Ask any group of marketers how to increase ecommerce sales fast, and the first suggestion you’ll hear is “hold a sale.”
Shoppers love sales. Any reason you can come up with to hold one – be it Black Friday, Memorial Day, or your ecommerce birthday – is sure to boost revenue.
There’s just one problem with the idea. “On Sale” means a discounted price, and a discounted price means less profit. Yes, a properly orchestrated sales strategy can make up for the slimmer margin by pumping up the volume … but what if you could increase ecommerce sales without discounting prices?What if you could increase ecommerce sales without discounting prices? Click To Tweet
Would that be something of interest to you?
In this article, we’re going to share seven of the most effective methods we’ve found to get more conversions without having to lower your prices.
How to Grow Ecommerce Sales (The Preferred Method)
It’s simple math: you’re twice better off selling 10,000 widgets at a profit of one dollar per widget ($10K net profit) than you are if you sell 1,000 widgets at a profit of five dollars per item ($5K net profit).
That’s the dilemma every marketer runs up against when pricing goods. “Shall I go with the higher price, but fewer sales? Or am I better off lowering the price to get more buyers?” (Of course, the starting place for pricing is always to survey the current market and competition.)
The danger is in getting fixated on the prices your competitors are selling those widgets at, then basing your sales strategy on undercutting the price. In common terms, that’s called “getting in a race to the bottom of the barrel.” It’s not the recommended practice.
At The Good, we invest much of our time educating smart digital marketing managers in the principles of conversion rate optimization. And a good conversion rate optimization strategy does not include discounting.A good conversion rate optimization strategy does not include discounting Click To Tweet
Let’s go back to the widget sale and consider a new set of numbers:
Scenario #1: Your rock-bottom pricing draws 100K visitors to your ecommerce website. The deep discount pulls a hefty five percent conversion rate on an average order value of $50. That means you made 5,000 sales and generated $250K.
Scenario #2: You keep your prices up and refuse to discount. Even if you manage to get the same amount of traffic (100K) and the AOV jumps from $50 to $75, if your conversion rate falls to 1%, your revenue will drop to $75K.
Scenario #3: You read this article and decide to put some of the tips below into action. By applying the principles of conversion rate optimization, you’re able to keep the conversion rate at five percent and drive the AOV up to $95 per order. Your revenue moves to $475K – almost double that of your steep discount strategy – but without discounting prices.
“Impossible,” you say?
We see numbers like that – and even better – on a regular basis. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the missing link between your website traffic and your sales volume. We’ve elsewhere covered CRO in detail (see the resources listed below).CRO is the missing link between your website traffic and your sales volume. Click To Tweet
We’ve even developed an online tool (free) you can use to draw up your own scenarios and see how changes in your conversion rate and AOV can bring about startling changes in sales revenue. Here’s that link: CRO Calculator.
For now, we’ll keep moving and get to the seven top tactics you can employ to get started. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s chock-full of ideas to help you sell more goods or services and earn more revenue in the process … without dropping your prices.
How to Increase Ecommerce Sales FAST – Without Discounting Prices
If we could only use seven conversion rate optimization tactics from the CRO tool bag, the ones we’re listing here would be among the top choices. We’ve seen these ideas breathe new life into ecommerce conversion rates again and again. They work.
1. Split testing (A/B testing) is a direct route to more revenue. It’s a Kaizen-type approach to continuous improvement that – done correctly – guarantees results. The problem is, most agencies or ecommerce development shops don’t test deeply enough, try to test too many things at once, or fail to test altogether. Don’t do that. Learn this lesson and shut out the competition.
2. Identify and highlight your USP to separate yourself from the competition. Your unique selling proposition (or unique selling points) answer the question, “Why should I buy from you, rather than from someone else?”
Not only should your business have an identified and proudly proclaimed USP, every product or service needs its own USP. What, you say? There’s nothing really unique about the products you sell?
Have you heard of Grey Poupon mustard? Check the grocery shelves. It is definitely NOT the cheapest mustard you’ll find there. Customers wouldn’t dream of paying less for Grey Poupon. After all, it’s marketed as the brand the super-wealthy can’t do without. It’s not ‘common’ mustard.
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3. Fix your checkout procedure and stop the cart abandonment epidemic. You rarely see someone at a local store get almost to checkout, then decide to walk away and leave the shopping cart sitting there, but it happens online all the time.
Digital marketing managers sometimes tell us “That’s the nature of ecommerce. Cart abandonment is unavoidable.” That’s not the case, in our experience.
We’ve seen dramatic improvements when conversion rate optimization principles are applied to the checkout procedure.
4. Offer free delivery. Shoppers love the ability to browse options, place an order from home, then get their merchandise delivered to the doorstep. Ecommerce allows them to find and purchase exactly what they’re looking for without needing to fight traffic, hunt for a parking spot, then be disappointed when what they want isn’t on the shelf. Consumers love shopping online. But they don’t expect to pay for shipping – not even a little bit.
How can you offer the lowest price and throw in shipping to boot? You probably can’t. That’s why we prepared this power-packed list for you. If driving prices down to rock-bottom is the only way you can compete, then you’re already in trouble. Take time to learn how to boost ecommerce sales – without discounting prices.
Learn more: How to Offer Free Shipping the Right Way
5. Provide plenty of social proof. Online shoppers want to know ordering from you is a smart thing to do. The best way to show them is by letting other happy customers shout your praises. Prospects are much more likely to believe it when someone else gives you kudos than when you brag about yourself.
Use ratings, reviews, comments, endorsements – get your customers involved in the promotion of your products, services, and brand. Every sales page on your ecommerce site should include social proof. If you’re afraid of getting ‘bad reviews,’ get over it. Not having customer comments at all is a whole lot more damaging than risking a few complaints.
Smart companies turn problems into solutions. When someone does gripe about something, they go to work to take care of the problem – in plain sight of other shoppers. They don’t try to hide mistakes. They fix them.
6. Cut down on friction. The path to purchase is a journey, not a one-stop event. Prospects must find your ecommerce store, access it via internet, browse your inventory, select the product or products best for them, add items to a shopping cart, enter the checkout procedure, and complete the purchase.
Prospects don’t become buyers in an instant; they move along a path that leads to the final decision. Conversion rate optimization tactics remove barriers (friction) from that path and make it EASY for prospects to become paying customers.
7. Create a sense of urgency. Ecommerce shoppers are apt to do considerable research before making a decision. Your job is to give them plenty of information (so they don’t have to go elsewhere to answer their questions) and a reason to buy from you now.
There are plenty of creative ways to do that: exclusive limited-time bundles, showing remaining stock left, include a gift with purchase during a specific time frame, or appealing to shipping deadlines (especially around the holidays).
When you give prospects a good reason to complete the transaction while they’re on your website, your sales will increase. And that is the purpose of conversion rate optimization.
Your Turn: Try the Tactics and Get More Sales Without Discounting
There are many ways to begin increasing your sales without resorting to discounting. We’ve given you seven proven tactics you can use on your own ecommerce website.
If you need specific feedback, schedule a complimentary landing page assessment call with our conversion rate optimization specialists.
- Why Your CRO Best Practices Aren’t Working
- 6 Simple Steps for Making the CRO Case to the Boss
- Conversion Rate Optimization Essentials: The Master Guide
Want a free landing page teardown?
We’ll provide a data-driven critique of the usability and effectiveness of your site free of charge.
About the Author
David Hoos is the former Director of Marketing at The Good, conversion rate experts who deliver more revenues, customers, and leads. David and the team at The Good have made a practice of advising brands on how to see online revenue double through their conversion rate optimization services.