Admittedly, when I opened my Etsy shop last year, I half-expected the sales to pour in naturally. In reality, opening an online store is half the battle — you also need a solid strategy for generating ecommerce sales.
The same is true for ecommerce veterans. If you’ve been in the game for a while, you’ve likely weathered periods of slumps or plateaus. When this happens, it’s essential to refresh your strategy with more effective ways to sell.
Here, we’ll cover six tactics to build awareness, entice buyers, and boost sales.
1. A/B Testing
Absolutely every aspect of your site could be tested for improvement — including images, headlines, product descriptions, and even the overall design.
Specifically, look out for these two areas:
- Mobile optimization: Sales on mobile devices exceeded 360 billion in 2021, a 15% increase YOY. To entice mobile shoppers, having a website that’s responsive and quick to load is a must.
- UX experience: Have you ever visited a website with too many popups? Or one with a messy checkout process? A great user experience is frictionless — one where the user can arrive at your website, browse around, and complete a purchase with ease.
Even if you think you’re already doing well with your current website collateral, there’s always room to A/B test your content.
Before you start changing everything on your website to see what works, stop and create a battle plan. If you change everything at once, you won’t know what’s effective and what’s not. Plan two weeks for each change so you can gather enough data to make a decision.
Then, start with one component at a time. You could test something every two weeks and still find room for improvement years down the road.
2. Build an Email List
Did you know email generates $42 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 4,200% ROI?
Email can help you achieve a number of things — promote sales, keep in touch with customers, market your products, and ultimately generate more sales.
The problem? You need people to email.
An email list is a group of users who have given you permission to send them relevant content. To build that list, you need several ways for people to opt in. For example, you could create a website popup, or add an opt-in button at checkout.
Don’t be discouraged if you only have a few people on your list to start. It can take some time to build.
Only 3% of marketing emails have an open rate above 50%. While this stat is jarring, it also shines a spotlight on subject lines — and how to craft compelling, clickable ones.
According to a 2022 HubSpot Blog survey, subject lines that pique readers’ curiosity receive the highest open rate, followed by promotional emails. By front-loading your subject line with a compelling hook — that can only be read if opened or clicked — your audience is likely to become intrigued and want more.
3. Trust Signals
Since your buyers can’t see, touch, or try on your product, you need to build trust another way. A popular — and relatively easy — way to do this is with customer reviews.
Think about it — have you ever made a purchase without looking at the reviews first? Or hesitated when a product had no reviews?
If you don’t have many reviews yet, no need to worry. As you work to get those numbers up, focus on other ways you can build trust — such as showing clear pictures of your products from different angles, providing 3D videos, and even product demos.
Power up your trust signals with testimonials. Unlike reviews, these typically involve broader statements about your brand rather than a specific product.
We recommend reaching out to customers from your email list, since this is where your most loyal customers live. Then, display the testimonials in multiple spots — and on multiple pages — of your website to get the most mileage.
4. Heat Mapping
What if you could track the parts of your website where buyers hung out for a while? Would that help you provide better information for the next time they stop by?
With heat mapping, you can keep an eye on the pieces of your website that visitors really love. Tools like Hotjar pull together your website’s scrolling and clicking information to give you a full picture of what your buyers want to see and buy.
You can also track where your visitors come from and how long they hang around. In other words, if you use your social media for marketing, you can discover how many clicked on your offer and how long they stayed.
The most effective way to leverage heat maps is to analyze the pages that influence your website’s conversion rate the most: your home page, landing pages, and high-conversion blog posts.
For instance, you could look at your home page and see if visitors hover on certain sections or click any CTAs. Use the info to optimize your site.
5. Exit CTAs
Shopping cart abandonment is a frustrating reality for ecommerce owners. While not everyone who visits your site is ready to convert, it’s essential to engage them anyway.
Sometimes users just need a little nudge to return to their cart either through remarketing or a quick email reminder. For instance, check out this friendly reminder from Vera Bradley.
If customers still don’t budge, you can try an exit call-to-action (CTA) for last-minute lead generation. Some sites generate a popup the moment a customer enters the site. An exit CTA instead pops up just before customers bounce and offers something enticing such as exclusive offers.
Cart abandonment software can help you create emails and track them. Some offer customizable options, while others are more focused on making sure the emails get sent.
Most offer a sliding scale price, so you only pay for what you use. Check out a complete list of software in this helpful article.
6. Social Media
Are you using social media to the best of your ability? What if you could keep an eye on what people are saying about your company and your products on all your social media outlets? With HubSpot’s social inbox, you can.
You’ll receive a notice any time you’re mentioned, which then gives you the opportunity to follow up, start conversations with followers, and potentially attract them to your website.
Use this feature to provide stellar customer service when buyers have a complaint, or simply answer questions when visitors ask.
If you really want to have some fun, respond to even the most ridiculous of mentions with your own special brand of humor. Your customers will love you — and maybe check out your products.
If you’re unsure of your brand’s voice — or want to refine it —check out this guide.
Back To You
Sales are the lifeblood of any ecommerce business. As you can see, there are many ways to convert leads beyond discounting. Some of these tactics can deliver quick results, while others set you up for long-term success.