QuinceMedia / Pixabay

Amazon is now worth over a trillion dollars. If that’s not a sign that online shopping is growing faster than ever, we don’t know what is.

So if your e-commerce business is experiencing a sales slowdown, it’s probably not for a lack of warm bodies (read: credit cards). This is a good thing because this means that there are steps you can take to juice your sales during this time. Here is a list of business moves that can help you boost sales.

Prime the Pump

It takes a lot of calories to bring a new shopper through your virtual doors. The easiest way to get more sales is to leverage current customers who already know and have purchased from your brand. Getting them back to your site and buying even one item can lead to many more sales.

1. Run a Flash Sale

Groupon and other sale sites have made the Flash Sale a common part of consumer life, and it works…if you do it in a smart way. Tap into the excitement of a steep discount (at least 50% off) and scarcity (say, 24 hours), but stick to your products or services that have the best margins so your sale is still profitable. Also, you don’t have to target your entire audience; rather, advertising to your most frequent shoppers can help your Flash Sale be successful.

2. Offer a Loyalty Freebie

You should be running a loyalty program, which means you have direct access (via an app or email or social group) to your most loyal customers. You should also know that giving away something for free can lead to increased sales. Offer a free (or nearly free) item via your loyalty program. This gives an incentive to visit your e-commerce site and get the sales ball rolling.

3. Double your Marketing

Sales and freebies won’t matter if no one knows about it. Double your marketing efforts for a short while to help advertise your gambit. Invest more into paid search, social ads, or even hire a freelance Marketer to help get your message out there. You’d be surprised what good, consistent blogging can do to help bring back customers. Ahem.

4. Start Affiliate Marketing

Obviously, we’re big advocates of getting an in-house affiliate marketing program started. Having a small army of reps out there promoting your business that works off commission is a nearly risk-free way to reinforce your brand across the internet and get more people shopping.

Upsell

Once you have virtual window shoppers on your e-commerce site, you can increase sales by offering customers more than what they came for. Once you make sure you’ve optimized the heck out of your online store, here are some other things you can do.

6. Offer Free Shipping

For better or for worse, Amazon has made free shipping sort of expected. And for good reason since according to one study, “60% of online retailers cite ‘free shipping with conditions’ as their most successful marketing tool.” If you can’t offer free shipping as a standard perk, consider running limited time free shipping promotions, or offering it on sales greater than X dollars.

7. Have Clearance Items

Hey, it’s just easier to offer deals on products you want to get rid of anyway. Instead of simply slashing prices on their product page, consolidate all your old inventory on a specific Clearance page and clearly show just how much they’ll be saving off the original ticket price. Once you condition shoppers to check out the Clearance page, it’s an easy way to add an item or two to their shopping carts. And don’t forget to add a countdown of how many of that item is left. Scarcity is a powerful motivator…

8. Always Have a Ticking Clock

In fact, you should always have a ticking clock of sorts counting down either a sale, availability of a product, or the expiration of some promotion. It’s well known that “losses loom larger than gains,” and the fear of missing out is a psychological trigger that you should leverage for more sales. Having plenty is boring. Seeing that something is about to run out is exciting.

9. Recommend Products

Like gum at checkout, you should intelligently recommend similar products during the checkout process of their e-commerce transaction. Apps like Frequently Bought Together and Personalizer can help make this feature simple to implement.

The Long Goodbye

Before they leave, do as much as you can to make sure they come back and come back soon. Even at checkout, there is still a lot you can do to increase sales.

10. Catch, Tag, Release

Don’t let customers leave your site without getting them to sign up for something, anything. Capturing their email, getting them to sign up for a loyalty program, getting a ‘like’ from them on your social profiles; these are all must-do action items in today’s economy. This way, you can continue to market to them outside of their visit. It’s not catch and release; you need to tag them before you let them go so you can identify them in the wild.

11. Investigate Cart Abandonment

The average rate of cart abandonment is between 60% and 80%, so it’s a big problem that e-commerce retails have to contend with. If you’re at 80%, bringing it down to even 70% would mean huge wins to your bottom line. Investigate why your carts get abandoned. Is it the lack of free shipping? Probably:

Refer a Friend

After their purchase, make it easy for your happy shopper to refer a friend. You can do this by offering a discount for referring the product they just purchased to someone, or loyalty points for posting their purchase on social media. While they’re still high from their recent purchase, it’s good practice to ask them to help, just a little bit, to bring more awareness for your brand and specific product.

It’s currently a strong economy. If you see your sales slowing, there are proactive steps you can take to turn the ship around.