Global ecommerce sales continue to rise as consumers become increasingly comfortable with the notion of buying products online. According to eMarketer, for example, ecommerce sales will top the $4 trillion mark within 2 years, accounting for almost 15% of total retail sales.
Ecommerce Winners Will Be Those Who Give Consumers What They Want
That said, some ecommerce businesses are far more successful than others. Those who succeed take the time to understand what prospective customers want in everything from website performance to product descriptions and reviews to shipping options.
That, of course, begs the question of what it is that consumers want. Consider these metrics gathered by FitSmallBusiness:
- Offering free delivery encourages 90% of consumers to make an ecommerce purchase
- The use of product videos can increase sales by almost 150%
- Decreasing page load time from 8 seconds to 2 seconds increases conversions by 74%
- More than 60% of consumers consider a company’s return policy before making a purchase
- Email marketing accounts for 20% of ecommerce website traffic
- Almost 70% of all shopping carts are abandoned before purchase
What Can Online Sellers Do to Increase Sales Quickly?
Every ecommerce business is different, which means of course that they need to meet the needs different market segments. That said, some strategies work for virtually every ecommerce business, including the following:
Learn to Leverage Upselling
Upselling involves offering customers a more expensive version of a product in which they’re interested or offering additional products relevant to their purchase. For example, if you buy a product on Amazon, they’ll typically tell you something like, “customers who bought this product also bought these products.”
It’s important that your upsell is clearly relevant to the customer’s original product selection and that it offers benefits the original product doesn’t.
Go after Abandoned Shopping Carts
As noted above, most online shoppers abandon their shopping carts before completing a purchase. Finding effective ways to connect with those customers and persuade them to complete their purchase can dramatically increase ecommerce sales.
One of the best ways to recover abandoned carts is through an email recovery campaign in which you remind customers of their incomplete purchase and provide incentives (like discounts or free shipping) to follow through.
Make Email Marketing Work for You
About 20% of all ecommerce site traffic comes from email marketing campaigns. To capture some of that traffic, you need to increase your email subscribers and create a smart marketing strategy to engage them.
There are several ways to increase email subscribers. One of the best is through content marketing. This entails creating compelling content offers and giving that content in exchange for their email addresses (for example, if you sell appliances, you could post an article about how to get the best refrigerator for your money).
Of course, you need to do more than simply increase subscribers—you also need to engage them sufficiently to push them to your website. You should, for example, send them a strong welcome email as soon as possible after they subscribe. You also need to send them regular, personalized emails based on recent actions they’ve taken, like downloading content or visiting product pages.
Make Sure Your Website Works
Pushing prospective customers to your website is the first step—but you also need to ensure that they have an outstanding experience once they get there. That means that your site needs to load quickly, that the navigation is clear and intuitive, that all your links are working properly, and of course, that your site is mobile friendly. If your site takes too long to load, is difficult to use or doesn’t work on mobile devices, you’ll lose prospective customers to the competition.
Invest in a Comprehensive Order Management Solution
Effectively managing and streamlining ecommerce operations can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are reliable web-based applications which effectively meet that challenge. Affordable solutions like those from Orderwave, for example, will dramatically improve your ability to manage inventory and growth, and to enhance your direct marketing.
Although the use of such software does represent an initial investment, you’ll quickly see a return on that investment through maximized profits. More importantly, Orderwave is a pay-per-order solution, so you only pay when your website is making revenue. Additionally, Orderwave is hosted on our fast, reliable and secure servers, which lowers hardware costs. And, best of all, Orderwave is completely PCI compliant, which reduces your liability.
Ecommerce sales are growing, and that growth is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. Through this period of rapid transition, some businesses will fare better than others.
To ensure that your ecommerce business comes out on top, learn what’s important to your customers and prospective customers and make the necessary investments of time and resources to meet their needs, solve their problems and exceed their expectations.
These ideas, along with Orderwave by your side, will help you grow your ecommerce business and get ahead of the competition. Contact us to learn how to manage all of the orders you’ll now be receiving.