Does the term “marketing plan” conjure up visions of intricate programs requiring large investments of time and money? While it’s true that increasing ecommerce sales involves some effort, the adage, “Work smarter, not harder” also applies to online retailing.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
How important is customer satisfaction? Studies show that companies have an average success rate of 60 to 70 percent when selling to existing customers, compared to 5 to 20 percent with new ones. Combine that with the five times more it can cost to acquire a new customer, and the picture is clear. Keeping existing customers happy is a top priority.
But you can’t assume that someone who bought from you once will buy from you again. If their customer experience falls short of the glowing promises made on your website, they won’t be back. Review your copy and make sure it’s consistent with your brand.
Foster a Sense of Trust
Thanks to the rise of social media, people post reviews about everything from restaurants to auto repair shops. Did you know that, according to Inc. Magazine, 84 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations?
Leverage this power by placing genuine testimonials in strategic spots on your website, such as product and pricing pages. Another way to build credibility is by posting trust signals, which are logos indicating membership in professional associations and other reassuring information.
Create a Sense of Urgency
Social media has given rise to an astounding amount of acronyms, with one of the more popular ones being FOMO, or “fear of missing out.” If buyers are still on the fence, you can often tip the scales with limited-time offers such as discounts, free shipping or bonus gifts. Have your marketing perform double-duty with pop-up windows displaying opt-in offers, such as a 10 percent discount for joining your email list.
Avoid Information Overload
Have you ever been lured into an online rabbit hole, where you had to make so many decisions you finally became intimidated and quit? Having an extensive product offering may seem like an advantage, but it can backfire if it creates paralysis by analysis in your potential customers.
Stop trying to be all things to all people. Give shoppers well-defined categories and a carefully curated selection of options that will appeal to the broadest range possible without veering into overload.
Streamline the Checkout Process
Online checkout is another black hole in which customers frequently get lost. Business Insider reports that a staggering $4 trillion worth of purchases were left behind in shopping carts last year. For an ecommerce business, any abandoned sales are too many.
Make a purchase on your own website and see where the procedure ranks on the frustration scale. Note any specific bottlenecks or time-eaters and have them corrected immediately.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile Searching
If your website isn’t optimized for mobile searching, what are you waiting for? Mobile usage has already overtaken desktop usage, and the share continues to grow. Can you afford to be left behind?
When your site is optimized for mobile, your products are literally at buyers’ fingertips no matter where they are. Even if the sale isn’t converted during the first session, it’s more likely to close later because you’ve made it easier.
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