Has your business been affected by low sales? Do your customers vanish as soon as the sale season is over?
While flash sales and massive discounts may seem like excellent ways to boost sales, the results they bring are short-lived. In fact, if you use this as a solution for your limp sales, it is just a Band-Aid strategy, which could compromise your business’s long-term progress.
The first step that e-retailers must take towards increasing their sales is to analyze the real reasons behind stagnated or low sales. It could be slow site speed, high shipping costs, customers’ unwillingness to spend or a low-security site.
The downside of discounting
There is a close correlation between sales, discounts and customers’ perception of an item’s value. If there are frequent discounts, for instance a 50 percent off on products, buyers might perceive the value of these products to be much lower.
Discounts can be a great sales tool, but one that is also expensive. What’s worse, they can also be counter-productive if your customers start to “wait” for discounts to buy.
Here I’ve listed smarter ways by which new and existing brands can increase sales with no discounts.
If there was one thing you could do for your online business that has the potential to make a positive difference in your sales and profits, it is adding customer reviews to your products.
According to Reevoo stats, 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6 percent increase in conversion rates.
Customer reviews eliminate any doubts or concerns that buyers may have about purchasing a specific product. People naturally trust reviews by other customers more, as compared to manufacturers’ descriptions. To put it simply; reviews increase conversions.
According to a study by iPerceptions, Research reveals that 63 percent of customers are more willing to buy from a website with customer reviews. In a keynote by Bryan Eisenberg, he mentioned that, Figleaves, an e-store for women’s apparel, increased their conversion rate by 35 percent by adding customer reviews to their website.
How to get reviews?
One guaranteed method to get enough authentic reviews to make product pages more persuasive is to use third party review providers like Reevo or Bazaarvoice. This is a very useful way to create that body of reviews which otherwise might take a long while.
Upsell your products
“Can I upgrade this for you?”
“This one is a better fit for your size, don’t you think?”
We have all heard these and similar other lines – all said to upsell a product. Upselling means selling a pricier, better version of a similar product to a customer.
According to Econsultancy, upselling is 20 times more effective than cross selling online. Often, customers are unaware that a better product is available, or something else could better fit their needs.
Is one of your shirts made of pure cotton, compared to the synthetic cotton that a customer may purchase? Is a pair of shoes your company offers handmade? Emphasize the differences between products as you try to upsell them.
Finally, always keep these two things in mind when you decide to upsell to a customer.
- The product you want your customer to buy instead should be similar to, but a better version of, the product he is already interested in.
- Make sure the product you recommend fulfills all criteria that the customer is looking for – especially the price range. If it’s way too pricey, chances are that the customer might not buy. Therefore, the price range can only be slightly higher than the original product.
Here’s a perfect example of upselling by Apple.
Product Upsell is the application I recommend to businesses that want to automate upselling on their e-stores. The program gives you several options to upsell certain products to your customers. It could suggest higher-margin products to customers based on the items in their e-cart. The program can also be customized to suggest options once a purchase exceeds a certain amount, or offer buy one and get one free deals to specific customers.
We often never recognize it, but loyalty programs have become a part of our daily lives. As we drive to work and grab that free espresso (because we have purchased several over the past month) and go to return a new dress that wasn’t a good fit, but end up buying another two simply because their “service is just so great”.
These loyalty programs are working even when we are unaware of them. A recent study by the Center for Retail Management, Northwestern University, revealed that only 12-15 percent of customers are loyal to one brand, but they represent between 55 – 75 percent of total sales.
Acquiring new customers is expensive. Loyalty programs provide excellent ways to retain old customers who are happy to keep coming back.
Happy customers become brand advocates and we all know what a powerful strategy that can be.
Reduce abandoned carts
According to research by Baymard Institute, 67.45 percent of shopping carts are abandoned before they are completed.
If you take a second and really think about this, it means almost two thirds of your customers are not buying. As an e-retailer, it is our job to sideline hesitations in their purchases. There are ways to encourage customers to come back and continue the buying process.
One of that could be to eliminate shipping costs. The picture below accurately describes customer behavior towards shipping costs.
Another simple and effective way to reduce abandoned carts is to create an email recovery campaign to encourage them to complete the buying process. This article will definitely help!
If applied consistently, these four ideas can and will create a big difference in your business and profits without the need for big discounts. We would love to hear your feedback!