There’s no doubt that running an eCommerce business has its perks. You don’t have to pay for office space, you can show up for work in your PJs, and can even run it as a side hustle to your day job. On the other hand, when you’re starting out, you’re probably going to have to use your home for storage and do everything yourself.
Most importantly, when you are running an eCommerce business, you don’t have the chance of people walking by your store, glancing at your merchandise and just stumbling in. Often, you have to spend a lot more money or at least time on marketing your business online.
Like with all marketing and entrepreneurial efforts, a lot of it is about experimenting.
“One of my favorite eCommerce optimization techniques is A/B testing,” says William Harris, VP of marketing and growth at DollarHobbyz RC kit eCommerce shop, which ships to customers in 125 countries.
“The art of CRO—Conversion Rate Optimization—is all about figuring out how to get more sales from the same amount of traffic. One of the best books I’ve ever read about CRO for eCommerce is Small Business, Big Money Online: A Proven System to Optimize Ecommerce Websites and Increase Internet Profits by Alex Harris. The best eCommerce sites are constantly doing A/B tests on headlines, changing the color of the CTA [call-to-action], using images versus videos and more. And it’s these small changes that drive the biggest improvement in sales.”
William Harris also recommends sending cart abandonment emails. We’ve all been there, shopping online with intent to buy and then we get distracted and somehow close the window.
According to Hubspot, the average check-out abandonment rate is is 67.4 percent.
As an eCommerce seller, you can’t get more qualified leads than those that were on the cusp of buying and just fell away. Harris uses dotMailer email marketing software to shoot a follow-up email to entice those deserters to return. After just a month, DollarHobbyz saw these emails getting opened more than a third of the time with click-through rate of 27 percent. That one month of cart abandonment campaigning led to 26 more sales and a more than $2,000 increase in revenue.
But I know some of you aren’t trying to make the next Amazon, but are just trying to get some extra cash for doing what you love by putting things you’ve made on sites like Etsy or Shopify. You need some more down-and-dirty tricks that take little effort and reap big rewards.
You can save time and money by not building your own website, but rather hosting it on one of these third-party marketplaces. But that doesn’t mean you can’t decorate! Etsy all-star knitter Kate Sitzman says “Though it may be tempting to replicate the success of a brand you admire, it pays to differentiate yourself,” she said in an Etsy interview. “It’s also a lot easier to market something you live and breathe than it is to pretend to be something you aren’t.” To brand yourself, think about who you are, what you love about the work you do, and who are actually buying your products.
And if you are building a brand, you better make sure to promote it alongside yourself on social media. At the very least make sure to include links to your stores across all media and in your personal email signature, and get into the habit of sharing your pieces. Hint: Social networks favor the sharing of photos, so always attach a photo to pair with your link.
Sitzman also reminds us that you can’t ignore search engine optimization (SEO.) Go ahead and try a free tool like Google Keyword Planner to find just the right phrases that people are using to search for your product.
Hubspot also says that if you post photos of different views and zoomed-in aspects of your product, you can see a 58 percent increase in sales.