Do you know how to successfully grow your sales?
Many ecommerce stores fail to take advantage of all the marketing opportunities available to them, instead relying on watered down sales funnels to get the job done.
In order to grow, you can’t just run a single flashy ad campaign and hope for the best. You will need to create some consistent and reliable strategies that will entice customers over the long haul.
That means focusing not only on bringing new customers in, but also in getting those customers to come back time and time again.
Here are 5 proven strategies that will help you keep customers and boost sales for years to come.
1. Leverage Post-Purchase Marketing
While the majority of your goal is to get shoppers through the checkout process, one of the biggest missed opportunities in marketing is post-purchase.
A simple, “Thanks for shopping with us!” isn’t enough if you want to grow your business.
Instead, focus on re-engagement techniques like upselling or collecting feedback. One way to do this is by emailing users a short survey that if completed will give them a discount on their next purchase.
Upselling post-purchase is another way to bring shoppers back. Marketing automation tools can help you target products based on previous shopping carts as well as other actions and behaviors.
A good example of this is the ecommerce site Paper Style, which happens to have a large number of users planning weddings. They created a timeline of buying behavior typical of the average bride.
As soon as a customer’s email was in their system post-purchase (or through a lead generation sign up), they sent out a series of emails to better identify the shopper’s preferences and create another series of personalized emails featuring products that may entice them back.
Through this automation process, Paper Style’s open rates increased by 244% and their revenue per mailing increased 330%.
2. Capture More Email Subscribers
Of course, email marketing isn’t just for post-purchase. You can and should be capturing emails throughout your site in a variety of ways.
Email is one of the best channels for driving traffic to your store. Research shows that email marketing has an ROI of around 4,300%.
But email marketing isn’t about sending out emails on a whim. If you’re not using it to personally market certain products (like Paper Style), you should be sending out discounts.
In fact, 70% of people make use of coupons or discounts they learn about from email, and 60% say that receiving special offers is the top reason they subscribe to emails in the first place.
The trick is to make it easy for users to sign up for emails. Try using lead generation pop ups to capture emails or alert first-time shoppers of discounts and other promotions.
Send an automated welcome email as soon as a customer signs up with links to related products. Use a post-purchase email to bring them back to the site, and send out regular newsletters to upsell other products or new arrivals. Or you can capture emails using a referral program.
Another big area for potential growth is social media, but many ecommerce stores forget to engage shoppers on social media in ways that will actually impact sales.
The biggest channels generate more than $40,000 every 60 seconds, but to grab a piece of that pie, you need to do more than send out the occasional tweet.
Instagram, for example, is an often overlooked but highly profitable platform for ecommerce. The average order value from Instagram ads is $65.00. That’s higher than almost any other social media platform.
Recent studies have also shown that Instagram can boost sales in indirect ways, often creating 25% more engagement than other platforms.
Facebook, too, is a great way to sell products and source new traffic to your site. Facebook recently introduced an app called Facebook Store, which allows you to showcase and sell products directly from your Facebook page.
Customers can also share their favorite products with friends, post reviews, and link back to your website with a few easy clicks.
If you want to engage users through social media, try running campaigns or contests, going behind the scenes of your day-to-day operations, and showing pictures of customers using your products. You can also encourage users to submit their own user-generated content for additional social proof.
4. Improve Your Ad Spending
You may also want to start experimenting with your ad spending.
One of the best ways to attract qualified visitors is using Google AdWords to get your store to show up when people search for your keywords. But the key is to understand which keywords will attract the most business.
Keywords and phrases should be highly specific and relevant to your business. They should tie in with the ad copy already on your website. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If they’re searching for products like yours, which words and phrases would they type into Google?
Are you on top of your PPC game? Hop on a free strategy call with us and find out how you can improve your Google AdWords campaigns.
Facebook ads are another great way to advertise. Brian Carter from Moz notes that in terms of cost, Facebook is far less expensive than all other channels (online and offline), saying:
“If you spend $1 per day on Facebook ads, you will get in front of 4,000 people that wouldn’t have seen you otherwise. If you can’t spare $30 per month, you shouldn’t be in business.”
Your best bet is to try out slight variations on your bids for both Google and Facebook to find a good niche and then invest what you can into reaching as many people as possible.
5. Track Gaps in Your Conversion Funnel
Finally, the biggest way to boost sales is to patch up gaps in your conversion funnel. The best way to do that is to find out exactly where customers are dropping from your site.
You’re probably already using some form of conversion tracking, like Google Analytics – if not, you should be. But it’s not just about collecting data; you need to understand just how that data is impacting sales.
First, make sure you have a well-documented sales process. A recent study by Vantage Point Performance found an 18% difference in revenue between companies with and without a formal sales process.
Next, using your analytics, identify areas that have a deficit in revenue from previous sales cycles. In Google Analytics, for example, you can run a Funnel Visualization Report which will show you which areas are lacking.
You want to look for areas of low volume (not enough leads), bottlenecking (leads getting stuck at one stage) and latency (leads going dormant after a certain amount of time).
You can also survey customers or perform user testing to gain more insights into how customers are using your site and where there could be improvements.
If you really want to improve sales, you want to track your customer’s experience from the first moment they land on your site or social media page until they click away. Any areas where customers are slipping through the cracks should be analyzed and patched as soon as possible.
To capture more leads, use lead generation pop-ups throughout your site to get email sign ups, and don’t forget to target customers after they’ve already made a purchase.
Keep in mind that social media is a great tool for not only generating traffic, but also for selling to your customers directly. Use Instagram and Facebook ads in addition to Google Ads to generate more sales and get your name out there in the market.
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Author: Bogdan Chertes
Bogdan has helped dozens of ecommerce businesses grow sales and acquire more customers by using data driven PPC marketing strategies.
At Adfix, he leads a team of top class PPC and Social Media experts that help clients maximize ROI from their campaigns.