We have put together our top cost effective strategies to boost sales fast!
Many online store owners are now aware that conversions don’t just happen by accident (unless you’re very lucky). Rather, you have to optimise your e-commerce store to try and convert as many of your visitors as possible into a paying customer. Check out our top cost-effective strategies you can use to increase the sales on your e-commerce website regardless of what platform you might be using.
1 – The quality of your media
A big mistake a lot of stores make is to use really poor quality images of their products. This is something you have complete control over without the need for technical support or developers, and it’s really important for the customer. In a lot of cases the images you provide are the only insights they have into the quality of your product, when it’s not something they can physically see or touch like in a traditional shop. Using low resolution images or low quality images can have a big impact on your overall conversion rate, as well as determining subconscious judgements visitors will make about the perception of the store.
Including additional supporting media such as video can have a significant impact on perception, as well as providing potential customers with further insights into the product. These videos are often very simple, and don’t need to be big productions. For example, for a clothing store a 5 second supporting video of the model wearing the clothes gives a lot more insights into how the fabric looks when moving. These supplementary assets are very easy to capture during the initial photo shoot with the right planning.
2 – Discount codes & promotions
This is often heavily under utilised by store owners, but most e-commerce platforms have a number of built in discount codes & cart rules that can be used to encourage sales. These can be simple fixed discount codes, percentage discounts, reductions if you spend over a certain amount etc. You can also extend this functionality with the use of premium plugins. Historically adding very complex discount rules was expensive to implement, but now you can access a lot of functionality for a fraction of the cost. These plugins can include traditional buy one get one free deals, combo deals, and even enabling the customer to choose a free gift if they spend over a certain basket total.
3 – Subscriptions & recurring billing
For any store that sells consumables that need replenishing, then a subscription or recurring billing system can be very powerful. Again this was once expensive and complex to implement, but now there are many plugins that can enable this functionality along with a number of management tools to support it, By default it will add a new field to selected products, where they can choose a one-off purchase or to setup a recurring subscription (normally with a 10% saving incentive). For a product like dog food for example, which is needed every month, this offers not only convenience of not having to re-order but also ongoing savings too.
4 – Gift cards
Gift cards again are often very under utilised by smaller retailers, and this is because they either required a big investment to setup properly, or were messy to manage without the right infrastructure. However, there are now lots of premium plugins that offer some incredible functionality for both digital gift cards and physical gift cards. Unique reference codes are created with an associated credit/balance which can be easily managed using the provided tools. The amount of functionality provided by these plugins is very impressive for the cost, and not dissimilar to something that customers will be familiar with on much bigger stores like Amazon.
5 – Loyalty programs
Loyalty programs can come in many different forms, but there are now plugins that can extend the functionality of your e-commerce store to cover all of them. There are the traditional points based systems, where every purchase earns you “points” which can later be used for discounts on future purchases. There are systems now that reward not only purchases, but other positive engagement actions on the site, such as leaving reviews, commenting on blog posts, and sharing products on social media. This is extremely powerful.
There are also affiliate and referral programs where users can setup referral codes and invite friends and social media followers to the site. Every purchase over a set amount essentially pays a commission in the form of an account balance, which can be used for future purchases.
Loyalty programs tend to be more expensive as rather than a one-off cost, there is a tie in to an ongoing monthly cost. However this is based on your total sales, so can be worth investigating.
6 – Simple checkout
Having created all this additional functionality on your site, your customer has added some products to their cart only to fail at the final hurdle as they abandon the transaction at the checkout. This is normally due to either having an untrustworthy looking checkout, or one that is complex or clunky in nature that causes frustration to the customer. In most cases we would recommend against using the standard default checkout provided by most e-commerce platforms where possible, and using a simple one-step checkout. Rather than splitting the checkout process into multiple steps and pages, use a checkout where all the details are entered on a single, clean and simple page. Again there are some fantastic plugins available that don’t require a big investment to improve this.
7 – Tracking
Finally make sure you’re tracking everything using analytics software. You need to be able to benchmark your data so you can measure the impact of any changes you make, but also reviewing your data can help you identify opportunities for improvements. There are lots of insights you can gain from this data to help you make some really informed decisions with your site moving forwards.