Boost sales with these simple yet underutilised organic ecommerce tactics
You don’t necessarily need ‘conversion rate optimization services’ to sell more. Provided you’re willing to put in the time and get the help you need where you need it, you’ll be just fine. To make your job even easier, we’ve collated 5 useful tips on the things you can do to boost sales (naturally, this assumes you’ve got a good ecommerce webiste set up in the first place). If you need to talk ‘shop’, get in touch or find out more about the ecommerce services we provide.
1. Integrate social into every aspect of your business
Social media is no longer ‘optional’. It’s a way of being and if you’re not doing it, you’re seriously limiting your businesses’ growth. If you sell products online, at the very least make sure you’ve got sharing icons near the header of your site, in the footer or, ideally, beneath or next to every one of your products. Think Amazon here.
Another point worth remembering: the word ‘social’ does not just refer to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the rest of the chit-chatty crew, it actually insinuates a WAY of doing business – a type of interaction.
Take a look at the social media tactics American retailer Nordstrom is employing to try and boost sales. This is integration at its finest and most creative and I’m willing to bet it’s going to make a serious impact.
A REAL social business is a business that reaches out to its customers and finds them where they spend their time, encouraging them to engage and to have back and forth conversations. For some businesses, this may have very little to do with real social networks and may instead take place via email or as in Nordstrom’s case, in the actual display windows of the store but making reference to a social site like Pinterest.
2. Know what you’re good at and do that
Don’t spread yourself thin and try to do everything. If you’re good at speaking to customers on the phone but not so good at maintaining stock, delegate. Plus, if you ever have to go away, on holiday or for an emergency, make sure you have backup staff trained to do what you would otherwise be doing.
But, it’s not just that – it’s important to know what you’re good at, or rather, what OTHER people think you are good at so that you understand how they think about you or about your brand. That way, if it’s all wrong or if it’s not what you want them to focus on, you can re-brand. Avinash Kaushik – an expert in digital marketing, analytics tracking and various other internet-related bits and pieces has summed this up perfectly in a post on his Google+ account.
Avinash uses LinkedIn endorsements to understand what people see as his skills/areas of expertise. For Avinash, his top ranking skills (as ‘endorsed’ by others) include: web analytics, analytics, Google Analytics, digital marketing, ecommerce, SEO, etc. While most people do indeed know Avinash for being one of the most reliable and useful sources of analytics information (myself included), this isn’t all he’s about. In his own words:
“I’m grateful for the endorsements. It allows for a very interesting peek into how you all see my skills and expertise.
Some of the ones I agree with instantly, say the first few. Others I wish were rated higher (digital marketing), or much, much, higher (public speaking!), or surprise me (like product management).”
But, Avinash makes a good point when he says that he needs to reflect on how he’s portraying himself and perhaps put more effort into re-branding his work, focusing more on getting people to see him as a digital marketing ideas, strategy and framework expert.
Try this tactic on yourself. Head on over to LinkedIn to get a feel for what people think of you. Or, ask your customers what they think you are good at or what your business is good at. You can also review the recommendations you get on LinkedIn – which of your products/services is most highly recommended?
It’s my firm belief that if you figure out what others see as your core strengths, you can play to this. Alternatively, you can adjust your marketing and branding tactics if it appears you’re not headed in the right direction.
3. Get to know your audience
I mean REALLY know them. Not just where they come from and what devices they browse your site on, but, get to know what makes them tick. What items do they look at? What do they put in their baskets and then abandon? Which products do they share? This is the part where you get into their minds – stalker-like, developing and creating the personas that will enable you to not just MARKET your products better, but PROVIDE your customers with the products they really desire. After all, if you don’t really know them, how on earth are you going to sell to them?
Create detailed personas of who you think your customers are – here’s a nice, simple example. While some of this may be supposition, you can support your ideas by sending out customer surveys, asking for testimonials, and of course…by interpreting the data. Do you send weekly emails ? What links are people who receive those emails clicking on? Do you manage a blog? What content is most popular? Honestly, it’s not as hard as you think. But, you have also got to be open to the idea that your customer may change over time. Pay attention and don’t think that the average man who was making a purchase last year, is the same one buying this year.
4. Ensure your branding is consistent
If people know you for the particularly quirky images you share on Facebook (Innocent Smoothies!), don’t suddenly change the tactics. And, if you’re providing useful information on various products on your blog, don’t suddenly switch your tactics to heavy sales emails. This doesn’t mean your campaigns all have to be the same – that would be boring – it simply means you need to maintain some consistency. Your current customers and your followers are there for a reason. Figure out what that reason is first and then make changes around that, still continuing to provide the information they find valuable.
After all, your brand (a consistent look and feel) is how people pick you out from the crowd (or the SERPs). Your brand isn’t just the images and logos you use. It’s the way you speak, it’s your USP, it pretty much incorporates everything that makes you you. And, it’s what sets you apart. It makes you recognisable for something specific – for us, that’s ecommerce and digital marketing. A consistent brand provides: customer clarity, an overall impression that your customers can connect with, legitimacy and differentiation.
A few brands that are good at keeping things consistent include Nike and its ‘Just do It’ campaigns, Absolut Vodka, Jack Daniel’s (brilliant storytellers), Gillette Venus and a huge range of others.
5. And finally – market your marketing
This is possibly the simplest of all and it simply means: let your customers know how you’re marketing to them and what they can expect to receive – if you’ve made an app to sell your products, don’t just let it sit there….market it! If you’ve just launched an amazing blog with loads of stuff your customers would find useful, create a strategy about it! Jay Baer, author of ‘Youtility’ is a big proponent of providing helpful information over salesey information (not hard to believe) and of ‘marketing your marketing’, because, if you don’t do it, in Baer’s words,
“Nothing happens. Nothing.”
For example, at Xanthos we send email campaigns that are focused on helping you generate more leads or that focus on helping you to improve sales. But, we also occasionally send out ebooks/downloadable guides so that you’re always receiving something valuable; write regular blog posts and maintain up-to-date, relevant service offerings. Plus, if there’s ever something new, we’ll let you know via one of our social media platforms. See below for the full list. Our strength lies in keeping you informed of the latest digital trends/news and of ensuring you remain one step ahead of your competitors, especially if you’re in the ecommerce sector. If we’re doing something on one platform, we’re always sure to let you know on another, and, if we’re launching a new service…it won’t come out of the dark – we’ll let you know. Let your clients know too. Keep them in the loop.
A word from Xanthos
If you’ve found this information useful, why not give us a call to see what more we can do? We always treat every business individually and tailor specific marketing/web design proposals to suit your needs. Why not get your proposal today? Find out more by contacting us via email or by calling.
All images were sourced from Bing’s new image search and fall under the licensing filter ‘free to share and use commercially’. If you need to source images for blog posts – this is an amazing new tool though thus far its only been rolled out in the US.