Let’s face it, getting an online store up and running nowadays is easy.
There are plenty of self-service tools out there that streamline core development tasks, like registering a domain, constructing your store pages, and ensuring mobile-responsiveness. You could even breeze through each step without writing a single line of code.
Making money and sustaining your business, on the other hand, is a different story.
For a long time, the failure rate for e-commerce businesses is projected at around 80 to 97 percent. That’s considerably higher than the known failure rate of small businesses, which sits at 70 percent over a span of 10 years.
On top of the fierce competition in the online space, plenty of e-commerce business owners — particularly those who lack patience and commitment — mentally give up after the overwhelming amount of challenges when it comes to growth. This includes content marketing, conversion rate optimization, SEO, CRM, and taxes.
If you think about it, they’re really not to blame.
Each of these takes days, if not weeks of preparation and execution. Even then, profitable results aren’t guaranteed, but you can bet that your overhead costs will continue to pile up.
That’s why we chose to put together this post — to help e-commerce brands accelerate their growth with sustainable, cost-effective marketing and sales strategies.
Let’s jump right in.
1. Generate More Repeat Sales
Here’s a cold, hard fact: customer acquisition can be expensive, and you can’t live off of one-time customers alone.
Once a customer completes a sale, you don’t just let them ride off into the sunset and not look back. You need to keep that door open with a robust lead generation strategy that maximizes Customer Lifetime Value or CLV.
The key here is to position your product more as a long-term service rather than a one-time purchase.
During the checkout process, give customers the option to share their email address to receive tips, updates, special offers, and other types of valuable information. Afterward, consolidate their information into an email marketing platform like MailChimp, which lets you create automation workflows.
A “Thank You” email workflow, for example, allows you to squeeze more profits out of new customers through upselling offers. You can use MailChimp’s ready-to-use automation template to implement this strategy in minutes.
Whatever you, don’t make your email subscription mandatory. Forced registrations add friction to the checkout experience, which causes your lead generation efforts to do more harm than good.
2. Recover Abandoned Cart Sales
Speaking of emails, another way to maximize your revenue is to recover lost sales from shopping cart abandoners.
These are customers who have shown interest in your products but left the site before they get to complete their purchase.
Don’t worry — you’re not going to send an email to these customers one by one. Just like before, automation is the only way to go if you want to recover sales from abandoned carts.
Fortunately, that’s one of the automation workflows that platforms like MailChimp have a template for.
3. Promote on Social Media
Although PPC ads and SEO are proven to help bring traffic to your website, they can be very costly to new e-commerce brands.
SEO may take thousands of dollars and a couple of months before it can generate results. PPC, on the other hand, can lead to losses with the slightest mistake, like targeting the wrong keyword or failing to optimize your ad copy properly.
What you can do is leverage free marketing platforms like social media to bring your products to a wider audience. Instagram, for example, lets you create shoppable posts that customers can tap to go directly to their desired product pages.
The shoppable post experience starts with a pop-up that displays the product’s name and price.
Of course, you can also promote your products on other networks for free — be it Twitter, Facebook, or even Q&A sites like Quora.
These networks have communities for all business ideas in every niche. You just need to interact with them as an active member of the community, like:
- Joining relevant groups in your niche
- Answering questions that users ask
- Sharing, reacting, and commenting on posts
- Curating the posts of social media influencers
4. Wasting Money on the Wrong Keywords
If you already have ongoing PPC and SEO strategies but aren’t getting the results you want, then it’s high time for you to review your target keywords.
Picking broad, unprofitable keywords is among the most common mistakes e-commerce businesses make without a consultant. These are keywords that are either too competitive or vague to use in marketing.
Normally, finding the right keywords for e-commerce takes days of nose-deep research. But to give you an idea of how it’s done, let’s take at how keyword research is done with a free tool like Ubersuggest.
Basically, you need to expand any seed keyword into long-tail keyword variations. For example, if you’re selling handmade bags, you can start your research with the keyword “custom bags.”
Within seconds, Ubersuggest should provide you with hundreds of relevant keyword ideas along with valuable metrics that gauge their viability. Simply navigate to the “Keyword Ideas” tab and sort the results according to metrics that matter to you — from their average monthly search volumes to their SEO difficulty scores.
Here’s a tip: create filters to find buyer keywords, which are more likely to be used by people when they have purchase intent.
For example, if you’re trying to sell custom mugs, you can create a filter with the term “sale.” Just click on the “Filters” button and type “sale” in the “Include Keywords” field.
After clicking “Apply,” switch to the “Related” tab for buyer keywords in case the “Suggestions” tab is empty.
Feel free to experiment with other terms when creating filters to diversify your keyword portfolio. Some of the terms that are typically included in buyer keywords are:
- For hire
- For sale
There you have it — a list of repeatable, cost-effective strategies that will increase your e-commerce revenue and help you avoid blowing over your budget.
Will it make your e-commerce business a success overnight? Probably not.
What’s important is that you’ve corrected your course before your unprofitable e-commerce management drags on. Just have patience and your hard work will pay off big time.