Note: This is written for Hongkiat.com by Ivan Kreimer. Ivan is the Growth Marketer at Receiptful, an API that lets you send email receipts that help increase an e-Commerce store’s revenue with the usage of targeted, marketing messages and upsells. view article >>
Have you ever seen your analytics reports and noticed that your store isn’t making enough money? How did that feel? It must have felt pretty bad. In those moments of desperation, you’d probably do anything to increase your store’s revenue.
What happens next is pretty common: you start looking for different ideas on how to increase your revenue, but find nothing useful. The truth is: it’s pretty hard to find simple tactics to use for increasing your revenue. Sure, implementing a OK PPC campaign might help, but it’s not simple nor realistic for your needs.
That’s why in this post I want to show you 5 simple ways you can start increasing your e-commerce store revenue today. These tips are so simple, you will have no excuse to not put them into action to improve your store.
1. Add Relevant Upsells
First of all, an upsell is a sales technique where you offer your customers the chance to purchase upgrades (better features, better specifications, more volume) or to get the more expensive version of what they’re buying, so you can maximize the value of their purchase (higher price).
In order to add relevant upsells into your store, there are four main things you need to do:
- Make a list of all the products you sell.
- Separate those products into two lists: the regular ones and the expensive ones
- Tie the better products with the regular ones
- Talk to a developer to add a section in your product page, where you show your upsells
Depending on which e-Commerce platform you use, you can skip all those steps and add a plugin that automatically gets it done for you. For example: Product Upsell by Shopify, OpenCart’s Also Bought, and Magento’s offering, Automatic Cart Upsells & Cross-sells.
Upsell In Action
As always, the best way to see an upsell in action is to go to the king of e-Commerce sites: Amazon. Let’s say you want to buy a great DSLR camera. You select the Nikon D5500 as a great option to buy. This is what you’ll see at first.
So you’ve found what you’re looking for but wait, if you scroll down, you’ll see the following upsells:
In these two cases you’ll notice that not every product is more expensive. In some cases, they even add cross-sells (see next point). That’s fine. What this says is you don’t have to show your upsells and cross-sells separately; you can use them together to have a bigger impact in your sales. The key is that you must offer items that can add value or improve the user experience of your client.
Why This Is Simple
Because once you add your upsells to your website, it’s just a matter of waiting for them to take effect. Of course, you need to check daily or weekly how they’re performing. Also, the best thing you could do before launching your upsells is testing them first.
Create an A/B test, where in the A version your store is the same as usual, and where the B has the upsells. If you see a decrease in the average order value, or in conversion rates in the B version, then don’t make your upsells public. On the other hand, if in that same version you start to see bigger average order values and revenue, then publish it and start making more money.
2. Add Timely Cross-sells
If upsells represent upgrades and more expensive versions of a product a customer is buying, a cross-sell is giving options for add-ons.
In the previous example I showed you how Amazon tries to sell you other expensive items related to the one you wanted to buy at first. But as you saw, they don’t always show more expensive items next to your desired product. Sometimes they show other similar items – that’s cross-selling.
In the previous case, cross-sells for the Nikon D5500 are lenses, bags and flashes, among other accessories. Cross-selling works so good for Amazon that it’s said it’s responsible of 35% of their e-Commerce revenue back in 2006.
Adding cross-sells to a store is a more difficult process than adding upsells, because there are many ways to choose what products to cross-sell. For instance, an online store that sells sneakers has many cross-selling options to choose from, such as socks, laces, jeans, other sneakers from the same brand, similar sneakers from other brands.
However, just because it’s hard it does not mean you can’t do it. If you want to add cross-sells to your store, I’ll give you two recommendations:
- Take the time to adapt the upselling steps I previously mentioned to cross-selling (be patient)
- Depending on the e-Commerce platform of choice, buy and install a cross-selling plugin for instance:
Similarly to upselling, the key to effective cross-sells is providing value to the customer’s life – think about the customer first before suggesting a cross-sell.
Why This Is Simple
Because cross-selling has shown its effectiveness in many companies, including Amazon. Also, just as with Upselling, once you set up your cross-sells, there’s nothing much to do except to analyze its impact on your company’s revenue. If it goes up, it works. If it doesn’t, then there’s something wrong that needs to be fixed (probably something related to your site’s usability, a coincidence, or a bug).
3. Define Your Best-Selling Products
Do you really know which your best selling products are? You may think this is an obvious thing, but it’s usually not. Knowing your best sellers is key, because it helps you understand your customers better, and most importantly, it allows you to know what you should be selling more of.
To learn which are your best selling products, access your Google Analytics account, and go to Conversions > e-Commerce > Product Performance. In that report, you can choose to sort your products by units sold and revenue, among other metrics.
Once you know which your best selling products are, it’s just a matter of selling more of them, either by setting up paid ads, upsell and cross-selling them, among other strategies.
Why This Is Simple
Because knowing what is selling the most is the best way to know what you should keep selling. Also, it helps you understand your customers better.
4. Test Your CTA
Testing is a great way to increase revenue because it takes a specific element of a page, and it shows if a change in that element can help you increase your conversion rates. If it does, you get an increase in your revenue. If you don’t, well, you don’t.
You can test many elements of a page, such as:
- Your site structure
- Your product page structure
- Your checkout process
- Your product’s copy
However, I say, to test specifically your call-to-actions (i.e. the buttons that your customers click when they want to buy your products) because it’s the simplest thing you can test that can help you increase your revenue. Also, testing your call-to-actions (aka. CTA’s) is a pretty straightforward process.
1. First and foremost, develop a hypothesis that you want to test, like “I think changing the CTA’s color to blue will increase its contrast, which will increase the CTR (click-through rate).”
2. Construct a plan of action to test those hypotheses, in which you define what tasks need to be done for your tests to take effect. For example:
- Step 1: Sign up for Optimizely.
- Step 2: Develop the A/B test in Optimizely.
- Step 3: Run the test for 2 weeks, or until statistical significance is reached.
- Step 4: Analyze results.
3. Run the test.
4. Finally, analyze the results. If the newer version (the B version) increased your conversion rates, then keep it. If not, reject it.
(Even though testing is a complex topic, I don’t want to make things more complicated than they are. For your needs, this is pretty much you need to know.)
There are three things you should test in your CTA’s:
- Your CTA’s copy (e.g. ìBuy Nowî versus ìAdd to Cartî)
- Your CTA’s size
- Your CTA’s positioning (at the right of the image, below the description, etc.)
To see the power of testing your CTA’s, and how you should do it, take a look at this post.
Why This Is Simple
Because testing is a simple process: come up with a few hypotheses every month, deploy the tests in your site with the help of Optimizely, wait a few weeks, and boom, you have increased your revenue. Of course, tests can fail, so if they do, don’t panic. In fact, I’d say most of them will, especially when you first start. Keep doing it until you find a winning formula.
After a while, you’ll develop a sixth sense about your customers, and you’ll start to know what things will probably increase your conversion rates.
5. Add Better Product Images
What’s the one big advantage offline shopping has over its online counterpart? The product’s touch and feel .
If I had to choose one serious advantage of offline shopping it is that I can see, feel, touch, smell (yeah, it sounds weird, but hey, I don’t judge) and even try the products on. The closest thing to that experience online are the product’s pictures and things like:
- Different angles
- Zoom in
- Product test, or in action
- A video
- A 360 degree view of the product
Of course, don’t forget to make the images look professional. Things like lighting, filters and custom touches make a huge difference when it comes to making a product look good. That’s why it’s important to always err on the side of choosing professional photographs instead of taking a DIY solution.
If you can’t afford a professional photographer, try what Richard Lazazzera did with his own store.
Why This Is Simple
Adding extra images (2 or 3) can give your customer the final push to buy a product. Every time you add or change something to your store, think about how this will affect your customer. Competing with offline stores is hard. Make your customer’s experience as flawless and simple as possible.