When you start an e-commerce business, you have ten thousand things to worry about from finding the right shipping vendor to a sustainable and robust hosting provider. These are, however, the basics of starting an e-commerce venture. In this article, we will talk about slightly less discussed essential tools and tactics that are crucial to your success.
1. Convert Out-of-Stock to Pre-orders
Nothing is more annoying than seeing the product you want out of stock. If you are a startup, it is quite natural to invest in a limited amount of stock until you can increase sales to cover a larger inventory.If you are certain you can source the products again, don’t let temporary out-of-stock conditions hamper your conversions.Click To Tweet
A lot of website plugins and apps allow customers to pre-order and pay for an item even if it is out-of-stock. What’s more, you can add your note about shipping (e.g. Out of Stock Products usually take 2-3 weeks to ship), so they can decide if they want to go forward with the order or not.
2. Forget Live Chat, Get Facebook Chat
With Shopify introducing buy buttons for Twitter and Facebook, a new era of shopping has begun. However, e-commerce businesses are not stopping there. Another trend in e-commerce is to use social media chat messenger. This way the customer can have a more personalized and seamless shopping experience. What’s more, your business can have more fans and reviews on your social media page.
About 69% of shoppers are frequently active on Facebook. (Source)
If you are not leveraging your Facebook account to turn it to a super-friendly and casual support channel, you are not making use of the latest technology. It even facilitates communication as all your conversations are stored in Facebook inbox, so you can follow up with a friendly hello or wish customers birthday wishes or send them specials to build a rapport with them. In the image below, see how Rosie’s Boutique uses the Facebook Chat app.
3. The Art of Cross-Selling and Up-Selling
When you have limited products, the art of cross-selling as popularized by Amazon might not seem like a good idea. However, whether you are selling 5 products or 50, you always have a chance to both cross-sell and up-sell. Amazon recommendation engines, take a backseat!
See how bitter root, a vintage-inspired boutique is cross-selling here with “you might also like” suggestions (shown in the image below). This is a classic example of selling related products that have a great chance of being picked up.
You can also integrate product management apps and plugins with your website, giving you an added advantage by allowing you to add extra features to your products such as gift-wrapping, custom logo, custom messages, matching accessories, etc., so you can up-sell your product.
If, however, you have picked a no-frills, simple e-commerce platform to build a free website which doesn’t integrate with product recommendation apps and add-ons, you need to think of an alternate way to intelligently up-sell.Upsell by strategically featuring your highest grossing, popular and budget friendly products.Click To Tweet
One way to upsell your products is to strategically place your highest grossing, popular and budget friendly products in separate sections from top to bottom or left to right. Make sure your products are neatly categorized. Here’s an example.
4. SEO-Friendly Review Scores
We all know the importance of SEO for an e-commerce startup. One of the best ways to boost SEO is through product reviews as they encourage transparency and boost conversions. A lot of e-commerce companies are using SEO-friendly review scores to gain ranking in Google search results.
Many review management apps provide support for Google microdata, sometimes referred to as rich snippets or structured data. They automatically add the store’s total review score and display it in Google’s search results.SEO-friendly review scores are vital for a startup carrying less-known brands and products.Click To Tweet
5. Referral & Loyalty Programs
A successful business is one that has repeat customers.
Last but not the least, successful e-commerce start-ups have a very effective referral and reward system. This is one of the best ways to spread the word about your business. You must have customizable rewards tools to incentivize customers to share your campaigns, discounts, offers and product pages as much as possible.
Here are some ideas for incentivizing:
- Rewards on purchase over specified amount
- Cashback on purchases on specific payment gateway platforms
- Rewards on newsletter subscription
- Rewards on referral
- Rewards on social shares
- Rewards on reviews
- Rewards on social media interactions (quiz, contests, etc.)
Ready for Ecommerce Startup Success?
So what did we learn so far? With almost all platforms, builders including Magento, Shopify, etc. allow you to integrate with 3rd party apps. These app and plugin integrations are now easier than ever. For every e-commerce startup aiming for success, 5 essential strategies are:
- Make pre-ordering easy
- Leverage social media possibilities with chat (primarily Facebook)
- Don’t miss cross-selling and up-selling opportunities
- Post review scores on Google for transparency and SEO purposes
- Devise good referral and loyalty programs
If you want to improve your chances of eCommerce startup success, make sure you follow these 5 tips and have all the above-mentioned tools in your e-commerce arsenal. They are indispensable for your success, so treat them as your number one weapons!
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