Ecommerce Growth

14 proven strategies to increase your eCommerce revenue

Not reaching your revenue goals? Here are 14 proven strategies to increase your eCommerce revenue. Check it out and start earning more.

14 proven strategies to increase your eCommerce revenue

If you run an eCommerce store, chances are you’re probably worried. The competition has become extremely intense and the customer has become accustomed to the usual promos and nudges that used to work so well in the past. 

Whether you’re an eCommerce store owner or marketer looking to move their business online, here are 14 strategic guidelines that can help you. 

Ready?

  1. Ditch your lowest-performing products
  2. Use scarcity marketing (but don't overdo it)
  3. Think brand - ROI will follow
  4. Earn real customer loyalty
  5. Improve your site's user experience (and boost AOV)
  6. Find ways to combat shopping cart abandonment
  7. Use psychological triggers  
  8. Retargeting success takes time - keep at it
  9. Stay on top of your inventory
  10. Content marketing works for eCommerce too
  11. Invest in a senior-friendly website 
  12. Get your pricing strategy right
  13. Get super creative with Welcome emails
  14. Build for mobile first (then think desktop)

1. Ditch your lowest-performing products

As a business owner, it can be a harsh truth to realize that not all your products are in equal demand or deserve equal shelf space. 

One of the most effective business secrets is the 80/20 principle or the Pareto principle. 

80% of all business results are achieved by 20% of your efforts and 80% of all your sales are achieved by 20% of your products. While the percentages might not be exact, the principle still holds. 

Goldy.LA was born when: 

  • Their founders realized most of their revenue came from B2B designs vs custom B2C vs retail.
  • They made temporary tattoos as a promotional product for businesses as their mainstay.
Goldy.LA

Having fewer products would mean lesser inventory costs, a more streamlined display page with more space for each product, and more marketing time and money devoted to your best performers.

For customers, fewer products mean less chances of hitting a decision paralysis. The famous Jam Experiment is a testament to that. When customers were asked to choose from 6 jams versus 24 jams, the former resulted in 30% sales while the latter had only 3%.

Jam Experiment

Psychologists have conducted studies that have repeatedly shown that fewer options lead to quicker purchases, less post-purchase regret, and an increased probability of repurchase. 

Here’s how to work this in your favor:

  • Identify the top 20% of your earnings or profit-making products and focus all your attention on them. Ditch non-performing products. 
  • Make sure you never run out of supply of the best products.
  • Display them prominently and simplify the purchase.
  • 20% of your customers will drive most of your purchases. Find them and keep them close.
  • Eliminate the other unproductive 80% products. Spend on what’s working well. 

2. Use scarcity marketing (but don't overdo it)

Scarcity marketing is a potent strategy to boost eCommerce sales. It conveys that a product is highly desirable or popular. 

Psychologist Robert Cialdini in his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, says, “A product becomes more attractive when their perceived availability is limited.” Therefore, by extension, it must be of outstanding quality. Why else would it run out of stock so fast? 

But when it’s used too often, customers begin to doubt its authenticity. 

Limited edition products that are still available after months lose their appeal. The customer realizes the products will always be there. 

Mike Michalowicz was a loyal customer of CoffeeForLess: 

He found their products competitively priced and the site easy to use. But when they attempted to use urgency tactics like reserving his coffee cart for 30 minutes with a timer upon checkout, it turned him off. 

scarcity marketing

How could a coffee seller possibly run out of coffee in 30 minutes? He stopped buying from them. 

Transparent attempts to manipulate behavior using scarcity methods can have a terrible impact on your customers. 

Frequently repeating scarcity tactics can also be pointless. See this example below. Here, GAP sends out emails 5 times in a week, which after a point loses its appeal. 

GAP sending out emails 5 times in a week,

Frequent communication downplays urgency and destroys the credibility of your brand. Your customers will begin to ignore you the same way the village people did for the boy who kept crying wolf!

Here’s a noble example of scarcity marketing by Secret Sales. Someone looking to buy this is going to be hooked for the next 12 minutes for sure. 


scarcity marketing by Secret Sales

Here’s how you can work this in your favor:

  • When using scarcity marketing, ensure that your offer doesn’t contradict itself. Example: If you’re inviting people to register for an event and you mention that limited seats are available with a discount if they register now, the reader might question the legitimacy of the event. If there are limited seats then why are you contacting them? And how credible is the event if you’re offering a discount for people to register?
  • Scarcity needs to be backed by great quality and a powerful brand. There can be nothing more damaging to a brand when a “limited edition” or an “exclusive” product doesn’t live up to its expectations.
  • Don’t repeat yourself. If you have a great product and do a limited period signup, don’t repeat the same tactic again for the next six months even if it's a different product. 
  • We often see examples of scarcity marketing techniques that are an absolute sham. You see a limited-time sales offer for two days but a week later it’s still running. If it’s two days, hold yourself to it irrespective of how much stock you have. 
Recommended reading: Scarcity marketing: Fix the 6 most common mistakes

3. Think brand - ROI will follow

As simplistic as it might seem — in order for customers to buy your products, they first need to know that your store exists. 

Given there are millions of online businesses, why should they choose you? 

As an eCommerce business owner, you need to tell them why. 

You need to tell them your story, who you are, and what you stand for. 

Help them understand why you’re different from other brands.

Take this example of Beatific who talks about their mission on the About Us page:

example of Beatific who talks about their mission on the About Us page

Branding is more than your logo or tagline.

It’s building an emotional connection with your customers based on who you are and what you stand for. 

Ecommerce businesses are often focused on instant sales gratification and they forget that branding is essential for customers to choose your brand. Customers are more likely to buy from a brand they recognize than the ones they don’t. 

It’s the KPI that is hard to measure but once you get it right, you will surpass most of your marketing goals. 

Brand awareness is crucial to expanding your customer base. Relying on sales tactics alone is akin to squeezing out every last drop from a very small lemon. Over time, your growth will plateau from a limited user base. 

Here’s a good example of a brand campaign.

ASOS, the online fashion store, capitalized on their own customers to be their brand ambassadors. They launched the #AsSeenOnMe campaign where they asked customers to post pictures with ASOS products. 


#AsSeenOnMe campaign

The campaign got over 124K looks posted within 7 months and gave them a platform to show off their products.

Here’s how you can work this in your favor:

  • For branding to work you need to know your audience. Understand them and look deeper into them. Who are they? What do they like to do?  

Once you’ve identified these — talk to them in a relatable tone and voice. Help them identify with you. 

Take this example from Dollar Shaving Club: it uses humor to clearly define their target audience. 

  • Have a story. Stories grab attention and keep your audience invested long enough to build trust. 

They do a better job at grabbing attention than data or facts and figures. 

Take the About Us page from Fortress Of Inca that mentions their journey and their approach towards their business. 

About Us page from Fortress Of Inca
  • Collaborate with influencers. Social proof drives purchase behavior. 82% of marketers believe that influencer marketing campaigns drive sales. 60% of customers have been influenced by social media posts or blogs. Customers trust the opinions of those they look up to. 
  • Use user-generated content (UGC) in your branding strategy. 93% of customers find UGC to be helpful when making purchasing decisions. It is 20% more influential than any other type of media when it comes to millennials. 

Having your customers speak for your brand is no longer optional, it's a must-do. 

4. Earn real customer loyalty

There is an unhealthy obsession amongst eCommerce businesses to acquire new customers and to expand their user base. The average eCommerce store spends more than 80% of its online budget on acquiring new customers. 

Research has shown that it costs 5x more to acquire new customers than retaining old ones and the probability of selling to new customers is 5-20% compared to 60-70% for existing customers. 

Now that you know this, couldn't that 80% be put to better use? 

Here are more reasons why repeat customers deserve your undivided attention:

  • The probability of a repeat customer buying from you increases each time they make a purchase. The more they buy, the more likely they are to buy again. 
probability of a repeat customer buying from you
  • Repeat customers spend 67% more per order after shopping with a company for 30 months. They spend more during festivals, events, Christmas and during holiday seasons. 
  • Lastly, repeat customers are your biggest brand advocates. As they buy more they become more comfortable referring you to their friends. 

After 10 purchases, shoppers refer 50% more people than a first-timer. That’s a crazy fact, isn’t it?

Here’s how you can work this in your favor:

  • Reward repeat purchases by giving customers reasons to keep returning to your store. Offer discounts, free trials and demos, free shipping, exclusive privileges, etc. 
  • Create a loyalty program to appreciate their trust. Set aside incentives for referrals. Exclusive offers, special discounts, preview sales, etc. — all of these are good incentives to offer. 

Sephora started a loyalty program called Beauty Insider. It is a comprehensive loyalty program that includes meet and greets, samplers, discounts and loyalty points. They offer tiered rewards based on how much the customer spends.

It became so popular that 80% of their sales now come through it. 


  • Leverage your loyalists by incentivizing them to get you the new customers. The best way to get more sales is to get more repeat customers. The best way to get more repeat customers is to leverage the network of the ones you already have and incentivizing them to get their friends to buy from you. 

Milk Makeup asks its customers to tag friends in exchange for free samples. 

Milk Makeup asks its customers to tag friends in exchange for free samples. 
  • Build a system of nudges. Successful eCommerce businesses are able to convince customers to come back for return sales. They do this using a system of timely nudges that includes personalized email marketing, product catalogues, etc.
Recommended reading: Top 13 eCommerce Customer Retention Strategies in 2021

5. Improve your site's user experience (and boost AOV)

Getting customers to visit your site is one part of the problem. The second part is converting them. 

Put simply, the Conversion Rate is the percentage of visitors who come to your store and buy something. 

On average the conversion rate for eCommerce stores is 2.27% in 2021. 

This means out of 100 visitors only 2 customers made a purchase. 

Here’s something that can help you increase this number: Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

Research has shown that CRO strategies have a potential ROI of 223%. Yes, let the number sink in. 

Implementing a CRO strategy also means you get more bang for your buck from online ads. Example: If a PPC ad costs you $15 and your conversion rate is 2%, you need to spend $1500 for 2 sales. If your average order value (AOV) is low, it simply does not work. You’re losing money. 

So as an eCommerce store owner, the question is how do you boost your Average Order Value and CRO? 

Upselling! 

According to research, upselling has been shown to drive an average of over 4% sales for eCommerce businesses. It is one of the main strategies used by Amazon. 

What is crucial for upselling to work is personalization and time. Let customers experience the product first, let them choose or indicate their interests. Then show them related or complementary products that have higher margins or prices.

Here’s how Bluebella does it: 

Once you choose a product and add it to your cart, the following page opens: 

Bluebella

They show you products directly paired with the ones you added to your cart. Rather than asking you to buy more, they help you complete your outfit. 

Here’s how you can work this in your favor:

  • Highlight the value in your upsell offer clearly. Customize it to the customer's interest. Give them an incentive to purchase the combination rather than an individual item. 36% of customers actually expect personalization. 
  • Offer upselling through complementary products. If they’re buying a mobile phone they might need a headset, a phone cover, a battery pack, etc. If they’re buying a ring for themselves, prompt them to buy one for their better half. Create the need based on their behavior.
  • Offer incentives to increase the AOV. These can include free shipping, priority delivery, coupon codes for future purchases, etc. 

E.g. Sephora uses a countdown value that prompts customers to increase cart value to get free shipping. 

Sephora uses a countdown value that prompts customers to increase cart value to get free shipping. 
  • Use a mix of qualitative and quantitative analytical tools to test and optimize your customer’s purchase journey. Take surveys, collect feedback, use website session recorders to see how individuals navigate through your site.   
Recommended reading: 17 Surefire ways to upsell in eCommerce & increase average order value

6. Find ways to combat shopping cart abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment is when customers leave the checkout process before completing their purchase. To get your shopping cart abandonment percentage — divide the total number of transactions by the total number of shopping carts initiated, subtract it from 1 and multiply it by 100. 

Global market research has shown that 88% of online shoppers say they’ve abandoned a shopping cart without completing the transaction. 

The scary part is despite retailers efforts, this percentage has barely improved since the past five years. Online stores have lost an insane $4 trillion to abandoned carts. 

One of the primary reasons for cart abandonment is customer behavior that can be best termed as ‘browsing mode’. 

Online store owners need to be able to differentiate between customers who visit the store with an intent to purchase versus those that are only there to window shop. 

Baymard Institute's research has shown that 59% of people who abandon shopping carts are in ‘browsing mode’ using their carts as bookmarks or wish lists. 

Studies have shown the average cart size for fashion eCommerce retailers is 1.74 products per order.

Apart from this, other major reasons for cart abandonment are: 

major reasons for cart abandonment

The primary problems for store owners include shipping costs, asking customers to create store accounts, and a complicated checkout process. 

Apart from shipping costs, the rest can be solved by design changes and optimizing your checkout process. 

Here’s how you can work this in your favor:

  • Even if your carts are stuck due to ‘browsing mode’ behavior of customers, they are not completely lost. Use abandoned cart emails to recover those sales. 
    You can set up timed reminders or nudge emails to get those customers back to the funnel. You can offer discounts, incentives, or show urgency via limited availability to hasten the purchase. 

Here’s an example of a well-crafted emailer from Bearsville Soap Company:

example of a well-crafted emailer from Bearsville Soap Company
  • Offer a guest checkout instead of forcing customers to open accounts. Shoppers often forget their passwords. It can be a frustrating experience for them to keep trying to log in. Allow them to log in using social media accounts. 
  • Baymard Institute has shown that online stores can gain a 35.26% increase in conversion rate through minimal checkout processes. Keep form fields to the bare minimum. 
  • Sometimes less is more. Upselling, cross-selling, and product bundling, can lead to an overdose. This can overwhelm the customer and delay the checkout process. 

 Here’s a great example of a modern streamlined checkout from ASOS

example of a modern streamlined checkout from ASOS. 


You can continue the checkout process as a guest. The number of input fields is minimal. The cost breakup is clearly shown. 

7. Use psychological triggers  

Einstein said that everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler. 

There’s a reason why this saying is important. The human mind processes complexity by breaking the problem into simpler forms. 

The best performing online stores understand this principle. They present information in the simplest and most visually appealing way. A clear message and a mention of the desired customer action. 

Good design doesn’t only affect comprehension, it also builds credibility and trust in the customer. 

According to a study by Stanford University, up to 46.1% of consumers assess the credibility of sites based on the overall visual design. They literally judge the book by its cover. 

Here’s a great example of using visual cues to highlight product USPs. 

Bellroy is a wallet company. They use an animated slider on their homepage that allows the user to see how slim their wallet is compared to the usual. 


animated slider on their homepage that allows the user to see how slim their wallet is compared to the usual

A powerful emotion that can be tapped into is guilt. Online store owners have realized that customers are more likely to purchase from them if they feel indebted. 

Most eCommerce sites offer something of value to visitors before they show a purchase intention. This can be in the form of free content, discounts, exclusive access, free trials, samples, etc. 

Here’s an example from Harry's, a subscription-based shaving goods brand. 


They offer a two week trial at a lower price, free delivery, and cancellation options. This allows users to test products before committing to subscribe. Their website gets over 1.52 million visits and close to 50% are returning visits. 

It’s a matter of common sense that customers like to buy from brands they trust. But how can brands leverage the trust of older customers to convince the first-timers? 

Social proofs. This includes customer social proof, expert social proof, celebrity social proof, and authorizations or certifications. 

Check out this example from Caudalie which uses multiple forms of social proof. 

Caudalie which uses multiple forms of social proof. 

It includes a ‘best rated’ stamp, the number of times the product was favorited, and a special best value price highlighted by crossing off the original price. 

Here’s how you can work this in your favor:

  • Customers prefer stores that are clutter-free, easily readable, and prefer uniform information flows. They want good photos rather than stock ones and maintain design consistency throughout the store. 
  • Site navigation is also critical and must follow universal principles. For example: Clicking on the logo should take visitors to the home page. Search options should always be in the upper right corner. 
  • Make your customers indebted by offering freebies even before they make a purchase. Incentivize them to get their foot in the door. Offer free trials; sell sample boxes at lower rates. Offer discounts for subscribers. One in three email subscribers buy from stores they sign up to.
  • Showcase your strengths. Customers love products that stood the test of time. Use various kinds of social proofs to showcase your top products. Feature your recommendations, display reviews, show ratings, and certifications to build credibility. 
  • Customers get motivated to buy something when they see others enjoying it. Create UGC channels to highlight products and make them more desirable. 85% of customers rely on UGC more than brand content. 43% claim it’s a great way to discover new products.
Recommended reading: 10 scientific strategies to increase your eCommerce conversion rate

8. Retargeting success takes time - keep at it

Those familiar with online customers know the majority of first time visitors require a push before they’re ready to make their purchase. 

The scary bit is that approximately 92% of people who visit your site might need that push before they convert. 

Retargeting is the process by which visitors who failed to purchase are shown your ads on other websites or social media which reminds them of your brand. 

Research has shown that retargeted ads consistently outperform all other targeted ads including contextual and audience targeted. On average retargeted ads are 76% more likely to be clicked on than a regular ad. 

The reason behind this is a psychological principle called mere-exposure effect. This says the more we see something, the more we like it. Ads for a product that we’ve already seen previously perform better. 

One of the main reasons why your retargeting ads might not be performing is because you might be using them wrong. 

Sending introductory or welcome messages to the same visitors who’ve already visited your site is pointless. 

Here’s a great example of retargeting from Shopbop. 

Not only does it show me the same dresses that I previously checked out, but it also rotates the offers from free shipping to a 25% discount.  

example of retargeting from Shopbop. 

With retargeting, continuous testing is key. Tweaking messages, layouts, using different tactics like scarcity marketing, discounts, and new arrivals are essential to keep potential customers engaged. 

Split testing lets you understand what works best for your audience and the brand. Whether it’s a certain tone of voice, a type of video, or even an ad format, you won’t know what works until you try it.  

Here’s how you can work this in your favor:

  • Use tools like Facebook Pixel that allow you to target customers on their Facebook feed. You can further customize these ads and use split testing to know which one works the best. 
  • Retargeted ads can be combined with a variety of techniques to overcome purchase barriers and decrease cart abandonment rates. Keep experimenting with the ones that work the best for your store. 

Here’s an example from Casper that uses social proof as a nudge for the same product category that you earlier checked out on their site with a Shop Now button. 

example from Casper that uses social proof as a nudge
  • Employ sequential retargeting to keep reaching out to the same potential customers but with customized messages. Instead of exposing your audience to the same retargeted ad, use sequential retargeting to create more touchpoints. 

Example: These are a set of ads shown on consecutive days that begin with awareness and end with a purchase push. 

  • Use Google Analytics and Facebook Custom Audiences to discover unique retargeting audiences.

Watchfinder used over 20 unique retargeting audiences with multiple ad variations and earned an ROI of over 1300% from the retargeting campaigns. 

9. Stay on top of your inventory

One of the less glamorous but crucial parts of running an online store is inventory management. 

If done well, it can cut down costs, save time, and prevent waste. In the absence of a proper system, it can lead to customer loss, inflated costs, and even total collapse of the business. 

According to research, around 43% of small businesses still use manual methods to manage inventory. This means they’re prone to human error, to make decisions based on gut, and to function in the absence of complete data. 

Switching to inventory management software has several benefits including real-time data analysis, demand forecasting, adjusting for product life cycles, and data transparency. 

Doing away from manual inventory management allows you to scale your business across multiple channels and work with multiple vendors across different locations. 

One of the key functions of good inventory management is being able to forecast future demand and adjust inventory accordingly. 

Another key function is to determine and set minimum stock levels to cater to unexpected surges. 

Lastly, prioritizing your stock using ABC analysis. 

A represents your most profitable and valuable goods while C is slow-moving or low margin stock. You want to ensure that you never run out of A and don’t overstock C. 

Here’s how you can work this in your favor:

  • Even if you have inventory management software, conduct periodic audits or regular old fashioned counts. Check for missing or stolen goods. These audits also minimize the risk of inaccurate information. 
  • Maintain information consistency across all sales platforms. Keep track of stock across all sales channels and consolidate this information, so the same stock isn’t sold to more than one customer. 
  • Use kitting techniques to move old or slow-moving stock. Kitting techniques not only get rid of excess stock but also boost average order value. Example: Buy 2 get 1 offer. 
  • Implement optimization tools like Six Sigma to identify waste and variance parameters in your inventory. Six Sigma processes help prevent inventory write-offs by eliminating waste and variance in inventory. 

10. Content marketing works for eCommerce too

When it comes to eCommerce marketing content is a weapon that is often underutilized. The amount of time and money it takes to figure out what content works can be discouraging. 

But there's an easier way to do this: 

If you’re late to the game, other eCommerce businesses have done the heavy lifting for you. Take a peek at their content strategies. As competitors, you might face the same challenges and fish in the same pool of customers. What works for them may also work for you. 

Take a look at your competition’s greatest content hits. How do you find those? 

Simple. Check out traffic sites like BuzzSumo, enter a topic, and they’ll show you a list of the best performing content. 

Notice how similar these headlines are. It’s not a coincidence. This is competition research at work.

In today’s crowded marketplace it's not enough to seek inspiration from the competition. You must evolve your content to outperform them. 

Here we borrow a trick used by bloggers to beat competition called the Skyscraper Technique. When done correctly, it can boost organic traffic by as much as 110% in two weeks. 

You take the competitor’s content and make a better researched and improved version of it. In no time, you'll outperform the original content.

Look at these two examples: 

The first is a piece of competition content. The second is the same content in a more updated, exhaustive format built using the Skyscraper technique. 

     

Here’s how you can work this in your favor:

  • Identify content pieces and channels that worked really well for your competition. Do an audit of their social media. For example, take a high performing video from their social media and analyze it. 
  • Create your own version of the video. Notice the themes they’ve used. Mimic the camera angles, observe the surroundings, and the framing. Are they using captions? Mimic what sets their content apart from your own. 
  • You can do this for any part of your marketing strategy including social media ads, emailers, site pop-ups, SEO keywords, CTAs, UGC content hooks, etc.
  • When using the Skyscraper technique, reach out to the same portals that have linked to the original competitor’s post. You can identify them using link building tools like Ahrefs. Offer them your more updated, detailed version of the same and in most cases they will link to your version. 
  • Copy, don’t steal. Don’t make replicas of competitor content. Improve or put your own signature twist to it.

11. Invest in a senior-friendly website 

While millennials and GenZ have always been the focus of eCommerce targeting there is another significant demographic that has been slowly growing. 

Call them silver surfers, senior shoppers, or the elderly Americans over the age of 50 who spend more than USD 3.2 trillion every year. 

1 in 4 mobile shoppers in the US is above the age of 55. 

49% of people between 52-70 years spend at least 11 hours a week online. Two of their most favorite activities include researching products and shopping. 

In particular, women aged 75 and above are one of the fastest-growing demographics and 28% of all eCommerce purchases come from adults over the age of 75. 

It's a misconception that older generations are scared by technology. They are not. It’s a demographic that can no longer be ignored. They have disposable income, have limited mobility due to their health and getting their purchases delivered is essential to them. 

They are also more loyal customers. Research states that “the propensity to explore online decreases with age; 30% of internet users aged 16-24 say they have used lots of websites or apps they’ve not used before and this drops to 10% of those aged 55+.” 

This demographic is becoming so lucrative that Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, built a special version of its shopping app called Taobao specifically for elders. 

Taobao

The highlights include family accounts and members sending each other gifts. The users’ children can help view products and even pay for the elders if need be. 

Online selling for the elderly can be difficult though. It requires a few store customizations to suit their needs. 

Here’s how you can work this in your favor: 

  • More and more seniors are registering on social media sites. 62% of online seniors use Facebook. Instead of a complicated registration process use social media logins. 
  • Simplify checkout processes. Seniors are more likely to be intimidated by complex forms during checkout and as a result, leave without completing the purchase. Use prompts or labels for them while they’re filling out forms to make it easier. ASOS again is a great example of how to use prompts in forms. The prompt copy is friendly and reassuring.  
Simplify checkout processes
  • Make the site tablet friendly. Research shows that 1 out of 3 seniors use their tablets for online activities. Apart from this, use larger font sizes and CTAs that stand out. Contrasting colors should be used to draw and hold their attention.

Keep links separated by big gaps so they do not accidentally click on the wrong link. It is easy for them to get confused and lose track of how to get back to the page they want to.

Here’s a good design checklist to use: 

  • Use tutorial videos on your website to make it easy for them to navigate and purchase. Add them on your homepage itself so they can use them as a guide. 
Recommended reading: 22 ways to make online shopping easy for seniors

12. Get your pricing strategy right

Pricing is one of the key aspects of maintaining a successful online store. In the absence of a scientific pricing strategy, online store owners resort to trial and error approaches or simple cost+markup pricing. 

Before we get into pricing strategies, it’s important to understand the purchase motivations of your customers and the category of needs that your products fall into: 

Research has shown that 21% of purchases are made to make individuals happy. 17% of purchases are made out of necessity and 16% are due to promotions or discounts. 

What we learn from this is irrespective of motivation, 16% of purchases are swayed because of promotions and pricing. So take into account these factors that are bound to generate higher sales:

a) Bundle Pricing

Bundle pricing is based on the fact that customers purchase goods based on a price that they believe is the value of the product

When stores gather several products and sell them at a rate that is less than their individual price, customers know that they are getting more value. It makes the purchase more lucrative. 

Take a look at this example from 3WiseMen, they offer a combined rate for bigger quantities. 

bundle pricing example from 3WiseMen

While this is an example of the same category, bundling can be done across categories, between products that are non-performers and bestsellers, and limited-time bundles including those for festivals. 

Bundling is often clubbed with upselling and cross-selling techniques to move stock that is slow, and to increase average order value. 

When you use bundling, ensure the savings or discount offered on the bundle is significant or at least 10% or more. These percentages or figures should be displayed prominently. 

b) Price Skimming

Another popular technique among eCommerce sellers is price skimming where you lower prices for a limited time to underprice the competition and keep higher prices when launching new products to build exclusivity. 

Tech giants like Sony and Apple have been using this for years to achieve leadership in various categories. 

When a new iPhone is launched, it's at a premium price to leverage the scarcity principle and to create the fear of missing out in customers. Over time with new releases, older models become significantly cheaper. 

Sony launched its PS4 at USD 399, undercutting the Xbox by an entire USD 100. It swayed a lot of fence-sitting gamers into switching loyalties. 

Irrespective of the pricing model you go for, here are a few hacks that you can incorporate into all of them. 

  • Justifying premium pricing or above market rates by using the scarcity principle. Here’s a good example from Donald Pliner which shows remaining stock when you choose products signaling an immediate purchase. 
Donald Pliner which shows remaining stock
  • Research has shown that when products are displayed before their price the customer weighs the purchase decision on whether they like the product or not. If the price is displayed before the product they weigh the decision whether the product is worth the price or not. 

Always display the product first especially if your pricing is above-market rates. You want customers to decide based on product characteristics and not economic value. 

  • Use anchor pricing to show the value of your product by putting it next to another. Customers have a perceived idea of what a product is worth. 

Anchoring affects the perception by showing relative products that are priced higher. This increases the perceived value of the product than at the price at which it is being offered. 

Here’s a great example from TKMaxx

great example from TKMaxx of anchor pricing

It shows the reduced price by visually striking out the original one. The discount is displayed in absolute number and also in percentage. 

It also shows the actual retail price at £109 which was £39.99 and now available at a discounted rate of £32. 

This adds layers of value to the product and customers feel it’s a steal at this price. 

Recommended reading: Pick the right product price: 8 eCommerce pricing best practices

13. Get super creative with Welcome emails

In an inbox filled with multiple emails about subscriptions, offers, new releases, bills, it’s hard to make yours stand out. 

If it doesn’t stand out, chances are it will never be opened. 

If you’re wondering why email campaigns are still relevant? Here’s why:

  • 74% of customers expect a welcome email once they subscribe. 
  • They work 3x better than promotional or transactional emails. 
  • 45% of purchases occur within 24 hours of customers opting in. 
  • They get 4x more opens and 5x more clicks. 

Now that we’ve established why welcome emails matter, it's important that you customise them according to the customer’s journey. 

Quick conversion emails are more about converting than conversation. These are geared towards making customers fulfil your CTA than introducing them to the brand. 

Casual checkup emails are about initiating and building relationships with customers. They’re more user-focused than product-focused. Here’s a great example from Huckberry:

example from Huckberry of good cta

It sets the tone, tells the customer who they are, and uses a pop culture reference to build relatability. 

Closing the deal emails are sent to complete the final purchase stage. It’s a follow-up to an ongoing conversation or to fulfil an abandoned cart. These include promotions and tactics to nudge customers towards closing the deal. 

Value sell emails are used to retain existing customers. They’re mostly used to announce new launches, remind them of new offers, or sometimes to tell them your story. It’s communication that tells the customers that you value them.

Here’s a good example from Helm Boots. It offers them a discount on the first pair and it mentions the risk-free factor of free returns and free shipping to push purchase.  

Irrespective of the type of welcome email you send, here are some tricks that work across the board:

  • Tell them your story. For humans, storytelling builds 22x more recall compared to facts and figures. 

Here’s how Sweaty Betty uses storytelling to build recall and brand. It tells the founder’s life story about how she started her business. The coupon code is small and right at the end. 

Sweaty Betty uses storytelling to build recall and brand


  • Use great images. Visual elements including pictures and a good design are key to grabbing attention. Research says that 65% of users prefer emails with images rather than text. Break up text using images that show personality. 
  • Personalize to the core. Your welcome email should feel like a first connection. It must be addressed to the customer to give them a proper greeting. The products you recommend must be the ones they checked out earlier or according to their stated preferences.  Or use social proof like Fenty Beauty that uses their bestsellers and highest-rated products in their emails.

You can even include customer testimonials and media mentions. 

  • Invest in a copy team that can deliver a great subject line. A subject line should be clear, friendly, and should offer an incentive to open the email. You can even use emojis to help you get noticed. 
Recommended reading: Welcome emails inspiration: 7 best eCommerce examples

14. Build for mobile first (then think desktop)

Since 2017, smartphones have accounted for half of the global website traffic — and in 2021, they account for 73% of the retail activity. 

Research has shown that customers who have a negative experience on mobile are 62% less likely to purchase from you in the future. 

In 2019, Google made mobile-first indexing its default. This means that your mobile store site and content will be indexed above your other sites. 

This means your mobile site is what’s going to get you a higher ranking on google. This has sealed the deal as to why eCommerce stores need to set up mobile-first storefronts. 

There are several advantages to a mobile-first design. It’s much easier for the designers and developers to scale up from a mobile site to a desktop version rather than the other way around. 

A mobile-first approach forces designers to prioritize content and go with a minimalist take. This saves loading time and improves site performance. On top of this, you get a decluttered and straight-to-the-point website that customers appreciate. 

CC Ebook Banner


Here’s how you can work this in your favor:

  • Ruthlessly strip down. When it comes to mobile, space and time are limited. Prioritize content according to the customer’s needs and remove the rest. 
  • Avoid large text chunks and make navigation easier with big buttons. Leave out ads or cut down a welcome message to prioritize the search bar. 
  • Put it in order of importance. Arrange your content in a form of a hierarchy and structure the mobile pages accordingly. 

Here’s a good example from Biko that uses pink CTA buttons to draw attention. 

good example from Biko that uses pink CTA buttons

 


  • Avoid digital weight. When it comes to mobile sites, speed is of the essence. Avoid heavy media files, make every picture count, and optimize them. Activate Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). If you have a Shopify site, there are plenty of apps that can do that in the Shopify store. Run mobile tests for speed and optimize. 
  • Think of the user while designing. Some sites keep their menus and action buttons on the top of the page. But this can be difficult to reach if you’re using only one hand. Instead, see how the online magazine Pitchfork does this which makes it so much easier for a customer:
Pitchfork

In conclusion, these are 14 principles that span across functions including strategy, marketing, data, design, and development. To remain relevant in today’s competitive era, it’s not enough to be proficient in a single department, but all of them.

All functions and processes need to be tested regularly and optimized including marketing, logistics, inventory, content, website design, etc. 

While that is a daunting challenge, the rewards that online commerce offers is well worth it. 

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