Online retailers can sometimes expect a fall in sales, especially following busy periods such as Christmas. To maintain momentum and business profits, they must think tactically about the different ways they can attract customers and boost sales in the quieter months.
Businesses are faced with a great deal of uncertainty and pressure at the moment, with costs of living rising dramatically, consumers will need to cut back on spending and this presents greater problems for regular and guaranteed sales.
Despite this, there are many marketing tactics available on hand and in this feature, Emjay Lofts, Head of Marketing at TextAnywhere reveals her top wins for success online:
Optimise websites for mobile users
A recent study by TextAnywhere revealed that almost two in five (37%) people will go on their phone within the first 10 minutes of their day, which demonstrates the important role mobile phones now play in day-to-day life.
Even when consumer spending starts to slow down, it’s clear that this shift doesn’t have a negative impact on screen time. Considering people have twice as many interactions with brands on mobile than anywhere else, this reinforces just how important it is for websites to be functioning properly and mobile-user friendly.
UX testing is an essential step here, online businesses should test out their shopping experience on mobile to gain an insight into the customer journey and any potential pain points – starting on product pages, right through to checkout and making note of any issues along the way.
This could be a non-responsive web page for example and considering 53% of mobile users will leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load, this will significantly impact the number of purchases being made. Illegible font sizes could be another issue for mobile users, and plans should be made immediately to fix these in-house or with a web-developer externally.
Make the most of SMS messaging
On average, people touch their phones 2617 times a day and this opens up countless opportunities for brands to reach their customers over SMS messages. Actually receiving the SMS message couldn’t be easier either and doesn’t require internet connection, so the success rates for engaging with a customer is even greater.
First things first though, if this hasn’t been done already, then start building an SMS subscribers list. It’s worth noting that contacting customers via SMS without their permission is strictly not allowed, but there are a few different ways to gain new subscribers. These include adding a pop-up on the site; offering a gift if they subscribe or by including a subscription option at checkout (having made it to the final stage, the customer is interested in the brand’s offering so are likely to opt-in!).
Once people have subscribed, SMS messaging has the potential to create strong customer relationships and consolidate trust, by informing them directly about any updates and notifications like new stock or reminding them about their abandoned cart items. Another tactic is to create a buzz around the brand and sense of urgency by sending out alerts for flash sales or new product launches.
Add ‘Buy Now, ‘Pay Later’ options
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) is rapidly growing in popularity. It allows customers to order a product they are interested in but have the option to pay it off later in regular instalments. This makes the product more affordable for the customer at the time as the price is split into smaller, more digestible payments – creating opportunities for customers with limited finances each month.
Businesses who offer this flexibility to the shopper are rewarded for doing so with more sales. BNPL options increase retail conversion rates by 20-30% because consumers are more likely to commit to a purchase with this additional payment option in place.
Appreciate loyal customers
It’s worth investing time into loyal customers. It costs a business five times more to acquire new customers compared to retaining existing ones, and these existing customers are 50% more likely to take risks and buy new products – and it all comes down to brand trust.
Putting effort into customer retention is another way to try and encourage more sales. One example is setting up a customer loyalty programme for ecommerce businesses to offer rewards, and it will give the customer an incentive to carry on making new purchases. Here, businesses could use a points collection system to reward customers with a special discount on their next shop.
As well as being generous, it’s important to communicate gratitude to customers too. For example, as a “thank you” (and an additional incentive) for referring friends to the business, online retailers could give away a free gift or a unique discount code to the shopper for their loyalty.
Personalisation is another example of an effective marketing tactic for retaining customers and sales. In fact, 50% of shoppers are more likely to spend money on a brand that makes the effort to personalise their ecommerce experience.
Making time to personalise communications really will make a difference to a customer’s shopping experience and thoughtful messaging will stand a business apart from its competitors. For example, by showing gratitude and thanking a customer for their support following a purchase, and even sending out a special message on their birthday.
With many businesses still recovering from the financial losses caused by the pandemic, it’s worrying to think that 2022 will bring its own challenges too. However, these tactics are easy to implement and will help ecommerce businesses maintain their momentum. Not only by flagging any issues that are preventing purchases from being made, but by continuing to position the shopper first and nurture a loyal customer base.