16 Lazy (But Proven) Ways to Boost Ecommerce Sales
Have you ever heard a success story of an ecommerce seller doing a simple marketing stunt or website redesign tweak and getting a ton of extra sales?
It’s natural to think they just got lucky or that their success was just a one-off, but there are in fact lazy ways to quickly boost sales that are proven to work for many entrepreneurs.
In order to implement these strategies successfully, you first need to know your customer base—more than you think you already do.
Luckily, there’s a lazy way to figure that out too! With just a bit of looking around the internet, you’ll arm yourself with the customer knowledge needed to implement these strategies and quickly boost your sales.
Your Customers Are Already Telling You How to Sell to Them
While you never know for certain what will work in business, understanding your ideal customer—their likes, dislikes, backgrounds, social class, etc.—guides how you need to design your business to cater to their needs.
The simplest way to understand your customer better is to ask about them.
Send a Survey
Surveys are questionnaires sent to current customers to gather feedback on your product or service. You can send surveys after your customer has received their product or after they have had an interaction with your customer service team.
In a four-year study conducted by Microsoft, it was found that 89% of paying customers want to provide feedback on their experience with brands.
The primary goal of surveys is to use the feedback to improve your product and service. The secondary goal is to turn the feedback into sales—i.e. use the information on why and how your customers use your product, and why they chose your product over your competitors for your sales messaging in your digital marketing materials, your product descriptions, and website copy (messaging).
Sending surveys is an active way of gathering data for the sales-boosting strategies. Some more passive ways are to read your customer service messages and reviews.
Eavesdrop on Conversations
If you have an on-site chat service, you can review the questions store visitors ask and the interactions they have with your customer service team.
This is the best way to learn what hesitations potential customers have. This information tells you what copy and design elements you need on your website to convince visitors to buy. For example, if you see that a lot of visitors ask if the garments you’re selling are machine washable, you know you need to show a machine-washable symbol more prominently on your product pages.
Look at Reviews
Customer reviews are gold for marketing; you learn why your existing customers like your products and what they like to see in products. Using this information in your marketing messaging is a great way to get sales.
For example, see how this brand’s marketing messaging aligns closely with its customer reviews:
When consumers are searching for products, they have specific criteria in mind. In the example above, the customer was looking for soft, neck support. The brand is using that in the copy and will now win more sales from consumers who are looking for the same product qualities.
Now we see how knowing your customer guides how you boost your ecommerce sales, let’s look at the strategies you can employ quickly and easily to get more money from your store.
Take a Stroll Around Your Store
Before you start browsing around your store, visit the homepage as if you were a consumer totally unfamiliar with your brand and what you sell—are you able to understand what your website is for within a couple of seconds?
The average bounce rate for ecommerce websites is 47%. Considering that almost all of your visitors will first look at your headline to see if they are in the right place, we can safely say that your store’s headline is one of the most important factors that determine your home page’s bounce rate.
The copy on your store guides visitors to the sale. Many studies have shown that improving your site’s copy increases sales. In one study conducted by expert Copywriter Joanna Wiebe, she increased paid conversions by 49% by improving the copy of an ecommerce website.
Luckily, you don’t need to be an expert copywriter to get quick wins by improving your site’s copy.
You can take the messages you gathered from your customer research and put them into a headline formula like the ones below:
- The direct formula: state what you sell and why your store is the best place to buy it. Example: [Unique Selling Proposition] + [Product] could be “The World’s Largest Selection of Golf Clubs.”
- The benefit timeline formula: state the benefit of your product. Example: [Product] + [Big Benefit of Using Your Product] + [Timeline] could be “Face Cream That Clears Acne in As Little As 10 Days”
- The “even if” formula: place the visitor’s biggest pain point right in front of their face and offer a solution. Example: [Solution] + [“Even If…”] + [Strong Adjectives] + [Product] could be “Enjoy a Vegan BBQ Even If You’re a Meat Lover With Succulent and Juicy Soy Burgers.”
Think about how your product solves problems for your customers and make that the focus of your headline to get visitors looking around your store in eager anticipation of finding something exciting to buy.
After you’ve improved your headling, your next step is to make sure your customers are actually able to find their ideal product.
Check Customers Know Where to Find What They’re Looking For
This is why every now and then you should do an audit to find out where your store is losing sales and where there are opportunities to boost sales.
Shoppers need to be able to find what they want quickly, otherwise, they’ll go find it elsewhere. In fact, 79% of users will leave a store if they can’t find what they’re looking for. The best way to find out if your store visitors can find what they’re looking for is to carry out user testing.
The results you can gather from these tests can be invaluable. You will learn how users are navigating your store (prepare to be surprised) and uncover any bugs or usability issues on your site.
You’ll also discover any opportunities to increase AOV, conversions, and overall sales. In a case study conducted by Hubspot, they tested call to action (CTA) button colors and found that a red CTA outperformed a green CTA by 21%.
The reason button color has a direct impact on conversions is due to the psychological concept of influence; what we see and experience in our environment influences our behavior.
There are common design elements that marketers and business owners use to influence consumers in different ways. They’ve been influencing you your entire life without you even knowing.
One of these design elements is stickers.
Add Stickers to Your Store
One of the biggest consumer fears is being scammed by dodgy payment tools.
Offering a Paypal and other trusted payment options will make visitors feel comfortable entering their payment information in your store. Add the Paypal and trusted payment stickers to your store so visitors can see they won’t get scammed.
Another way you can instill trust in visitors is by offering a money-back guarantee.
Often, entrepreneurs are afraid to offer a guarantee out of fear that consumers will abuse the policy. While that is a possibility, in reality, few consumers abuse this type of policy. It’s in their best interest to find a product they can stick with and not have to go through the hassle of returns and refunds.
Patagonia offers a lifetime warranty for its products because it knows that if a customer wants its product, they won’t return it.
If your brand is established in its niche, trust elements you could add to your store are award badges and industry recognition stickers. These elements are proof that your brand is established and does good business. With this form of proof, you should increase your sales as 46% of consumers would be willing to pay more for brands they trust.
Payment gateway, money-back guarantee, and industry recognition stickers boost sales as they increase trust in your brand. Another design element you can add to your store that influences consumers in a different way—through social proof—is testimonials.
Show There’s Buzz Around Your Products
We were all told to avoid peer pressure when we were kids, but what about when social influence is used for good?
Some customers who had a great experience with your product and service will want to rave about it; they want to help others benefit from the same positive experience they had by selling them on your brand.
Referral customers that come from word-of-mouth marketing are probably the best type of consumers you can get. Thus, leveraging word-of-mouth is a great way to increase sales.
To find where your customers are raving about your brand just look at your store’s testimonials.
If you have social media pages, they are a great place to screenshot customer testimonials like these examples from Harry’s Razors:
Add general reviews to your homepage and specific reviews to category pages. For example, you can add reviews about certain products to those product pages; the more specific the review and placement, the more relatable it is for the visitor.
Other lazy ways to create buzz around your products are through simple promotional campaigns, discounts, freebies, and offers.
Run a Promotion
You will have consumers who want to purchase one of your products but are hesitating for the simple reason that it’s human nature to procrastinate. All they might need is a special offer to help them justify their decision to buy.
Of course, you don’t want to run promotions forever, so adding a time limit will help the consumer take that action now.
Give Away Freebies or Discounts
While it might seem counterintuitive to give away a product or discount for free before receiving any purchase from a new customer, in some circumstances it can actually be a way to get a sale from a consumer who wouldn’t originally have made a purchase with your brand.
When you’re first getting your ecommerce store off the ground and building its reputation, it might be necessary to offer freebies as proof of the quality of your product.
There’s a reason market stalls offer sample tasters—sampling works and has been used by some of the biggest and most successful companies since the dawn of business. The same goes for offering discounts (if you do it right without hacking away at your bottom line).
Having said that, you don’t need to give the freebie or discount for nothing. In return, you should ask for the customer’s email address.
The psychological principle that comes to play in this scenario is reciprocity; when you give something to a person they feel obligated to give something back. After all, if you think about it, you are asking the customer to give you their money, so why not give them something that will benefit them first?
Offer Charity Donations
Better yet, why not give something to a good cause?
One company that offers donation incentives for ecommerce brands, Givz, has helped their clients gain 10-30% increases in average order value (AOV) within just 6-8 weeks by offering donations. And those performances were sustained for 6, 8, or even 10+ months.
Those are some ideas from the storefront to boost your ecommerce sales. Now let’s explore the back of the store to see how we can increase sales with your products directly.
Tweak Your Products
Your products make up the backbone of your business, so making sure they are designed and primed to be sold is critical to success.
Change Your Pricing
To stay competitive, the pricing of your products needs to be right. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest. Cheap products come with the reputation of not being high quality. But products priced too high will also struggle to get sales as the price outweighs the value of the product. This is why it’s important to regularly review the market price of your products to get a feel of how much you can charge while keeping customers happy.
The biggest Amazon brands invest in repricing tools and technology as they find that in order to keep on top, their products need to be priced right.
The market changes—as we’ve seen with inflation and lifestyle costs increasing—so your business needs to adapt to that change. Also, fulfillment costs increase, as you’ve probably also seen, so it’s important to keep pricing right to keep profitable.
Luckily, you don’t need to manually calculate your product pricing. There are repricing tools like repricer.com, informed.co, and channelmax.com that use data-stuffed algorithms to automatically monitor the numerous factors that influence product pricing and maintain your product pricing for maximum profitability.
Shelve Products That Aren’t Selling
You might have products that aren’t selling. Instead of letting them sit in warehouses and eat away at your business’ profits, you should consider discontinuing these products as they are costly distractions.
That said, the products might not be selling right now, but if they’ve had some previous success, they may sell again in the future. In this case, you may want to simply discontinue the product and try a relaunch at a later date.
By discontinuing slow-moving products you free your time and resources to focus on selling more of your best-sellers.
Add Check-Out Upsells and Cross-sells
Your customer AOV is a strong key performance indicator (KPI) of your business’ profitability and performance. The two most tried-and-true ways to increase your customer AOV are through upsells and cross-sells.
Upsells are products you display on the checkout page that are upgraded or more expensive versions of the product they’re about to purchase. For example, if you’re selling Bluetooth headphones, you might have variations of the same model at varying prices.
By displaying the upgraded version of the headphones on the checkout page of the less premium option, you can have a good chance of encouraging the customer to get the better version.
It’s well known throughout the ecommerce industry that upselling products works. The classic example is that Macdonalds make a loss on every burger they sell, but when they ask you if you’d like fries and a drink with that burger, that’s when they make a profit.
Cross-sells are similar products that complement a main product. So, with their Bluetooth headphones, your customer might also buy a nice headphone case or a spare charger.
Upsells and cross-sells work because once a customer has made a purchase with a brand, they are much more likely to make an additional purchase. There are a few stats being thrown around (some as high as 60-70%) about the likeliness of a customer to repurchase, but overall the percentage is high.
To save on fulfillment costs when adding upsells and cross-sells to your store, instead of storing a load of extra inventory you can integrate a dropshipping element into your business model so new products are produced and sent on order.
The next set of lazy, quick wins is in the marketing side of your business.
While you’re building out your big marketing plan for the generation of new and repeat sales, you can implement some quick marketing strategies into your sales process for extra revenue.
Respond to Messages and Send Some Emails
Keeping in contact with your audience is the core of effective marketing. The more you interact with your audience in a genuine and helpful manner, the more you increase your sales rate.
A whopping 94% of consumers consider customer service a factor when choosing a brand to purchase from.
Offering good service and fulfilling customer needs can start with as little as responding to a question.
Your marketing campaigns need to be built upon a great reputation. A lot of entrepreneurs overlook this because the results of good customer service are intangible. You can see a stellar review, but there’s no metric in the Facebook Ad dashboard that tells you good customer service has gotten you a sale. Yet, your brand cannot do without it.
We had one entrepreneur who built and grew his small business by offering an excellent customer experience and products alone, without any external marketing. He ended up selling that business for six figures on our marketplace.
The team at Gorgias, a full-suite customer service solution, conducted a study that shows if a brand responds to a customer service inquiry within 10 minutes, the conversion rate is 20% higher.
Implementing a customer service element to your store experience can be as straightforward and cost-effective as hiring a cheap virtual assistant to handle customer service inquiries for you. Or you can use an on-site tool like Gorgias.
You will see the results from implementing a customer service solution: 63% of consumers have a favorable view of brands that respond proactively to customer service notifications and 83% of customers agree that they feel more loyal to brands that respond to and resolve their complaints.
Another effective way to communicate with your audience is through email.
Email marketing continues to be the strongest online marketing medium, despite how often in the industry we hear that “email is dead”: over 81% of SMBs use email marketing as their primary customer acquisition channel.
The easiest way to get quick wins through email marketing is to set up an automated abandoned cart email sequence.
There’s a big market to take advantage of with abandoned carts; according to Baymard Institute, over 69% of online shopping carts are abandoned.
Consumers who have gone as far as to take your products to the shopping cart are close to the sale and usually, just need a nudge to make the purchase. Following up with consumers through email is proven to be an effective sales strategy. In fact, a report from Klayvio found that businesses using cart-recovery emails earn back 3-14% of lost sales.
The compound effects of sending multiple follow-up emails can also generate powerful results—sending three abandoned-cart emails instead of one results in 69% more orders.
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas on how you can boost your sales when you’re feeling lazy. Although they are pretty straightforward and easy to implement, they are based on solid business and sales principles.
This is why even the laziest of entrepreneurs can find success with them.
There is one big additional benefit to boosting your ecommerce store sales that you might not be thinking about right now—you increase how much you can sell your ecommerce business for.
Boosting Sales Increases Your Business’ Valuation
As you’re growing your business, you might have the long-term goal of selling it for a cash reward.
At the time of this writing, the average value of an ecommerce business is 36.21 times its monthly net profit. This means that if your store is earning on average $10,000 per month in net profit, it could be worth $362,100.
If through implementing some of these sales-boosting strategies you increased your profits to $15,000 (in just a few months could be a realistic timeline), then your business would increase in value by $181,050, making it worth over half a million dollars.
If you’d like to find out what your ecommerce business is worth right now, use our free valuation tool to find out in just a few minutes.
If you’d like some free, professional advice on where to start with preparing your business for sale, then speak to one of our friendly Business Advisors who can walk you through the process and even help you plan your exit strategy with no obligation.