(UPDATED NOVEMBER 2018)
These 5 strategies will turbo-charge your Ecommerce website and have a big impact on online store profits.
Marketing an Ecommerce website is a lot of fun for direct response marketers. The whole sales lifecycle takes place on the website and can therefore be measured and controlled. The return on investment from a marketing system is easily measured. Profits can be re-invested and the business can grow quickly.
Savvy Ecommerce website owners realise this and design online stores accordingly.
Strategy 1: Kick Things Off With A Low-Cost High-Value Product
You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date. Similarly, don’t ask a new visitor to purchase a ‘big’ item without any kind of lead up.
The psychological barrier associated with getting out your credit card is enormous. If you’re able to convince them to do it the first time, the next time is much much easier and they’ll be more likely to spend more money. They now trust you and they’ve seen your processes and systems in action.
A successful Ecommerce website often starts with a re-design of your product range, and the first step is often to identify a low-cost high-value product and then to promote it.
DO NOT underestimate the value of a new website visitor making a purchase – any purchase no matter how low the price is of great value and builds a foundation from which you can build.
They’ll be ready to order again as soon as their purchase arrives at their front door.
Strategy 2: Don’t loose sight of the problem you are solving for your website visitor.
Your website should consistently reinforce the solution to your website vistors’ problem.
Don’t simply dive straight into the product listings. Your website visitor will get bored looking at rows and rows of products, a title, and nothing much else.
Instead, Ecommerce websites should be more aware of the problem their product solves or the benefit it gives. The problems and benefits should be reinforced at every opportunity.
For example, a gift shop that sells gifts that are suitable for men should be discussing the difficulties associated with buying gifts for men. Rather than just having a standard ‘product filter’ on your product page, why not come up with something more imaginative that allows your website visitor to discover gifts for men of certain personality types. If you have any product feedback, opinions or popularity statistics you should also present these in a creative way. This all helps the website visitor solve their problem – “What do I buy my boyfriend / husband / brother” for their birthday?”.
The more ‘definition’ you have on your website, the more you can determine the specific requirements of a person that has just purchased from your store. In the example above, if you’re able to determine that the buyer purchased a birthday gift for a male you could tag them in your database as ‘gift-for-male’. You could then consider an email marketing campaign or set of Facebook adverts (use a Facebook Custom Audience) that automatically kick off the same time next year. At the very least they’ll be impressed by your ingenuity which will increase interest in your company.
Strategy 3: UpSell With Offers That Actually Add Value
I buy my bread each morning from the cafe across the road. When I do, one particular guy that serves me always asks if I want a coffee with my bread. It drives me crazy as I don’t want a coffee. To me, bread (to be consumed later) and coffee (to be consumed now) aren’t related. This guy shouldn’t be trying to upsell coffee to bread buyers. It feels like a pushy sales tactic to me.
However, it’s a completely different situation if he were to ask if I wanted to buy something related to the bread. For example, if he knew I was making sandwiches for myself and the kids each day, perhaps he could introduce a new related product. I’d be open to buying a portion of quality ham or salami for example.
Upselling works exceptionally well with Ecommerce websites. Just make sure your ‘Upsell’ relates closely to the last sale you’ve made to that customer.
The upsell can occur during the checkout sequence, or days or weeks later via an automated personalised email sequence or automated personalised advertising campaigns.
Strategy 4: Help Out Those That Got Distracted & Abandoned Their Cart Or Left Without Buying
Just because someone didn’t buy from you doesn’t mean that they didn’t want to buy from you.
These days it’s very easy to get distracted. It may be a baby crying, a child complaining or a positive Tinder alert. All these things could distract a visitor from purchasing your product.
It’s therefore essential that you remind people to revisit your website if they have left your website without buying. I’m not talking about haunting them for eternity. What I’m talking about is a non-invasive set of highly targeted adverts which follow them around the internet and on Facebook for the next 2 weeks.
Visitors that have left your website without purchasing can be classified into 4 groups:
- Abandoned Cart After Submitting Email But No Payment – This is a no brainer as there is every chance they still want your product. In this case you can send them an automated email sequence (you have their email) as well an automated set of adverts that appear around the internet and on Facebook. Remember to send these guys back to their pre-populated shopping cart so they don’t have to pick out their products again (this is called dynamic remarketing).
- Abandoned Cart With No Email & No Payment – Repeat the above but this time you won’t be send them an email sequence since you don’t have their email.
- Website Visitor Who Browsed Your Website For More Than 1 Minute & Who Visited More Than 1 Page & Did Not Buy – Your able to send an automated and targeted set of adverts that appear around the internet and on Facebook to people who have shown a strong interest in your products. Of course you can set the conditions under which you show the adverts . We have used the condition of 1 minute and more than 1 page of the website as a simple example.
- All Website Visitors That Haven’t Purchased – Of course your also able to send an automated set of adverts to any visitor that has visited your website and not purchased.
We are going to be very careful of not making a nuisance of ourselves by sending too many emails, and showing too many adverts to these people.
I bet you hate pushy sales people as much as I do. Therefore, these adverts will only appear for 2 weeks following the website visit and will be set to a maximum of 4 adverts per person per day.
Our goal is simply to remind people that wanted to purchase the product. We are not trying to ‘sell’ anything – we are trying to help our website visitors.
Strategy 5: Encourage Big Spending Past Customers To Repurchase
The longer a past customer goes without making an new purchase, the more likely they are to abandon you for good.
These days it’s relatively easy to set up an automatic system that:
- Identify which customers have not made a purchase for 6 months, or 12 months.
- Automatically send them on a personalised email sequence offering them discount vouchers and special deals.
- Automatically send them on a personalised Facebook adverts (using Facebook Custom Audiences) offering them discount vouchers and special deals.
This is a particular segment of your network that you should be nurturing. They deserve your attention! Don’t take them for granted or they’ll leave you.
Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? Often there is a small group of past customers (20%) that that make up a significant percentage (80%) of your overall sales. It’s surprising how often the 80/20 rule occurs. In this case you’re should try and identify the 20% of customers that account for 80% of your sales. These are the guys that you want to treat especially well. Find out as much as you can about them and record the details in your database so that you can automatically segment them and send them personalised offers and messages. For example, a birthday discount coupon would be nice.
BONUS ** – Strategy 6: Lookalike Audiences
Google and Facebook both offer you the ability to upload a set of emails belonging to your very best customers. They then profile this group and find a new group that ‘looks like’ these customers. You can then advertise your products to these customers.
Google and Facebook have a mountain of information to base their profiling from and the results from this strategy are often spectacular.