There are many ways to drive traffic to your e-commerce store: SEO, paid advertising, social media marketing, referral… the list is endless.
But how do we make sure those clicks turn into customers?
Many new online businesses need help to grow sales and revenue, despite generating plenty of traffic. They may feel like their B2C or B2B marketing efforts have let them down. If that sounds like you, consider this alternative: maybe your product or offer isn’t enticing enough to your users. Here are some tips for crafting better offers that convert users into paying customers!
Use Loss Leaders and Free Samples to Capture Window Shoppers
Sometimes businesses focus too much on individual product value instead of overall customer value. Especially if your product is something unique, novel, or complicated to understand, users may not feel comfortable shelling out full price for something they’ve never experienced before.
Online stores are perfect for window shopping. It’s never been easier to browse without making a purchase. Many users browse online to do product research, then purchase in-person or through one of the big box e-commerce options like Amazon. We want to get more of these window shoppers to buy with us, not the other guys.
A savvy online business will offer a way to sample the product at a lower cost or even for free when possible. Someone selling an e-book might give away the first three chapters in exchange for signing up for a newsletter. This gives the customer a chance to experience the product before they commit to a full purchase. Someone selling health products might offer a sample pack at a heavy discount as a one-time offer for new customers.
Even if you lose money on your first purchase or giveaway, you’ll have an opportunity to make it back later. Getting a user to take any action on your site is a victory! You can use their contact details to remarket them in the future, spurring more sales opportunities.
Leverage sales and analytics data to build customer personas
Even with high traffic, low sales can result from misunderstanding our audience. People of different backgrounds in different life stages will respond well to different messages.
If you sell a natural health supplement, your marketing approach would be very different if it was aimed at bodybuilders than if it was aimed at seniors.
Sometimes, our best customers are the demographics we least expect. For instance, maybe you sell a product aimed at women that makes for a great anniversary gift. If so, married men might be one of your best customers.
Check your website analytics and historical sales data and try to find patterns and opportunities. If you notice a particularly valuable audience, do some research and planning to really understand their needs. Consider the human, not just the numbers on the report. What do people of this age and gender in this location really want?
Conversely, if you see a significant audience segment that doesn’t convert at all, try to evaluate why they aren’t buying. Something about your marketing got them to your store. Are they worth targeting more specifically, or are they outside of your positioning?
By understanding our audience on a human level, we can make better marketing decisions to drive e-commerce growth.
Position your product where the demand is (and your competitors aren’t)
Imagine you opened a burger joint selling affordable fast food. Plenty of demand for a cheap cheeseburger, right? Now imagine you opened it across the street from a McDonald’s.
You’d better be able to bring a lot to the table to compete head-to-head with a giant like McDonald’s. Given their vast resources, they offer the same product, likely with a better profit margin and lower cost to the consumer.
Both businesses may do well if there’s enough demand in your area. But if there’s limited demand, one or both will suffer.
Particularly for stores relying on SEO and paid advertising, consider where your content ranks and who it competes against. Maybe your product is excellent, but it’s positioned in a crowded market segment. Could you adjust your offer and message to find a less competitive niche? Are there more specific terms and keywords worth pursuing than what you’re doing now?
Remember that online, your competitor’s storefront is always seconds away. By selecting the correct keyword positioning, we can choose to operate in a different digital neighbourhood from our biggest competitors. Ensuring you compete against the right businesses can help you win more customers.
Build a shopping experience around your product
Many of the world’s most popular and profitable brands know that offering an experience is better than offering a product. Apple’s products have a curated aesthetic and carefully engineered packaging and offer an ecosystem of branded, high-quality support for new customers. IKEA is more than an affordable department store. It’s a destination with a carefully considered look and feel.
Sometimes the features surrounding a product matter as much as the product itself. Unique, pleasant, and memorable shopping experiences encourage bigger (or repeat) purchases.
There are many ways to improve the shopping experience for your users. For example, a product selector quiz can be a fun way to engage your customers and prime them for a purchase. Humorous or quirky content and images can make your store stick out from the pack. After-care can keep your product top-of-mind for repeat purchases — things like weekly email drips explaining product features or personalized emails thanking the customer for their patronage and offering to answer any questions they may have.
Consider not just the product and its benefits. There are lots of good wireless headphones on the market. Apple can charge more for AirPods because it’s Apple — users know they can expect an Apple experience.
Grant Hendricks, Dir. of Agency Success, BlackBean Marketing Ltd.