Being an online retailer in 2019 isn’t going to be easy. In fact, only a small percentage of businesses sell online today, and as the playing field gets crowded many companies will be dealing with a particularly daunting challenge…

How can I boost sales for my small ecommerce business?

The ecommerce space is crowded, and getting more competitive by the day. Small businesses face the unique challenge of having to do more with less by capturing consumers’ attention on little or no budget. In this article I’ll share five actionable insights that have worked well to create growth for our own small online stores.

1. Create a relevant path to purchase with risk and reward built in

Consumers want to find things out on their own. It’s tempting to try and pull the conversion all by yourself, but the reality is people are getting smarter every day about buying online. Based on data from our own very successful ecommerce stores, many consumers will actually copy/paste the name of your product into a new tab and look for a better price right away.

That’s a powerful insight. If they find a negative review, lower price, or other reason not to buy, the chances of you closing the sale are greatly diminished. This is why understanding how Google works is supremely important.

Make it your mission to dominate search listings from multiple angles including Amazon, your own ecommerce website, and other relevant platforms. Soak up all the top listings with your own product, and adjust price accordingly.

Consumers will make the decision for themselves, changing the “if” of the purchase decision to a “where”.

2. Sales and urgency reminders force consumers’ hands

The old trope of creating urgency is still extremely relevant in today’s world. Limited stock, act now, today only! These well-worn sales lines work well in the era of ecommerce, provided you can deliver on the promise.

Small Business Ecommerce Tips
Image credit: endive

Note the above urgency indicators and how they can create urgency to close the sale. Platforms like Shopify are invaluable when properly configured against inventory. By displaying urgency indicators as stock reaches critical levels, consumers are tempted to buy now rather than wait until tomorrow.

3. Cater to shortening attention spans

People are impulsive. And in the era of ecommerce, that impulse buying means money in your pocket. It’s not uncommon to earn sales during “quick buy” moments like work breaks during lunch or first thing in the morning before the commute.

The world of ecommerce has made it so easy to buy people stall until the need is at the forefront of the brain. We buy when we realize we need something, not in anticipation of the need. Brands that sell online need to be front and center when the need is greatest to earn the best sales to cost ratio.

Alejandra Alonso Rojas Clothing
Image credit: Alejandra Alonso Rojas

For most consumer-facing businesses this means ranking highly in search around high intent terms. These search terms may look like, “cheapest widget” or, “best replacement part free shipping”. These terms clearly indicate an intent to buy immediately, and should be top priority for brands on the move.

4. No traffic is worthless, monetize out of the box

The global supply chain has never been easier to access, and that means all traffic is good traffic. Algorithms govern everything from Google’s search to Facebook’s newsfeed. It’s a toss up what kind of visits you’ll be getting today and tomorrow.

If you keep an open mind, you can monetize anything. If you find you’re getting traffic that is unexpected or outside of your target audience, you should ask yourself what that person wants to buy. If you can identify this key point, you can leverage the global supply chain and create or identify a product for that buyer.

Don’t be afraid to sell something new to an audience you have captured. It may just become bigger than your original idea.

5. Capture lost sales after they leave your site

Most people fall out of the funnel. Our best performing ecommerce stores see a 6-8% conversion rate on traffic. But we’ve also seen stores in the 1-2% range struggling to get by. Review your data to understand if those shoppers are leaving for a reason, and start to leverage opportunities to get them back.

Podsquad Review
Image credit: PodSquad

Retargeting, abandoned cart recovery emails, and social media follows are all opportunities to keep would-be buyers in your ecosystem. Remember to make relevant and impactful offers. These prospective customers didn’t buy the first time, so make sure the second time they see your content, it makes an impact.

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