Every ecommerce brand wants greater profits, but we all know that that is far easier said than done. Even with a perfect strategy in place, you sometimes don’t get the lift in sales that you are expecting. Instead of sitting back and waiting for things to finally take off, why not try some clever ideas that may make a difference?
Sometimes, changes that may seem simple can make all the difference. While we aren’t saying that bigger picture concepts like a solid social media marketing strategy won’t be helpful, we are saying that there are several tactics that may seem smaller that can actually make a huge difference.
Here are 5 clever ways to maximize your ecommerce profits. Some are simple tweaks, some are more detailed, but all should help you see a nice boost to your profits. If you haven’t given these a try yet, they should absolutely shoot to the top of your to-do list.
1. Keep things simple
Just because something is clever doesn’t mean that it is complex. In fact, in this case, just the opposite is true! Keeping things as simple and streamlined as possible is one of the best ways to maximize your profits. Specifically, think about the elements that a potential customer of yours has to deal with. Things like your account creation process, customer service options, and especially, your checkout process. The easier you can make things, the better results you will receive.
You should always give customers the opportunity to check out as a guest. Many people simply do not want to take the time to create an account, especially when they are in the process of trying to complete an order. Let them easily check out as a guest; you can always give them the option at the end of the purchase to create an account, or you can even follow up with them later via email asking them to create an account.
If you are unsure if this is worth it, maybe this will help convince you: One business found an increase in sales by $300,000,000! While that level of increase is not to be expected by everyone, the point is that a small change like this can lead to big results.
Customer service and information
If people have questions, they are not likely to purchase from you until they have gotten the answers they need. For that reason, you should make it as simple as possible for people to access the information they need. They should also be able to easily figure out how they can contact you.
We recommend placing your contact page in your top navigation- don’t hide it in your footer where someone may not find it. That simple shift alone may result in a sales bump simply because people can more easily reach out to you with questions! Give people several options to contact you, and as always, be sure to follow up as quickly as possible.
You can also consider adding a chatbot that can answer basic questions around the clock. Research suggests that using AI such as a chatbot could result in a boost in sales up to 30%.
2. Make smart suggestions
This next tactic is especially beneficial for ecommerce companies with a lot of products. While having a large selection is great, it can be overwhelming for customers to sort through such a large inventory. Having a number of ways to help people select the products that are best for them is an excellent way to boost profits.
There are a few ways you can handle this. One easy way to do this is to set up a ‘best sellers’ tab that allows customers to quickly see which of your items are selling the best. This gives them a curated list of great products that are backed by social proof. Clearly if the item is selling a lot, it must be great! Social proof is a great way to boost sales and this is one clever way you can make use of that tactic.
Another great way is to employ some simple gamification (a great tactic for boosting user engagement) by offering a quiz that will show users items tailored to their specific interests. ShoeDazzle is one company that has done this for years. They sell a large amount of shoes and by offering this quiz, they are not only offering users a custom set of products, they are also gathering valuable information about their customer base and what they like. It’s a win win.
Cross selling and upselling
There are also plenty of tools you can install that will allow you to upsell and cross-sell to your audience. Upselling and cross-selling are two of the best ways to boost profits, and thanks to helpful tools and plugins, it doesn’t take a lot of work on your part. We previously shared Frequently Bought Together as one of our favorite Shopify automations for boosting sales. Simply install it and let their AI analyze your store and purchase history to smartly display the right products.
3. Offer free shipping
This one is simple and effective. Offer free shipping. Seriously! Thanks to major online retailers like Amazon, online shoppers are now expecting free (and fast) shipping. One of the easiest ways to maximize your profits is to offer free shipping. You can either offer it across the board, or offer it once a customer has hit an order minimum.
Simply put- people are willing to spend money on products, but hate to spend money on shipping. A $30 order plus $5 shipping sounds worse than a $35 order with free shipping. The amount is the same, but one looks far more appealing.
Shipping costs remain one of the top reasons that people abandon their carts (and in the above study it was the top reason). If you do have to charge for shipping, make sure customers are aware of that (and what the cost is) right away. However, we highly recommend offering free shipping- it’s such a simple tactic that works so well.
Bonus: While shipping costs top the list, check out the other top reasons people abandon their carts- creating an account, and a complicated checkout process. We hit those earlier up on list. Eliminate those and offer free shipping and you’ve eliminated the main reasons why shoppers don’t complete their orders. The result? More sales.
4. Look inwards
You should absolutely do your research and keep up with the latest trends and statistics in ecommerce, marketing, and beyond. However, absolutely nothing can take the place of the statistics and information you generate from your own ecommerce store and your own customers.
We recommend two main methods for looking inwards at your own store: A/B testing and customer feedback. Let’s start with A/B testing. You can A/B test just about anything these days- email headlines, product page layouts, CTA button colors, web push campaigns, landing page forms, and so much more. And you should!
While you’ll want to come up with a solid testing strategy, this is certainly something that is worth your time and your patience. It is certainly not as quick of a tactic as some of the other things we have mentioned on this list, but it is certainly just as important. Here’s a great checklist from Hubspot that will help guide you through your A/B testing process.
Additionally, you should have a solid strategy in place for collecting customer feedback. This could be as simple as setting up an automated email or web push campaign that sends out to every customer after they purchase with you asking them to fill out a brief survey.
While some customers may reach out and give feedback or leave a product review without you asking them, in most cases, you need to reach out and ask for it. Don’t be afraid to do it! The responses you receive is some of the most valuable information you can use for improving your business and maximizing profits.
If you are struggling to generate feedback, we recommend incentivizing the process. The above example does just that- if a user takes their quick survey, they get 25% off their next order. It’s simple, beneficial, and simply put, it works!
5. Focus heavily on segmentation
Finally, optimizing your ecommerce marketing campaigns by segmenting them according to various groups of your customers is one of the best ways to improve your marketing campaigns, and as a result, your sales. This is true whether you sell one item or sell thousands. Every customer is different and these days, they expect their experience with the brands they shop at to be tailored to their interests.
Segmentation allows you to provide a more personalized shopping experience because it relies on the actions of your actual customers. Take the above web push campaign for example- it would be perfect for an ecommerce company that sells (among other things) athletic clothing. The company could easily create a segment of users who have looked at or purchased athletic items at their site and target them with a campaign alerting them that new styles are available.
The buyer’s journey
You can also use smart segmentation to target users at various stages of the buyer’s journey. Customers who just found out about your brand are likely not ready to buy. They should be targeted with different campaigns compared to users who have shopped with you before or who haven’t shopped with you yet but have looked at various product pages and have perhaps added items to their cart.
By creating unique campaigns at each phase of the customer journey you are providing the right information to the right people at the right time. When done correctly, a user will move through your entire sales funnel and ultimately make a purchase- just what you want.
Hopefully these ways to maximize your ecommerce profits have inspired you to make some changes. From simple tweaks to your website navigation, to collecting valuable feedback, offering free shipping, making smart product recommendations, and better segmenting your audience, you can easily maximize your profits.
The ecommerce industry isn’t an easy one, but it is one you can be successful in if you put in the work and understand what your customers want, need, and have come to expect from the brands they shop with.
Are you looking to get started with web push notifications as a way to send targeted campaigns to your customers? Get started for free with Aimtell, or check out our Beginner’s Guide for more information.