If you’re scrambling to generate revenue during slower months, it can feel like you’re doing more for less. But don’t despair. There are still plenty of would-be buyers to be had. Driving revenue could be as easy as using seasonal slowdowns effectively, getting focused and implementing a few sales saving strategies to get you through the slump and back on the up and up. Think of the following practices like a Whole30 for your online store — a healthy way to get back on track and increase sales during inevitable downturns.
Work Your Content
One of the most solid foundations you can build for your business comes in the form of content. Content can mean anything from blogs to white papers; if you can educate your buying audience, you'll increase your chances of seeing more traffic, leads and conversions.
Not sure where to start? Begin by ensuring each page’s meta titles, descriptions and URLs are unique, accurate and contain relevant search terms. Next, craft compelling on-page content that naturally incorporates your targeted search phrases. Industry insiders call these keywords, though they are never a single word, but rather a phrase with high relevance and reasonable search volume. (For example, “red lace skater dress” rather than simply “dress”.) Do your best to provide every bit of information your audience needs to make a purchase decision. This will not only boost conversion, it will also reduce the time you have to spend answering individual email inquiries from prospective buyers.
Put Out Teasers For New Product
For a boost in traffic, give your customers a sneak peak of all the goods you have cued up for the rest of the year. Dedicate some time to create campaigns that generate buyer build up through hi-res photos, video sizzlers and crafty copy.
If your business uses a social strategy to solicit traffic and sales, try a giveaway, which can help you boost your social following, blog subscribers and more. Partnering with other social accounts that complement your product offering can help boost your social visibility and make the prize even more enticing for your followers. Done right, you can position your product for unprecedented sales.
Curtail Cart Abandonment
Reducing cart abandonment is an evergreen strategy you can use to increase sales. Here are some quick tips to help you get started:
- Showcase your shipping rates up front. Go as far as doing the math for them and reflect shipping costs in the final figure. Offer free shipping?Show it as a discount to amplify the effect. Free shipping has been proven to boost conversion and is quickly becoming an expectation.
- Offer additional discounts. Volusion’s pop-up window service tracks the cursor and automatically generates a window after a set time with discounts or free shipping offers that can nudge an indecisive shopper into finalizing the transaction.
- Show customers you’re trustworthy. Security badges, SSL certificates and secure shopping seals can go a long way in helping customers feel safe about collecting their most sensitive information.
Create Custom Pieces And Limited Editions
No one likes missing out. That’s how the term “FOMO” landed in the Oxford dictionary. Creating a sense of scarcity draws customers in, while urgency and exclusivity help seal the deal. We’ve seen it time and time again: unique, one-of-a-kind merchandise helps boost sales because it creates an impression of rarity.
Get your customers in the habit of checking their inboxes and feeds for one of your killer impromptu sales. Hit them when they least expect it for an extra element of impulsiveness, or choose a lesser-known holiday or anniversary that’s representative of your brand.
Whether you host a contest where shoppers can win a custom piece or offer a limited-edition run of your most popular product, the novelty is a great way to generate buzz during a decline.
Supplement Past Purchases
Offering affordable accessories to enhance a past purchase makes things more enticing. Start by perfecting your conversion-generating retargeting strategy. Retargeting ads allow you to showcase new pieces and perfect pairings to any potentially interested buyers who’ve recently visited your site. When selecting which items to include, be strategic about the extras that go best with your biggest sellers. For instance, if you carry a stellar charcoal beauty mask, consider promoting a moisturizing toner or night cream that enhances it.
Focus On Branding
Establishing yourself as a relevant brand takes time. If money is tight and there’s not a lot left over for ad spend, there are still plenty of things you can do to get in front of your target audience:
- Work with influencers. In addition to crafting valuable and evergreen content, start to think about the ways in which your business can benefit from forging online relationships with social influencers and bloggers. Working together with influencers who reflect your brand's mission and purpose can boost your own authenticity and help to build online authority and trust. One of the easiest and most effective ways to ask an influencer to help expose your brand is to provide a sample of what you have to offer and ask for a review in exchange. Other ways to partner with influencers are via sponsorships, giveaways, guest blogging and affiliate marketing.
- Get local. The digital world is ever-expanding, but there's still plenty of action happening right in your own backyard. Looking at local opportunities to market your product might include event sponsorships, trade shows, low-cost classes or partnering with nearby social accounts.
- Improve trust. Providing great customer service via phone or email not only allows you to mitigate problems as they arise, it builds long-term customer loyalty and increases repeat purchases. Implement a review strategy to lend even more visibility to the credibility of your business.
Launch A Loyalty Program
Earning a customer’s trust is everything. Reward your customers for their loyalty by offering something in return. Whether they shop their way to discounts, free products or exclusive offers, a loyalty program keeps your customers’ interest piqued while allowing you a competitive edge.
You can also turn these repeat sales into an easy referral opportunity. For starters — the more generous the rewards, the more likely customers are to share their experience with loved ones and social media followers.
Incentivize brand ambassadorship with a rewards-for-referrals component of your loyalty program. It’s free marketing for you and an easy sell to your already loyal customers. The trick is to target your offers based on a shopper’s history and buying behavior to keep them coming back for more.
Every business experiences some downtime. But driving new revenue could be as easy as using your extra time effectively, focusing on your customer base and implementing a few sales saving strategies.
Alison Garrison is Volusion's Senior Director of Services, overseeing a team of passionate marketing and design experts.