This is a guest post from Irina Linnik. Irina is a marketing specialist at Onilab, and her work has been published on Smart Insights and Paymill.
Digital Commerce expects online sales to reach $523 billion by 2020, growing by 56% in comparison with $335 billion from 2015. The growth of the industry also means the growth of competition: with more and more eCommerce businesses appearing on a regular basis, retailers should find new ways of appealing to the customer.
One of the most efficient ways to win a customer’s heart is to use psychology when building your selling strategy.
Below, we share some popular techniques you can implement in your online store.
19 eCommerce marketing tips to boost sales
Create involvement and ownership
Customers love to feel like they own something, so make it easy for them to imagine it.
While in brick-and-mortar stores customers can touch items and even try it, this is not possible for the online stores.
But there is a solution: the implementation of augmented reality into the store. For example, Lacoste allowed users to “try on” shoes with the help of the AR technology.
Help them use it
Inform your customers about the nature of your products and help them understand why they need it.
One of the ways to use this strategy is to implement personalized quizzes about your products, which help someone find their perfect match. Such quizzes are especially popular among stores that sell beauty and skin care products.
Maintain a sense of urgency
This is one of the most popular techniques among sellers: create a sense of urgency and encourage the customer to make a purchase as soon as possible.
For your online store, you can integrate a built-in timer that shows the amount of time left until an offer is over.
It is no secret that people buy based on their emotions. This is especially relevant for the holiday period, when people think about gifts.
Inspire emotion with your copy and design, and give customers a chance to gift your products with personalized notes.
The main point is: when a person receives something for free with no strings attached, s/he will feel the urge to give something back. Thus, if you offer a small incentive or a gift to a shopper, s/he is more likely to purchase.
Provide more information
Customers need to know what they are paying for – so provide them with as much information about your company and product as possible.
To avoid overloading a page with lengthy descriptions, you can place information in a pop-up window that would appear when you scroll over a product image.
Fulfill a desire to belong
People are social beings, and like to identify with certain groups. So, give them a chance to choose their side.
One brilliant example of users’ division was Pokemon Go and its “choose your team” option.
In an online store, you can divide products into certain categories and offer different types of discounts to members of different groups.
Be consistent to get commitment
People like to be consistent in their actions – but commitment is needed first. Once you get someone to take a small step with your brand, you can move them towards becoming a customer.
Commitment may come in many forms, including signing up for your newsletter. Don’t underestimate the power of emails.
Use consistent emails to retain and nurture customers.
Provide proof of value
When a customer spends money, s/he wants to be sure about the product’s value. In order for a customer to evaluate a product, you can place “similar items” under the item window so the customer can compare the products and choose the most suitable one.
Reward the completionists
Once someone starts collecting something, it can be hard to stop. You can use loyalty programs or introduce annual collectible series to encourage sales.
For example, Bright Star Kids uses a reward system: the user receives bonus points for completing certain actions, i.e. adding a birthday date. Bonus points will, later on, be transformed into a discount.
Pique their curiosity
A sense of curiosity is a strong motivator for purchasing – especially if a customer does not know what s/he will get until the actual moment of receipt. This method is greatly reflected in subscription boxes – while united by one topic, the content remains unknown every time a box is shipped.
Flaunt your recommendations
People want to know what others think about your product. This is called social proof.
Use case studies, testimonials, and integrate social media plugins on your store to share buyer reviews that will help others decide on a purchase.
Capitalize on the desire to not miss out
Everybody love to feel special – use this in your promotional campaign. You can send emails with information about a special offer and a request to sign up or you can hang the banner on the site. Either way, let people know that there is a special something they don’t want to miss and encourage them to join.
Tailor their number of choices
Choice paralysis comes from being overloaded with too many options, and it could be hurting your sales. People purchase more when you help them curate their selection and tailor items recommended for them, instead of throwing them an endless catalog of items.
Optimize your product catalog to help people make faster and easier buying decisions, and incorporate product recommendations into your algorithm.
Appeal with aesthetics
People love beautiful and visually appealing things. Even though a sense of beauty is something individual, you can satisfy it by studying your target audience and tailoring your website design correspondingly.
When a customer feels “forced” to buy, s/he may (understandably) back away from purchase. Give customers an opportunity to take some time and incorporate wish lists and “save for later” lists to the store. These tools are great for retaining old customers and attracting new ones.
Don’t make them wait
One of the main reasons for low conversion rates is slow page loading times. You lose 7% of conversions for every 1 second your page takes to load. Optimizing your page speed is vital to your website UX so invest in your web store design and development accordingly.
The classic method of psychological selling is anchoring – sharing an initial price and then offer another, and lower one. Be sure to use this technique but do not over-use it: if a customer sees the discount all the time, s/he will grow suspicious and may not buy at all.
Tell a story
People love stories – so include them on your website! You can do this through case studies, interactive content, and more. For example, we place “Easter eggs” in the photos of people from our team.
The most important thing to remember when optimizing an online store is to always keep your customer in mind.
You may not necessarily need to include all these methods and tools into your marketing strategy: maybe you are already doing a great job or your store simply does not need half of them.
Walk the line, identify areas for improvement, apply changes and enjoy the boost in sales and customer loyalty.