It's easier than ever for businesses to have a digital presence across a variety of channels. However, despite how easy it is to launch a webstore, scaling an online business remains extremely difficult even for the most seasoned eCommerce and marketing experts. E-commerce sales are growing, but many businesses are struggling to capitalise on their digital sales channels.
The secret to success in 2018 is no longer just get it out there and see how it performs. The most successful retailers are strategic and targeted in their efforts, both offline and on. As someone who has sold 20.5+ million online, I know firsthand the success and struggles online selling can bring to any business. That is why I have crafted the following 38 tips to help you grow your eCommerce store.
1. Always consider your customers lifetime value and never think of them as a “one-off”.
Having this mentality in eCommerce will ensure your customer experience is seamless and in turn, create a higher returning customer rate.
2. Audit and assess your customer journey by completing an order like a customer would and send yourself the order.
Accessing your process, customer service and freight experience will give you a customer’s view of your entire online process and help you find any kinks you may need to rework. It’s best to do this every six to twelve months.
3. Audit your customer complaint register on a monthly basis if possible and if you don’t have one, start one.
This will help you identify recurring issues and create a seamless customer experience.
4. Create an eBay store.
Since launching our first eBay store, it has generated over 1.4 million dollars. A excellent platform for increasing your online retail sales in 2018.
5. Apply for Amazon Australia and set up a store.
Amazon has landed in Australia, and as the old saying goes, “if you can’t beat them, join them!”
6. Every three months, mark on your calendar and complete a freight audit.
A freight audit is a great way to compare pricing against couriers, determine if any new services are available to look at and to analyse if your current couriers are causing any issues with missing parcels, poor customer service etc.
7. Create a personalised ‘Thank You’ packing insert for your dispatched orders.
Creating a personalised approach to your eCommerce store isn’t just about making a good first impression, it’s about generating more sales and higher returning customer rates.
8. Create a Viral Referral Marketing strategy and add a printed insert in your order to your customers.
For example, “refer a friend and get $10 off your next order!”
9. Over-deliver in everything you do, if you have small samples available or a coupon etc.
Pop one in your order and write it in your ‘Thank You’ letter.
10. Add a Product Upsell app or plugin to your checkout.
Adding a post-purchase upsell to your checkout is one of the easiest ways to increase your average order spend from the customers you already have. One of my favourite Shopify apps is One Click Upsell by Zipify Apps.
11. If you aren’t offering free shipping, trial a two-week free shipping product listing and build the freight price into your RRP.
For example, you could have one listing at your existing price + freight and create new listings with freight included at a higher price. This is a method you can use on a platform like eBay to appeal to customers looking for free shipping.
12. Create an abandoned cart strategy and monitor your results at the end of every month.
13. Assess how long your checkout process is.
The more complicated your process is, the more cart abandonments you will have.
14. If you require a customer to create an account to checkout on your site, then chances are you are losing orders.
Create a system where you can allow customers to checkout as guests.
15. Audit your online search function monthly and retain a list of the results!
This is perfect for potential product ideas in the future as your potential customers are showing you what they are interested in and looking for.
16. Are you only selling a few products in your eCommerce webstore? Offer bundle deals and give a slight discount for 2, 3 or 5 items.
This will help increase your average order value and drive sales.
17. Create a ‘selfie’ campaign/competition to obtain photos of your customers using your products and promote them on your homepage.
Social proof is a great way to increase your conversions and gather more user-generated content for your website and social media channels!
18. Add a live chat function to your website.
Live chat functions allow you to easily engage with your prospects and increase conversion rates.
19. Add your phone number to your header for customers who may want to call and get quick and easy information from your business.
20. Ensure your business address is easily found if potential customers are trying to locate where to find you.
21. Add product videos to your product description pages.
22. Review your product description pages and ensure they include features and benefits of your products.
23. Add a customer review plugin or app to your store to encourage consumers to leave feedback about your products creating further social proof.
Offer an incentive for reviews to help boost your social proof!
24. Ensure all of your call to action buttons are the same colour, for example, your newsletter opt-in, add to cart and check out etc.
25. Create urgency on your promotions, for example, using a countdown timer on your sales landing page to promote a 24 or 48-hour flash sale.
26. Add security and guarantee symbols to your pages and cart.
For example, 24-hour dispatch or lightning fast dispatch or 100% product guarantee.
27. Offer multi-currencies on your store.
28. Do you plan on launching a new product? Create a landing page and test your launch using a landing page with all your key information in a one continuous scrolling page.
29. Add multiple payment gateways to tailor to as many consumers as possible such as PayPal, Stripe, AfterPay, ZipPay etc.
30. Assess if adding a subscription model to your store could have potential to increase conversions and retain returning customers.
A great tool in Shopify for this is, Recurring Orders by Bold Commerce.
31. Be specific about your product categories and ensure your products are easy to find.
Amazon is a great way to see how they organise their products online.
32. Review your Google Analytics data and look at your most searched products.
This could be a great insight to create categories and landing pages for your most searched products.
33. Look at trialling and implementing a ‘Free Returns’ strategy into your eCommerce store.
According to business2community.com, 27% of shoppers would purchase an item that costs more than $1,000 if offered free returns as compares to 10% who would purchase otherwise.
34. Look at developing a Loyalty Program and reward your customers for shopping with you.
35. If possible, invest in branded shipping or wholesale carton boxes, they will help you increase exposure in the marketplace wherever they travel.
36. Create a spreadsheet or a page in OneNote with of all of your business reviews to keep track of them.
Use these to add as social proof to your website, landing page or email marketing campaigns.
37. Use Google Analytics URL Builder to generate Google Analytics Tracking Codes to analyse traffic with Google.
38. Use Facebook Messenger to send customer service updates like shipping advice and tracking details to customers.