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Expert Author Maulik D Shah

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With so many online stores selling more or less the same products, competition is at an all time high in the online retail industry. Any eCommerce business wanting to succeed in this competitive environment needs to have the right marketing strategies in place. It's simply not enough to have a great webstore. Without proper marketing all your website development efforts will go down the drain.

Here are some eCommerce marketing strategies you can use to get the best out of your eCommerce venture.

1. Upsell Your Products
A majority of merchants go for up selling their products, because up selling works better than cross selling online. There are two main factors to up selling - 1) Make your upsells related to the original products 2) Have the right product pricing strategy to make the upsell look like a deal. Also make sure that products you are up selling fulfill your customers' needs. New products must be really better than the original ones.
2. Integrate Instagram
An average order value from Instagram marketing is around $60.00. Instagram gives brands 25% more engagement than any other social media platform. If you use right filters, appropriate hashtags and post at the right time, then you are on the right path on Instagram.
You can run campaigns, contests and share user generated pictures on Instagram. It is an excellent way to attract users towards your offerings. Instagram is one of the fastest growing apps and can be integrated with your store to have a better user engagement.
3. Launch A Facebook Store
Nobody in their right mind should ignore Facebook, the biggest platform for social media marketing. What many people are not aware of is that it is also a great source to generate traffic for shopify users since it is well integrated with Shopify store; you don't have to have a separate track of your inventory changes. Facebook Store, an app built by Shopify lets you display and sell your products directly on your Facebook page. Buyers can share their favorite items with their friends.
4. Capture More Email Subscribers
Email is one of the most essential means at your disposal in eCommerce marketing. It drives online traffic to your store. Email marketing is one of the oldest and still the best channel for digital marketing because it is more direct and accessible. If you are not convinced, consider these stats:
  • Emails have an ROI of around 4,300%.
  • 80% of people claim that they receive marketing messages with their personal emails regularly.
  • 70% of people make use of discount offers.
So don't ignore the power of good old email. Getting your target customers subscribe to your emails is one of the most surefire ways of increasing sales.
5. Improve Email Campaigns
Of course, it is not sufficient to gather a bunch of email addresses. Sending emails regularly with targeted content and offers is critical. There could be many occasions for sending emails that your subscribers appreciate.
For instance, send a welcome email once the customers sign up. This helps have the highest open rates of any marketing e-mails. Or you can let your customers know that their order is being processed and on its way. They would love to know their order status.
Another example is to send regular newsletters and let your buyers know about new discount offers, tips and company news. Out of curiosity, they might check your emails.
6. Generate More Product Reviews
As per the online magazine Internet Retailer, one can boost eCommerce conversion rate by 14-76% by adding product reviews to eStores.
There are two key reasons why this is so. First is social proof. Product reviews are similar to testimonials, wherein people share their experiences after using particular products. Second key reason is, SEO. Product reviews help increase the amount of content on web pages and also increases the probability of ranking for long tail keywords.
Maulik Shah is the founder and CEO of Biztech Consultancy, an IT services provider based in India, specializing in providing ecommerce development solutions, CRM and ERP solutions for SMBS and enterprises.

You have a loyal base of customers who are happy with your products and services, and many of them probably order the same items from you on a regular basis. While consistency is good and loyalty is great, have you ever considered trying to sell these customers alternative or complementary products outside of their normal purchasing behavior? It's called up-selling and cross-selling, and it's a strategy that will not only benefit them but will also help you and your bottom line.

In the never-ending quest to increase sales, a B2B company shouldn't be focusing its energy on finding new customers. Frankly, it's more difficult and costly to acquire new customers. Instead, your efforts should be concentrated on your existing customers - the ones with whom you've earned their trust and loyalty. According to thinkJar research, 65% of companies are able to successfully up-sell or cross-sell to existing customers, while only 12% of companies are able to sell to new customers. That's why selling more to your current customer base is a better way to maximize your profits and increase your customer lifetime value (CLV).

The importance of knowing your customers


Before you use the up-sell/cross-sell strategy on your customers, you must better understand them so you can help them see needs they didn't know they had, or find solutions to problems that perhaps they didn't think you could solve. Start by reviewing your analytics and reporting to evaluate your customers' search and purchasing history.

You'll be able to see what products they've been researching or considering, and get a better sense of their buying patterns. After you've gathered the research, engage with your customers via a phone call, sales visit or survey, asking questions that will help you identify their goals, priorities or concerns. This personalized outreach will provide valuable information to assist with your selling strategy, and will show them you're genuinely interested in improving their customer experience with you.

Once you're armed with this wealth of customer information, you're ready to develop an up-selling or cross-selling strategy tailored to your different customers' needs.

The art of up-selling

Up-selling usually consists of a recommendation of a product or service that's more expensive than the one a customer is considering. It requires a careful balance of offering higher-end products that still suit the customers' needs. If you push products without a reason or purpose, you can leave the customer feeling deceived and distrustful. Show the benefits of a different product over their current product by offering product comparisons online. With the help of rich product descriptions and specifications, customers will be able to make an educated decision that justifies trying your suggested product.

Another opportunity to up-sell is when you're trying to get a customer to purchase products in larger quantities. Present the benefits of your offer by highlighting the savings they'll receive when they purchase in bulk, or include an incentive of discounted or free shipping to help sweeten the deal.

The convenience of cross-selling

When you cross-sell to customers, you're presenting additional products or components - related or unrelated to their current product purchases - that you feel would be well-suited for them. Cross-selling, when done properly, shows your customers that you've taken the time to know them, their business and their needs by suggesting products that they otherwise may not think about or realize you sell. For example, your customer is always buying electrical cable and terminals from your site, but none of the safety gear their employees need when using your products. Why not suggest appropriate safety products such as protective eyewear, gloves or hardhats to go along with their order.

Another way to effectively cross-sell your products is by showing additional purchases that were made by other customers who bought a similar product. It gives your customers a chance to see what others in their industry are buying and may even spark additional product purchases.

Up-selling and cross-selling is a profitable but under-utilized marketing strategy for B2B companies. However, with a robust e-commerce platform, proper analytical tools and employees dedicate to the effort, you can provide a better shopping experience for your customers, and more profitable sales for your business.

Merlyn Netto is a technical consultant at Unilog Corp. He writes articles on topics related to B2B eCommerce Software.

http://www.unilogcorp.com

Expert Author Juan A Rademacher

Are you looking for ways to increase subscribers to your website or newsletter?

There are many ways to increase this activity, and most don't require your readers to have a lot of technical know-how.

There are a couple of things you really need to think about before designing any type of subscriber capture page: Do you give good reasons for people to sign up, and have you made the process easy?

These questions should be on your mind as you work on any subscription drive.

These tips will help you create the most effective information capture pages:

1. Call to Action Should Stand Out

If your web page is cluttered with lots of images, words, and hyperlinks, it may be harder for guests to find your call to action button. That is, unless you make this hyperlink stand out in the crowd.
Choose a different color, style, and font to use on call to action buttons. Use colors that are not already on your page, this draws the eyes directly to this unique area of your page.

Don't neglect placement: placing the link in a prominent spot on your page with give you the best results.

Always check your finished page before publishing it. You want your call to action button to compliment your web page, not clash with it.

2. Use Sidebars

Your call to action button may be prominent on your home page, but on other pages it won't be shown. By including a sidebar you can add all links you wish to include to get your visitors' information. This way, your email list building is easy no matter where visitors go on your website.

3. Pop-up Forms

The easiest way to get subscribers is to give them a simple modal window. Modal windows are great because when they are activated they shade the content on the main page below the subscription form.

This means more attention is going to be on form than on the page below. Modal windows may give you a subscription rate of more than 50%.

4. Short Forms

Most people do not want to spend more than a few seconds signing up for anything. Give them a complicated form and they won't even bother.

Keep it simple, use the modal window and limit your questions to just the basics, name, email, possibly a password for an account. Any further information, such as bank card information, should be asked with as few questions as possible.

You want people to go on your mailing list, not click off your page. Asking for too much information leads many to do just that.

5. Engage Smartphone Users

Use QR (Quick Response) Codes to draw in the smartphone crowd. QR Codes are like bar-codes, and can easily be scanned. Include your website address in the symbol and your guests will go right to your website once they scan the code.

6. Have Contests

People love entering contests and sweepstakes. Offering special incentives like this gives people more reasons to sign up.

These tips have been tried many times already, because they really do work. If getting more subscribers is your current goal, you can't go wrong when you keep things as simple as possible.
Cater to your audience, and make them see your 'front and center' information capture form. By following these simple tips you will soon see a tremendous increase in the amount of new subscribers to your blog or website.

I confess, I am obsessed with traffic. That's because after years of frustration trying to get traffic to my websites, I've discovered the power of some easy, time-tested methods for FREE, and low-cost traffic generation.

Read more by visiting: http://jarwinsmarketing.com/writing-tips-for-engaging-content/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Juan_A_Rademacher/1128355

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