If you want to boost your business revenue, you have three options: You can reduce costs, raise prices, or increase sales. The first two options are finite—you can only reduce costs so far without sacrificing operations, and raising prices too much will drive away customers.
Increasing sales volume is where ecommerce businesses can find the most growth potential. Theoretically, there’s no limit to how much you can increase sales—you’ll just need to build your internal capacity to meet demand. Boosting your ecommerce sales can result in more money in your pocket and a more stable long-term outlook for your company. Learn about some tactics to help you get there.
What are the key factors that influence ecommerce sales?
Market trends, competitor activities, marketing efforts, and seasonal buying patterns can all lead to fluctuations in online sales. Despite this, the main drivers of ecommerce sales are simple: Sales depend on how many people visit your online store, what percentage become customers, and how much each customer spends on your products or services.
Improving performance in any one of these categories can help ecommerce store owners boost sales:
Ecommerce store traffic
Site traffic refers to the number of visits to your online store. In general, increased traffic to your website means more potential customers and increased website sales.
Your ecommerce conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your online store who make a purchase. Boosting your conversion rate can help you increase sales—even if you don’t increase your number of website visitors.
Average lifetime value of a customer
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is the total amount of money you earn over the course of a customer’s relationship with your business. It depends on the value of each sale, purchase frequency, and customer retention rate. Improving customer retention, increasing repeat purchases, or growing the average value of each sale can increase customer value.
How to increase ecommerce sales
- Improve your sales funnel
- Launch a paid ad campaign
- Partner with an influencer
- Use social media marketing
- Enable in-app shopping
- Start an email marketing campaign
- Improve your ecommerce site’s user experience
- Reduce cart abandonment
- Provide purchase incentives
- Start a loyalty program
- Provide excellent customer service
The best strategy to increase ecommerce sales depends on your business model, marketing budget, and the strengths and weaknesses of your sales funnel. These ideas can help you increase traffic to your online store, boost conversions, and increase customer retention and loyalty:
1. Improve your sales funnel
You can optimize your efforts by using ecommerce site metrics to identify weaknesses in your sales funnel. For example, if you have a high conversion rate but relatively few website visitors, you might focus on top-of-funnel marketing strategies like social media campaigns and paid advertisements. If you have plenty of site traffic but a low conversion rate, you might focus on improving the online shopping experience for website visitors.
2. Launch a paid ad campaign
Running paid ads can help you quickly increase traffic to your online store. Paid ad campaigns can include traditional formats (like outdoor advertising on billboards, print ads in physical or online magazines and newspapers, and TV and radio commercials) and digital advertising (like social media, display, and search engine ads).
Digital advertising can be an effective strategy for ecommerce businesses. It can reach a large and geographically dispersed audience and allow businesses to target potential customers based on demographic factors, interests, and browsing behaviors. Digital ads also allow potential customers to click through directly to your ecommerce site, making it easy for you to attribute sales to individual ads.
3. Partner with an influencer
Influencer marketing involves partnering with one or more creators to build brand awareness and boost sales. It can be helpful for increasing reach and establishing credibility with prospective customers in niche audience segments.
Influencer marketing partnerships can take many forms. Unpaid gift programs are where brands send free products to creators in hopes of earning coverage, while long-term brand ambassadorships involve establishing long-term partnerships with creators.
Distributing coupon codes is one particularly effective way to use influencer marketing to boost sales. Find influencers popular with your target customers and compensate them for sharing discount codes with their followers.
4. Use social media marketing
If one of your objectives is to increase traffic to your ecommerce store, you can use social media marketing to increase brand awareness, educate audiences about your products, increase followers, and encourage customers to click-through to your site. Social media marketing can also help you improve customer retention and encourage repeat purchases by providing them with long-term value.
To maximize your return, select social media platforms where your target customers are active. Use a social media management tool to help you create and schedule quality content, interact with audiences, and track your performance.
5. Enable in-app shopping
In-app shopping can decrease the barrier to purchase by allowing mobile shoppers to purchase an item advertised on a social media platform without leaving the social app. If you advertise on TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook you can also increase online sales by taking advantage of these platforms’ in-app shopping functions.
6. Start an email marketing campaign
Like social media marketing, email marketing can increase brand awareness, encourage click-throughs to your ecommerce site, and generate sales. It can also increase customer retention and encourage repeat customers. For example, you can distribute an email newsletter to provide entertainment or educational value to customers, increasing loyalty, and keeping your brand top of mind. You can also use promotional emails to announce new products, advertise sales or other events.
7. Improve your ecommerce site’s user experience
Effective ecommerce websites are beautiful, functional, and persuasive. Audit yours, paying special attention to the following elements:
Design and branding
Does your online store design accurately represent your brand? Is it easy for customers to find what they are looking for? Do you have an eye-catching homepage that entices customers to explore your site?
Do product pages feature high-quality product images? Are product descriptions up-to-date, and do they contain the information customers need to decide on a purchase? Are customer reviews displayed clearly? Are they positive or negative?
Is your checkout process simple and intuitive? Do you accept multiple forms of payment and offer customer support during the checkout process?
Is your ecommerce site optimized for display on mobile devices? Are key functions like checkout and customer support resources mobile-friendly?
Using an ecommerce platform like Shopify can help you optimize these elements of your online store to encourage conversions.
8. Reduce cart abandonment
The average cart abandonment rate is around 70%. That means that for every three customers who complete a purchase from your online store, seven drop off during the shopping or checkout process. Reminder emails and retargeting ads can help you reduce your rates of cart abandonment. Checkout best practices—such as offering support and accepting multiple forms of payment—can also help.
9. Provide purchase incentives
Offering purchase incentives can also help you boost ecommerce sales, particularly if customers are exiting the sales funnel during checkout. You might offer a discount on a customer’s first purchase in exchange for signing up for marketing emails. Offer discounts on all orders that exceed a certain dollar value. You can also offer free shipping, free returns, or a money-back guarantee to reduce the resistance to completing a purchase.
10. Start a loyalty program
A loyalty program is a customer engagement strategy that recognizes and rewards a business’s most loyal customers. Businesses also use them to incentivize certain behaviors, such as making a purchase or referring a new customer. Loyalty programs can help businesses grow ecommerce sales by improving customer retention rates, motivating repeat purchases, and increasing average order value.
11. Provide excellent customer service
More than 70% of shoppers say they’re willing to spend more money when a business provides good customer service, which means doing so can help you increase sales with your existing customer base. It can also improve customer retention and increase your average order value. Best practices include offering support on multiple channels, enabling self-service systems, and using customer feedback to evaluate your performance.
Reach customers everywhere they are with Shopify
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How to increase ecommerce sales FAQ
How do I attract people to my ecommerce site?
These digital marketing channels can help you increase traffic to your online store:
- Social media
- Email newsletters
- Search engines
- Paid advertising
- Influencer marketing
What are some mistakes to avoid when trying to increase ecommerce sales?
Avoid the following ecommerce sales mistakes:
- Providing a complex, difficult-to-navigate online shopping experience
- Underutilizing diverse marketing channels
- Failing to track results
Is data analysis essential for improving ecommerce sales performance?
Yes. You can use ecommerce data to understand your current performance, identify areas for improvement, and gauge the effectiveness of marketing and sales tactics.