8 out of 10 online stores fail within the first 24 months of launching. And the truth is, a significant percentage of those failed stores never make a single sale before deciding that itís time to put their eCommerce business for sale or close shop altogether.
Now, this may seem harsh, but itís also quite understandable Ė most of those stores started out with no real plan of action, and are little more than hastily put together WordPress sites that happen to have a buy button on some of the pages.
So, how can you make sure that youíre one of the 20% of online stores that are left standing? Well, in the end, it comes down to how well you can promote your store and drive sales.
So, in this article, weíll explore some of the most effective strategies for ensuring that when you start an online store you will make consistent sales month after month.
Optimize Your Conversions
When trying to drive sales and promoting their WordPress eCommerce store, most people focus on attracting as many new leads as possible.
But while that is undoubtedly an essential piece of the puzzle, the truth is that itís just as important to make the most out of the website visitors that you already have.
After all, if youíre unable to convert your prospects at an adequate rate, that will skyrocket your customer acquisition cost and will make it very difficult to execute profitable and wide-reaching marketing campaigns.
But how can you optimize your website for maximum conversions? Well, it all starts with meeting the expectations of your audience.
From the moment that a prospective customer stumbles upon your site, you must ensure that every word, image, and design element is designed to guide him towards making the sale.
Some areas you could look at include:
- Messy navigation that makes it difficult to sort or go through products;
- A lengthy and complicated checkout process that makes a significant percentage of visitors abandon their cart;
- Confusing a pricing system that makes prospects hesitant about adding a product to their cart in the first place.
Another crucial aspect in increasing conversions is having enough social proof for building trust with your siteís visitors.
After all, most of your siteís visitors wonít have previous interactions with your brand, so they will naturally be skeptical and unsure of whether they can trust you to deliver a quality product.
So, displaying plenty of reviews from happy customers is essential Ė you can look up testimonial examples that show how you could design and position testimonials for maximum impact.
However, make sure that the testimonials are directly related to the specific products that the visitor is viewing because otherwise, it can create a disconnect and lose its persuasive effect.
Create Engaging Content
Small eCommerce businesses that are built on WordPress donít have multi-million-dollar marketing budgets, so they need to be creative in how they engage customers and tell their brandís story.
Luckily, with the help of content marketing, you can get in front of your very best customers and gain a reach as broad as any large company that youíre competing with.
You can showcase your brandís values, talk about your selection of products, and form associations with your audience, earning their trust in the process.
Whatís more, top-quality content can help you overcome objections that prospective customers may have about your business and help you position yourself more favorably against larger companies that typically donít have a strong brand persona.
And content can also directly contribute to driving traffic to your site as well.
You can use guest posting to appear on some of the most prominent blogs in your niche, gaining instant access to their audience and even getting a valuable backlink to your site which can help your SEO efforts.
As an SEO agency will tell you, high-quality and keyword-rich content, together with backlinks from high-authority blogs and websites, is an incredibly powerful combination that can help you quickly climb the search engine rankings for the most relevant keywords in your niche.
Get the Most Out of Email Marketing
Most eCommerce store owners know that email marketing is one of the most crucial strategies they should focus on.
However, a significant percentage of them arenít getting the most out of their email marketing efforts, and for many, the strategy fails to have a significant impact at all.
Luckily, email marketing for eCommerce doesnít have to be a complicated or scary subject Ė the entire process can be broken down into a few actionable steps that you should consider.
First off, to use email marketing, you need to have people that have subscribed to your email list.
Now, some of these people will have already bought something from you, but you shouldnít stop there Ė you can use pop-ups and opt-in pages to entice prospective buyers to subscribe in exchange for a coupon or an exclusive offer.
Once you have people on board, you must use this momentum that you have garnered as quickly as possible using the welcome email.
The welcome email serves as the perfect opportunity to offer value, and entice people to take action now by providing an irresistible and time-based offer.
You should also make sure to capitalize on seasonal events like Halloween, Christmas, or even Black Friday, as that gives more urgency to your special offers and can get more people to act now.
Finally, one of the most critical email marketing campaigns you should use is the abandoned cart emails.
Youíd be shocked to discover how many of your abandoned cart instances can be turned into sales if you simply send out emails reminding people that their cart awaits them and that they can complete the purchase in just a few clicks.
For extra urgency, you can even throw in a little discount to get them not to delay the buying decision Ė after all, they were so close to making the purchase, so all they probably need is a little nudge.
Use Retargeting Campaigns
If you run an eCommerce store, no matter how small, chances are that you at least dabble with some form of paid advertising.
Now, running ads on Facebook can get quite expensive, as youíre paying for every single person that clicks through, so you need to make sure that you get as much from every click as possible.
Thatís where retargeting campaigns can be so valuable. They allow re-engaging people who have clicked through to your site but did not perform the action that you wanted them to.
In fact, retargeted site visitors are 70% more likely to convert, so if youíre not running retargeting ads, youíre not getting nearly as much as you can from your ad budget.
And that makes sense Ė when prospects see retargeting ads, they are already somewhat familiar with your brand and have shown interest before, so they will probably much more ready to buy the second time you interact with them.
You can make the offer even more irresistible by adding an incentive to act now Ė donít be afraid to use a limited-time discount to get retargeted prospects over the hump.