Every online store, whatever the size or nature of its eCommerce business, struggles to achieve a steady flow of customers and drive more sales. But with so much overcrowding online, cutthroat competition, and increasing advertising and marketing costs, it’s getting more challenging to stand out and make a profit.
Right now, eCommerce is a battlefield. It’s time to get in on the action and find the right defenses to survive and win — the best strategy is jump-starting your eCommerce marketing.
There are plenty of actionable eCommerce marketing tactics at your disposal. But the challenge is deciding which marketing tactics will work best for your store. That’s why we’ve made things much easier for you and narrowed down the selection.
We have curated 12 marketing tips and ideas, along with real-life examples and best practices to help you convert more customers and generate more sales.
3 Ways to Earn More Sales
Ecommerce marketing involves a compound system of various aspects to drive revenue. In short, it’s limitless. You can do a lot of things, so as long as you’re imaginative. But, you’ll have the tendency to get lost if you try to do things all at the same time.
So, today, we’ll focus on 3 ways to earn more sales by covering all essential touchpoints of the customer journey. These ways target new traffic, multiple conversions, and repeat purchases:
- Increase the number of new customers
- Increase the average order value (AOV)
- Increase the number of loyal customers
Increase the number of new customers
In order to grow, you need to attract a healthy and steady base of new customers coming through your door. But attracting new customers doesn’t happen in an instant.
You have to find ways to reach out to your audience and draw them into your online store. Here are six actionable tactics to start gaining new customers:
1. Capture more email subscribers
Email may seem traditional but it’s still the most cost-effective marketing channel with its $44 for every $ 1 spent. So, if visitors are relatively new to your online store, you must be able to capture their emails as soon as possible, otherwise risk missing out big time.
Getting them to join your email list allows you to get more time to nurture them and eventually convert them into buyers.
How do you get more email subscribers? The easiest way is to add an email opt-in form on your website. You’ve seen pop-ups asking for email subscriptions before, but top bars are a great alternative too.
Top bars are instantly visible, yet still subtle because they stick on top of the most noticeable part of your page, but they don’t interfere with your visitors’ flow. This allows your visitors to see the page contents clearly.
For best results, use an email opt-in top bar with attractive designs like a contrasting color that stands out from the rest of the page. Then, combine it with a compelling call-to-action.
Recommended Tool: Hello Bar allows you to create striking, yet less intrusive email subscription forms as top bars with CTA bars.
Aside from capturing email subscribers, you can also use Hello Bar to relay new, important, or urgent messages, such as the launch of new products, an announcement of sales, or you even use it to upsell products.
Best Practice: Beeketing used Hello Bar to direct visitors to one of its apps landing page. This generated more than 3,000 views and 3.8% conversion rate.
2. Send free samples to Instagram influencers
There’s no doubt that Instagram has become one of the most popular marketing channels that is used by the most savvy online stores and shoppers. Its popularity has driven it to have the world’s 4th highest sales conversion rate among social media platforms.
To harness the true potential of Instagram, collaborate with influencers to reach new potential customers and to expand to uncharted markets. Find the Instagram influencers who will suit your brand ideals based on their reputation, followers, and level of engagement.
One idea is to send your chosen Instagram influencers free samples of your product. In exchange, you can ask if you can get an Instagram post showcasing your product.
Not only can you promote your product by placing it organically in people’s Instagram feeds by having influencers post about it, but you can also give a unique promo code to the influencers and ask them to communicate it to their followers. This will draw their followers to check out your store.
You can do even more with influencer marketing – watch this video on how to leverage influencer marketing to explode your business or get expert help from an influencer marketing expert.
Best Practice: Daniel Wellington partnered with an Instagram influencer, KimmysCharm, to promote its watches and used a promo code to drive the influencer’s followers to its online store.
3. Launch a Facebook store
Facebook is still the unprecedented social media platform with the best ROI according to the most seasoned and successful marketers. And recently, it launched the shop section. The shop section enables you to list products and connect with more customers on your Facebook business page.
It’s time to take advantage of this by setting up your own Facebook store. It’s pretty straightforward to list your products. It helps you display product names and prices. If you have your own shop from Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce, it also allows third-party integration.
With this, your existing store’s products will appear in your Facebook shop section automatically so you won’t have to keep a separate inventory.
Best Practice: Get inspired by Zalora’s own Facebook shop.
4. Get friends and family to share
A robust referral program is another eCommerce marketing essential to reach new customers. Referrals amplify the power of word of mouth, which usually works well because these positive comments comes from the people your potential customers personally know and trust.
There are two things that you can do to boost your referral instantly. First, the traditional referral incentive program which incentivizes both the person referring and the person being referred.
Best Practice: Goldbely encourages shoppers to refer their friends with its “Give $10, Get $10” program.
Second, get your own friends and family to share your products or promote your online store. You have probably not heard this before, but you can set an objective with your staff or employees to get them to start talking about your shop to their loved ones, friends or social media followers.
For instance, on the day of their launch, Upworthy set a goal of gaining 1,000 Facebook fans by the end of the day. This is done through the personal networks of their staff. Eventually, they were able to hit the 1,000 fans on the first day of their launch, bringing potential new customers to their store.
5. Give away as much as possible
A well-executed giveaway campaign can help you grow your new customers quickly for a relatively low cost. A typical giveaway incorporates a contest like a chance to win a prize or receive a free product in exchange of email address or a social following. And who doesn’t love to receive something for free?
To execute your giveaway more effectively and get more customers, follow these simple rules:
- Set a well-defined goal: Start by knowing what you want to achieve at the end of the giveaway.
- Pick a great prize: Without a great prize, you can’t expect people to bother to join in. Your prize is your bait, so it should be worthy.
- Establish a duration: You want your competition to be long enough to get traction but not too long that people will just pass more time before joining in. It really depends on your goal. There are some who have had a successful giveaway within a short period of time.
Best Practice: Beardbrand ran a 7-day giveaway contest. The short period giveaway doubled their email subscribers to 1,001 and increased sales by 400%.
- Create contest rules: Have official rules that are quick to find, simple enough to comprehend, and not so difficult that they prevent people from entering your contest.
- Promote your giveaway: Know which channels are effective for you to run your giveaway. If you can, collaborate with influencers to expand your reach.
Increase the average order value
The average order value (AOV) is the average amount a customer is willing to spend when placing an order. If you increase your AOV, you make more sales because you’re making the most of each customer transaction.
Here are three quick actionable tactics to increase your customer’s AOV:
6. Cross-sell a product that costs 60% less
Cross-selling happens when a merchant recommends additional items that usually complement the product selected by the shoppers. Most of the time, cross-selling strategies direct shoppers to products that they would have purchased anyway. By displaying a cross-sell product at the right time, your store can ensure that you won’t lose a potential sale.
Cross-sell offers are usually accessory items, component parts, or anything that goes well with the product. You’ll see popular headlines like “customers who bought this item also bought” or “frequently bought together” to suggest cross-sell offers.
How to add a cross-sell strategy? For instance, if a shopper adds a product to his cart, you can display an attractive popup to get his attention on the recommended cross-sell products. A marketing essential tip is to provide cross-sell products that cost less than 60% of the main product.
Here’s what this looks like:
Recommended Tool: Personalized Recommendation has a machine learning and big data technology that helps you automatically create smart cross-sell offers at the bottom of each product page.
7. Sell products in bundles
Almost every successful eCommerce company has offered product bundles at one point or another. Product bundling takes place when you group individual products that can be sold individually as a single merchandise.
As a rule of thumb, shoppers prefer products that they find more valuable. Shoppers often consider product bundles as savings because buying a bundled merchandise at a discounted price is more cost efficient than buying them separately. Thus, product bundling raises the perceived value of purchasing multiple products at once.
And when you get your customers to purchase more products all in one transaction, the average order value also proportionally goes up. Take advantage of this by selling products in a bundle to drive your average order value up.
Recommended Tool: Boost Sales by Beeketing also has this feature in its backend. It’s designed to increase your customer’s average order value by presenting enticing bundled offers right at the bottom of the product page.
8. Offer add-on services
Add-on services are charges or fees that can be added on top of the basic price of a product in exchange for additional non-monetary benefits or features, such as protection plans, warranties, or technical support subscriptions.
Shoppers usually get add-on services to have a peace of mind for some things that might happen, or that they might need in the future. If you charge add-on services to ease your customers’ worries, you’re directly satisfying their needs and at the same time increasing the order value of their transaction.
Depending on your industry and the products you sell, your online store can offer different kinds of add-on services. Say, for example, you’re a smartphone or gadget online store. Aside from warranties, you can also offer technical support extension. Or, you could start small by offering a gift wrapping service.
Best Practice: Amazon offers protection plans as add-on services for a fee.
Increase the number of loyal customers
Once you get a customer to buy a product once from you, your next order of business is to keep them coming back. An eCommerce marketing essential is to ensure that you’re devising strategies to earn your customer’s loyalty.
Here are the top four actionable tactics to get more customers that are happy and loyal:
9. Create limited-time promotion and offers
If you’re familiar with the McRib, a pork sandwich with barbecue sauce periodically sold by McDonald’s, then you know that limited-time promotion and offers actually work when executed correctly. The McRib was first introduced in 1981 as a limited time item and remained an occasional item ever since. Its limited-time appeal and scarcity added hype and anticipation for the product.
The reason why it works is that shoppers have a strong desire to get their hands on limited items. They always want to be the first one to get something that everyone is clamoring to have. They have that fear of missing out. Aside from that, it builds anticipation and draws your previous shoppers to come back and try your limited-time offers.
Why make that kind of buzz by providing limited-time promotions and offers? Limited-time doesn’t have to be offering a limited-edition product just like the McRib. You can also apply the practice of limited-time deals by bringing in the sense of urgency and scarcity.
For example, you can trigger scarcity by using headlines like “only two items left on stock” or “free item until supplies last”. You can also drive urgency by adding a countdown timer to a sales promotion.
Best Practice: Countdown Cart has countdown timer and stock countdown features that you can add on your product page.
10. Set up drip campaigns to follow up with subscribers + customers
It’s not enough that you send out your first email to greet your new subscribers. The major problem with this is that most subscribers only see the first email you send out after they sign up. If you don’t have a solid email marketing plan, you can’t foster a lasting relationship.
A drip campaign is an automated series of emails that are triggered by specific user actions or that are based on predetermined timelines. Perhaps a welcome email will go out after someone signs up to your email list, then after five days, another one will go out. The point is these email can vary according to different triggers or actions performed by the customer like placing an order.
If you set up a drip campaign, you can stay in touch with your subscribers, build a relationship, nurture that relationship, and then keep them as loyal customers. Plus, it’s automated so you won’t have to manually send them out because they’re already pre-written and pre-defined. There are various occasions that are perfect for drip campaigns:
- Abandoned Shopping Carts
- Personalized Recommendations
- Order Confirmations
- Feedback Surveys
If you need more actionable tips to execute your drip campaigns, follow the 7 lessons from top performing drip email campaigns.
11. Build a customer loyalty program
91% of shoppers said that they are part of a membership loyalty program. They said they joined a loyalty program because of exclusive access to rewards and deals. The willingness of customers to participate is an eCommerce marketing essential to count on.
The main objective of a customer loyalty program is to fortify the brand affinity of your customers to your online store. Not only can it keep customers loyal, but by making them happier, they’re more likely to keep on buying from you.
Great customer loyalty programs don’t just focus on keeping the relationship alive but they also drive repeat purchases. For instance, instead of just rewarding members with discounts or freebies, what you can do is introduce a simple point system. The process of a pointing system means that members need to earn points through product purchase in order to get a reward. The more customers spend, the more points they can earn.
Best Practice: StriVectin’s loyalty program, Inner Circle, is a point system designed to reward loyal customers by encouraging them to make more repeat purchases.
12. Focus on customer services
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. As your online store grows, keeping your customers satisfied is the top eCommerce marketing essential of all. By keeping your customers happy and satisfied, you will earn their trust and build a good reputation towards your brand. This will help you retain your existing customers and potentially attract new customers.
You can improve customer satisfaction by focusing on consistent, reliable, and excellent customer service. Customers want to know that they can reach out to you at their most convenient time, may it be from email, phone or social media. If they have questions, complaints, or simply want your recommendations, they will be much happier with the opportunity to make themselves heard.
There are many channels and strategies to improve your customer service. Start by offering a live chat so you can provide fast means of communication. With a live chat, customers can instantly contact you and get their issues resolved or questions answered as quickly as possible.
Recommended Tool: Quick Facebook Chat offers online stores the avenue to provide real-time customer service right on the customer’s Messenger profile and right on their websites. Customers won’t have to create another account just to stay in touch with you.
Set the Bar High
With the rapid changes in the eCommerce landscape, online store owners must find sustainable and cost-effective ways to put their business on the map by capitalizing on the positive impacts of eCommerce marketing.
Set the bar high and use our insider eCommerce marketing essentials to develop actionable tactics and winning strategies by focusing on three areas: increasing the number of new customers, increasing the average order value (AOV), and increasing the number of loyal customers.
Michelle Hoang is an entrepreneur, writer and growth hacker. As a growth hacker at Beeketing, her in-depth guides and articles help store owners to manage, grow and scale their eCommerce business. When she’s not ferociously following and covering the eCommerce industry, she’s busy writing SEO-friendly copy that converts.