10 Ways to Boost Your Ecommerce Revenue Without Using Facebook and Google Ads
Picking your e-commerce business off the ground might be a long road. Sure, increasing your advertising and content budget can always help but if you are running your e-commerce project as a main source of your personal income, it might be psychologically difficult to invest without making initial profits (i.e. invest as opposed to re-invest). Here are 10 simple (for the most part) ways that can help you boost your sales without huge financial investments into customer acquisition.
1. Boost your average order value
Average Order Value (AOV) is the average amount in your currency that a customer spends per transaction in your e-shop. Focus on increasing this metric to raise your e-commerce revenue.
One of the ways how to increase AOV is to increase the basket size. The basket size can be increased by pushing other, complementary, items at the checkout – upselling. If the customer can get more value from the main product by complementing it with the associated item, buying both of them should be a no-brainer. Moreover, if you’re using Shopify you can try out various apps created by the community for this purpose, e.g. Privy or JustUNO.
Another way to increase the Average Order Value is to increase your free shipping threshold. Analyse how much it costs to offset shipping costs and add just a bit more to create the threshold. Then, analyse your customers’ reactions: in the worst case, if the sales fall, you can get back to the previous threshold. In other cases – you will win because either your customers will increase their baskets or you will get more revenue from the shipping costs that the customer pays for.
Product recommendations (cross-selling) on key pages can also raise your AOV. They can nudge some customers to add an additional item to their shopping carts, increasing your revenue. If it’s possible, don’t forget to show product recommendations on the shipping page! If the customer perceives shipping costs as a waste of money, use this opportunity to add some more profitable items to his or hers basket, so that they would reach the free shipping threshold.
2. Bundle your products together
Although this can be added to the previous point, we decided to emphasise it. Use product bundling, as it allows getting more revenue per customer!
One way to push bundled items out the door is to sell products that complement each other at a slightly lower value per each product in packages.
This can work extremely well if you are selling decorative items like art – bundling them is a good choice because usually customers decorate their living space in accordance with one style/one look that they are after.
3. Provide rewards to your customers
Rewarding your customers increases their loyalty, and bigger loyalty can mean more frequent purchasing and bigger revenue. One of the examples of a decent loyalty program is the one managed by Sephora. It has over 17 million members and takes up roughly 80% of the company’s revenue.
Generally there are a lot of ways how you can reward your customers. For example, you can include a code together with the purchase that the customers would need to register on the website and that would provide your clients a discount for highly profitable complementary products on your store. This will make your clients feel exclusive and increase their lifetime value (LTV) tremendously! Moreover, clients who feel valuable might turn into word-of-mouth advertisers for your e-commerce store as well.
Make sure to make use of coupons, as they are a great way to reward your loyal customers. Not only do they boost sales and outweigh their own discounts, but they can also drive traffic to your web and social media.
4. Introduce subscription models
We’ve talked about loyalty before. And the best example of a loyal customer would be the one who subscribes to your products! Subscriptions can definitely increase your e-commerce revenue.
You don’t necessarily have to change your business model into a subscription-based one. You can start with such things as a subscription for delivery, i.e. offering free next day delivery for a sum that is smaller than the standard delivery, and watch that recurring revenue grow!
5. Lower the cart abandonment rate
This one is pretty simple – use exit popups that might make the customer double-think their decision to leave your page. In the end, some of them might decide to finish that purchase!
6. Improve your customer service
Decent customer service is crucial for e-commerce sales.
One way to improve it is to set up a live chat and connect it to all of your devices. This will allow you to quickly respond to your customers and solve their problems that arise when making a purchase. Realistically, you won’t be always available, so set up offline messages, such as autoresponders and and auto-answers to FAQ, as well.
A lot of customers want to solve their problems themselves. One way to satisfy this need is to provide them as much information as possible, e.g. important information, FAQ and comment sections, articles, tips, and how-to videos. That way your site appears helpful and informative, which will definitely make your customers feel like they are at the right place.
Sometimes, it’s better to lose money on an order if it helps to solve your customer’s issue and be perceived as a customer-centric business, which is quite rare nowadays. Not only you’ll receive referrals, but it can drastically improve LTV of your customers. Examples of such customer-centric behaviour could be replacing an inexpensive broken item for free without waiting for the return, shipping replacement items as soon as replacement order has hit your database (as opposed to waiting for the item to appear in your warehouse), offering partial refunds to dissatisfied clients.
7. Create an affiliate program
Affiliate programs help your advocates get a part of the profits for promoting and selling your products to their audience. Now, during the era of social media and influencers, it can be a very good way to boost your sales.
You can kickstart your affiliate program by setting up a sign up on your store, which would also contain all the necessary information, i.e. how much of each sale your partners get.
However, you shouldn’t leave them hanging after signing up. Help them with content, affiliate links, ideas and other things that would help them make the sale. Don’t forget additional motivation! Hosting a contest between the affiliates can keep the incentive at a high level, and setting up a dashboard with the results might spark some drive to compete.
8. Increase the quality of your product photos
It might seem pretty straight-forward, but there still are some e-shops which refrain from investing into decent product photos!
Photos with great lighting can be the key to leaving positive impressions and generating sales. On top of that, even a ring light coupled with a decent phone can produce great photos! Don’t forget the descriptions as well. The better this combo of photos and descriptions will be – the easier it will be to gain trust from your potential clients.
9. Improve your website
Easier said than done, right?
Testing and optimising is the key here: if you’re not achieving your goals, track your analytics and check where your potential customers are dropping off. Make sure you do A/B tests for nearly each element of your website.
Often times, introducing a timer on your website can help in improving conversions and your revenue – it induces a sense of urgency and makes it harder for the customer to leave your store.
Trust plays a role here as well. Make sure you showcase your reviews, testimonials and other trust signals at a highly visible place – it will bring you dividends when customers will be comparing e-retailers. The same can be said about your unique selling proposition (USP) – why should the people buy at your store, when there are endless options to choose from?
10. Expand your product portfolio
We are finishing with probably one of the most difficult, but definitely not the worst, ways to boost your e-commerce revenue: expand your product portfolio!
If your store already has the trust of the customer, don’t waste it! Start offering items related to the initial portfolio to get incremental revenue and to ease up the life for your customer. For example, if a customer is buying a knife, he will need a knife sharpener as well. Why cause him trouble and make him look for it in another website if you could just add it to yours?
Revenue is the main thing driving the business, be it e-commerce or any other niche. Once you have a decent amount of revenue you can start experimenting with things that go below gross profit, i.e. advertising, employees, etc. These tips should help you improve it without big investments, And if you’re using tools like Shopify or Woocommerce for WordPress – you can go and implement quite a lot of them right this moment!