The goal of every Magento store is to increase online sales, and almost every day, a new strategy for doing so seems to pop up. But keeping up to date with the latest and greatest of these can be an impossible task, especially when you’re confronted by the enormous number of options available and need to prioritize which are the most important.
In 2018, ecommerce sales made up 11.9% of all retail sales. By 2021, that number is expect to rise to 17.5%. One of the reasons that this number continues to rise is that merchants are increasingly gaining access to ecommerce platforms that allow them to create personalized, unique commerce experiences for customers.
To help you get the most out of your Magento store, we’ve put together a list of the 17 best strategies for increasing sales quickly and efficiently. We’ve found that these techniques are the most effective amongst those we have tried.
1. Optimize Your Buyer’s Journey
Before you can hope to increase Magento ecommerce sales, you need to understand what actions your customers are performing and when. This is what’s called the buyer’s journey.
The buyer’s journey is represented in several different ways on paper. For the sake of simplicity, when we refer to the buyer’s journey here, we are referring to the sales funnel.
The sales funnel has three primary levels, each of which addresses a different set of thought processes.
- Awareness – Buyer is aware of a need for a product or service
- Consideration – Buyer researches competing products or services to find the right fit
- Decision – Buyer makes a purchasing decision
There are several different ways to optimize this process so a buyer can move from awareness to decision swiftly. The real trick to optimizing a sales funnel is to isolate what channels are the most profitable for your Magento store, and then build on these to create as clear a pathway to checkout as possible.
2. Optimize Your Ecommerce Hosting
A simple way to increase sales is to improve your ecommerce store’s hosting performance. Numerous studies have shown that even a 1-second delay in page load time can lead to a 7% decrease in sales. The faster your store loads, the more sales you will make.
Your store may be slow due to not being optimized, being overloaded, or because you’re hosting with an unsuitable provider. Regardless of the reason, to improve your site’s speed, you’re going to have to make some changes.
Before making those changes, it’s a good idea to benchmark your site’s performance. Google Lighthouse is a great way to start and can easily be implemented through your Chrome browser without having to download anything. There are also several websites that allow you to check site speed manually.
With Google’s increased emphasis on user experience, the time it takes for customers to see and interact with your site is the most important. Many providers emphasize their TTFB load speeds, when this number isn’t a good metric for estimating sales performance. The most important metric is time to interactivity or time to full page load.
Nexcess offers an optimized Magento cloud hosting environment that gives merchants the performance, speed, and security they need to implement the customer experiences they want.
3. Take Control of Your Ecommerce Environment
When we say take control of your ecommerce environment, we mean being able to make changes to the resources you have access to. This usually means you should avoid SaaS platforms. SaaS platforms, while great for getting started, lack the customization capabilities many hosting environments provide.
You don’t need to be a developer to take full control of your application environment. Many managed hosting providers will help you unlock the true potential of your ecommerce store with auto-installs and help getting your application off the ground.
A good ecommerce environment allows you to increase page load speeds, optimize environment settings, and implement custom tools for advanced functionality.
4. Go Content First
The best way to attract new customers and draw them into your sales funnel is by luring them with great content.
Great content at the top of your funnel means that potential customers will find your brand while researching for the right product or service. From here, you won’t only be a vendor, you’ll also be an authority – one they’re more likely to purchase from.
Long tail keywords are key to a true content first Magento strategy. The best way to get started is with tools like MOZ and Google Trends. Find content opportunities and fill them.
5. Improve Personalized Experiences
Personalization has long been at the center of great marketing campaigns, so there’s no excuse not to provide it in 2019.
With the introduction of AI and machine learning services, and Magento’s already incredible internal functionality, creating campaigns that appeal to multiple users should be easier now than ever before.
Moreover, improved personalized experiences are an important part of optimizing your buyer’s journey. A buyer is more likely to make a purchase and remain loyal to a store when their name or attributes are mentioned and appealed to.
6. Create Abandoned Cart Emails
10% of customers that receive abandoned cart emails will make a purchase. The potential power in reminding customers of what they left behind, even if it isn’t the same in every industry, is incredible.
Abandoned cart emails are one of the most effective ways to increase Magento sales; especially if you haven’t been sending them already. Implementing them can be tricky, but extensions like Recapture’s Abandoned Cart Recapture or Magewares’ premium Abandoned Cart Email can help you to get started quickly.
7. Reduce Abandoned Carts
Do you know what’s better than sending abandoned cart emails? Not having to send them at all. Understanding why potential customers are abandoning their shopping cart is the first step to avoiding it. Looking at the main reasons behind cart abandonment reveals some clear trends.
According to Baymard, the top reason for cart abandonment is unexpected shipping costs, followed by having to create a new user account, and a checkout process that is too complicated. These are all issues that can easily be resolved through minor tweaks.
A great way to improve the second two points is by integrating social logins. This can be done by installing an extension and will, in most cases, provide customers with increased peace of mind over your store’s reliability and trustworthiness.
8. Up-Sell and Cross-Sell Products
We’ve all heard “would you like fries with that” when we order fast food. It’s a great example of up-selling and one that can help you increase Magento store sales.
Up-selling is when you provide a customer with additional options for purchase. If you sell shoes, for instance, you may also try to up-sell them on a shoe protection and maintenance kit, thereby increasing the life of the shoes and keeping them in the best shape possible.
A good up-sell requires two primary elements to be there, otherwise, it can fall on deaf ears.
1. Up-sells should be related to the original product
2. Up-sells should not increase the price of the original product by too much
If you’re already selling an expensive product, customers may be eager to buy into a warranty or protection program. recommendations like these often appeal to a buyer’s journey to find value for their money and make the best purchase possible.
9. Bundle Products
You decided to have fries with your fast food order. You probably got a drink as well, and all for less money than it would have cost you to order each individually. This is bundling, and it’s an incredibly effective way to increase sales.
Not only does bundling help you to upsell more products, but, if done correctly, it can position you as a knowledgeable vendor with a clear idea of what is important to customers.
In the example above regarding a shoe repair kit, you can do more than recommend the kit. By increasing the purchase price of the shoes and including it, you’re able to provide both at a lower combined cost. Customers will feel they are getting great value for money and be less inclined to purchase from a competitor.
Again, bundling products needs to be done strategically and bundled items should be relevant to one another. Savings are an important part of bundling, so analyze what items you are able to reduce prices on. Potentially run a test to see if bundles or the single items perform better.
10. Integrate Social Media
Integrating social media into your sales funnel can be a great way to increase your Magento sales. Social posting, social ads, and interaction with potential customers are great ways to increase awareness, reposition your products, and retarget potential customers.
Integrating social channels doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. Integrate social channels with your blog for auto posting and use a social media tool to auto-alert you to brand mentions. For Twitter, Tweetdeck is a great, free tool with a good level of customization.
For social ads, run multiple tests to see what content performs best and work on narrowing down the right audience. The longer you work on it, the better your content will perform and the more customers you’ll start to see hitting your funnel.
11. Go Responsive
Mobile now counts for over 50% of all ecommerce traffic, and it’s not surprising considering the number of people equipped with smartphones and other mobile devices. Even now, responsiveness is not something that should need to be mentioned. However, if you haven’t got a mobile-friendly store already, it is a surefire way of increasing Magento conversions. Moreover, there are several great guides and themes available to help store owners make their Magento store responsive quickly.
12. Improve the User Experience (UX)
Good UX makes a buyer’s journey as intuitive and simple as possible. In ecommerce, UX should not aim to recreate the wheel, but adopt the wheel that already exists. There are several primary aspects that ecommerce design should follow, including:
- Simplicity of navigation
- Clear presentation
- Ability to leave and check product feedback
- Easy access to contact information
- Design that supports, not overshadows
- Strong branding
From the perspective of a business, these elements require a clear audience definition and the identification of that audience’s expectations. A tech-orientated audience is going to have a different set of assumptions regarding how an e-commerce site is meant to look and feel, compared with an audience looking for flowers.
13. Embrace User-Generated Content
Imagine being able to improve your content-first marketing tactics without having to hire a writer or strategist? It’s time to look at user-generated content.
Leveraging customer images and reviews can provide you with great advertisements, but it also does something much more important: create advocates.
The real benefit of user-generated content comes from its trustworthiness. Multiple studies have shown that people don’t trust marketers. 92% of people lean towards trusting another person’s recommendation over content created by a brand.
As soon as a customer shares positive content about your products, they become an advocate. They are a real person sharing real feelings about their purchase. This authenticity can go a long way toward pushing a buyer that is otherwise on the fence towards making a purchase.
User-generated content provides authentic, easily-digestible content, and gives your Magento store the edge you need to increase sales.
14. Run an SEO Audit
On average, 51% of all website traffic comes from organic search. That means that potentially 51% of your traffic and potential customers come as a result of your SEO efforts.
If you’re new to SEO, then blogging regularly can help you to improve your SEO rank quickly. Create fresh and helpful content that appeals to what buyers are looking for. We recommend getting started with tools like Google Trends and then going from there.
15. Update Local SEO
SEO is more multifaceted than you may believe – this is especially true if you’re running an omnichannel Magento store and want to encourage online visitors to visit your brick and mortar location.
Local SEO is a great way to increase your business visibility for free. Start by heading to Google My Business and make sure that your business’s information has all been configured correctly. You can provide your customers with important information including your:
- Opening Hours
- Contact Details
Well configured local SEO can increase your store’s visibility on Google and allow even more customers to find your store during the awareness stage of their buyer’s journey.
16. Listen to Customer Feedback
Getting feedback from customers is an important part of knowing how to improve your store’s ecommerce experience. Buyers are often more than happy to give you feedback, especially if they’re not impressed by something. You can enable feedback in a number of ways. Each of which has its own unique advantages.
Surveys are the easiest and quickest to implement. There are a number of free survey sites available, or you can invest in a cloud service such as SurveyMonkey. We find that surveys often need something to motivate customers to engage. This can be a discount code, a voucher, or something else.
Social media is also a great way to elicit feedback. Moreover, by combining feedback with your social media efforts, you’re able to engage with customers online and position your brand as one that cares.
However you decide to collect feedback, the information you receive will be invaluable.
17. Take Part in Holiday Sales
Online sales for Black Friday in 2017 were 26% higher than they were in 2016. In 2018, they increased again. If we’re not being clear: holiday periods can net you a significant increase in sales if you’re suitably prepared.
There are several ways to prepare for holiday sales. Many of them include retargeting potential customers. The reason for this is that during a holiday sales period, buyers are often looking for the best deals available. This involves a much longer consideration stage, with many different merchants competing for a buyer’s decision.
As a merchant, it’s your job to make sure that your products remain at the forefront of your buyer’s mind. Retargeting campaigns through PPC ads and abandoned cart recapture can help to keep you there.
How to Increase Magento Sales the Easy Way
The tips above should help you to make serious headway when it comes to increasing sales. However, it’s important to know that this isn’t an exhaustive list. There are numerous techniques and strategies at a merchant’s disposal. We have included those we have found to be most valuable yet for many merchants, techniques not listed here may make the biggest difference.
We highly recommend checking what other ecommerce stores are doing right and aligning your optimizations around what already works. Again, being a successful ecommerce business is not about reinventing the wheel, following the patterns and expectations that already exist.
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