Ask every e-commerce store owner what their issue is, and they’d unanimously say, “… Want to Increase e-commerce sales”. Ashley Rosa — a freelance writer and blogger who’s passionate about technology, commerce, and business has a few tips for you on how to increase e-commerce sales by decluttering your e-commerce store.
Take it away, Ashley 🙂
25 years ago,
we did not know about online shopping or the large e-commerce giants Amazon,
Alibaba or ebay. Fast forward to today, these brands have become household
names and our go to places for shopping at a click of the button.
Amazon today owns 49 percent of the e-commerce market, which translates into 5 percent of the total retail across the US.
What started as a simple bookstore, now sells 12 million products on its platform.
reason behind Amazon’s success is its reliable customer service, pricing and
speed of light shipping. However, the underappreciated factor is Amazon’s
user-friendly design, which makes it super easy for anybody to find what they
are looking for.
If you look at Amazon’s design from an aesthetic point of view, it is nowhere beautiful. This is because Amazon rather focuses on the simplicity of the process.
Amazon operates by four key principles when it comes to UX: transparency in terms of pricing, the tangibility of product choices, trust, and helpfulness in anticipating people’s needs. Amazon’s UX has changed little since its inception, which is what makes it relevant to Gen X and baby boomers.
Amazon’s success story highlights the importance of good web design for an e-commerce store. When it comes to generating sales on an e-commerce store, speed is of crucial importance.
Research shows 39 percent of the people will stop engaging with a website if images take too long to load and single added second of page load speed will negatively impact sales by 27 percent.
Hence, you can safely say that good website design is directly proportional to sales. Also, a professional logo can help you grasp the attention of your target audience.
The one thing that will help you out in maintaining a fast and a simple website is de-cluttering.
A lot of clutter slows down the website and makes it annoying for people to find stuff. Here are some ways you can make sure your store remains decluttered.
1. Focus more on visuals than text
When you walk in brick and mortar stores, you immediately pick up the products, check how they would look on you and then buy them.
You don’t spend time reading all the banners and standees for information. An online store is similar.
Although you do need some information about the material, you need to see how the product looks.
The best way
to reduce text clutter is to add more white spaces to the page. Instead of
cramming everything within the width of the page, utilize the length of the
page. Leather skin shop, an online
leather jacket store, has done an amazing job with its store design, which is
minimalistic and easy to navigate.
The best way
to avoid putting in a lot of text is to incorporate videos or slideshows. This
is especially helpful in the case of technical products; your consumers would
rather watch a video than read a whole essay about how the product works. Nine Line hoodies does a great job in
explaining its product within 30 seconds without saying a single word.
2. Get rid of old stuff
Decluttering also involves deleting all the stuff that you no longer need. Your website will surely have images that are obsolete, and there might be products that are no longer manufactured.
Hence, you need to clear your database.
database can be a daunting task when you have thousands of products listed on
your website. The best way is to have a naming mechanism and keep an updating
schedule in order to avoid deleting a whole lot of pictures at once.
According to Gretchen
Roberts, CEO & chief inbound strategist, most websites are a goldmine
of old, forgotten content that can be consolidated, updated, repurposed or even
deleted to create a better user experience and actually boost your SEO rankings
and on-site conversions.
3. Don’t overdo ads
A lot of websites incorporate third-party ads. If you use this strategy for extra money, then be careful with the number of ads that you are placing; always keep an eye on the ad to content ratio because Google does that and it negatively affects your ranking.
Too many ads make the site look cluttered and take away your customers’ focus from the products that you are trying to sell.
There is no
secret formula to determine the optimum ad to content ratio. However, you do
need to keep in mind the simplicity of designs, and straight forward call-to-actions
are what boost sales.
There is a difference between having too much content and having the right content. Product descriptions are no doubt necessary. However, the keywords change over time.
Hence, you need to update and refresh the descriptions regularly, otherwise, they are just clutter that is of no use to you.
When designing a website, keep in mind the end goal. In case of an e-commerce store, your objective is to sell rather than educate or engage; hence, you should design it accordingly.
Also, plan your content strategy; thoroughly search for keywords and instead of cramming your website only use the ones that are relevant.
Acquiring customers is a hard task, but retaining them is even harder. For an e-commerce store, customers judge you from your website. Hence, it should exude professionalism, which means a well-designed logo, a user-friendly experience, and good speed.
These are the ingredients to success; once your customers enjoy their shopping experience, they would want to come back.
One glitch and you risk losing them forever.
About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.
Imagine this: you spend hours putting your blog posts together, sharing your posts on social media day after day, or maybe you spend on Facebook ads and Google ads.
Regardless of what you do to get potential customers to your website, you are already trudging along uphill with the monster reality of shopping cart abandonment.
Your potential customers just happen to arrive, add items to their shopping cart, and leave without buying.
According to Jacinda Santora of OptinMonster who helpfully compiled a few shopping cart statistics and shopping cart abandonment tips, more than $4.6 trillion is lost in shopping cart abandonment alone.
Bonus: A No-Brainer: Shopify Basic Features & Tools
If you are using Shopify, you should be able to use the basic features that Shopify provides to help you manage shopping cart abandonment.
Shopify automatically tracks all the instances of shopping carts being abandonment (you can view them from within your Shopify Dashboard).
The simplest thing you could do is to design an automatic and simple shopping cart abandonment email that’s sent out to your potential customer after an hour or so after your potential customer abandons his or her shopping cart.
Exit Intent pop-ups are powerful ways to reduce the exit flow of potential customers leaving your store without actually completing their transactions.
The OptinMonsterShopify App allows you to create stunning, timely, relevant, and on-page exit intent pop-ups that can make one last-ditch attempt to help convert your potential visitors (who are just about to leave) to either sign up as a lead or to buy.
Mary Fernandez writes that your exit intent pop-ups don’t even have to be generic (or storewide pop-ups).
Using OptinMonster’s exit intent technology, you can create exit intent pop-ups display potential customers’ names, display messages based on the item your potential shoppers were browsing or the pages they viewed.
Email has consistently provided better returns over the years (say a decade or so) compared to any other digital channel. No kidding.
Adroll has an email retargeting feature (find it by logging into your Adroll account and click on “Try email”) which enables you to make use of Adroll’s own inventory of more than 1.2 billion data points of online shoppers across devices. Adroll can help orchestrate and optimize your campaigns across display, email, social, and native platforms.
With the email retargeting feature within Adroll, all you have to do is to set up a campaign from within your Adroll account targeting visitors who’ve reached a particular page or target shopping cart abandoners directly.
Note: Before you use Adroll (by itself), be sure to follow best practices for retargeting anyway. For using emails, integrate your email provider such as Drip or MailChimp with Adroll for making it all work.
Facebook Messenger is huge. More than 68% of adults in the U.S alone use Facebook Messenger (and we didn’t even talk about the rest of the world).
Also, 66% of all Facebook users use Facebook Messenger daily with billions of conversations happening everywhere on the platform. If you have anything to do with business or e-commerce, you should give Facebook messenger a serious thought.
If you ever wanted an easy way to connect your Shopify Store with Facebook Messenger, this is it.
Parachute By Cleverific
Parachute by Cleverific allows you to manage and reduce Shopping cart abandonment rates easily by creating draft orders for all the abandoned orders and then create discounts, promos, and launch dedicated campaigns, and more based off on the draft orders created within Shopify.
With Parachute, you can convert your abandoned carts to draft orders directly in Shopify, allowing you to add incentives, accept manual payments and close sales on the spot.
PoaCart Abandoned Cart App
Email is terrific, but it’s old school (no way it’s any less effective though). Meanwhile, Facebook Messenger is the hottest kid on the blog.
Why not make the best of both the important channels today?
When your potential customers navigate away from your Shopify Store, PoaCart sends them well-timed messages (Facebook Messenger & Abandoned Cart Emails) that compel them to complete their purchase. Apparently, the process starts within 30 minutes when cart abandoners are still in the “buying mode” to recover most abandoned shopping carts.
What are some of the ways you are trying to reduce your Shopping cart abandonment on Shopify?
If you are wondering whether or not your e-commerce paid campaigns should have landing pages or not, you are wasting time.
Every hour you waste is a clutch of new leads or sales you don’t get.
TL; DR: Landing pages provide focus. They help remove clutter, eliminate the usual distractions on an e-commerce page, and give your potential visitors a singular call to action — one single thing they should do.
I can bet that you have an e-commerce store built using Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion, or what have you.
Chances are that you have uploaded your products, wrote compelling product descriptions and that you are doing everything you can to make some sales happen.
Ultimate Resource KitIf you are using paid traffic sources such as Google Ads or Facebook ads, you are most likely sending all the traffic directly to your e-commerce store waiting for those sales to roll in.
Who knows? You might.
But that’s just playing the game of guessing. There’s no sustainability (or logic) in sending all the traffic from Facebook or Google to your e-commerce store.
Landing pages: Bring Focus & Stay Relevant
Instead, you should be using dedicated landing pages to help provide more focus, less clutter, and absolutely no distractions.
For instance, sending traffic to this product page here (only possible because it was built with Webflow) or a dedicated landing page built with Unbounce or Leadpages ends up getting you more conversions (read sales)
Then, if you were to send traffic to this typical e-commerce page:
Acquire Leads: First Time Visitors Rarely Buy
No one sits there with their wallets open, ready to swipe the card. Even amongst the care-free shopaholics in the world, it’s just rare to see anyone buying as soon as they land on your e-commerce store.
You could be lucky sometimes that someone might buy, but you can’t depend on it. You don’t want to.
Don’t forget the normal sequence buyers go through (given their preferred touch-points) as they go through their typical buying process.
If someone wants to buy right away, your store is open and they can.
Since most don’t, you’ll need to acquire their email address first.
If you are using links to make people take action or if you are using Facebook ads or Google Ads, use landing pages (build them with Unbounce or Leadpages) to acquire leads.
Then, use email marketing to make sales happen while you build your pipeline.
Track, Analyze & Integrate With Landing Pages
Here’s another advantage of using landing pages for e-commerce that most people just forget or overlook.
I don’t know what platform your e-commerce store is built on.
If your store is built with Magento, or if it’s built with PHP, you are going to have to depend on IT help or experts to help you with landing pages. Even if you were using WordPress with Woocommerce or Shopify, using landing pages is still not a straightforward use case.
If you were using Unbounce or Leadpages, however, things get easier. For one, you can use Unbounce or Leadpages, you can instantly connect your domain (regardless of the platform your e-commerce store is on) and have branded landing pages deployed real fast.
Then, you can drop all sorts of codes, pixels, and scripts you’d need to track and analyze your landing pages.
Major landing page software such as Unbounce and Leadpages also integrates with several other tools and applications you might be using such as ESPs (MailChimp, Drip, Campaign Monitor, etc.), Facebook Lead Ads, Marketo, Pardot, Salesforce, and more.
Both Unbounce and Leadpages integrate with Zapier letting you connect any of the thousands of apps you might be using.
These integrations let you complete your sales cycle. Like, ads point to landing pages (where you collect leads), and lead details are sent to your Drip or MailChimp account while also sending details to your email address (notifications) while automatically populating your CRM system (such as Salesforce).
Should you use landing pages for e-commerce?
Absolutely, yes. I really don’t see how else you’ll succeed?
I bet you are also thinking of ways to promote or advertise your store but you are wondering how to go about it.
Do a search and you’ll get all sorts of suggestions. That’s good, and you can follow all of those suggestions.
Yet, I can bet that when you finally get around to doing marketing for your e-commerce store, you’ll probably do it all wrong.
The reason why I am so confident that you might do it wrong is that just like everyone else, you’ll focus on “getting traffic” to your e-commerce store and ignore everything to do with conversions, leads, and sales.
Ultimate Resource KitSince most potential buyers don’t browse the Internet with their wallets in hand and they don’t normally buy what they see (your products) right away, a smarter strategy is to use your paid traffic dollars to have them sign up (as a lead) for a coupon or some sort of free giveaway.
According to a Deloitte study, more than 54% of shoppers abandon their shopping carts.
But I believe that the Deloitte Study is a bit dated (2015).
According to Baymard Institute, more than 69.89% if shopping carts are abandoned. Which means that about 70% of your total sales are lost. While you can’t recover all these sales, you can still recapture some of them.
Hint: You need emails to do that. Get software like Drip or Mailchimp and make it work for your business
Stop for a moment and think about it: no matter how many millions you throw at a campaign, chances are that more than half of those visitors to your e-commerce store are going to walk away, just like that.
Meanwhile, a Marketo study reveals that more than 96% of your e-commerce store visitors are not ready to buy when they first arrive at your store.
Use LiveChat or the more modern options such as Facebook Messenger Chatbots such as Botletter or any of the several other chatbot builders to start engaging with your potential visitors in real-time to make sales.
Use videos to push product sales further. According to Internet Retailer, people who watch product videos have a likelihood of above 144% to purchase products. In fact, 96% of all respondents say they find watching a video helps them makes an online purchase decision, and 73% say they are more likely to purchase after watching a video that explains the products they are looking at online.
But guess what? All this is assuming you get traffic organically (Using Social Media, SEO, and various other ways you can generate traffic to your e-commerce store).
All of the above are only ways to optimize your e-commerce store and prep it up for maximizing sales on your store while you still hope that first-time visitors will actually buy your products.
As mentioned above, 96% of your visitors won’t buy the first time around. That’s why you need to do the following:
Always point your Facebook and Google Shopping ads to landing pages, ideally promoting a single product.
Don’t put a “buy now” button on those landing pages. Use landing pages only to generate leads.
For all the links pointing from within your blog posts, on social media, and for paid traffic, point those links (and ads) to landing pages. Just use Unbounce or Leadpages to build your e-commerce specific landing pages which feature a single product or a catalog or related products.
As more people sign up for coupons or your other freebies, they are now a part of your email list.
Using Drip and/or MailChimp, you can easily segment, tag, and group your subscribers based on their behavior, orders placed, and more. Depending on those segments and tags, you can make email bring in the sales numbers. Email marketing providers like Drip also allow you to use Shopping cart abandonment emails, transactional emails, customer order notifications, and many other types of emails.
You need to do retargeting if you want to grow your business. Nevertheless, build audiences (on both Facebook and Google) depending on your visitors’ behavior on your store, even if you are not planning to launch paid traffic campaigns at the moment. When you are ready for it, you’ll have a highly-primed and responsive audience to do remarketing to.
You might not be profitable right away (thanks to the ever-increasing cost of advertising on Facebook and even more monstrous costs on Google Ads), but it can still be done.
Get Done With The Basics
It’s mind boggling just how many different connections you’d need to make just to be set up properly. But none of it is rocket science; it’s just that it’s all over the place).
A Shopify store with products, ready to sell or to download.
Complete setup on the Facebook Business manager. Login to “business manager” at https://business.facebook.com. If you are signing in for the first time, be sure to claim your Facebook business page and claim/create your Facebook ad account.
Create your Pixel
Login to your Shopify store and connect your Facebook with Shopify.
Go ahead and sign up with Drip or MailChimp. Pick your poison, but I recommend Drip. Then, Integrate Drip with Shopify.
Build Your Core Campaigns
The days of put campaign on → making sales are over. Like, it was over several years ago. The first big shift is to understand that all of your campaigns are no longer stand alone. The average U.S customer has at least 2 devices (going up to 3).
More than 33% percent of people look at your ad on mobile but complete the purchase on desktop (or larger device).
Facebook provides you with various types of assets (ads) that you can use to launch ad campaigns. Images, videos, carousel, collections, instant experiences, lead generation forms, and so much more.
Start with Image ads maybe. Or use native videos on Facebook work great and they are known to get you results. If you don’t have a video, you could use Facebook’s video creation kit (found inside your ad manager while you set up campaigns) and make your images work like video too — complete with your logo, branding, etc.
Objective of these campaigns: Get traffic to your e-commerce store.
Type of ads you’ll run: Facebook Image Ads, Facebook Image ads, Facebook Collections, Facebook Instant experiences.
Optional (recommended): Add Instant forms (or Lead Gen forms to all your campaigns) with a specific offer (depends on your business) so that all the traffic that comes in has an incentive to sign up and get into your email list.
Secondary (high-conversion campaigns) on Facebook
Objective of these campaigns: Get previous traffic and high-intent audiences back to your Shopify store.
Optional (recommended): Cultivate and work with your audiences, include lookalike audiences, and more.
While your top-level, Top of the funnel campaigns help work for Branding, Reach, and traffic, your secondary, high-conversion campaigns are a slightly more focused job to do. Most of your secondary campaign types will fall into the “retargeting” category.
Depending on how simple or complex you want to keep your campaigns, even your secondary-level campaigns can be broken down into various layers.
Retargeting visitors who:
Visited your store (layer 1)
Visited your store but didn’t visit your product pages ( Layer 2)
Browsed Product pages but didn’t “add item to cart” or did not “initiate checkout” (layer 3)
Added item to cart but didn’t buy. (Layer 4) or Initiated Checkout but didn’t complete.
Your Middle of the Funnel campaign is usually good for Layer 1 and Layer 2.
For the purposes of this blog post, we’ll consider only those visitors who visited your store (thanks to your top-level ad) but didn’t check out or add items to cart.
Now, your specific retargeting campaign (again using any of the options available to you) will only target this specific audiences (with a time-frame such as within the last 30 days, 60 days, or within the last 90-days) and show them specific ads targeted for them — your ad design and copy will now change.
Maybe you sweeten the deal with a limited-time offer only to these audiences. Perhaps, you’ll throw in a bundle of products available at a special price only for these audiences.
Bottom of The Funnel Campaigns
Objective of these campaigns: Get Sales, Upsell, Cross-sell, order Bumps, & more.
Type of ads you’ll run: Product Display Ads, Dynamic Ads, Facebook Image Ads, Facebook Video ads, Facebook Collections, Facebook Instant experiences.
Your MoF campaigns focus on relatively larger audiences such as those who visited your store but left without doing anything or those that browsed products but didn’t add items to cart.
Meanwhile, Bottom of funnel campaigns are ultra-specific, if anything.
Campaigns at this level are finely targeted, focusing only on high-intent, potential customers. Examples for your Shopify store would be to target visitors who:
Add items to cart but didn’t buy
Upselling other products (A & B) to customers who purchased product C
Cross-selling Shopify collections to existing customers
Letting existing customers of a particular product to buy accessories.
To be honest, it’s these campaigns that actually make you money. While it’s not to say that the other campaigns don’t, because they do, it’s the middle of the funnel (MoF) and Bottom of the Funnel (BoF) funnels that high-precision, relevant, targeted, and money-making campaigns for e-commerce stores on Shopify.
Objective of these campaigns: Nurture leads, engage with customers, make sales happen.
Type of Campaigns: Email Marketing (Including RSS-to-email campaigns, transactional emails, autoresponders, retargeting emails, and more).
Optional (recommended): Integrate and track campaigns.
Notice what’s happening with your paid traffic campaigns: You are launching ads on Facebook (or on Google) to target potential customers. They arrive on your Shopify store, browse products, add items to carts.
Some will buy and some will not.
What are you going to do with all those people who arrive on your site and leave?
Even after trying to bring those potential customers back with retargeting campaigns, you are still going to be left with many people who don’t make a purchase right away — for whatever reason, they are going to take a while to purchase.
Connect email marketing provider like Drip with your Shopify store and let email marketing do its magic.
Create basic workflows to help automate your marketing efforts for your Shopify store:
Use Unbounce, Leadpages, Sumo, Opt-in Monster, Sleeknote, Divi’s bloom plugin, and several other tools to Integrate with Shopify and collect leads. Send a welcome email as soon as they sign up on your Shopify store, sign up using opt-in forms, or Slide-ins.
Send order notifications, shipping confirmation emails, and order details emails. Remember, transactional emails such as these don’t have to be boring.
Send automated RSS-to-email messages each week, with Workflows within Drip.
Launch automated Shopping cart abandonment emails.
Of course, there’s more that you can do with Drip.
Drip natively integrates with Leadpages (the parent company that owns Drip) — so you get landing pages and email marketing software at the same time. Plays nice.
When you connect Drip and Shopify, your whole order history will be automatically synced — a comprehensive order history means you can beef up your segmentation possibilities. Want to pick out all of your customers who’ve placed more than $100 in orders over the past year? Well, now you can.
You get complete and detailed records and behavior of visitors. When did visitors first arrive on your Shopify store? What are the pages they browsed? How many visits did it take for a particular visitor before a transaction happened? Earlier, you had to copy a script from Drip and put it on all the pages of your store. Now, it happens automatically.
Trigger automation within Drip for product page views on Shopify. Say, your potential customer is checking out Leather jackets, send an email about five hours after they are done browsing. It’s like magic, you see?
Segmenting your customers is powerful, and you can do it easily with Drip and Shopify based on your customer activity. Segments could be just subscribers who grabbed a coupon, customers who purchased product X but not Y, customers who purchased product Z at least 6 times in the last 12 months, etc. Once you tag your customers or segment them, you’ll be able to send completely targeted and relevant emails.
TL; DR: When starting a business, just sign up for Shopify and get started. Put the effort into marketing and not on the “platform”. For e-commerce, Shopify is everything you need. Period.
I’ve seen way too many people waste time trying to think about the right platform for their e-commerce businesses, and that’s a criminal waste of time right there.
The success of your e-commerce business “does not” depend on the platform you pick. It really depends on a myriad of factors that’d pertain to any business, really (online or offline).
When you start an e-commerce business, you’d first validate your idea by building a landing page and setting up a Google Ads or Facebook Ads campaign. By doing that, you have the opportunity to validate your idea, as suggested by Dan Norris, the author of 7-Day Startup.
While validating your idea, you’d also think of:
Your customer persona
The exact market you are trying to target to.
Your unique selling proposition
How you intend to execute business strategy — including marketing, operations, bankrolling your business, and the processes behind your business.
As a small business owner, you don’t have the time (you might think you do, but you really don’t) to deal with technology, infrastructure, compliance, website management (beyond adding products, product descriptions, and other content management), managing servers, hosting, and maintenance.
With every other e-commerce platform out there, you’d end up spending tons of time just managing your e-commerce store (from a technical standpoint). Not with Shopify.
You’d honestly not want to:
Worry if your hosting is reliable enough
Deal with the dirty part of having to change web hosts (if and when your host can’t keep up with the demand)
Think about whether or not your e-commerce store is going to keep up with the inbound traffic.
Get your hands dirty with continuous upgrades, maintenance, backups, and anti-malware protection or hacking protection that you’ll normally need with WordPress.