The E-Commerce Column

5 Super Simple Experiments You Can Do Today to Increase Sales Tomorrow

Woman changing the website

This is a discussion that’s as old as e-commerce itself.  How in the world can I increase sales on my site?  The primary reason that this discussion never ends, is because technology and customers change so often over time.  You constantly need to re-evaluate what you are and are not doing.  Could making a change here increase the average sale size?  Does that change again next year?  Could changing around titles and white space increase the number of items being added to a cart?  The questions are endless, but you need to continually ask questions like these.  What’s to follow are a handful of simple tips to help you get some quick wins today.

Free or Reduced Shipping

Let’s face it.  Unless you’re in a unique industry or you don’t sell physical products, shipping is still a big deal to customers.  It’s not really that they’re not willing to wait for most things to be shipped.  It’s really about how much more this will add to the final cost.  A useful way to get around this is to have limited or incentivized shipping options.  Try offering free shipping for certain days of the week, or for certain sized orders.  When you do the latter, be sure to determine what your current average deal size is, and place your minimum free shipping amount right around there.  This will give you that extra bump you need.

Newsletter Highlights

Newsletters are still not used as much or as well as they should be.  You should have a customer newsletter that goes out no less than once a month.  How frequent you send it though will largely depend upon your vertical and customer base you sell to.  In most cases, 1-3 newsletters a month is plenty.  When you send your newsletter, never do so unless you have a clear call to action you can mention – and try to keep it fresh.  Each newsletter should feature a different product or different deal to keep your customers interested.  Promote free shipping in one newsletter, and then mention in another newsletter how it’s the last chance to get a specific product.  Don’t forget to properly promote it using creative titles and subject lines.  Also, your newsletter look & feel needs to be professional.

Banner Promotion

We’re not talking about off-site promotion here, but that definitely helps and it deserves its own article.  We’re talking about cross-promoting products, services, and promotions on different areas of your site.  Try placing a promotional banner above your forums, in automated e-mail footers, and in informational areas of your site.  Promote in your webinars, white papers, and documentation.  Sometimes, people need that extra little reminder to go there and buy now.  Some of the better examples would include verbiage like, “Exclusive Deal for Site Visitors” with a coupon code, and “This Deal Ends Friday.”  Whatever you do, just make sure the banners look good, aren’t too busy, and their call to action is insanely easy to determine and follow-through on.  And please, no animation.

Incentivize Ratings & Reviews

We know that many site owners are still a bit nervous to allow for product reviews and ratings to be placed on their site.  Unfortunately, not allowing this in most verticals is simply putting you behind in terms of your competition.  Your customers very likely need to know that they’re not the first one.  Customers will always trust other customers before they trust you, so do everything you can to bring that to the surface.  Let your customers do the selling for you.  One way to do this is to solicit for existing customers to write a review or leave a rating.  You could even put this into your newsletter and offer a special coupon code if they do it within a specific time frame. 

Create a Sense of Urgency

This bit of advice could be used alongside nearly any other advice that you find – including everything else in this article.  No matter what you do, always do it in a way that instills a sense of urgency on behalf of the customer.  Make it seem like there’s only a few items left, or like they only have hours or days to buy now.  Instill into them that they need to be the first of a certain number of people to use a promotional code.  Give them a real reason to act now.  This should be the point of all of your promotional and marketing materials.  A promotion shouldn’t run forever.  If it doesn’t it’s not really a promotion, it’s your price.

What Do You Think?

I hope I inspired a few new ideas for your and your business.  Leave a comment below to let us know how these work for you, or if you have your own interesting tips for quick wins.

About the Author

Will StrohlWill Strohl

What Do You Think?

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