What are some of the best business strategies to scale your new eCommerce business? For an online business that’s just starting out you’re probably trying to find answers to that exact question. And while there are plenty of general guidelines out there regarding what to tackle first, it can be difficult to cut through the clutter and find strategies that truly work.
But what if I told you there’s a way to find the best eCommerce marketing strategies for your business? Proven strategies that will optimize your return on investment (ROI) and are firmly rooted in the methodologies adopted by top eCommerce platforms. Strategies that we’ll cover in this very article.
5 proven business tips for increasing eCommerce sales
Well, I reached out to some of the best eCommerce marketing platforms around to get answers straight from the experts and condensed them down into 5 useful tips.
All I asked — What is your best advice for online businesses to get sales?
Let’s get started!
1. Nothing works like word-of-mouth — Raul Galera, ReferralCandy
Word-of-mouth is a crucial part of any growing business’s marketing strategy. Once your business is up and running and as new customers buy your products, referrals will start rolling in organically. Think about it — your customers will likely showcase your products to their friends and family, and your brand name will come up in conversations and recommendations.
Now, since all of this happens organically, tracking referral purchases gets pretty difficult (if not impossible) without having referral marketing software in place. That’s where a company such as ReferralCandy can help. ReferralCandy helps brands set up and run customer referral programs (such as Give $10, get $10) on autopilot — that means tracking referral purchases and distributing referral rewards automatically.
Take the company iWader as an example. Their referral marketing strategy contributed to 13% of all revenue, and their referral program generated a 2,600% ROI. If your product or service is good and you provide excellent customer service, running a referral program can be incredibly useful and hands-off.
Additionally, you can also request reviews or to conduct case studies with happy customers, turning your referrals into broader onsite marketing copy. While it’s not traditional word-of-mouth, having positive reviews listed on your site, within your Google My Business listing, or anywhere else performs almost the exact same function. It helps similar customers relate, and provides authentic and trustworthy sources for them to reference when deciding to make a purchase. Basically the digital version of word-of-mouth.
2. Establish an omnichannel footprint for meaningful customer experience — Rytis Lauris, Omnisend
Everyone hates getting an ad from a brand that isn’t relevant to them. It feels intrusive, disconnected, and unwarranted, which often leads to negative or passive perceptions of a given brand. For your eCommerce business, one of the best ways to generate sales is by creating an immersive experience that always sends a relevant message to your customers. Known as omnichannel marketing, this strategy is built around creating a defined and consistent presence that translates between your website, email messages, SMS, social media, traditional and digital ads, and even in-store.
Our customer INGLOT Cosmetics Canada is a great example of creating an omnichannel network that extends not only to all online channels but also to their in-store experience. By connecting Omnisend with their in-store point-of-sale system, they’re able to assist their customers and make recommendations based on their previous purchases. INGLOT Canada doesn’t just offer their online experience via email either, they employ SMS and push notifications to reach their customers for time-sensitive offers.
INGLOT Canada makes a point of being where their customers are and using their customer data to deliver a better overall experience. This is what more eCommerce retailers should be aspiring to if they want to succeed over the next few years. It will not only benefit customers but help cut costs on unnecessary ad spending or marketing campaigns that simply don’t connect with your audience.
Resources to help develop your omnichannel strategy
- Importance of Storytelling in Brand Marketing Efforts
- Building an Email Marketing List
- Facebook Marketing: A Small Business Guide
- Good Marketing Strategy Starts With a Defined Message
3. Use organic traffic for higher ROI and conversions — Hailey Friedman, GrowthBar
My best advice for online businesses to generate sales is to invest in SEO. Why? Because SEO or “organic” traffic is cheap.
If you have a great SEO strategy, you can build a profitable-from-day-one online business.
SEO is the way we’ve been able to turn Growth Marketing Pro into the largest growth marketing blog on the internet. And it’s the unlock that’s helped produce nearly a million dollars a year in passive income for my partner, Mark, and me.
To illustrate — last month we got 12,873 organic hits for the keyword “Zoom webinar review” alone. Yup — we rank #1, #2, or #3 (depending on the day) for our review of the largest webinar tool on earth. And last month we made $18,056 selling webinar software via affiliate marketing.
Here are a few more examples of keywords we rank #1 or #2 for, including “webinar software,” “landing page software,” and “what is growth marketing?”
How do we do this so repeatedly and consistently?
Over the last 10 years, we’ve distilled our SEO strategy down to just a couple of key components, which have helped us rank in the top few results on Google for some of the most competitive keywords on the internet. This includes creating great content, analyzing competitors, review search volume, and focus on technical SEO components such as site speed and backlinks.
The most powerful component though is our SEO tool GrowthBar. You don’t necessarily need an SEO tool to replicate our success, but I promise it will make it much faster and easier for you to see results.
4. Retain your customers with loyalty marketing — CandyBar
Improving ROI is pretty simple. Choose existing customers over new customers. Loyal customers not only purchase again and again but also choose products from your store over your competitors. And so you should thank them once a while. Something as small as a thank you card can make a difference. We continuously get merchant stories on how they succeeded with customer retention using even the most simple of loyalty programs.
When you’re first starting out, it may not even be necessary to create a formal loyalty program. You could simply send a coupon out for a customer’s birthday, or send out subscriber-only discounts if they signup for your email list. Long-term it may be more valuable to create a more robust program to better track and encourage customer loyalty, but you want to be sure this makes sense for your business and is worth the cost.
5. Select the right content management system
As a WordPress blogger and eCommerce expert with over 4 years of experience, here’s the most important thing I’d like to share — Be very specific with your choice of CMS.
It might seem like a small thing, but choosing the wrong content management system could affect your business. This can help you optimize production, streamline site management, and overall save money by avoiding unnecessary costs. Which in turn can be further invested in growing your business.
For example, if you are starting an online store and have an inventory-backed business, you’ll want a platform that offers features like inventory management integrations. Otherwise, you’ll be investing so much in customization and development for the features you want to have.
Right now, the new hot thing for inventory management is dropshipping. And for that, you should choose Shopify. While WooCommerce will be a lot cheaper, you will miss out on a lot of suppliers. In addition to everything being in one place, Shopify offers dropshipping apps that exclusively integrate with the platform. For instance, Fuel, a POD dropshipping supplier, offers cheap products, but it only integrates with Shopify.
If inventory is not a concern or you handle it in-house, you’ll likely want a platform with other features. To determine what you need from a CMS platform review your business plan and operating goals. This can help you prioritize necessary features while avoiding superficial applications that simply won’t benefit your business.
Increasing eCommerce conversion is an iterative process
Those were some great tips from experts currently working in eCommerce, which you can use for building a serious online business with higher ROI and refined revenue streams. Work on your business brand and create a long-term lean business plan that helps you manage this process.
My favorite of all the strategies is customer retention. There are a lot of ways you can make your customers choose your business over others. Use awesome value proposition, loyalty campaign, social proof, and even content marketing to connect better with your customers. Keep refining your strategy, testing, and iterating your approach to identify what resonates best.