Hitting revenue goals consistently can be a challenge for any e-commerce site. And when you see a slight dip in your numbers, the typical knee-jerk reaction might be to cut certain costs or even to increase prices, in order to improve your margins. But what many e-commerce companies don’t know is that they already hold the key to higher revenue.
It’s all hidden away in your data.
6 revenue streams hidden in your e-commerce data
#1 Target repeat customers
In your early days, you might have known some of them by name. But as your business grows, it can be difficult to manually keep track of which once-off shoppers have been successfully converted into loyal customers.
Gaining repeat customers are the goal of every online storefront, and your e-commerce data can easily show you which people have purchased more than once from your store. Do your job right and not only will they keep coming back; even better, they can be nurtured into new client referrers and even evangelists for your brand.
The operative word here is nurture. In the e-commerce business, rewarding loyalty is simply good practice. If you offer incentives for purchasing more items from you, then they are likely to visit more often, buy more items, and spend more dollars.
So look at your data more closely and see which customers have made repeat purchases over the past few months. Maybe give them a special discount code or send them a gift. Small gestures like these can go a long way in making them feel special for staying loyal.
#2 Tailor-made promotions
Using your store data, you can segment your customers and create promotions for the most valuable groups. Take advantage of this by creating targeted promotions during special events or shopping seasons. One popular example is the Christmas in July sale – a promotion that only makes perfect sense in the Australian market (where winter happens in July and summer in December) but hardly anywhere else.
But don’t stop with holidays, events, or celebrations. Study your data and look for similarities among the people who buy from your store. Capitalise on these shared characteristics and see if you can create a campaign around them. People are more likely to buy specials or promotions when it’s particularly relevant to them and responds their needs.
A quick note: Creating special deals can sometimes be a case of hit or miss. However, the most successful promotions are usually a product of multiple failed campaigns. Just remember to keep on chugging when your first few attempts fizzle out.
#3 Offer special bundles and personalised recommendations
Let’s imagine that you want to make pasta for dinner. You go to the grocery store and check out the pasta aisle. Won’t it be delightful, if the sauces and other ingredients that go with your meal were right there, too? Then, you can just drop them all in your cart, go directly to the counter, and check out. Easy peasy.
You can do the same for your e-commerce store. One thing to try is to group related products. If you sell makeup, for example, you can create bundles for multiple items like eyeliner, mascara, and eye shadow, and make it easier and faster for women who like to do eye makeup to buy what they need in one go. Plus, shoppers who are just there to browse or buy one item might consider buying the whole lot, if you offered the bundle at a good discount.
Another idea is to use personalised recommendations on your website. Based on the listing that the customer is currently viewing or their past buying habits, you can suggest something that’s related or perhaps typical items that other shoppers would purchase along with it. While the additional products might not necessarily be in their shopping list, with the right prompt and accurate timing of the offer, your customer might just realise that they need it and add your suggestions to their cart.
#4 Check the wishlists
A wishlist is a collection of items that customers themselves create, as they browse and look through an e-commerce site. Maybe they’re thinking about buying it but would like to compare prices first. Or they could be planning to gift it to themselves or to someone else, for a coming special occasion. In any case, a wishlist is a very good indication of buyer interest, which tells you that “I like this item but I’m not sure if I should buy it now”.
Let your customers create wishlists to get a good idea of what they want. For example, if you see a specific item on multiple wishlists, try and understand why it’s suddenly so popular. Why are shoppers wishlisting it but not readily buying it? Should you start stocking up on this product? Should you adjust your pricing to nudge the wishlisters to buy the item straight away?
Knowing what people want, or what they’re thinking of buying, is half the battle. And it’s all right there in your data.
#5 Recover abandoned carts
The cases of online customers abandoning their shopping carts before checking out are more common than you might think. While it can be alarming, you can turn your abandoned cart rate into an advantage with the right strategy.
First, you need to find out what makes people abandon their carts. Is it because of the price? Were they looking for specific items but didn’t find them on your store? Were they ready to purchase something that wasn’t on stock? Understanding why people abandon their carts can help you adjust your inventories, processes, store hours, and so on, to drive shoppers straight to the checkout counter, whenever they add a product to their cart.
Next, chase up those customers who have left their carts unattended. Sending an email within an hour of abandonment is a known best practice in e-commerce. Follow up within 24 hours, 48 hours, and even 72 hours to ask if they are still planning to complete their purchase. Once in a while, throw in a discount code or voucher.
Even if you recover only a fraction of these abandoned carts, that is revenue you would have lost, if you didn’t know where to look.
#6 Use social proof
Studies have shown that people are more likely to buy something that has been purchased by other shoppers. The likelihood increases when they see that those who bought the product are happy with what they received. This is why reviews and testimonials are a must-have on every e-commerce site.
You can take it one step further, by throwing in some helpful information that you can cull from your rich database. For example, you can include the number of times that the item has been purchased or wishlisted, to give the prospective buyer the feeling that the product they’re eyeing is popular. As suggested earlier, you can also add an indicator like “people who purchased this product also purchased”, to increase the size of the purchase.
Meeting your monthly targets is never far from your reach, if you have the right data and know what to do with it. Don’t leave the information you collect on your customers just sitting there; look at your data to gain insights into buyer behaviour, use your findings as leverage, and implement these six ways to increase your income.
Ready to unlock the revenue that’s been under your nose all this time? With its proven expertise in marketing analytics, Digital Excellence can help you better understand your customer data. Let’s chat about the best ways to increase your transaction size and boost your sales.