When running an ecommerce business, most operators focus on one key goal: increasing sales.

You can increase sales either by attracting new customers, or through a method with less friction: encouraging upsells among existing customers. After all, data shows that it costs five to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer, so it’s well worth it to build marketing strategies that will improve the customer experience and encourage long-term customer loyalty.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • Marketing strategies for attracting new ecommerce customers
  • How to boost sales with upsells
  • Conducting market research into new products
  • Building a customer loyalty program

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Attracting new ecommerce customers

In order to cast a wide net, it’s important to leverage digital marketing strategies such as paid advertising and email marketing, which will help you build a sales funnel that you can use to gradually encourage new customers to make a purchase after repeated exposure to your brand.

It’s important to remember that most customers won’t convert after the first “touch” with your brand — so if they see one of your ads, it might make them more likely to recall the brand name later, but it doesn’t mean they’re ready to get out their credit cards on the spot. Instead, it’s important to build marketing strategies that encourage them to provide contact information that you can use to reach out to them with relevant offers over time.

Paying for ad spend on platforms like Facebook and Google will help you reach a broad audience that you can target based on your set criteria, including age, location, job title, and other demographics. Retarget prospects who click on your ads, even if they don’t make a purchase immediately, and provide a call to action that leads them to sign up for your mailing list for a free offer or discount code. For instance, by offering a free style guide with an email sign-up, you’ll encourage new customers to provide their contact details, which you can use to provide relevant, targeted offers that will encourage them to make a purchase when they’re ready to do so.

Content marketing is also a crucial tactic for attracting new customers, and can bring them to your site via organic SEO and social media traffic. By developing high-quality, relevant content that focuses on your prospects’ pain points and how to solve them, you’ll be able to engage your audience and ensure that they feel comfortable with your brand before making an offer, helping you increase your conversion rate.

How to boost sales through upsells

Once you’ve managed to convert new customers, the most important tactic for increasing sales is to encourage upsells.

Many brands promote two common forms of upsells: premium versions of products, or complementary items that work well with other products that the customer has purchased.

For example, before a customer checks out with a pair of shoes, you might provide curated recommendations that include more premium versions of similar products, featuring limited colors, additional detail, or higher-quality materials. This may encourage the customer to consider switching their purchase to one of these items, giving you the opportunity to increase your profit margins.

Cross-selling, or promoting complementary items, is another good way to increase a customer’s purchase price. For example, when a customer decides to buy a pair of skis, they’re likely to need a lot of items to go along with it, including snow pants, boots, and a winter jacket. By offering relevant recommendations from your ecommerce store, you can help them get ski-ready all in one spot, and increase your sales volume.

Another effective form of upsell, however, is probably one you haven’t considered: Upselling during the return process.

ecommerce sales

When a customer needs to process a return, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have issues with your brand—it just means that a specific item didn’t work out for them.

But by building a strategy to help you increase customer retention through upsells during the return process, you may be able to retain customers who would otherwise churn, and upsell those customers to seek out higher-ticket items than the ones they originally purchased.

Using a returns management solution like Loop, you can enable customers to seamlessly exchange one product for any other product from your store, using the “shop now” feature. You can even offer bonus credit to incentivize them to choose a higher-value item — many customers may spend more than the value of the bonus credit, leading to additional upsell profits from the exchange.

Encouraging exchanges is a way to increase sales that doesn’t simply help you retain revenue from a specific transaction — it promotes customer loyalty, and is likely to drive additional long-term revenue from your customers who might have otherwise churned.

Conducting market research into new products

Another key way to increase sales is to add additional products to your store that are likely to be popular and increase your profit margins.

To do this, it’s worth conducting market research to understand what customers are currently buying, both from your store and from competitors, and why. It’s also important to look at returns: Which products are commonly being sent back, and what are the reasons for those returns? By noting your customers’ pain points and looking at ways to meet your customers’ needs with new offerings, you’ll likely be able to boost your sales volume.

Building a customer loyalty program

Finally, introducing a customer loyalty program can help you increase sales among your existing customers by incentivizing them to shop with your brand more frequently. By enabling customers to collect points that they can use towards discounts, new merchandise, or other types of rewards, you’ll be able to improve the customer experience and boost your sales volume without investing in acquisition-focused marketing campaigns.

Ready to find the right strategies to increase sales? Don’t overlook upsell revenue via returns. To learn more about how to optimize the post-purchase conversion path, get a demo of Loop today.