How to boost your commerce sales—the basics
When planning for a commerce store with a digital presence, you might want to consider the basics of how to boost sales.
Digital commerce basics: how to boost sales
If you’ve been reading our blog, you are probably aware that we deal with commerce solutions ranging from Drupal Commerce implementation to tips to better prepare for sales or even the trends in commerce personalization. But the thing is, all of those are quite complex compared with what we’ll discuss today. The simplest subject, the simplest objective: how to boost sales for your commerce—the basics.
It is important to acknowledge if your store is ready to leverage your business growth before going digital. We will go through the main tips to consider when improving your online store. But first, some background.
Commerce knows no boundaries. During the last Black Friday, online sales in the U.S. increased by 22% against 2019, amounting to a total of 9,000 million dollars. The digital transformation is consolidating as the only way for traditional businesses hoping to increase their sales. Giants like Amazon, Alibaba, or MercadoLibre put their platforms to the service of this global stampede. But is your commerce store in good shape to leverage such growth?
Ten strategies every store should follow
We’ve talked about options to base your business upon, be it Drupal Commerce, specific payment gateways, or thoughtful personalization. But before all of those, there are ten basic strategies that you might want to consider first. They might not seem like quotes from Sun Tzu’s Art of War, but I’m sure they can be of use.
#1 Remember to make your site as flexible as possible
By leveraging an appropriate commerce base (like Drupal), the best customized commerce solutions can be developed for any mobile device or tablet, creating responsive, mobile-friendly sites. Keep in mind that mobile visitors don’t usually make a purchase on a single visit; it takes more than one visit before they make up their minds. Encourage visitors to return to your site by providing an intuitive and effortless shopping experience, which is as essential as considering a mobile-first approach. You know, everybody is on their phones today.
#2 Offer multiple payment methods
Customers who cannot seem to find a payment method that suits their preferences or have trouble finishing their purchase often leave their carts behind and even abandon the site altogether. That is the critical step in the process. Some stores offer a variety of payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and credit cards.
#3 Marketplace traffic
Apart from positioning your business with every marketing tool available, there is another aspect to be considered: the chance to offer products in a marketplace such as Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, Alibaba, Walmart, Mercado Libre, and the like. While it is true that any product offered in these gateways faces strong competition, they guarantee a high volume of visitors—a great sales potential. You just need to get out there!
#4 Optimize content quality
All images showcased should be captivating —key to commerce— and the product overview should be accurate and include useful information. Using videos, even short ones, makes all the difference when explaining how the product works. Technical descriptions that may not be useful should be avoided. Remember, always showcase true images. There is nothing worse than creating false expectations for a customer; like the time I thought I was buying kitchen bowls but were actually candle holders.
#5 Use keywords
Using product keywords and tags will improve SEO within search engines. Together with an accurate product description, this strategy will help attract more organic visits. It is advisable to receive professional guidance to have good site optimization. If you are not in a position to pay for professional help, you can use our quick Google Lighthouse guide.
#6 Work with related products
Ideally, an online store should apply a cross-selling strategy, which means offering customers related products during their journey. It is essential to interpret the customers' additional needs so that the suggested products are relevant and on-point. This practice has proven excellent results in big marketplaces and can be replicated in commerce stores.
#7 Social network campaigns
Advertising your products on social networks is a fantastic commerce tool. Instagram is the star—data indicates that 75% of users make a purchase decision after seeing a photo. Apart from its visual environment, Instagram offers advantages for replicating online stores on the platform to exhibit products. Also, as discussed in our article about commerce personalization, social media now offers direct purchases of items you see on posts with integrated stores. Influencers look more and more like resellers.
#8 Encourage user reviews
User reviews are enormously valuable for new customers and impact directly on the conversion rate. Therefore, every possible effort should be made to provide adequate customer care, with personalized answers delivered in the least amount of time possible. Even more so, consider compensating customers for any dissatisfaction resulting from their purchased product or online journey. I’ve discussed this further in our product management article: it is all about listening to your customers.
#9 Simplify the checkout process
Avoid additional forms in the last step of the sale process. Each user should be able to shop as a guest in your commerce platform, to complete the operation only by providing an email address, without the need to register. Once the customer has made the purchase, they can sign up as a user of the commerce platform when they are reached via email marketing; and remember, keep the required fields to a minimum.
#10 Customer loyalty and after-sale service
After-sale service includes several actions that help build customer loyalty. For the first product a customer purchases, you might want to include a present, special packaging, or a personalized message. It is also necessary to monitor whether the customer is satisfied with the purchase or if they need help with their product. A personalized email marketing strategy needs to be applied to stay in touch with the customer and let them know about new offers; also, remarketing is necessary to offer products related to their last purchase.
So you now know the basics to boost your commerce sales, so let’s talk about why to choose a hybrid commerce platform, another strategy that might help you with your billing.
Why choose a hybrid Commerce platform?
Integrating business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) models into a single online store has become a steady trend. Today we will also discuss the main advantages of a hybrid commerce platform.
As I said before, due to the unstoppable evolution of commerce, it is necessary to keep up with the new tools, trends, and strategies. Nobody can afford not to invest time and resources to improve their commerce platform, whichever profile the business may have. In any case, this permanent transformation is also powered by new tools that make it possible not to lag and compromise sales.
One of the trends that recently had the biggest impact on digital commerce is hybrid commerce. What does this mean? B2B companies are increasingly using their digital channels to sell directly to end customers. At the same time, B2C companies seek to capture the growth potential of the B2B sector. To that end, the software industry has wasted no time and developed platforms that can meet both goals simultaneously. That is how hybrid commerce is beginning to gain a stronghold.
Why choose a hybrid solution?
#1 Simplified management
Managing a commerce platform for B2B and another for B2C requires twice the effort and resources, plus massive maintenance. As a solution, a hybrid platform can manage both models using the same system with equal efficiency, unifying business results. This is a solution that could go very well with a DevOps learned team.
#2 Quick adaptation
Hitting the market with a new B2B or B2C platform implies effort and a significant amount of time. That can be optimized with the hybrid model. The store owner can enter the desired business area more quickly by activating the function on the platform that enables configuring the products.
#3 Better experience
B2B platforms are hardly designed for B2C. The hybrid model offers a shared architecture with content and design elements, which results in a better online shopping experience. Remember that a sleek design means better communication. The user experience and the user interface cannot be relegated when dealing directly with customers.
#4 Agility to grow
Just as many B2B companies are selling directly to consumers, B2C firms want to grow in the wholesale area. The hybrid platform acts as a bridge to implement this change quickly and at any time.
#5 Unified catalogs
Managing and synchronizing catalogs for both business models can be very inconvenient. The hybrid choice enables keeping a single track of the products based on a unified catalog. Solutions can then be tailor-made, similar to the case of a hybrid cloud.
The basics: checked. Where to go now?
Some platforms allow users to quickly set up an online store without too much technical knowledge. Such are the cases of Shopify, TiendaNube, or Magento, which offer comprehensive solutions for a monthly fee that includes web hosting and other services. These are out-and-out packages that can be integrated with payment methods and logistics and represent an economical and agile solution for small businesses.
Depending on the commerce business or profile, the best solution may be implementing a tailor-made platform, which can later be personalized with tools for better performance and prepared for a potential scaling in volume. These platforms make it possible to align the online store with the business objectives. That is the case with Drupal Commerce, as it presents a free and open-source alternative when setting up a store. It may demand a higher initial investment but help develop the business in the long run.
The technical development required to create a hybrid commerce platform is, of course, not easy, so you need to count on a technology partner. A custom website not only guarantees greater scalability but also provides solid integration with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems.
At Awkbit, we value our clients’ desire for a personalized digital marketplace, their want to produce an attractive and robust store. That is why we follow guidelines to provide the best-customized commerce solutions and establish bases for your business to grow and boost your sales. Are you ready to take the steps necessary to grow?