As an e-commerce business, your overarching goal is to increase sales at the lowest possible cost to the company. If you have a healthy amount of traffic visiting your website on the regular, you already have momentum to build on. Now, you just need to convert more of that visiting traffic into paying customers.
Increased investments in online marketing are how many e-commerce brands optimise their existing site traffic to boost total sales. Those investments can include anything from updating website copy, improving page layouts, and even improving the shopping experience for all devices.
Your website is often the first touchpoint in a buying journey and is an integral part of a multi-step journey to complete a purchase. Ensuring that your website is up to shopper standards increases the likelihood of boosting sales to scale business growth. The right online marketing investments transform a good website into an unforgettable experience that converts more passive shoppers into active buyers.
How online marketing helps increase website sales
Online marketing is meant to help e-commerce businesses achieve three primary goals: increase revenue, reduce acquisition costs, and improve the customer experience. It’s why so many companies invested over $2 trillion on digital transformation in 2019 alone. If the ROI wasn’t there, they wouldn’t continue doing it.
Take the relationship between ROI and Average Order Value (AOV) as an example:
When looking at an essential e-commerce KPI like AOV in comparison with the ROI it brings your business, it becomes clear that it’s more cost-effective to convert existing online shoppers by encouraging them to purchase more rather than spend excessive amounts of money trying to acquire new ones. In fact, by converting more existing shoppers, you reduce the need to spend money on net new acquisition campaigns. Those savings, in and of themselves, are your ROI.
How can online businesses use data analytics to increase sales?
Your website engagement data gives you greater insight into the types of products that people are interested in. You can see which pages they spend most of their time on, and track the most common shopping journey paths to reach those points of conversion. Using those analytics, you can build detailed audience profiles and behavioural insights that help you further optimise the website to maximise sales and conversions.
Ideally, you should always strive to increase your website engagement, as that has a direct correlation with sales. Here’s an example of how to calculate website engagement:
You can also use conversational software like AI chatbots and conversion optimisation technology to further engage with people as they browse through the website. The archives of those interactions can add another layer of understanding to your data analytics, helping you achieve your e-commerce KPIs with a deeper understanding of what triggers your buyers.
How to increase online sales on your website
So how can you go about implementing online marketing strategies to boost total sales for your business? Here are a few helpful suggestions broken down by industry to help you make the right decisions with your marketing resources.
How to increase online retail sales
Many companies were forced to change their online engagement tactics in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of a sudden, there was greater demand for online shopping in response to government-imposed lockdowns to survive the pandemic. Høie was one such company impacted by the pandemic. When faced with a large volume of abandoned shopping carts by customers who needed more guidance on their buying journeys, they realised that their website experience was not as user friendly as it should be.
As shown in the image above, Høie implemented the CRO software “Nudge” across their website that pushed helpful product messaging at the right stage of the shopping journey. Høie was able to nudge shoppers closer to the point of purchase and learn more about their audience behaviours. This enabled them to develop targeted reengagement campaigns that brought more shoppers back to the website. Ultimately, they were able to reduce abandonment rates and deliver a 20:1 ROI from their marketing investments driven by significantly higher sales.
How to increase clothing sales online
Helly Hansen is the leading Scandinavian workwear, skiing, sailing, and outdoor apparel brand with their products sold in over 200 ski resorts around the world. But most of their sales occur online, and the company set an expectation to boost average order values (AOVs) in order to maximise revenue per customer.
Helly Hansen also used the CRO software "Nudge" to directly engage with more shoppers while they browse for items across their website. Nudge was programmed to offer personalised recommendations based on their user behaviour. The investment proved highly effective for the brand as the improved customer service convinced more shoppers to buy multiple items. As a result, Helly Hansen achieved their goal of a 25% boost in AOVs.
How to increase online food sales
Sometimes, the best way to increase sales is to simply remove barriers to quality customer service. If shoppers can get the answers they need in a timely fashion, they’re far more likely to convert into paying customers. According to Salesforce Research, 89% of customers are more willing to make a purchase with positive customer service throughout their buying journey.
Helthjem recognised this trend when they expanded their shipping and logistics services to include freshly baked goods. Orders from Oslo bakeries could be placed and delivered the following morning as a way to help people still enjoy treats from a bakery during COVID-19 lockdowns. By investing in a sophisticated chatbot to handle order tracking, shipping, and logistics enquiries from buyers, people received immediate answers to their questions. This improved both shopper and employee satisfaction through streamlined customer service that made the expansion into the online food delivery service a success for Helthjem.
How to increase online grocery sales
Grocery delivery services were all the rage in the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic. Companies like UberEats expanded their delivery services to include grocery orders so that people could stock up on the items they needed while safely confined to their homes.
By providing people with the option to conveniently place orders with the added convenience of protecting their own health and well-being, companies can commit to the three pillars of success: increasing sales while reducing costs and improving customer care. In fact, this trend is in such high demand that Business Insider predicts the online grocery market could account for 66% of all grocery sales by 2024.
How to increase online jewellery and make up sales
Jewellery and make up remain in high demand for shoppers eager to sport the latest fashion trends. With more companies offering quality jewellery for sale online, and the COVID-19 pandemic reducing opportunities for in-store comparisons, people are increasingly choosing to shop online for their favourite luxury brands.
How can your brand be a leader in this growing space? Make sure your website features quality visuals and videos of the products with captions that describe all the details of what went into making those items, as well as information about specific recommendations that match customer needs.
To give an example of this, take a look at the image above from blivakker.no, a popular jewellery and makeup online retailer in Norway. They regularly inform customers about special, relevant product promotions such as Black Friday, which have been proven to increase conversion rates by as much as 12%.
How to increase hotel online sales
Hotels were one of the hardest hit industries by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cancellations ran abound for weeks as global lockdowns were implemented, and hotel chains needed the resources to provide exceptional customer service in those trying times.
Thon Hotels heavily invested in a Conversational AI Chatbot to improve their customer service. Realising they serviced visitors from different corners of the globe, the AI chatbot gave Thon Hotels the ability to deliver 24/7 support to anyone in the world. The AI chatbot wasn’t only able to handle cancellations, people can also search for available rooms at the lowest price, reset their membership passwords, and search for hotel and conference facilities all within the convenience of the AI chatbot window. It also allows employees who were once bogged down by repetitive customer enquiries to shift their time and resources towards helping drive more sales for the hotel.