Everyone wants more customers to their eCommerce store, more sales and more profit but the big question is how can you achieve it?
Advertising, offers and a new product launch can all play their part but everything needs a strategy.
Increase your average order value
One of the quickest and potentially easiest ways to improve business is to try and get more out of your current customers by increasing your average order value.
If you can find a strategy to make this work it is not dependant on growing traffic, attracting new customers or building relationships – all of which can take time and money.
As well as increasing your margins, larger orders can also help reduce your shipping costs, especially if you are already subsidising or even absorbing the cost as an incentive to make people buy from you.
There are a variety of plans and strategies you can try to increase your average order value (AOV) but first, you need to do a bit of homework of your own, so you completely understand the figures.
- What is your current AOV?
- How much does each of your products weigh and cost to ship on their own?
- What is the shipping cost of your average order?
- If you bundle products is an option how much will they cost to ship together?
- What are your product margins for each and every product you stock?
Offer free shipping
One of the easiest and most common ways to increase the order value is to offer free shipping on all orders over a certain amount, a value which is obviously higher than the current AOV.
Research suggests you should take your current AOV and add 30% to find your suitable free shipping level.
This will obviously only work if you can easily sustain the cost of the shipping.
Another way to determine your free shipping level is an easy one when you understand your shipping costs and margins. Simply work out how big an order you need to comfortably be able to pay the shipping while making the best profit possible.
Bundling products together gives you the chance to encourage shoppers to buy more while you keep control of the margins and shipping costs.
To make it work for you, simply bundle related products together, work out your margins after shipping and then offer a reduction on the individual prices.
Rather than you deciding which products should be sold together, you can give that choice to your customers by using related products.
This means flagging up other products which compliment their initial choice, or other products in the range to entice shoppers to spend more.
You may prefer to link those products that have a higher margin to make more profit. Or something small enough so it will barely affect the original shipping charges.
Amazon introduced add-on items as a way to entice customers to spend more money, while they think they are getting a special reward.
They include cheap, small items which were previously only offered as part of a multi-pack.
To access the offers customers have to be ordering at least £20 of ‘eligible’ products, so people think they are getting preferential treatment and offers, which encourages them to spend an extra few pounds.
If you sell any ‘cheap’ products or have an overstock of something you could ‘unlock’ those products or offer them at a special price to those shoppers who spend a certain amount online.
Make your checkout process simpler
Introduce a chat functionality
When it comes to customer service 73% of shoppers said online chat was their preferred way to contact a business because it meant their questions could be answered quickly.
This could be the difference between someone taking the leap and buying from you, or taking time to think it over and changing their mind. Once you have someone on your site, keeping them there is key to them completing the transaction.
Research by marketingland.com found that customer service was the number one factor that influenced how much trust people have in the companies they buy from and by introducing a chat functionality (and having the right staff to run in) can help increase your customer service standards no end.
Make things super secure
Actualinsights.com found that as many as 61% of shopper abandon their carts due to the lack of a trust seal, which leaves them concerned about how secure their payment is.
Another problem is the lack of payment options.
By making things as simple as possible and giving people more options means there is less chance of them changing their mind.
PayPal is a well-trusted option when it comes to online shopping but despite the fact you can also pay using a card through a PayPal portal so many shoppers still believe they can’t buy without a PayPal account will put them off.
Another thing that stops people completing purchases is having to sign up to websites and going through along-winded process, so you should consider the option of checking out as a guest.
Yes you won’t be able to capture data but it can increase the likelihood of a sale which in itself should encourage them to buy again.
Social Media advertising
We have talked a lot about social media advertising, which you can read here, but the most important thing is to experiment and that doesn’t have to cost you the earth.
The best thing you can do is set a relatively conservative budget in each of your accounts and see what works for you.
Each of the social media platforms have their own strengths but it all depends where your followers already are.
When you take into account the fact that it takes most people nine visits to a website before they make a purchase retargeting customers is a great way to speed up the process.
Once your business is already on someones radar, timely reminders can be a great way to give potential customers the little push in the right direction they might need.
You do this on Facebook (and Instagram) using your custom audience setting and showing the advert to people who have looked at a specific product or more generally the website as a whole.
You add in the specific url you are talking about and then create a specific advert to appeal to those shoppers and off you go.
According to Business.com 77% of online shoppers consult product reviews before making a purchase, so you can make this process easier by encouraging customers to review and recommend you.
This can be on social media, via the website or by using short surveys e-mailed out to customers following their purchase. You can even offer an incentive to ensure people take the time out to have their say.
With competition as rife as it is everyone has a choice. Not just about what they buy but where they buy it from so it’s essential you make everything as simple as possible for everyone, after all time is now more valuable than ever.
So, by simplifying and speeding up your processes shoppers will thank you for it and by making the shopping experience more enjoyable you will reap the rewards.
But remember it’s not always about chasing new customers, rewarding your current ones is just as valuable if not more so, because the relationships and trust has already been built, meaning results can be seen and measured so much quicker.