Growing your online shop requires clever marketing strategies to keep you ahead of the competition. Here’s our list of tried and tested marketing strategies shop owners to implement to increase sales.
1. Content Marketing
We have grown into digital information consumers, constantly scrolling through headlines and sifting through photos and videos. To get within your ideal customer’s attention span, you need to appear on the places where they are consuming information.
- Consistent blogging. Ideally one a week, at least once every fortnight. Create useful posts for your target customers.
- Consistent email newsletters. Ideally twice per month. Short emails, send customers to a specific page on your website that gives them value, not just hits them with the hard sell.
- Create YouTube account and create video content
- Take images and share them on Instagram. Use the hashtags that your ideal customers are using.
- Always give value to your ideal customer, not just pushing the hard sell.
2. Automate Email Campaigns
Sometimes we rely on software too much, but in the world of sales, there is always room for more automation and online software can take care of a lot of this for you.
You can automate emails that are sent during your sales process and send the videos made by imagination creations via these emails.
I’m talking emails about:
- New customer accounts
- Thank you for your order (one of the highest open rates of any email – a perfect re-marketing opportunity)
- Review our product
- Follow us on social media
- Thanks for purchasing, here’s a discount off your next purchase
- Thanks for signing up to our mailing list, here’s 10% off
- We haven’t seen you for X days, come check what’s new in our shop
There are so many opportunities to automate and how you implement this depends a lot upon your business and how you need these emails to integrate into your online shop.
Remember – automated doesn’t have to mean impersonal. Use your customer’s name in your email templates and write the email as if you are talking to a friend. Connect with your customer, build trust and grow your repeat business.
3. Diversify Social Media Campaigns
It’s no longer enough just to post to social media – you need to engage with your audience. Running competitions, asking for feedback, doing giveaways and generally interacting with your audience keeps the communication lines open and adds personality and trust to your brand.
More and more businesses are getting into video marketing for the level of engagement it generates among masses, there are many software in the market to help make professional grade videos.
4. Personalise Experience
From online shopping, to ordering, to unboxing to the emails your customer receives – make the experience about them as a person, as an individual. Your customers have individual needs and they are choosing your business to help fulfil those needs, so treat them with the individual attention they deserve. Sure, a lot of this can be automated, but to achieve a good customer satisfaction it needs to show a level of care about them that can separate you from your competitors. Top tips here:
- Use the customer’s name in all emails
- Provide the customer with useful recommended products based on what is in their cart or what they have already purchased
- Write follow up emails to the customer requesting feedback on their experience (automate this)
5. Use Campaign Links
“You can’t improve what you aren’t measuring”. I first heard this from David Booth at a Google Partners Seminar in Melbourne and it has really had a lot of impact in the way I have worked towards improving my client’s online businesses.
By using campaign links, we can track the visitors that click on these links via Google Analytics on their journey through our website, through the shop, to the cart, via the shipping page and through to the checkout.
Which marketing channel brings you the most traffic so you know where to invest your efforts?
Which channel brings you the most revenue?
Which exact link on a particular email campaign had the highest click rate?
All of this can be tracked using Campaign Links. If you have Google Analytics properly set up then you should start using campaign links right now by using Google’s URL Builder tool.
6. Improve how you look on Google
When you search for your business on Google, how does it look? When searching for your own business name it should be the #1 result in Google. In addition to that you can improve click through rates to your site by improving how you look on Google with:
- Your homepage plus other pages below it
- Google Maps listing of your business location
- Profiles of your social pages
- Reviews for your products
- Passing Google’s Mobile Friendly Test
- Search bar for searching within your site
- News about your brand
By having all of these elements it will make sure your site has maximum exposure and opportunity within the search results to win the searcher’s click. Then it’s up to your site to make the sale!
With the below example for the search word “Holden” you can see how Holden have optimised how they look on Google with:
- Google Adwords. A successful Google AdWords management should increase your business exposure across the web . The result should be better sales and more traffic.
- 1st place in the organic results, plus sub pages listed below
- Google Places listings for the different offices
- 2nd organic result, which is tailored to the location I am searching from
- Google Maps results
- Google Knowledge Graph results, complete with customer service numbers and links to social profiles
7. Reviews Can Be More Important Than Price
Here’s a little insight into how I shop and I’m sure there are a lot of shoppers out there with very similar behaviour – I am always looking at the product reviews.
I’m a lot more comfortable committing to a purchase when I know someone else has bought it, tried it out and given a positive review.
This kind of social proof reassures me that I’m going to get a great product that I know other people are enjoying.
You can say all you want about your own product, but someone endorsing it has a much more powerful effect.
This is especially true for items with premium pricing.
I purchased Bose noise-cancelling headphones after a couple of weeks of testing them at the shops and reading loads of reviews about them online. Why did this take so long? Because they are $400 that’s why! Very expensive for headphones but worthy every cent.
I wouldn’t have purchased these without reading the many 5 star reviews on this product.
8. Mobile Optimised, Not Just Mobile Friendly
Responsive web design is now an essential requirement of a website and your best move is to go beyond this by optimising the mobile experience for your customers.
Check your Google Analytics data and segment it by mobile visitors only so you can view their bounce rates, page loading times and conversion rates. This is where you need to focus your efforts and review how you can improve these figures.
- Check that your add to cart and checkout process is easy to use for mobile customers
- Improve website loading time to below 3 seconds
- Ensure every page on the website passes Google’s Mobile Friendly Test
- Check to make sure all your shipping terms and details are presented to the mobile customers, as well as how they can get customer support in case of any problems with their order.
9. Google Trusted Store
The Google Trusted Stores program lets shoppers know that participating stores provide a great shopping experience and excellent customer service—giving them the confidence to make a purchase. Stores that qualify for the Google Trusted Stores program will display the Google Trusted Stores badge on their sites as well as annotated to their Google Shopping results and their Product Listing Ads.
This is a Google certification you earn for shipping orders on time and providing efficient customer service. Having the Google Trusted Stores badge increases buyer confidence, which in turn can increase your conversion rate. Moreover, Google provides $1000 in buyer protection for customers who purchase from a Google Trusted Store.
This is a great program to be involved in to improve the trustworthiness of your site. Apply here to the Google Trusted Stores program. You’ll need to give Google all your business information and be able to prove that you are providing exceptional customer service and shipping times.
10. Improve Website Loading Times
Page loading time is an important part of your customer’s experience and many times we lose focus on this in favour of large images and nifty features which result in bloated pages and slow loading times. Website visitors tend to care more about fast loading sites than all the bells and whistles we want to add to our websites, and website speed is becoming more important to search engines with influencing your search rankings.
For optimal customer experience, it is recommended that your site loads in no more than 3 seconds.
Slow loading times reduce sales and can harm your search results so speed needs to be top priority. Here are some stats from KISSmetrics to hammer in the point:
- A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
- 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- 46% of people expect a website to load as fast or almost as fast on their mobile.
- 79% of shoppers who as dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from the same site again
11. Always Use HTTPS
Having an SSL certificate allows you to use HTTPS to encrypt the transmission of data between your website, the server and your customer’s browser. HTTPS sites have a little green lock icon in the address bar which can improve shopper confidence in knowing that your site is secure. With SSL as a Google ranking factor and that having HTTPS can actually improve the performance of your website, it’s important that all the pages of your website are switched to HTTPS for the best results.
The move to HTTPS should be fairly straight forward and inexpensive, although this can depend on your website host. Get in touch with your web host to organise and SSL certificate for your site and do some research into the price of SSL certificates to make sure they are comparable. You may need to consult your web developer to change your default domain to HTTPS.