It’s been a couple of months since you started your online store and it seems everything you’ve done resulted in little or no sales. You poured all you had into setting up your store, product research, running ads and still, nada. Perhaps you have been running your store for a while now but your revenue seems stuck and you are finding it difficult to grow your sales.
If you find yourself in any of the pickles above, don’t worry, you are not alone. Many online merchants and e-commerce businesses face this challenge. I have gone through this low point before and here are 3 major strategies which helped me increase sales and grow my business.
Increasing website conversion rate
A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that performed a particular action on your website. For example, if 100 people visit your website and 10 of them download an ebook, then the conversion rate for ebook download is 10%.
The conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of people taking an action by the total number of visitors multiplied by 100%.
Conversion rate = (unique conversions / total unique visitors) * 100%
You can set different conversion goals on your website such as conversion to add to cart, product views, downloads etc. The most important conversion goal in every e-commerce business is conversion to sales, which is the percentage of visitors that actually make a purchase.
To begin optimizing your sales conversion, you first need to calculate it. You can have a daily conversion rate or a monthly conversion rate. Use Google analytics to find the number of visitors you had in a month or day and divide that by the number of people that made a purchase in the same period.
If you are selling on Shopify, you can easily see your sales conversion rate on your dashboard under analytics.
If you have a conversion rate of 5% and an average order value of $35, that means if 5000 people visit your site in a month, 50 people will buy from you which will give you revenue of $8,750. Increasing your conversion rate to 7% will give you revenue of $12,250, that is an increase of $3,500.
At this point, you must be thinking: “How do I improve my conversion rate?”
Improving conversion rate
Various factors can help improve your conversion rate. Below are 5 important strategies that will help you increase sales conversion.
- Create an amazing and consistent brand that resonates with your target audience or niche.
- Leverage on product and social reviews to convince visitors to buy from you.
- Most visitors may be visiting your store using mobile devices. Optimize your website for a superb mobile experience.
- Most buyers will leave if your site is taking too long to load. Improving your website loading speed will help convert impatient buyers.
- Last but not least, use contextual and clear images. Also, use images showing different angles of your products.
To learn more about improving your sales conversion rate, read this blog on how to turn your visitors into buyers.
Increase the reach of your store
After achieving a good sales conversion rate, the next step is to increase your reach. Imagine this, if your online store has a conversion rate of 5%, that means
1,000 visitors => 50 customers
3,000 visitors => 150 customers
Increasing the reach of your store obviously means more sales. There are many ways you can increase the reach of your store; particularly through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Every online business needs SEO in their tool belt; as such, the practice has become commonplace. If you don’t get your SEO right, then you are losing money.
Although SEO offers a free and long-term approach in increasing the reach of your store, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to show up on the first page of search engines. This is why you need the right resources for adequate know-how and the right tools to help automate and scale your SEO strategy.
Here are great resources on SEO. Find tools to help you with your SEO in the bonus section.
SEO provides an indirect approach to increase your reach through strategies such as content marketing and there are many resources on the subject. I will focus on a relatively direct approach to reach expansion through Shopping Engines.
Shopping engines are vertical search engines that shoppers use to filter and compare products based on price, features, reviews and other criteria. One great thing about shopping engines is that traffic from shopping engines have high purchase intent. This is because users surfing through a shopping engine are more likely to buy and are just looking for the right product based on product attributes such as color, price, size, etc.
Comparison shopping engines are also used by consumers as a pre-purchase information source. They surf shopping engines to gather information to help them make the right purchase decision. This is because shopping engines aggregate and structure a good amount of information about products.
Putting your products in front of an audience in the buying or research stage will not only help increase your potential sales; it is also an excellent opportunity to put your brand out there.
There are numerous shopping engines but Google shopping is arguably the most popular one.
To take advantage of shopping engines, you will need to create a product feed that meets the feed requirements of each shopping engine platform. The feed must be updated every time you make a change to your inventory. Doing all this manually can be tedious, and that’s why apps were created 🙂
One great app that can help you create and manage your product feeds is RetailTower. RetailTower is an easy to use e-commerce application that will help you create and manage product feeds across multiple shopping engines. You can easily create and submit feeds to over 30 shopping engines and marketplaces. The RetailTower team will also set you up on Google shopping for FREE.
Strategically utilizing Shopping engines and marketplaces will definitely help you cash in big should you give it a go.
To learn more about shopping engines, how they work and how to utilize them, sign up for our FREE webinar.
Google Shopping Ads and Retargeting Ads
There are various advertising platforms used by various marketers but in my experience, Google has proved to be an effective advertising platform for retail businesses.
With Google shopping ads, it is easy for e-commerce businesses to target potential users on their search engine and display network. In the first quarter of 2018, 76.4% of retail search ad spending was directed towards Google shopping ads (3d Cart). Google shopping ads in most cases out-performs normal text-based ads, studies show that Google Shopping Ads generate 26% higher conversion rates and have a 23% lower cost-per-click than text ads.
It’s no wonder that more and more retailers are spending on Google Shopping Ads. With Google shopping ads, keywords are not needed for targeting. Google’s algorithms match a product to a user’s search query based on the title and description of the product.
Google shopping ads can help increase your traffic and boost your sales tremendously. To set up a Google shopping ad you will need to
- Create a merchant center account.
- Create a Google Adwords account
- Create a product feed (RetailTower recommended)
- Link your merchant center account to your Adwords account
- Create your shopping campaign
Here, RetailTower is also handy for creating a feed and submitting to your Google merchant center account. The RetailTower team will set up your feed on Google merchant center for FREE.
About 90% of first-time visitors to your website aren’t ready to buy (ACL) and about 70% of shoppers will abandon their cart (Statista). Hence, you will need to remind your website visitors about your products once they leave. Retargeting visitors based on the stage they reach in your website funnel is essential to the growth of your sales.
Set up the right analytics tracking to monitor users across your website and group visitors into segments below:
- Website Visitors
These are visitors that viewed only your landing/home page and left.
- Product Viewers
These are visitors that viewed at least one product page.
- Cart Abandoners
These are visitors that added to cart but did not complete the order.
- Checkout Abandoners
These are visitors that reached the checkout page but did not complete the transaction.
These are customers that bought from your store. You can target buyers of specific products with
You can setup dynamic retargeting ads which will target users with the products they interacted with on your website. Dynamic retargeting ads can be created in either Facebook ads manager or Google Adwords.
There are so many ways to make your retargeting campaign effective, you can create custom events using Google analytics and target visitors who performed those actions.
You can use Google analytics to create retargeting audiences based on what visitors did on your website and send them to Google Adwords for retargeting. To learn more about this and how you can set up retargeting ads, sign up here for our webinar on how to boost your sales with retargeting ads and Google shopping.
5 great apps to help you grow your e-commerce sales
1. Creating and managing product feeds for multiple shopping engines and marketplaces
RetailTower: Try it for free
2. Automate the fixing of your on-page SEO issues.
SEO Doctor: Get started for free
3. See what your visitors do when they visit your website.
Smartlook: Take a peek
4. Boost buyer confidence and increase conversion rate with product reviews.
Kudobuzz Testimonials & Review: Get started for free
5. Increase sales with FOMO, literally. FOMO helps you increase conversion rate by showing your websites sales activity.
FOMO: Get it here
If you won’t be joining our webinars, I will be writing 2 different blog posts that will go in-depth on how to utilize shopping engines and how to create retargeting ads on Google. If you don’t want to miss these 2 important articles, sign up to our blog and get notified when they are released.
Now, it’s time to increase your sales. Implement these 3 key strategies and see your sales go through the roof. Facing challenges marketing your online business? You can drop your questions on Hackcommerce and get it answered by a vibrant community of merchants and online entrepreneurs.