Guest post by Michelle Deery
The ecommerce world is booming. After one year in business, the average online store enjoys a monthly revenue of almost $330,000. That’s pretty amazing, and it proves what we’ve known for a long time: the number of shoppers preferring to buy online is growing, and you’ve never had a better chance to run a successful ecommerce business than now.
We have to stay a tad grounded here, though. As Forbes points out, while there are a lot of winners in the ecommerce world, there are also a lot of losers.
But what separates the winners from the losers? Why do some stores succeed while others crash to the ground? Use the following tips to outsmart your rivals in 2018 and give your customers exactly what they want.
If you’re on social media, you’ve surely seen self-claimed “ecommerce gurus” tell you how they’re acing ecommerce without having ever spent a dime on ads. Are they being truthful? Hard to say. But the fact is that most of us have to pump some of our budget into ads. To meet those sales targets, we need conversions, and conversions come from ads.
The likes of Facebook are major conversion zones. To get people’s attention on Facebook with an ad, be specific with your targeting, and structure it like this:
- Use a picture to grab users’ attention.
- Spark their interest with an amazing deal.
- Tap into their desires with your products’ benefits.
- End with a call-to-action. This needs to be something with extra spice, such as “Free Shipping” (more on this below).
How much will ads cost you? They don’t need to cost a lot. Start with a $5 ad, and if that works, scale it. Increase your spending to $10 and then to $20, but only if the ad is working.
Offer Free Shipping
No, you don’t need to offer free shipping all the time, and you should definitely perform a test between free and paid shipping. But if you’re new to the ecommerce game in 2018 and no one knows you yet, it’s a good idea to offer free shipping, as this gives people an incentive to buy from you.
Free shipping takes the sting out of shopping online, especially for new, wary customers. It improves rapport and trust and makes customers feel good about your business.
Moreover, lots of ecommerce stores just like yours already offer free shipping, which means that until you offer it too, you’re at a disadvantage when compared to your competitors.
About a decade or so ago, no one liked popups. Remember the internet in 2002? Popups were the bane of our online existence.
Popups are back, however, and they’re working a lot better this time around. In fact, they have a conversion rate that averages 3.09%. That’s pretty darn good and it means you need to start taking advantage of popups. Here are some ways to use popups in your online store to boost your conversions:
- Get your timing right – Unbounce experimented with this and found that the best time to present a popup is after one minute, which makes sense because visitors who stick around that long are clearly interested in your store. Whereas, if you strike too early with your popup, you risk annoying people and pushing them to leave your site.
- Make sure the popup is relevant – Imagine a customer who’s placed a few items in their cart, but, at the last minute, decides to bail. Would you then hit that person with a free eBook offer? No. You’d hit them with an enticing and relevant offer, such as free shipping, to draw them back in.
Download An Inventory Management App
Those who win in business tend to be those who are the most organized. In the ecommerce world, this means managing your inventory so you aren’t left with either too much or too little stock.
And when you’ve got less stock than you thought, a customer may try to purchase something you no longer have in-store, the result of which is the customer leaves feeling disappointed and empty-handed and you miss out on a sale and potential repeat customer.
There are plenty of inventory management apps that can take care of all of this for you, automating the process so you’re free to focus on other aspects of your business.
Create An Awesome Upsell
Where ecommerce is concerned, the money is in the upsell.
The trick is to get your customers interested with a low-price product before enticing them with an upsell. If you don’t have an upsell on all your products, you’re missing out on an important trick, because upsells increase your profits per customer.
Pick one of your products, then think about how you can create a related upsell.
All in all, there’s a fine line between success and failure online. All you need to do is take these tips, dedicate the time, maybe hire some outside help, and execute. Good luck.
About the author:
Michelle Deery is a team member and content writer for Heroic Search in Tulsa.
She helps businesses improve their online presence by writing educational and engaging content.