In an ultra-competitive eCommerce market, online retailers succeed or fail based on their ability to turn website visitors into paying customers. This fact is more relevant today than ever.
With inflation in the UK at generational highs, customers are looking for ways to cut costs. According to recent market research, 47% of UK consumers already have, or are expecting to reduce, their general expenditure due to the challenging economic environment.¹
As an online retailer, you must now work extra hard to spark interest, fine-tune offerings, and gain loyal customers, helping you meet your revenue targets and grow despite the conditions. With average eCommerce conversion rates at around 4%,² you need to get creative if you want to outperform the competition. So, what’s an eCommerce manager to do?
Improving eCommerce customer retention always finds its way back to creating a better end-to-end experience for your consumers. Customers want to feel looked after and rewarded for spending their hard-earned money on your business, so leveraging improved promotions could be the deciding factor in whether people feel like just another shopper or a loyal, valued customer.
In this article, we’ll highlight some of the strategies you can implement to help boost your website conversion rate, ensuring that your online business not only survives but thrives in these difficult market conditions.
Suggested reading: Check out our eBook, How 14 eCommerce Brands Built Flawless Promotions, to learn more about how the best in the business improved their onsite conversion rates.
Offering exclusive discounts and promotions
Exclusivity is one of the key ingredients for successful online promotions. Why? Because exclusive offers appeal to customers’ sense of belonging, making them feel special and looked after. As a result, they are a great way to earn the long-term trust and loyalty of your customers.
Exclusive offers also tap into the power of scarcity. Whether through limited access to codes or a short time frame to take action, customers feel motivated to grab your offer before it’s gone.
How to make the most of exclusive offers
There is a range of ways you can leverage exclusive offers to drive conversions, including:
Providing limited or early access to new products.
Offering special deals to loyal or high-value customers as a thank-you.
Giving special access to time-limited offers to drive a sense of urgency.
For this to work, you have to make sure that you are targeting the right customers in the right way. This is where CLV, or customer lifetime value, comes into play, as through the measure of total income brought to you by a customer you can assess just how lucrative various demographics are. Based on this information, you can build strategies designed to increase loyalty and drive sales.
Some customers may make a large one-off purchase and then disappear. If you are targeting this type of customer, you need to find ways to generate loyalty and get them coming back for more, perhaps by offering a discount on their next purchase.
Other customers may make regular, smaller purchases. If you are targeting these customers, you need to find ways to increase their average spend, like offering a subscription model at a slightly discounted rate.
You can then target these different customer bases through affiliate marketing, email offers, or early-access promotions, ensuring that you’re maximising the potential of your most lucrative customers. This boosts customer retention, drives conversions, and makes it easier to meet (and exceed) revenue targets — all the while adhering to your budget.
Exclusive offers have another great benefit for retailers, and that’s helping shift stock that’s harder to get sold. Uniqodo’s promotion experience platform reacts to live data to promote underselling products as ‘exclusive’. For example, if a holiday location is underbooked, the platform can automatically generate an exclusive offer that targets browsing customers, incentivising them to convert. At very little cost and no extra effort, you can ensure underselling products are sold and revenue targets are met.
Pro tip: Learn more about holding on to valued customers in our blog, 5 Ways to Optimise Your eCommerce Customer Retention.
How Uniqodo helped Beauty Bay put exclusivity into action
Challenge: Beauty Bay, Europe’s largest online cosmetics retailer, was looking for fresh new ways to boost its brand and drive customer loyalty. They asked Uniqodo for help.
Solution: Uniqodo built and deployed a gate to restrict access to an exclusive landing page. Unique codes were then emailed to VIP customers who signed up for early access, allowing them to unlock the gate and participate in an exclusive promotional offer.
Result: Beauty Bay saw a significant increase in revenue and new-customer sign-ups as a result of the campaign. This massive uptick in conversions has put them in good stead to grow, widen their customer base and be seen as a trustworthy retailer who has the best interests of their consumers at heart.
Low eCommerce conversion rates and customer drop-offs are a clear indication that your promotion strategy isn’t working. While there are many reasons why this might be the case, eCommerce websites often overlook one important factor: the on-site experience.
Online shopping shouldn’t be complicated. If the user experience is clunky, or the checkout process is complex, customers will give up and move on. This is why it’s so important to think about what the promotional journey looks like from the customer’s perspective — and how it could be improved. After all, it’s no good having a high number of visitors if none of them actually buy anything.
You can achieve a more streamlined, user-friendly journey by reducing the number of steps a customer has to take. You might do this by:
Autofilling customer details if they arrive via an affiliate site
Reducing the number of clicks that stand in the way of a customer participating in a promotion.
Another way is to ensure that promotions are better signposted. After all, what good is an amazing offer if customers don’t notice it? The more attractive or eye-catching an offer is, the more likely customers are to click on it. You can then determine what works and what doesn’t through A/B testing.
How can your business benefit from A/B testing?
A/B testing is an extremely powerful tool to boost eCommerce conversion rates, as you can learn how even the most subtle changes influence consumer behaviour. For example, you can run A/B tests for:
Whether the URL initials should be capitalised.
What your call to action says.
How bold the banner alerting customers of a discount is.
There are a lot of benefits to leveraging A/B testing, not least the fact that you can ensure every promotion you put money into drives growth and retains customers. After all, making sure your promotions are cost-effective is increasingly important in these uncertain economic times.
How Uniqodo leveraged A/B testing to boost conversions for EE Mobile
Challenge: UK mobile network operator EE was looking for ways to boost conversions. They wanted to target new audiences, but they weren’t sure whether their new promotional strategy would be more effective than their existing one. They turned to Uniqodo for help.
Solution: Uniqodo helped EE design an enhanced customer journey complete with improved promotional messaging and red strips inserted into the existing product page content. We then implemented A/B testing to compare the new journey against the old one.
Result: The enhanced user journey proved to be a huge improvement, resulting in a 19% uplift in EE’s eCommerce conversion rate. Improved signposting, a more streamlined journey, and stronger calls to action all contributed to this boost, showing just how important a user journey is to driving conversions. As a result, it was rolled out to 100% of EE’s student customers. EE can now be confident that each promotion they invest in helps them meet revenue targets and KPIs, and drives growth and customer retention.
Rewarding valued customers
All promotions have the potential to make online shoppers feel valued. They demonstrate that your brand thinks and cares about its customers, and they provide an engaging way for those customers to save money while interacting with your brand.
While blanket promotions are a good way of reaching as many people as possible and can help clear overstock, it can be extra beneficial to focus on promotions that target valued customers — for example, customers who show continued loyalty over time through repeat purchases. This shows them that you as a business appreciate their loyalty and want to say ‘thank you.’ By fortifying that connection with your customers, you drive customer loyalty and business growth.
Another strategy is to reward customer groups that you value beyond their spending habits. Many brands put on special offers for overworked NHS staff during the COVID pandemic, for example, as a way to acknowledge their hard work and sacrifices during such a difficult time.
How to foolproof your promotional strategy
Whatever strategy you choose, it’s important to set the promotion up properly to ensure that it’s truly exclusive. If codes get leaked and can be reused, a nice idea can soon turn into a disaster. Not only will it result in you dealing with over-discounting (thus harming your bottom line), but it will affect stock and make it harder for the group you’re trying to target to actually benefit from the promotion. One way to get around this is by using single-use codes that are distributed carefully to the right people. These ensure your promotions are controlled, easy to monitor, and drive growth without a large impact on your budget.
Suggested reading: Concerned about meeting revenue targets during the ongoing recession? Check out our blog, The Key to Promotions that Maximise Your eCommerce Profit Margins.
How Uniqodo helped Happy Beds thank some of their most valued customers
Challenge: Happy Beds, a leading UK bed and mattress retailer, wanted to say a big thank you to key workers with an exclusive offer. But they needed to ensure that there was no risk of codes being leaked onto affiliate websites. They turned to Uniqodo for help.
Solution: Uniqodo empowered Happy Beds with the technology they needed, and created a bespoke solution to limit their promotional campaign to key workers. By creating an API integration with Blue Light Card — a discount service for NHS, social care, and emergency services staff — we helped Happy Beds distribute single-use codes into the hands of the right people.
Result: The campaign was a roaring success, enabling Happy Beds to reach and reward its target audience with exclusive offers that didn’t negatively impact revenue or KPIs. As a result, key workers enjoyed a personalised VIP experience, while no codes were leaked on affiliate websites. The promotion was budget-friendly, targeted the right demographics, and improved customer loyalty and business reputation.
Onsite conversion made easy with Uniqodo
Improving onsite conversions is the holy grail for any eCommerce store. But amidst a backdrop of high competition and cautious customers, boosting your average conversion rate is easier said than done.
There are some tried-and-tested strategies when it comes to conversion rate optimisation — as we have outlined in this article. But to maximise the opportunity and ensure the best outcomes, it pays to work with a promotion experience platform, like Uniqodo.
Through a range of targeted, controlled promotions, Uniqodo helps eCommerce businesses to reduce customer dropoff, boost trust and loyalty, and drive sales — all of which have a positive impact on your bottom line.
If you’d like to learn more about how Uniqodo could transform the way you deliver and manage online promotions, book a discovery call today and talk to one of our experts.