The e-commerce industry is booming. Improved convenience and change in consumer behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a flight to online shopping. From groceries to apparel to over-the-counter medicines, consumers’ use of e-commerce platforms has increased rapidly.
A 2022 Raydiant study on US consumer behavior reports that 56.6% of consumers prefer shopping online rather than shopping in-store. So it’s not surprising that US e-commerce sales are expected to cross $1 trillion in 2022 for the first time.
With people shopping at online stores more than ever, many businesses are trying to give their customers a digital shopping experience. The United States has about 2.5 million e-commerce companies—the competition in the industry is thick.
If you own an e-commerce business, getting your brand to stand out from the crowd can be challenging in this market. Fortunately, there are some successful ways to convert leads and grow.
Top e-commerce sales tactics:
- Create an email list and implement an email marketing strategy
- Create a social media marketing strategy
- Show off testimonials
- Showcase your top-selling items
- Offer free shipping and money-back guarantees
- Build or improve your brand awareness
- Focus on mobile optimization
- Offer “limited quantities” and “special editions”
- Minimize cart abandonment
- Test and improve
1. Create an email list and implement an email marketing strategy
In 2021, there were 4 billion daily email users worldwide. This figure is expected to increase to 4.6 billion by 2025. In the United States alone, 92% of internet users used e-mail as a form of communication. As an e-commerce business, you can create and use a strong email marketing campaign to boost your business growth and achieve your goals.
To start your email marketing campaign, you need to build an email list, which can include past clients, current clients, and prospects. However, since you should include only active addresses, you’ll want to use a tool like ZeroBounce to clean your contacts before sending out emails.
After creating an email list, pick a customer relationship management system (CRM), like Hubspot or Zoho, to ease the process of setting up automation, creating an email marketing plan, measuring your results, and so on. Next, you can create an email template design and use that as the basis for all your emails. Ensure that the design reflects your brand image and voice.
After this step, it’s time to draft the email for your marketing campaign. The key to writing a good email is keeping it personal, relatable, and short. This will ensure that it stands out and doesn’t get ignored like other emails in your audience’s inboxes.
2. Create a social media marketing strategy
As an e-commerce business, your online presence is everything. Designing a strong social media marketing strategy will allow you to make a lasting impression on your audience and stand out in this dynamic marketplace.
Creating a social media marketing strategy is more than just posting content across different platforms using social media tools. First, you need to map out your social media goals, create a buyer persona after conducting a target audience analysis, and research your competitors. Based on these factors, you need to select the platforms (TikTok or LinkedIn) you want to use and develop a social media calendar. For example, if your audience is younger people, TikTok is more relevant. Whereas if your audience is older, working professionals you should use LinkedIn.
Next, you need to develop content that echoes your brand messaging and resonates with your audience. Using a diverse range of content will ensure that you grab more eyes since different people prefer different types of content.
After posting content across different social media platforms, you need to monitor your posts using tools like Hootsuite and Sendible to understand engagement level. This will help you understand if your marketing strategy has hit your desired goals. You can also use this information to tweak and alter your future social media marketing strategies. For example, you can promote your products on Facebook by posting your product images and descriptions as Facebook ads.
3. Show off testimonials
When it comes to online shopping, customers have hundreds of thousands of options to choose from. Since new customers can’t test products before buying them, many read reviews left by other existing customers when making a purchase.
As an e-commerce business, you can use this to your advantage. By showing off reviews and ratings on your products, you can get more prospects to trust your products and convert more leads into online sales. Customer reviews also help with search engine optimization (SEO).
Strategically placing your reviews and ratings is important to make them more noticeable to potential customers. An ideal place to show them off is the product page.
Making it convenient for your customers to leave reviews and ratings is another important testimonial strategy you can use. The easier it is for customers to rate and review your products, the higher the chances of them doing so. Having a sizable number of testimonials makes your brand look more credible to prospective customers and increases customer interest.
Customer testimonials are social proof that encourages customers to engage with your brand.
4. Showcase your top-selling items
“Best-selling items” is an eye-catching badge that you can use to capture potential customers’ interest and lead to more sales.
Like reviews and testimonials, the top-selling status acts as social proof that gets more prospective customers to trust your products. When a product is identified as a best-seller, it indicates that many people have bought it, used it, and liked it.
If a prospective customer is on the fence about making a purchase, seeing the “best-selling” status might push them to add the quality product to their cart and place the order.
You can mark top-selling items on your products page with a striking badge to draw the customer’s eye to specific products. You can also create a section on your homepage that showcases all your top-selling products to grab the attention of customers who start their visits with little or no interest in making a purchase.
5. Offer free shipping and money-back guarantees
With online shopping, customers expect convenience and fast shipping. Many e-commerce businesses already provide quick delivery services and ensure that products reach their customers’ doors within a couple of days.
So, offering only fast shipping is often not enough to stand out from the competition. You can go one step further and offer free shipping services. According to a 2021 Consumer Trends Report, 66% of consumers expect free shipping for all online orders. If you manage to offer no-charge deliveries on all your orders, customers will be more likely to choose to shop from you over other brands.
Besides free shipping, you can also offer money-back guarantees on certain products to convert more leads into sales. Online shopping comes with a risk factor for customers since they don’t get to experience or try out the product before buying it. You could potentially give free shipping on your products with the highest margin or only above a certain minimum cost (for example $50 and above). This should help you ensure that your shipping costs are covered. You could also keep free shipping only for loyalty program members since they’re more likely to make repeat orders from your shop and that means you have a lower customer acquisition cost.
Offering a money-back guarantee helps reduce that perceived risk. It shows that, as a business, you believe in the value of your products, helping build trust in your customers. This gives customers a sense of safety, resulting in more customers buying your products.
6. Build or improve your brand awareness
Brand awareness can help customers remember and recall your branding and products. This can help drive customers’ purchasing decisions when choosing between you and your competitors.
By working on a strategy that helps you build and maintain brand awareness, you can establish and build trust with your customers. According to a research study, 46% of consumers say that they pay more to purchase from brand names they trust. So, brand awareness can directly lead to more sales and increased bottom-line growth.
A great tactic to build brand awareness is to use guest blogging as a content marketing strategy. No matter how many blogs you post on your own website, it can only drive so much engagement. But by writing and pitching blogs for other publications and asking them to link to your landing page, you can make your brand noticeable to more viewers and increase your brand exposure.
Creating shareable infographics is another easy way to improve your brand awareness. Infographics not only draw the viewer’s eye better than text but also make information presentable and digestible. Eye-catching and value-adding infographics can prompt viewers to share information from your business with their peers, helping your brand create awareness among new audiences.
7. Focus on mobile optimization
As an e-commerce business, optimizing your website and making it user-friendly is crucial to drive more website visitors and ensure your brand’s success. However, if you orient these steps only for the desktop version of your e-commerce site and skimp on mobile device optimization, you risk missing out on a sizable portion of your potential customer base.
People are increasingly using their phones to shop from e-commerce stores. In 2022, mobile retail e-commerce sales in the US are expected to surpass $430 billion.
Optimizing your website to make it mobile-friendly can improve the user experience of your customers with your brand. If your customers can easily find what they’re looking for, they’ll be more likely to complete the purchase process. Mobile optimization can lead to higher conversion rates and sales.
When making your website more mobile responsive, you need to work with a few key things: easy navigation, responsive design, functionality, speed, and intuitiveness. By focusing on these factors, you can enhance the shopping experience for your customers.
If you’re unsure of how to go about the process of optimizing your website for mobile, try working with a responsive web designer. With their technical expertise, they can help you make a mobile-friendly version of your e-commerce website.
8. Offer “limited quantities” and “special editions”
While urgency and scarcity techniques have a bad rep in the marketing industry, when used correctly, these tactics can help you increase your e-commerce sales.
Techniques to generate a sense of urgency and scarcity work on a simple principle: Consumers assign a higher value to products they think are scarce. When you market certain products as special editions or being limited in quantities, customers develop a fear of missing out, compelling them to buy those products before they’re sold out.
When offering products in “limited quantities” or “special editions,” ensure that you plan your strategy efficiently and implement it sparsely. If you use urgency and scarcity marketing very often, you may get called out for being inauthentic and ungenuine, resulting in harm to your brand reputation and loss of customer trust.
These risks make it all the more important to use scarcity techniques wisely and conservatively, only when they’re required and realistic.
9. Minimize cart abandonment
Abandonment is a term used in e-commerce to describe any event where a user exits or closes a page without completing the desired action. Cart abandonment, as the term suggests, is when a customer adds items to their shopping cart on an e-retail website but exits the site without completing the checkout and billing process.
Customers often abandon their shopping carts when they aren’t sure of a purchase because of its final price or the product itself. You can reduce cart abandonment substantially by using a host of techniques that make your checkout process faster and smoother. These include:
- Making your CTAs and product descriptions clear. A cluttered, confusing checkout page will discourage the customers from going ahead with the checkout process. Use a minimalist layout with fewer pop-ups and clearly labeled buttons to help the users check out faster.
- Allow guest checkout. If you ask your users to log in or sign up for your service every time they make a purchase, they’re bound to get frustrated and abandon their cart. Allowing for a guest checkout without logging in can help you make your checkout process much smoother. As for the user details, you can have them fill them out manually onto aptly sized webforms (lengthy ones will also bore or annoy users) before proceeding toward the payment page with different payment options like PayPal or a credit card.
10. Test and improve
One of the key reasons for retail giant Amazon’s success is its use of intelligent AI algorithms—more specifically collaborative filtering, to promote upselling and cross-selling on its platform. These algorithms are used to determine what products a user is the most likely to buy based on their past and current searches and their overall user profile.
You can employ similar techniques like using Google Analytics to analyze your customer data and customize your product offerings to match their profiles. When you show relevant product choices to customers, they’re more likely to find more things than just those they originally intended to buy. Using this simple rule of e-commerce can help you improve your customers’ experience and sales substantially.
Get the help of an e-commerce expert
Getting your e-commerce business to stand out can be challenging. If you use these 10 tactics, you have a chance at beating your competition, attracting more loyal customers, and subsequently increasing your profit margins.
However, if you’re new to digital marketing, understanding and implementing new e-commerce marketing strategies can be difficult. Consider hiring an e-commerce expert to help you with the process through Upwork. With knowledge of how the market works, an e-commerce professional can build and use marketing strategies tailored to your business.
Find professionals specializing in e-commerce marketing and e-commerce management on Upwork.
Apart from this we also have the Project Catalog. Here you can pick from projects that are already pre-defined in scope and price. The biggest benefit of this is that you get all your needs bundled up together in a package for a fixed price.
If you’re an e-commerce professional, look for your next project or job with Upwork today.
Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this article. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.
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