Don’t Skip the Small Stuff
Tony Robbins said it best:
“If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you'll achieve the same results.”
This especially applies to entrepreneurs that are embarking on a dangerous journey where they want to avoid as many obstacles as possible.
Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. Starting and growing an ecommerce business isn’t easy.
The more you can put yourself in front of people who have achieved what you want to achieve, the faster you’ll get there. The less stress you’ll be encumbered by. The more joyful your life will be.
That’s why we’ve decided to make generating sales for your company 10x easier by assembling the advice of more than 50 experts below. Each gives you a proven and tested tactic to be able to increase your ecommerce sales right now.
I know from my own experience in business that the more that you can surround yourself with people you can draw wisdom from, the smarter and more successful you will become.
As a single father, owner of CVO Acceleration Online Sales Funnels, and endurance athlete, I know how dangerous entrepreneurship can be.
My best advice to you is to navigate the dangerous waters with our experts’ wisdom below so you can generate more sales and have less roadblocks. Their advice includes:
David Tendrich, CEO & Co-Founder, Reliable PSD
Have meaningful conversations with customers about your products. They literally give you all the answers to the test. The test, of course, is, "What would it take to get you to buy this?"
Just ask them!
It's that freaking easy. No one does it though. It's scary and takes time. Out of everyone I've told this to, I think 1 or 2 have followed through on it. Go do it!
Daniel Wallock, Marketing Strategist, Wallock Media
Engage with your customers. Just by replying to your customers questions and comments on social media it will help you drive more sales.
Being active on your social media channels will not only help you build brand equity, but it will also drive even more engagement which in turn leads to more impressions and unique visitors to your site.
One of the most common tactics I use is to implement a personalized email sequence that follows up with every single buyer.
By just being friendly with all your customers or hiring a virtual assistant to do this you can increase your stores customer retention rate and customer lifetime value substantially.
I’m not talking about sending newsletters, those are great. I’m talking about really reaching out to check on your customer with short semi-personalized emails that show you care about your customer and their buying experience.
The purpose of these short emails is never to sell to the customer, but instead to show them that you truly care about them having a great experience with your company.
William Harris, Ecommerce Consultant, Elumynt
Customer personas. It might sound dumb, but I find that not having good customer personas built out hurts your effectiveness on Facebook ads, social media, email, on-page CRO, and so much more.
Put time into knowing who your ideal customers are, map it out for your whole team (including your agencies), and your company will profit from it.
Bryan Bowman, Owner, eCom Underground
Stop thinking and marketing your product like a commodity and start creating a community!
Timi Garai, Marketing Manager, Antavo Loyalty Management Software
Invest in customer loyalty. So many online business focus on customer acquisition, but what makes you more money in the end is your returning customers.
David Feng, Co-Founder and Head of Product, Reamaze
Chat and engagement automation is something most brands miss because they see chat as "customer service."
Customer service is the new marketing for many successful brands.
Many shoppers feel more satisfied when they're able to chat to a staff member and are more likely to convert. Engagement automation in the form of context chat can help brands push promotional content or invite customers to ask questions.
Jason Boyce, Co-founder & CEO, Dazadi
In this day and age you cannot spend enough time reading your own product reviews and improving your products based on that "boots on the ground" feedback.
If you aren't iterating with every reorder of your product, you'll never build a brand online.
The days of spending massive amounts of money for brand awareness to push mediocre products is over.
Listen to the customer and improve your products so that your product ratings and sales improve. Having great products with great service will build your brand.
John Lott, CFO/COO, SpearmintLOVE
Find ways to keep existing customers coming back without discounting. Add new products, promote existing products, keep them engaged.
Christopher Cowden, Director of Operations, Grace and Lace
Engagement. Be interesting, deliver quality, care about what you do and why you do it, but always pay super close attention to every contact with every customer.
Sammy Gibson, Director, Neon Poodle
Our focus is customer service, fast email and social media response is critical for building brand trust. We try to keep response times to 24 hours or less for all emails from customers and wholesalers.
With brand trust comes social media tagging between groups and good word of mouth.
Vladimir Gendelman, Founder and CEO, Company Folders, Inc.
The No. 1 tactic to increase sales for online brands is to form a connection with your customers. So many businesses miss out on this because they are too busy thinking of themselves.
Establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry by providing content that helps your audience to be more efficient and effective at their jobs or in other aspects of their lives.
Provide articles, infographics, videos, etc. that answer their questions in a comprehensive in-depth way no one else is doing.
Because our content provides information that’s in high demand, it establishes trust so that more and more of our online audience members come to us as customers.
Storytelling is at the Heart of Scaling Your Success
Max DB, Founder, HeyMaxDB – Content Strategy
A proper content program, not just the occasional blog post as an afterthought, is really important. It's brilliant for SEO, but also for validation and branding.
Longer content can be used as a gift to customers or as a lead magnet on Facebook. It has the best ROI for an ecommerce store owner in my opinion.
David Berlach, Director, Bohemian Traders
Direct engagement with your customer base through social media is an amazing opportunity to drive brand awareness and push people through to your site.
Regardless of the digital age, everyone still loves actual human interaction and story.
Adam Lyons, Founder, Psychology Hacker
You are not in ecommerce, you are a content creator.
The ultimate differentiator in ecommerce is your brand, your message, and your content.
You, as the business owner, make your business unique and appealing to your market. The challenge is how you use your own charisma in your brand and disciplining yourself to put yourself out there on a consistent basis.
One way you can get a quick win and confidence booster is by creating content that captures a wave instead of trying to create a wave, which is how most people think when they are trying to create content that will go viral.
Create content around predictions of what is going to happen in the media that will go viral. Some examples include movie releases, news bulletins, holidays, etc. Try it and you’ll see your efforts to become a content creator pay off.
Sean Whalen, Founder & CEO, Lions Not Sheep
People would rather have an experience than a product.
If you want to create brand loyalty, you have to put you and your truth out there.
We’ve been able to build Lions Not Sheep purely by just using my truth and doing it consistently. Our entire business is built on organic traffic, solely because of this.
We’ve also focused on Facebook primarily as our channel to market to and build our brand. Instead of putting a small amount of effort into multiple marketing channels, put all your effort into a few.
Bill Widmer, Ecommerce SEO & Content Marketing Consultant, Bill Widmer
Three words: Search engine optimization.
I know it feels like I'm beating a dead horse here, but the ecommerce space does such a poor job with SEO that even a poor focus on it can give you a slight enough edge to outrank the competition.
Then, if you work with an expert or take a course, you can blast past them.
Organic traffic is free, high-converting, and fairly easy to get.
I've been able to rank a site from scratch for its two main keywords within 4 months. Not just on the first page, but the #1 spot! That's the power of great keyword research, strong and helpful content, and relationship/link building efforts.
James Brown, Client Engagement Manager, RANDEM
Focus your business, and your product range, on the core idea behind why you set up your business in the first place.
Craft a simple but compelling message around why you are the one that does *that* so much better than anyone else.
Disobey the Email Marketing Rules You Think You Know
Shayla Price, B2B Marketer
Email marketing holds the answer for online brands with a desire to increase their sales. Right now, most companies possess tangled email systems with stale subscriber lists and poor follow-up sequences.
It's time to take control of your email marketing to truly nurture your leads and retain more customers.
Start by segmenting your lists to send personalized messages to your audience. You also want to create workflows that adjust with the subscriber's behavior.
There's power in your email list. Use it to boost your sales.
George Hartley, CEO and Co-founder, SmartrMail
I’m biased here, but email!
Send relevant email regularly to your customers. They've opted in because they like your products, so use it to engage.
Use a tool like SmartrMail to set up email automation funnels, and custom product emails, and it will create ongoing personalized engagement.
Greg Johnston, Managing Director, Be A Part Of
Build your list. Do whatever you can to build your list. And remove those not interested. Build a strong list. LIST LIST LIST!!!! :)
Emil Kristensen, co-founder & CMO, Sleeknote
When it comes to sales and ROI, an email newsletter is still one of the most effective marketing channels. At the same time, this channel is often forgotten by marketers today.
Many brands forget what actually works.
They are keen on trying new channels instead of optimizing conversions on the channels they’re already using. You should, of course, also test new channels just don’t forget the channels that are already working.
Josh Mendelsohn, VP Marketing, Privy
The number one missed opportunity is not capturing a visitor's email address once they hit your site.
There are any number of reasons a person might not make a purchase but unless you get them to give you permission to contact them, they are likely gone forever.
Using pop-ups, banners, etc. with exit intent can help you go from less than 2% on site conversion to 10 or even 20%.
Tyler Bramlett, CEO, Warrior Media
Most people don’t understand the value of email.
Email is a platform that you own. You don’t own the advertising platforms, but you do own your email list.
In addition, don’t be afraid to increase the frequency of your emails. For example, we ran a split test of a 60 day email campaign being compressed into 30 days so instead of an email going out every 24 hours, we had an email going out ever 12 hours. Everything was tracked during this test.
At the end of the test, everything was identical, open rates, click-through rates, and sales.
Bottom line: You’ll make more money in less time by increasing the frequency of your emails.
The Secret to CRO & Recurring Revenue
Edin Sabanovic, Senior CRO Consultant, Objeqt
Make sure your funnel is structured so customers can smoothly transition through it and make conversion. And, ensure you have as many payment options available as possible.
Jason Ehmke, Senior Client Data Analyst, AddShoppers
Make your product easy to buy. Don't make your customers have to work to buy from you.
Do you really need someone to create an account before they purchase, or can it be a part of the checkout process? The easier it is for a customer to make a purchase, the more likely they are to buy.
Cory Barnes, Digital Marketing Manager, Kelty
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
You can drive all the traffic in the world to your site, but if your conversion rate sucks, it's all for naught.
Take a hard look at every aspect of your site.
What could be better?
What are your competitors doing?
How does it look on mobile/tablet?
How fast is it?
What do your customers/users think?
Get unbiased opinions. Not everyone's going to agree, so test. Test, test, test. Keep the process going all the time. It isn't good enough to redesign your site every few years. You must be making improvements all the time.
James Thomson, President, PROSPER Show
The #1 tactic is to have accurate, regularly-updated unit economics on each product you sell. This means you need to make sure to include some sort of overhead cost allocation to your overall costs.
You will quickly find you are selling a lot of items that make you no money (or lose you money).
Once you address those items by removing them from your catalog or altering prices, you will find you are making a lot more money by way of doing the same amount of work.
We have repeatedly helped clients remove 40% of their catalog, only to increase profits by 20-40%
Ryan Pfleger, Founder, PayWhirl
Sounds like a broken record but increasing recurring revenue is never a bad idea and it's easy to implement with tools like PayWhirl on BigCommerce.
Figure out how you can offer a subscription box or bundles of any kind –– and get that revenue pulling in regularly from the first checkout.
Steve Deckert, Co-Founder, Smile.io
Hands down, the lowest hanging fruit for online brands is increasing sales from existing customers.
Many businesses focus all of their efforts on outwards marketing when they should really be looking at the consumer experiences they are providing to their current customers.
Successfully retaining your customers can be as simple and low cost as implementing a rewards program into your online store.
By interacting with your customers, rewarding them for engaging with your brand and making sure they have the best possible experience, you can ensure high returns at a very low cost.
Ryan McKenzie, CMO, My Passion Media
Work on increasing your average order value and lifetime value of your existing customers.
Focus on the ascension process in your ecommerce business. This process is critical for maximizing sales from customers. Here are 4 ways that you can do this:
Optimize the uptake of your order bump
Optimize the conversion of your upsell sequences
Create and sell continuity programs to your customers, like “subscribe and save” offers
Consistently send bonding/storytelling emails with soft sells
When you can get the ascension process optimized and performing well in your business, you can now afford to pay more per customer making it easier to advertise, scale, and outbid your competition on ads.
Ryan Bemiller, Founder, Shopping Signals
Improving conversions and reducing cart abandonment are often overlooked in lieu of spending more money on traffic generation.
But in reality, improvements in conversions and cart abandonment are cheaper than paid traffic, and can make paid traffic much more effective.
In-Context Ads & Retargeting = The Lowest Hanging Fruit
Ross Simmonds, Founder, Foundation Marketing
The biggest low hanging fruit for online sales is the act of using remarketing campaigns that target people who don't buy after adding something to their cart.
If your customer has added something to their cart with the intent to buy and then gets a phone call that sidetracks them, it's on you to bring them back.
Remarketing is a great way to do exactly that and ensure that you're not leaving money on the table.
Sweta Patel , Director of Demand Generation, Cognoa
Most people buy stuff based on referrals from others and their friends.
I would say the lowest hanging fruit is getting people to review the product and sharing the reviews through ads. This will increase awareness, but it will also increase the loyalty for the brand.
I would also suggest not adding a logo on the ad so it doesn't look like the company is promoting itself.
The other way to increase sales is to double-down on a few products versus having too many choices.
You will get crushed if prospects are overwhelmed when they come to your website.
Make it simple for them to choose. It's not about having the lowest prices or the cheapest products. It's about being customer centric and giving them what they want.
Aaron Houghton, Co-Founder and CEO, BoostSuite
Running remarketing advertising campaigns to the online audiences of businesses who sell to the same customers as yourself, but who sell different products to those people –– that’s the lowest hanging fruit.
They already have the relationships you need to grow your business, and you can help them by letting them advertise to your audience too.
That's what our Bigcommerce app (BoostSuite) does. This technique generates 2%+ clickthrough rates for prospecting on the Google Display Network and average ROI is 8X among our 6,100 advertisers.
Jordan Brannon, President and COO, Coalition Technologies
Email. So many ecommerce companies that reach six figures to low seven figures a year lose sight of email or fail to put time into building that marketing channel.
Separately, many online brands forget that regardless of whether they do retail or not, they still are 'local.'
Ecommerce and online sales are exciting, and you can easily build engagement from promoting the website through local press and local channels. That is also a a great way to build SEO, word of mouth referrals, and social audiences.
Identify Less Competitive Markets – and Win
Donald Pettit, Sales & Partners Manager, SalesWarp
The easiest way to increase sales is to differentiate and be the sole provider of your goods.
Casting a wide net too often lands you in the "me too" category, and you get lost in the noise. Selling your products on the channels that enable brand value is critical, but taking the next step and protecting your brand against "me too" sellers or counterfeiters is vital.
Most brands overlook brand protection on channels like Amazon, which is so critical.
Fight back against counterfeiters and unauthorized sellers, ensure your customers are YOUR customers, and set yourself apart in the uniqueness of your value proposition.
Every major brand monitors the used and resale market of their goods, why wouldn't you act to protect your brand value where it's most needed? This is the most common example of cannibalized sales, and so few brands act against unauthorized re-sellers.
Doug Root, CEO & Website Guy, Atlanta Light Bulbs
I simply look for areas that have low competition. We are not a huge company with large budgets so we have to make sure we get a great ROI.
We offer the brands our customers want. Our goal is to give our customer multiple ways to buy from online and in person. The old adage "from clicks to bricks" means a lot to us.
Facebook Advertising’s Impressive ROI
Eric Carlson, Co-Founder, 10X Factory
I think a lot of times it comes down to offer.
If you can create an offer that is attractive, you can WIN A LOT on Facebook.
This was the case with a $300 product that we simply bundle with a free additional item and we went from acquiring customers for about $90 a pop to $30 a pop on new acquisition simply by making the offer more attractive.
In terms of the low hanging fruit most people miss is a lot of people don't know how to leverage their existing data, whether it is uploaded a custom audience to Facebook, building a lookalike audience, or simply emailing their list to make money.
Paige Gerber, Head of Marketing, Vantage
Facebook Advertising. It's one of the best ways to drive new visitors to your store, convert them into paying customers and re-engage them to buy even more.
According to Adweek, the average return on investment from Facebook Ads in ecommerce is 152%, and it's the largest social media referrer for ecommerce orders.
Not advertising on this channel is a major missed opportunity for online brands.
The best part: it's easier than ever with tools like Vantage that specialize in Facebook ads for ecommerce to build and launch campaigns that drive sales.
Rupert Cross, Digital Director, 5874
Facebook dynamic product ad retargeting is the lowest hanging fruit most online brands aren’t doing.
Without it, leads with showed intent are disappearing!
But it is crucial that it is properly set up, along with the advertising sets.
Mike Pisciotta, Co-founder, Marketing Your Purpose
Take control of your Facebook Ads.
Use what I call the “ad stacking method” which is a heavy focus on segmenting every single visitor based on actions they do or don’t take on your ecommerce store and then placing the right message in front of them at the right time based on where they are in the conversation, AKA your marketing funnel.
Instead of leaning on Facebook’s algorithm for advertising success, set up your ads using custom audiences, inclusions and exclusions, so you can show an ad based on what action they have or haven’t taken yet.
Jeremy Howie, CEO, Enlightened Marketing
You need to bring back 98% of your prospects.
Many ecommerce owners don’t have their Facebook pixel completely set up in their ecommerce store, yet alone installed.
With that said, make sure you have a Facebook pixel installed on your website.
Secondly, make sure that you have the various events like Add to Cart or Purchase Events set up so Facebook knows what actions your visitors to your store have or haven’t taken.
When you have segmented custom audiences following events, you wield a powerful asset that you can use to generate ROI from using Facebook ads, in addition to creating cold audiences from these groups of website visitors by taking advantage of Facebook’s ability to create lookalike audiences.
Stop Shipping from Stopping You (and Your Customer, too)
Suzanne Moore, Narrator, All About Suzy
Free shipping is so much more powerful than a percent off. Even if that percentage is more than shipping.
People have a tendency to buy more when there is free shipping. It gives them that "Amazon Prime" power of satisfaction feel.
And don't forget to offer it to your international customers as well. They will purchase two or three times more because they understand how rare it is to have that "free shipping" unicorn.
Harrison Dromgoole, Content Creator, Ordoro
Again, use shipping as a sales tactic because it’s as important as ever for consumers.
A top-tier tactic is -- of course -- free shipping; look no further than Amazon to see why.
You can either offer it on your entire product catalog, or implement a free shipping threshold that sets a dollar amount as a requirement to access it.
Some low-hanging fruit related to that is kitting: to get more product off the shelves and increase order value, merchants can set up kits that bundle multiple products into a single unit for sale.
Erik Christiansen, CEO, Justuno
Combat cart abandonment in the moment it occurs. Rather than waiting to engage a shopper until after they abandon their cart, engage them with an exit offer right at the moment of abandonment.
Cart abandonment almost always has to do with price or shipping. Today’s shopper is looking for a deal and expecting free shipping. With 79% of total carts being abandoned, clearly shopper needs are not being met.
At the end of the day, if you want a sale, you have to fulfill the needs of your shoppers. Give them what they’re looking for and provide an easy path to conversion.
Present an exit offer with a promo code to shoppers who have attempted to leave the cart or checkout pages. What you offer depends on what your shoppers respond to and your profit margins. This could be for a percentage off discount, dollar amount discount, free shipping, or another creative offer.
This tactic engages abandoners at a critical point in the purchasing process, forces the shopper to make a purchasing decision, and fulfills shopper wants/needs.
With nearly ⅘ of all sale opportunities resulting in an abandoned cart, it’s imperative that you engage these shoppers at the point of abandonment.
Using this simple tactic, BigCommerce retailer, The Mountain, was able to decrease cart abandonment by 30%!
Sales & Deals Aren’t Dead –– And They Never Will Be
Aaron Rubin, CEO, ShipHero
Run flash sales on your own site and offer a great price. Blast that out on paid social channels.
You'll have some spend on marketing, but the cost will be less than the percentage you'd pay Amazon and you now have a customer that you own, rather than getting a one time sale.
Daniel Townsend, Managing Director, Plum Tree Group
When you leverage deal sites, coupon platforms, and comparison shopping engines that accelerate product launches, you supercharge coupon distribution efforts and increase brand awareness.
This helps you to promote product offers to larger audiences in less time compared to launching these same initiatives solely using their website.
Josh Marsden, Owner, CVO Acceleration Online Sales Funnels
Promote, promote, promote.
Using promotions sounds simple and it really is, but to really leverage the potential of promotions in your ecommerce business, you have to use various types of promotions at different times throughout the year and in different frequencies.
For one, promotions should be used several times each week to get inactive leads and previous customers that haven’t purchased in several months to buy.
Two, promotions should be used quarterly with big themes and events to drive massive floods of sales from your entire community.
The bottom line is that you want to keep making offers to keep leads and previous buyers engaged, continuing to purchase from you. If you don’t, they will go to someone else.
Todd Brown, Author, Marketing Funnel Automation
The right offer can quadruple your marketing performance.
The one crucial mistake that ecommerce owners are making is in their offer. When an offer is a great offer it captures the following:
Dimensionalized / story (what it looks like in the life of the prospect)
Emotional benefit (how will the buyer feel)
Guarantee (change the perceived risk)
The features and benefits is where you can differentiate your product from your competitors. Every business has differentiators in their products, if you dig deep.
For example, maybe you have a unique process behind the creation of your product. Talk about it. Make that process your unique differentiator in your market.
When you focus on the elements of the offer, that can drastically improve your conversions in your ecommerce store.
Tap Into Influencers & Affiliates Everyday
Scott Voelker, Founder & Author, The Amazing Seller
Be all in.
Reach out to 50 influencers in your space that can review your product, talk about it, with the exchange of putting an affiliate link in their posts or on their page. Influencers are a quick, powerful way to add traffic, leads, customers, and sales to your ecommerce business.
Also, once you have a promotion that works, duplicate it over and over.
You just built a powerful system in your business that can generate sales on command. Use it to double your ecommerce business.
Brett Owens, Marketing Director & Co-Founder, LeadDyno
Start an affiliate program. It's a no brainer because it's cheap and easy to setup.
There are many effective affiliate apps in the BigCommerce App Store that you can add for a low cost and start a "plug and play" program today.
I'm sure you have visitors on your website today looking for an affiliate program to join. So why not let them start helping you while you agree to pay them a percent of any sales that they send your way?
Merchandising + Segmentation = Unrivaled Digital Experiences
Eric Yonge, CEO & Creative Director, EYStudios
We often see merchants miss the opportunity to develop a compelling merchandising strategy for their storefront. It’s common to see stores that simply list products, instead of looking for ways to effectively sell them.
Buying is an emotional experience. You can create a lot more excitement for your brand by crafting well-placed ads than row after row of product thumbnails.
Powerful online brands create voices through the effective use of words and pictures. In order for customers to pay attention (and open their wallets), you have to create content that’s far superior to the boring detritus of your competitors.
Eric Keating, VP of Marketing, Zaius
My #1 tactic to increase ecommerce sales is deep segmentation (https://blog.zaius.com/the-power-of-super-specific-customer-segmentation/).
Today, you can do real-time, dynamic segmentation of your buyers as they click around your site. For example, as a user visits your site, you can track all of the pages they visit, the products they click, and automatically send targeted offers based on their activity.
Segmentation doesn't stop with email.
You can do the same deep segmentation across multiple channels, including social ads, Google ads, push messages, and more. By segmenting buyers in real-time, across channels, you can get incredibly personalized with your marketing and drive up conversion rates.
Why Psychology Wins More Sales – And You Can, Too
Austin Iuliano, Founder, AustinIuliano.com
Use the herd mentality.
What is herd mentality? Herd mentality describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors.
This same behavior can be “bred” in your ecommerce store. How?
By using social proof. Social proof is igniting heard mentality in your prospect buyers. For example, Amazon uses this effectively by features reviews prominently on product pages.
Ecommerce stores can do the same to create heard mentality in the minds of their prospects.
Earnest Epps, CEO, Earnest Associates
Supply the demand, don’t demand the supply.
The #1 way to increase sales for online brands is implementing scarcity into a marketing campaign.
When people know there is a shortage and/or a limited time to take action for a product or service there is a higher likelihood they will take action sooner rather than later.
Furthermore, there has to be balance with this strategy as you don’t want to come off as your brand is being “salesy” or “pushy”. This strategy is very easily implemented around holidays, weekends, end of the month or around any campaign.
Don’t Skip the Small Stuff
Brita Turbyfill, Gray Loon
There’s not one magic trick to generate more sales. But, skipping the small stuff can hurt your sales.
Your return policy, your shipping rates, abandoned cart emails, referral programs, optimizing each pages to drive conversions… all these little things add up to more sales.
Take full advantage of modern shopping features and meet consumer expectations -- it will help your customers and therefore your business.
Workshop Your Way to More Sales
Get insights, tips and actionable advice from 50+ online marketing legends on exactly how you can drive more traffic and increase sales for your business.