How to increase your online Revenue
If you’ve just built your shiny new ecommerce website and are wondering why you are not getting any orders, you’ve come to the perfect place. Increasing your online revenue is an art and if done right, it can take your business to the next level.
In this blog, I’ll walk you through simple yet proven techniques that must be adopted to increase your online revenue and take your business to the next level. Adopting these techniques’ is not rocket science and each one can be implemented in just a couple of hours giving you significant improvements.
Further, I have broken these techniques down into 2 parts – (A) Increasing Visibility and (B) Increasing Conversion. Most of us are aware about Increasing visibility and do perform it at some level. There are loads of articles, resources and videos which go in depth explaining the concepts and methods to Increase visibility and drive traffic to your website so i will just provide you with an overview here and focus more on the mostly ignored and less glamorous side of increasing revenue, ie Increasing Conversion.
Part 1 :: Increasing Visibility
This section discusses techniques to get more visitors (drive traffic) to your website and increase its visibility. It includes a combination of advertising, marketing, seo and social media.
Often overlooked and ignored, SEO stands for search engine optimisation and helps improve the position of your website in search results. Essentially, it involves techniques to help search engines (like Google) understand the context of your website better and its importance / relevance as compared to other websites having similar context wrt the search term. The topic of SEO itself is quite vast and will require an article all to itself, but lets understand its importance here. Most visitors looking to buy something search for it on Google. If your website is returned as the first few results to that search (or even on the first page), it is very likely that the visitor will click on your website and hopefully complete the purchase. However on the other hand, if your website is not returned as the first few search results (or on the first page), the visitor will visit a website which is returned and will complete the purchase there. Although a less glamorous way to attract visitors, over 70% of all website traffic takes place through search and SEO is one of the best ways to rank high in search results so think hard before ignoring SEO.
Social Media Marketing & Advertising
A recent study concluded that an average person spends on average 2 hours a day on social media (http://www.adweek.com/digital/mediakix-time-spent-social-media-infographic/) and is ever increasing. This is a lot of time! If you consider 8 hours of sleep, the average person spends about 12.5% of their awake time on social media. Whoooaaa!!
Engaging with fans and followers on social media and advertising to their networks is an excellent way to build brand value and recall, keep your customers up to date, provide customer support, reach out to new markets, drive traffic to your website and increase sales. Relatively new eCommerce sites, with the correct social media strategy are already clocking revenue of just under half million dollars. That’s the potential of social media!
Like SEO, social media marketing and advertising is a vast topic and needs an article for itself but remember one thing – If you are not present on social media, you do not exist to the world.
Part 2 :: Increasing Conversion
This section is all about how to convert visitors coming to your site into actual customers and is overlooked by most eCommerce websites. You’ve done the hard work of getting visitors to your site, but it will mean nothing if they don’t actually convert into paying customers.
Let me give you an example, let’s say you spend a lot of money and time in marketing and advertising your website, but out of every 100 users who visit your website, only 1 users converts into a customer and purchases something (Conversion rate is 1%). Where as on the other hand, your competitor has optimised their website for conversions and for the same amount and time that you’ve put into marketing and advertising, your competitors website is able to convert 3 users into customers out of the same 100. Your competitor’s site now has a 3X advantage.
Don’t worry!! The techniques listed below will help you increase your conversion rate and gain competitive advantage and if you need to increase it further, you can always reach out to me on email@example.com
While browsing your eCommerce website, visitors may have some questions about the product. In a retail shop, the customer can easily ask their questions to the staff present but what do they do when they are on your website ? If they are not able to get answers to their questions, they are most likely to leave your website and you would have missed the opportunity of gaining a customer. With a chat plugin, you can reach out to your visitors and answer their queries and have a higher chance of converting them into a customer. Some basic chat plugins that I would recommend are https://www.zendesk.com/chat/features/live-chat-plugin/ and https://www.tawk.to
2. New User Discount
You’ve finally managed to get a visitor to your website. By offering them a small discount on their first purchase, you are more likely to convert that visitor into a customer and also get their contact details so that you can keep them updated with your offerings and get more value from the customer than the initial discount you offered them.
3. Cart Abandon Mail
Many a times visitors leave the website at the very last stage of payment and do not complete their purchase. Research shows that sending these visitors an email indicating that the items added to the cart are ready for them helps convert many of these visitors into customers.
4. Guest Checkout
Make account creation optional for your sites customers and allow them to check out (complete purchase) without creating an account. Many visitors take offence to ecommerce websites collecting their data and are often fed up of creating accounts everywhere they go.
5. 1 click payment / simplet checkout
Invest in having a simple checkout and payment mechanism. Eliminate all friction between when a customer decides to checkout and when they actually make the payment. If your visitors find it tedious to complete the checkout or make payment, they will simply leave your website.
6. Upsell Products & Related Products
Show your visitors products related to the one they’ve just added to the cart. If your suggestions are good, it will tempt the user into browsing more products and increase the total cart value. Nowadays, most advance eCommerce sites implement this using artificial intelligence and analytics but you can start at a basic level.
7. Mobile Optimised Design
Visitors spend a lot of time on their mobile phones. In fact most eCommerce websites report that their traffic through mobile devices is more than that of (or at least equal to) desktop / laptop devices. Make sure your website provides a nice experience across all mobile devices, otherwise you could be losing out on over half of your visitors.
This is a very crucial feature. On average 50% of all eCommerce revenue comes from the search function on websites. Moreover, search users have 6 times greater conversion rate than regular users. Please please please invest in having good search functionality and makie it easily accessible and prominent on the website. If a user is not able to find something on your website and if the search results returned are not as expected, the user is likely to get frustrated and leave the website.
First impressions are often the last impressions. Use images of good quality, creative style and keep them consistent with the rest of the website. If the images are not appealing or if a visitor is not able to view all angles of a product, he or she is less likely to convert into a customer. Likewise, if your image on the website and the product shipped are different, you will be left with an unhappy customer. Invest in quality images!
Who doesn’t like a sale? Visitors flock to websites that offers discounts and tend to spend more money during sales. In a study conducted, a 75% discount increased sales by 1470% and revenue by 548% (unconfirmed). You do not need to offer such high discounts but timely and well strategized sales along with a sense of urgency to buy (sale ends in 3 days) will increase your conversion ratio and attract new customers.
11. Shipping, Returns and Payment
In today’s age, it is very important to offer free shipping (above a minimum amount if required), quick delivery, easy returns and multiple payment modes in multiple currency. Establishing trust is very important. Make sure your shipping and return policies are easy to access and understand. Integrate with payment gateways which offer security to your customers and if possible accept COD.
12. Site Speed and Security
If your website doesn’t load within 5-6 seconds you lose over 50% of your potential visitors. So although you may spend money and time in driving traffic to your website, if your website takes time to load, a majority of them will leave your website before it even opens. Security is another important consideration. In addition to an SSL certificate (the green pad lock icon), you must take care that your website is protected from common hacks, malware and data breaches. Visitors tend to avoid purchasing products from website which do not have an SSL certificate and google even penalizes them in search rankings. Investing in both site speed and security is an absolute must and should not be compromised on.
With the advent of data analytics and artificial intelligence, it is now possible to personalise the home page of your website and recommend products for each visitor according to their taste and browsing history. Although time consuming to build and perfect, personalisation exponentially helps in increasing your conversation rates and improves sales.
I certainly hope you start practising the above techniques and increase your online revenue. Leave me a comment if you have any queries and I’ll try my best to get back to you asap. Keep in mind that this is just the start and a preliminary list. At Tech Morphosis, we have dedicated teams looking into each vertical with on going research in finding new ways to increase online revenue and reach. We have helped several clients grow their online business and even reached 4X growth in 6 months. To get in touch simply drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org