Generating traffic is just one aspect of digital marketing.
To convert your web visitors into paying customers, you need to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. You need to think about their pain points, desires, urgent needs, etc.
By uncovering these, it’ll be easier for you to formulate a strategy that can compel your audience to take out their wallets.
The good news is, several seasoned marketers have done their research on the matter and have even shared their tactics on how to boost their sales. The only thing left for you to do is learn the strategies and tweak them according to your business’s dynamics.
What tactics are the seasoned marketers using, you might ask?
Allow me to share with you seven of them.
Let’s hop right in.
1. Widen the Customer’s Payment Options
Oftentimes, the best way to make improvements is to focus on the problems.
Imagine being a customer with a full virtual shopping cart — ready to complete a transaction. But upon checkout, you notice that none of the payment options you have are supported by the site.
Statistics show that the lack of enough payment options is among the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment. The good news, it’s also one of the e-commerce problems with an easy fix.
It’s safe to assume that you already support PayPal as a primary payment gateway. After all, most modern e-commerce platforms already feature a native integration to the service.
What you need to do now is explore other payment options you can accept on your e-commerce website, like credit card payments, bank transfers, and even cash on delivery. Once they’re supported, you can highlight all the payment methods you accept to encourage more customers to shop.
2. Optimize Your Website’s Performance
Apart from the lack of payment options, a slow website is yet another reason a number of customers abandon your online store.
In fact, they may not even reach the checkout process since many of them would be long gone if your site doesn’t load in three seconds or less.
To improve your website’s loading speed, a performance optimization tool like GTmetrix would be a great place to start. It works by automatically identifying the issues that affect your website’s performance as well as provide a list of the recommended actions.
GTmetrix only needs your website’s URL for it to do its job:
A particular issue that affects most small e-commerce websites is the increased latency for customers in a different country. This is especially problematic since virtual storefronts usually have truckloads of high-resolution product images.
To address this issue, go for e-commerce platforms that feature a content delivery network or CDN. Put simply, it’s a collection of proxy servers located in key areas around the globe — thus, speeding up your website for overseas customers.
3. Use Email Automation
In a content marketing strategy, timing is a success factor that often goes unnoticed.
Just like sales pitches, you can maximize the impact of certain content pieces by knowing when to present them to your audience. And with email marketing automation, you can take advantage of every lucrative opportunity to present your products.
In simple terms, email marketing automation lets you personalize the sales experience with scheduled emails that trigger when specific conditions are met. For example, an abandoned cart email can be automated to squeeze sales from customers who leave during the checkout process.
Here’s an example from the Microsoft Store:
It may sound intimidating, but configuring automated emails is actually a lot easier than you think. Even a simple email marketing platform like Drip has the tools necessary to get things done — from an easy email builder to pre-built automation templates that can be implemented within minutes.
Aside from abandoned cart emails, you can also use Zapier with Drip to automate emails that target site visitors, recent buyers, lapsed customers, and so on.
4. Capitalize User-Generated Content
Another way to leverage email marketing automation is to create follow-up emails that ask new customers for product reviews.
In case you’re unaware, a product review is a form of user-generated content (UGC) that can win the trust of prospective customers. As the name suggests, these are posts uploaded by customers that may directly or indirectly promote your brand.
According to the Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal, 91 percent of customers between the ages 18 and 34 treats online reviews like personal product recommendations from peers.
The typical review format includes a star rating, which can help new customers gauge what to expect.
Again, most e-commerce platforms already come with a built-in feature that enables star ratings — usually underneath product photos.
5. Launch Social Media Contests
Speaking of UGC, you can accelerate their creation with simple social media contests.
You may encounter several online services that promise to help you with this. While they do streamline the entire process and give you the tools to launch a contest from your website, remember that you can also facilitate your own contests without spending a single cent.
A hashtag contest, for example, only requires you to relay the mechanics of your contest via a social media post. Just tell them the kind of post you’re looking for and come up with a branded hashtag that will make submissions more searchable.
To get some inspiration, just remember that there are thousands of brands out there that launch hashtag contests on Instagram. Below is an example from Mary Meyer Toys:
When it comes to the prize, it could be anything that gives customers value — from freebies to gift certificates.
6. Build Cornerstone Content
Content marketing, in general, is a time-consuming, long-term strategy that’s by no means a shortcut. However, you don’t really need a full-on content marketing campaign to reap the benefits.
Cornerstone content is a page or blog post that serves as the centre-piece of a website. It usually pertains to a long, detailed, and comprehensive article that you’ll share on social media websites, build backlinks to, and promote to every content distribution channel you can find.
If you’re a new e-commerce business with an empty blog section, you can start with a single cornerstone content that will carry your marketing efforts in the meantime.
For this, you need to perform content research to identify the most relevant topics in your niche. You must also find target keywords that will help your site rank in search engine results pages.
An enterprise SEO tool like SEMRush is perfect for discovering top keywords in your industry, longtail keywords to add to your content, and cornerstone content ideas you can write about.
With SEMRush, you’ll see lots of data related to the keyword you want to use.
For example, access keyword volumes in organic search and paid results, cost per click data, and advertisements using that keyword.
If you need additional help thinking of ideas for your cornerstone content, scroll down and see the top websites already ranking for that keyword.
Click on those links and see what those websites are writing about. You can glean a lot of inspiration from those that are already successful using the keyword you want to rank for.
Here are a handful of tips that will help you create killer cornerstone content that will spearhead your marketing:
- Incorporate Visual Content
To make your cornerstone content stand out, use visual content like infographics, custom featured images, or even videos to improve reader engagement. Don’t try to cut corners and give it your best effort.
- Hire a Professional Proofreader
A freelance proofreader will help you polish your work by identifying grammar mistakes and readability issues that you otherwise wouldn’t find.
- Cover Everything
Cornerstone content pieces are meant to have thousands of words. They’re supposed to cover everything there is to know about your chosen topic.
- Include Actionable Insights
To maximize the value of your cornerstone content, don’t forget to show readers what to do with the information they acquired. For example, if you’re creating a gardening guide for beginners, make sure readers can take action with your advice regardless if they make a purchase or not.
7. Promote Your Website on Community Platforms
The key to successful online marketing is reaching the right audience.
Even if you run great ads or constantly publish stellar content on your website, your efforts still won’t translate to sales if you don’t target an audience with purchase intent.
By promoting your expert opinions through community platforms like Reddit, you can reach potential customers who are experiencing the problems your products are trying to solve.
All you have to do is search for a phrase or question that describes your business and let Reddit show you suggestions.
When you find a question you want to respond to, the next step is to write a cohesive response — that’s what forums like these are for.
Whatever you do, don’t blatantly try to promote your brand and just try to leave a link to a relevant blog post.
Naturally, your cornerstone content should be the first content you promote on Reddit. Just be mindful of the way you insert the link and surround it with plenty of useful information that will make your true goal inconspicuous.
On Reddit, you can join subreddit communities related to your industry so you are always up to date on the questions your target audience is asking.
Joining a community also gives you a chance to regularly interact with potential customers, establish yourself as an authority, and expand your brand’s reach.
But more importantly, as a registered member of Reddit you can submit content such as links, posts, and images that are then voted up or down by other members.
The more upvotes you get the more people that see your content and possibly visit your website looking for more of what you have to offer.
Always remember that successful e-commerce marketing is all about the user experience.
As long as your efforts make the shopping process more intuitive and enjoyable to customers, it should have a positive effect on your bottom line.
While the strategies above are guaranteed to generate results, they’re far from the end of the line. Always be on the lookout for more ways to improve the user experience to continually grow your brand. Good luck!