Running an eCommerce store can feel impossible—even if it seems like you’re doing everything you can to make your site succeed, you might have trouble achieving the results you’re looking for. Furthermore, it takes time to generate sustainable traffic and sales, so you may not see the payoff for weeks or months after making changes.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most effective ways to increase your eCommerce sales and build more interest in your brand’s products or services. While there’s no shortcut to success in eCommerce, these tips will help you optimise your store, move more leads through the sales cycle, and identify any weaknesses that could be holding your store back from its full potential.

1. Optimise Your Website

Contemporary consumers expect a flawless user experience from their favourite brands, and a poorly optimised site will make it that much harder to increase sales. Before thinking about anything else, you should take stock of your current site and fix any slowdowns or glitches. Whether a user is shopping on desktop or mobile, they should be able to browse through products and complete an order in just a few minutes (if not even less).

Of course, building a better website involves a number of disparate elements such as web hosting, site design, and mobile optimisation. Different sites struggle for different reasons, so the best way to identify your own weaknesses is simply to visit your own site and take note of any problems. You can also gather customer feedback to get an idea of what typical visitors struggle with.

If you cater to a global audience, you should consider using a content delivery network to speed up loading for customers in different locations. Without a CDN, your loading times could vary dramatically depending on where a user is accessing the site from.

As your site grows, it may also be worth upgrading from shared web hosting to a more robust hosting arrangement. Dedicated hosting gives you root access to a dedicated server along with complete control over that server’s resources. If that’s too expensive or you don’t feel like you need a full server, VPS hosting is a strong middle ground that offers some of the benefits of dedicated hosting at a lower price.

2. Make Checkout Simple

Checking out is the last step before a successful order, so it’s critical to do everything possible to keep customers active through the checkout process. Ecommerce sites often fail to address a number of common problems with their checkout sequence, and these can have a significant effect on sales.

The most obvious way to make checkout more accessible is simply to accept more payment methods. Even if you accept credit cards, for example, some users may prefer to use a mobile wallet like Apple Pay or Google Pay so that they don’t have to enter their information manually. Others may prefer PayPal or even cryptocurrencies. Accepting these and other payment options will allow your site to cater to a wider audience.

Unexpected shipping charges are another common sticking point for eCommerce customers. Springing shipping fees on customers during checkout could turn off more than one-fourth of your customers, so it’s important to offer as much transparency as possible. If you have a minimum order amount for free shipping, for example, that should be clearly displayed throughout your site. You can even go a step further by showing customers exactly how much they have to add to their cart in order to trigger the discount.

Finally, customers shouldn’t be required to create an account in order to buy something from your site. You obviously want to generate as many subscriptions as possible, but some users will only want to make a purchase without any further engagement. While there’s nothing wrong with asking them to sign up, it shouldn’t take more than a minute or two to check out as a guest. Don’t worry if they don’t subscribe immediately—you’ll have more chances to re-engage them later on.

3. Focus on Traffic

There are two general ways to increase eCommerce sales: you can convert more site visitors into customers, or you can bring more visitors to your site. In other words, you can get 1,000 sales by converting 10 percent of 10,000 visitors, but you can also get the same 1,000 sales by attracting 100,000 visitors and converting just 1 percent of your total traffic.

With that in mind, you shouldn’t lose sight of volume when optimising your eCommerce techniques. Even if you are maintaining customer loyalty, that won’t make much of a difference if you aren’t generating enough traffic. Remember that any weak point in your sales funnel will have significant ramifications for your bottom line.

Unfortunately, increasing site traffic isn’t always simple, and there are a number of ways to try to generate more interest. If you build a strong social media presence, for example, you’ll be able to generate leads from your social media presence. On the other hand, other eCommerce businesses have success with paid ads, while still others prioritise email marketing. Offering referral rewards is a good way to incentivize word of mouth marketing and get your existing customers to let their friends and family know about your brand.

4. Leverage Marketing Automation

Automation is often associated with generic or repetitive content, but the reality is that it’s an indispensable tool for digital marketers in 2021. Marketing automation allows marketers to set up sophisticated workflows and stay in contact with a large volume of leads without spending too much time on repetitive tasks like sending individual emails or staying up to date on customer activity.

Rather than sending a message to each new subscriber, for example, you can simply use automation software to set up a workflow to send that same email whenever a lead joins your contact list. That will enable you to achieve the same result while freeing up a substantial amount of time to spend on more important areas of your business.

Cart abandonment is another area that’s perfect for marketing automation. Instead of manually bringing leads back to your site, just configure a sequence that reminds users of the items they were about to purchase a few hours after they leave the store. Some brands also include a second reminder with a small discount or another gift as an additional incentive.

Finally, don’t underestimate the impact of A/B testing and other analytics tools. No marketer can succeed consistently without data, and regularly evaluating your email marketing efforts is the most reliable method of identifying weaknesses and building on strengths. Marketing automation software will provide deep insights into the pros and cons of your current approach along with information about how you compare to top competitors.

As we mentioned at the top of the article, eCommerce is a messy field that’s often difficult to predict. With that being said, these are some of the most dependable ways to improve your approach to online sales and attract more users to your eCommerce store. Even if you don’t notice a difference overnight, the changes you make today can have a significant effect on your store’s long-term outlook.