Category Archives: eCommerce

eCommerce

Five ideas to revive your sales

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Because autumn is the season when everything comes back to life, here are some five great ideas to try and revive your online shop’s sales.

1. Analyse and monitor sales

Now, more than ever, it is the perfect time to have a clearer image of your business: volumes traded in different time intervals, certain product categories that sell, numbers of orders for each product and many other indicators. There are some payment solutions that offer reporting centres for your online store, maybe you should take a look on those as well. Beyond the numbers and other insightful information you can get some valuable data related to seasonality, buyers’ patterns, purchasing habits and so on.

2. Find out what your customers want from you

Do you really know what buyers want from your online store or what satisfies/dissatisfies them most? Do you think your site needs a faster navigation or more methods of payment? You should certainly seek to improve the shopping experience of your customers and the best way of doing this is by testing, testing, testing.

3. Discover and analyse new ideas

Always keep an alert eye on your competition that is offering similar products as you are. You could find some new trends or new ideas that you did not thought of but might really improve your sales and not only. See what could work for your business, adapt to your online store, personalise and apply.

4. Offer promotions that bring the most profit

Online buyers are very sensitive to deals/coupons/sales. If you’ve decided to offer discounts on your site or think about offering discounts, do your calculations to determine the level of reduction that you can provide in order to keep your profit margins. Do not set up promotions based on figures from previous years or based on competition or you could start losing money.

5. Add a whishlist

This is the best way for finding out what products your customers wish to see in your online store. You could also reward very loyal customers with those new products at promotional prices and not only. There are literally many ways in which you could use that information for the benefit of your customers and of your online store…

Tips to create buzz with your online store promotion

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By definition, any buyer loves a promotion. As it is cheaper, it brings an “incentive”, that doubles the amount to a value far below the real one, it definitely works. In any kind of niche, a distinct area of promotions is highly visited, any online store manager can tell you that, but how can someone take full benefits of a just launched promotion?
Specifically, a promotion requires an investment and ideally some communications strategy along with a perfect placement with a proper graphics signal. Regardless of value, if visibility is low you will be able to cover only 5-10% of sales potential through a promotion.

What do you do with a promotion?

In most ecommerce websites, a promotion can be found 99% of the times in home page (top position – that is the banner looking good and promising discounts and so on) or in a special category if it exists.
The first variant is visually expressed, with a full “call to action” graphic but suffering from a major minus: clicking the banner takes you to a landing page which is absolutely normal – a product page or a selected listing without any graphic or text message that would undertake and sustain the curiosity of visitors.

In the second variant, a small button is located in the header or footer signaling you that there is something going one, but nothing too visible. As for the first variant as well, the click is followed by a not so optimised landing page for the promotion.

Both works, but the earnings would be noticeably higher if instead of a simple strategy like the ones above you would build up more on this theme, making use of all tools that can monetize a promotion.

Here are some ways that can help your promotion have more success:

- Use a call to action banner on homepage
- Top page positioning in category listing
- Cross selling in product pages
- Affiliate marketing campaign
- Article marketing and press release
- Article about the promotion on company blog
- Adwords campaign
- Sponsored bloggers writing about your campaign
- Email marketing campaign
- Dedicated feed sales and newsletter
- Offline advertising campaign

These will definitely increase your promotion exposure thus raising the flags when it comes to online earnings from your virtual ecommerce site.

Free delivery – pros and cons

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There are many studies available online related to whether customers are more satisfied with receiving their products for free or not and among those the most interesting ones were released by PayPal, Harris Interactive and Forrester. According to those studies, free shipping is what almost any customer wants; more exactly, more than 60% of all interviewed customers are happy to receive their products for free. But what does this mean for an online store?

 

Indeed, “free shipping” or “discounted shipping” are phrases that one can meet on almost every online shop and when looking at numbers it seems that free shipping can be profitable. Not only that it can be profitable but it MUST be profitable, no matter its value would be…

 

What can free shipping bring to your business:

 

-Increase the numbers of orders

-Increase the average value of an order

-Increase the price per product

-Gross margin increased

-Increasing the orders volume and thus reducing transport costs

 

On the other hand, if the calculations are not properly done an online store risks to:

 

-Lose a substantial percentage of a product’s gross margin

-Subsidize the free shipping from gross profits

-“kill” the gross profit

 

The real problem lies in how the calculations of transport costs have been done and what is the real impact of free shipping on an online store’s daily operations. One of the easiest options can be to impose a minimum purchase level for free shipping (e.g. free shipping for over $200 orders).

 

In conclusion, free shipping is a great marketing strategy but it also lies on a very thin layer of ice that can break and really hurt, in terms of profits/losses.