Ecommerce is competitive. If you want to grow in 2019, you can’t simply sit passively waiting for customers to come to you. You need to get creative with ways to drive clicks, boost conversions and raise the bottom line.
With a background in eCommerce and promotional offerings, what we plan on offering here is some unconventional tips on getting ahead of the competition to connect with shoppers and increase sales online.
Flexibility, personalisation and data are key. Luckily, with the right tools, the real trick comes down to the creativity of your teams, and willingness to experiment to get results that resonate with your customers. Let’s get started.
#1 - Make sure that you are on a lot of eCommerce channels
In the same way that physical stores with multiple locations perform best, online sales from different channels are vital. The good news is that you needn’t spend the fortune you would on a second physical space. The bad news is that failure to take action could see your online sales slipping. A website alone simply isn’t enough to see you through in 2019. You also need to consider alternative channels like:
- Google shopping
- Social selling sites like Instagram Shopping and Facebook marketplace
This is all part of a broader effort to put your products where customers are. Every business sells online now but customers may not come to you organically. Making sure that you appear in places your customers are likely to be will help rocket you to success. If you’re appealing to a young audience, for example, social selling sites make sure that they see what you have to offer. Get this right, and these multiple channels could even lead to more traffic on your actual website.
#2 - Engage with influencers
The average person spends 1/7 of their waking hours online, with much of that time going towards the use of social media. These are platforms that almost half the world’s population uses daily, and they are therefore prime areas to increase online sales in 2019.
As mentioned above, selling on social platforms is vital in itself, but you can take this even further with social media influencers. Influencers are some of the most followed individuals on platforms, ranging from Twitter to YouTube. With 74% of millennials claiming that their favourite YouTubers understand them better than their friends, this is a sure way to introduce a lot of people to your products.
That’s especially the case when you consider that individuals like these can both review your products and provide discount codes for their followers. Social media popularity aside, 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations over 33% who trust generic ads. As well as opening a new stream of revenue, influencer collaborations could provide that much-needed personal seal of approval for your products.
#3 - Use promo codes and vouchers
58% of UK consumers say that the inclusion of vouchers is most likely to influence their purchase decision. In fact, with 75% of consumers now expecting discounts, you’ll stand in your own way by not considering promo codes and vouchers.
Note that, in rare cases, an ill-planned promotion could actually damage your reputation. In some instances, ongoing promotions could throw your standard product prices into question. High-end customers also often bring more value to companies who offer expensive, top-quality products. Make sure discounts don’t hurt you by considering vital promotion code pointers such as:
- Offer more for less instead of money off
- Limit the risks of leaked codes
- Run short promotions
- Consider unique promo codes instead of generic options
These may seem like simple steps, but they can help you to stay on the positive side of your promotions. You can start to enjoy increased profits, while ensuring your customers are also satisfied.
#4 - Get creative with single-use promo codes
As mentioned above, unique or single-use promo codes can take your discount efforts further. Generic codes are all well and good, but they’re open to issues such as misuse and even lacking interaction. Not to mention that they can be challenging to track, leaving you uncertain about whether your methods are working.
By comparison, single-use promo codes are usually void of misuse, as well as ensuring you can track exactly how customers use offers. Even better, unique code generators can automate this process with your existing systems for complete ease at all times.
One of the best things about single-use codes is their personalisation. 79% of consumers say they’re only likely to engage with brands offering discounts tailored to their past interactions. By providing single-use promo codes based on purchase history, you could send promotion interactions soaring.
Equally, personalised techniques like gamification (promotions as games, such as mystery discounts) or even loyalty schemes can work wonders. By putting a time limit on these personalised offers, you can persuade even more customers to interact than ever before.
Single-use codes are also fantastic for the influencer benefits mentioned in step one. When you work with influencers, you want to provide them with unique codes. This makes it easy for them to guide their followers, and even helps you to track the traffic these efforts create. You could even ensure customers tell their friends about you by providing their very own unique codes to pass around. Pair this with gamification techniques for the customer in question, and your sales will increase in no time!
#5 - Offer reliable shipping and returns
67% of online shoppers will check your returns page before making a purchase. If they find that your shipping or returns policies are long-winded and complicated, you can bet they’ll look elsewhere. As such, reliable shipping and returns are a vital part of online sales in 2019.
From a shipping perspective, you want to offer a fast service to compete with the quick-delivery standards set by eCommerce giants like Amazon. In an ideal world, you should also aim to cut costs as much as possible, if not altogether. Often, using the promotion codes mentioned above to offer free shipping rather than discounted prices could work better for your brand. Equally, discount codes which provide free shipping for a year would lock customers in and guarantee that the expense is worth your while. And, of course, offering free shipping over a certain spend amount can encourage bulk purchases that’ll take you further.
When it comes to returns, you want to make this process as easy as possible. Remember that customers will already be annoyed at this stage. A money-back guarantee is often a good option here, as is a clear and freepost returns address. Even accepting online returns in person is worthwhile if possible. Whatever you do, don’t make customers work to bring their products back to you. It’ll cost you their loyalty and a great deal of profit as a result.
#6 - Think about your buyer personas and use data
You also need to think about who your customers are, and how they’re using your eCommerce. A target audience always matters, but it’s even more vital for online sales. As such, you first need to work out who your audience is through methods such as establishing buyer personas.
Data and A/B testing can also be a great help here. A/B testing is fantastic, as it allows you to compare sales methods to see which most appeal to your audience, providing valuable insight into what they like. Data is also an invaluable tool as it shows you how customers are shopping with you. Like A/B testing, this can reveal what’s not working when you look at things like conversion rates and shopping cart abandonment.
It can also show you what is working when you consider things like traffic. You may find, for instance, that social media pages create a great deal of traffic and deserve attention. Equally, single-use promotional codes as mentioned above allow you to see exactly which promotions are creating the attention you intended.
Once you start understanding your audience, you can focus your efforts where they’ll have the most impact. This, mixed with the other methods mentioned, should see your online sales soaring in 2019 in no time.