They say human nature hasn't changed a lot over the past thousand years.
Did you know that ancient Rome was a huge retail center? Small shops and workshops flooded the principal streets of the city and gathered around temples, forums, bathhouses to attract their customers and to spread the word about their goods for sale. At some point, emperor Domitian even issued a regulation to ban trading too close to thoroughfares since Rome was beginning to look like one large shop. Apparently, retail therapy was a thing back then, too.
While the customer motivation stays mostly the same today, the selling process has obviously transformed. It's safe to say that online stores are the primary sales tool, and that's why online experience is becoming even more critical than offline. If you are wondering how to start your e-commerce business or how to increase ecommerce sales, you are in the right place.
Having worked closely with our clients to develop dozens of online shops and marketplaces, we have come up with some tips that we saw actually work, and that helped businesses flourish and increase ecommerce sales.
It all starts with making sure there is a group of people out there whose particular needs your business can solve. In other words, it's essential to establish that there is a market for a future product. Understanding what the market needs are and how your company's value proposition is different from the existing competitors will lead to more efficient resource use, prevent investment failures and, ultimately, increase ecommerce sales. Measuring your product-market fit will make you more confident that your product's launch will be successful and, eventually, give you some further hints on how to increase conversion rate ecommerce.
No good house can be built without a solid foundation; the same goes for a website. The right platform that fulfills your company's needs and is aligned with your marketing strategy will save you of trouble in the future and will serve well to increase ecommerce sales.
Is my business going to expand? How custom do I want my website to be? What about the payment systems and integrations? How much am I willing to spend? What tactics can be potentially useful for my company to increase ecommerce sales? One should give serious thought to these questions when deciding on a platform choice. Though the technology world has a lot of them to offer, the apparent leaders of the past few years have been Shopify and Magento. Both are extremely popular, and both have some indisputable advantages.
Shopify requires far less training and is easier to use but doesn't imply any customizations. You can get a better understanding of what is precisely the difference between the two here.
Nice UI and UX
The power of a decent UI and thought-out UX can hardly be underestimated. It's become clear that poorly-designed apps simply don't survive, not to mention chances to increase ecommerce sales.
To provide users with a positive customer journey, one should make sure the interaction with your online store is pleasant, and its interface is easy to navigate. All this is important for one big reason - keeping users on your website longer, which in its turn will contribute to ecommerce conversion rate optimization.
Smooth Mobile Experience
Let's face it: having a well-designed mobile app is a must for most of the businesses today. It's also a huge opportunity to increase ecommerce sales. One doesn't need to see the statistics to tell that smartphones' popularity is growing at lightning speed.
Just like a web app, it's the place where your clients meet your product, so it's crucial to ensure it follows the latest UI and UX guidelines. A good mobile app can significantly increase ecommerce sales, audience base, brand popularity, and boost ecommerce conversion rate optimization. It's a robust marketing tool that allows entrepreneurs to explore the customers' activities when interacting with the app. Relying on this data, one can gain valuable insights about customer behavior and not only increase ecommerce sales but also make a goal-driven business strategy.
The web is a crowded place, and the competition is fierce, indeed. That's why smart ecommerce marketing is something that any company needs. Applying SEO best practices, being present on social media, buying PPC ads, running a blog, - are just a few of the widespread marketing techniques that increase ecommerce sales.
The good news is that there is an excellent variety of both free and paid advertising methods available online, allowing an entrepreneur to find the perfect combination to drive users and traffic to the website as well as increase ecommerce sales. What's fundamental here is that online store marketing takes time and must be practiced regularly to produce some results. Always trying different channels and tactics is the critical success factor to attract potential customers and increase ecommerce sales.
Design and Interface Tricks
The above-described components represent a basis for increase ecommerce sales; still, it's vital for a business to keep up with the new trends and to try them out. To increase ecommerce sales, there are some design and interface tricks aimed at stimulating users to buy more. It's true that many find them disputable, yet, we believe that one should be definitely familiar with them to decide whether to apply them or not:
- Limited in-stock amount of goods: notifying the user that the selected product is available in limited quantity, which makes it more desired.
- Limited in time discounts: indicating a deal or sale that is just about to expire, without specifying the deadline, which provokes uncertainty.
- Using a countdown timer demonstrating how soon a deal or a discount will expire.
- Describing the behavior of other users: using client testimonials on the product page or popping messages about other users' activity on the product reviewed.
- Language and visuals to steer the users to making or not making a particular decision: for instance, making it easy for a user to sign up for a subscription and including more steps or reaching out to support to cancel it.
According to Princeton research, around 11% of well-known shopping websites are using these patterns. It is undoubtedly up to you to decide if it's a good idea to implement them on your website. In the meantime, the technology world keeps evolving, bringing more innovative solutions to retail to improve the customer journey and increase ecommerce sales.
As you may have understood from this article or even from your personal experience, online shopping is exploring multiple ways and channels for an online purchase to increase ecommerce sales. E-commerce has recently adopted chatbots and has witnessed its rising success and demand.
A chatbot is a program designed to act in the form of an intelligent assistant (just like Siri or Google Assistant) to instantly communicate with customers on various messengers and platforms to resolve their questions. Originally they were designed to solve one quite simple task within the company, however, thanks to the recent advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, chatbots are becoming a more complex and functional tool, providing personalized and effective customer service.
The so-called "conversational e-commerce" is predicted to boom in the coming decade and is expected to handle 80% of customer service interactions in the future.
Add-Ons and Plug-Ins
Unfortunately, no one likes filling in long web forms, while this is an essential step the user needs to take to sign up, subscribe to the newsletter, or, more importantly, make a purchase. Poor design of the sign-up and check-out processes is often the key reason for cart abandonment, so making this process quick and easy will surely increase conversion rate ecommerce.
Abandoned carts are a lost sales chance, but luckily, some extensions can help win back the potential revenue by automatically sending follow-up emails after a certain period to remind users about the products left in the cart.
There is no limit to customer service improvement, and diversity of plug-ins and extensions is a great source of smart instruments to enhance your online store.
With AI transforming every industry, ecommerce is one of the leading domains that has adopted AI and what is more important, has seen profit. AI has altered its many aspects, and personalization is the one retailers have made headway with.
AI allows an e-commerce store to make unique product recommendations basing on the user's online behavior. This option alone is a considerable value addition for a business that has converted a standard online shopping to personalized customer experience. According to a report by Boston Consulting Group, retailers that have implemented AI personalization strategies observe sales increase of 6-10%, which is two-three times faster in comparison to other retailers.
The introduction of an AI-driven approach isn't as just a technological solution, and it's rather a corporate decision to take the company to a whole new level through a digital transformation.
"You can't just open a website and expect people to flood in. If you really want to succeed you have to create traffic."- Joel Anderson, Walmart CEO once said.
There is no universal recipe for how to increase ecommerce sales, and each business case should be considered individually.
In the course of our 20-year experience on the market, we've realized that technology is a truly differentiating force, abundant and powerful, and one needs to stay on top of the latest advancements to make the right technological decisions. If you are wondering how to increase conversion rate ecommerce or what software is best for your ecommerce website, take advantage of our decades-long expertise and reach out to us to discuss your best options!