Anyone can launch an ecommerce store, with statistics showing that there could be as many as 24,000,000 online stores in the world.
But while anyone can indeed launch an online store, and while anyone, in theory, can clinch sales just by implementing standard tactics and strategies, the key to getting ahead of the competition is doing the things other merchants aren’t doing.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at 6 underrated tactics for generating more ecommerce sales that should help you take your store to the next level.
Be Generous With Your Returns
A clear returns policy helps to build trust and consumer confidence. This is because a customer a) can see that you believe in your products enough to offer a returns policy in the first place and b) it shows that you respect your customers.
What’s more, adding a returns policy to your website can encourage more sales because it can persuade otherwise hesitant customers to press ahead with a purchase now that they know for sure they can request a return at a later date (should they want to).
You can use templates to help you write a returns policy, and you should then add it to:
- Product pages
- the FAQ page
- Order confirmation emails
Focus on Cart Abandonment Rates
Cart abandonment rate is one of the core ecommerce metrics you need to monitor closely.
Even if your customers have visited your store and added a few items to their cart, that doesn’t mean you’ve landed a sale just yet.
In fact, according to research, almost 70% of all carts are abandoned. This means that 7 out of 10 customers who add items to their cart won’t go through with the purchase.
But while abandoned carts can mean you lose out on a lot of sales, the good news is that cart abandonment rates can be massively reduced. Here are a few tips:
- Simplify the checkout process – remove unnecessary pages and distractions
- Offer guest checkout
- Make sure your pages load quickly – run your site through a site speed tester tool
- Add a progress indicator to your checkout page
- Retarget customers with emails, such as those that offer free shipping to encourage people to go through with the purchase
Write Clearer, More In-Depth Product Descriptions
Product descriptions do two things:
- Improve SEO by matching the right products with the right search queries
- Boost sales by detailing exactly what your customers will be getting
A good product description needs to focus on both the benefits and the features. For example, you can write about the materials used, the size and weight of a product, as well as who would benefit from the product, and how they might benefit from it.
Product descriptions also make people feel good about your products, they get them excited to buy the products, and all of this can boost sales.
Here are some more tips:
- Keep your language clear and concise
- Use bullet points to make your description scannable
- Use vibrant, positive language
- Tell stories
- Always focus on your target buyer
Amending product descriptions can be an exhaustive effort and it will have a knock-on effect on your SEO – which is why it’s always important to closely monitor website change.
Work with Chatbots
Chatbots are now more advanced than ever. They can engage the customers on your website, answer their queries, point them in the right direction – and ultimately boost sales by improving the customer experience.
Not just that, but because chatbots are available 24/7, they ensure that your brand is “always on,” which is excellent for a stronger customer experience.
For many online stores, chatbots have already become essential, with 12% of customers now expecting online businesses to respond to their questions within 15 minutes or less.
You can add chatbots to your website, as well as your social media platforms, such as Facebook Messenger. Wherever you add your bots, here are some smart tips:
- Personalize your greetings and messages
- Get to the point quickly
- Provide actionable advice to your customers
- Add buttons and CTAs
A chatbot should be able to respond to most of your customer queries. If there happens to be a more complex question, the chatbot can pass a customer over to a human agent.
It’s natural for online merchants to be wary of handing out free stuff to customers. After all, what if customers just came for the free stuff – and never shopped with you again?
While that does happen, there are many benefits to freebies. Free stuff makes people feel good about your brand, it encourages customers to make more purchases (this is true in the case of free shipping) and it can boost customer long-term loyalty because free stuff improves customer relations.
On the whole, freebies make your online store look good and are a great way to grab more sales.
What kind of things can you give away for free? Here are some ideas:
- Discounts – Discounts are one of the best ways to attract new customers but you can also offer discounts to existing customers who (for example) spend more than $100. This is a great way to boost sales.
- Free trials – Free trials can apply to online stores, too! For instance, you might want to let a new customer try a product for a number of days before it’s no longer eligible for a refund. If they’re still happy with it, they can then pay the full price and become your customer.
- Free shipping – While fulfillment is certainly a tough part of running an ecommerce store, free shipping is often what customers are looking for. While you won’t always be able to offer it, you could use it as a cart-abandonment tactic. For example, if a customer has abandoned their cart, you could retarget them with the offer of free shipping.
Perhaps the most underrated tactic for generating more ecommerce sales is using humor in your content, such as your body copy, newsletters, and even product descriptions.
Humor is a great way of building instant rapport with prospective customers, getting them on your side, developing relationships with them, and making them forget they’re even entering a business transaction with you.
In short, it builds a positive atmosphere.
Not just that, but humor can be what sets you apart from your competitors and helps you to achieve more sales because it’s not something that’s easy to replicate. Many of your rivals won’t be using humor simply because they’re not funny enough.
Here are some tips for adding humor to your content:
- Hire a copywriter. If you’re not naturally a funny person, or if you can’t write jokes, always leave it to the pros.
- Don’t be too cheesy. While one or two corny jokes can totally work, too many could make it look like you’re not taking this seriously.
- Never be sarcastic or insulting. If your jokes are offensive, they will backfire.
- Use GIFS.
- Use funny images/memes.
The ultimate key to generating more sales (aside from having the right products) is all about knowing what your customers want – and giving it to them in a way that’s better than what your competitors are doing.
This means you need to think outside the box and do things others aren’t doing. By using the tips in this article, you can implement a stronger sales campaign that generates more leads, turns those leads into repeat customers, and helps you play the long-term game better than your rivals.
Be professional with your returns policies, slash your cart abandonment rates, embrace chatbot technology and – if possible – be funny.
By guest contributor Peter Bray