Whether your company is a traditional, brick-and-mortar shop or exists entirely online, e-commerce is an essential ingredient to your success. If boosting e-commerce is a major goal for your business this year, we have a great two-part series to get you going. Start with these seven tips.

1. Upsell Your Current Customers

Upselling current patrons is typically cheaper than acquiring new ones. The reason for this is fairly simple: Your current customers already know who you are and the great work that you do. They’ll be that much more receptive to a premium product or an upgrade to their existing service than someone who is brand-new to your world.

Be sure to highlight the reasons why they should pay more. Are your new products handmade? Fair trade? Local? Does your new service go above and beyond what you offered before? Loyal customers have an anchor price in mind when they shop with you, and they’ll need evidence that this new, higher price will be worth it.

2. Make the Most of Social Selling

Social media is not only a great way to connect but also a great place to sell. Here are a few tips for two of the most effective platforms.

Instagram

  • Actively engage with your followers to boost your organic reach. Give them a peek behind the scenes or run contests.
  • Be strategic with hashtags. They should be clear, concise, and easy to remember.
  • Add products to your posts and let followers make purchases on the spot.

Facebook

  • You can give customers a direct purchase path through your company Facebook page, and they can then share it with friends.
  • Offer exclusive promotions and deals that aren’t available anywhere else.
  • Give your brand advocates exclusive rewards that are easy to redeem.

3. Rescue Those Abandoned Carts

Every time a potential customer leaves your site without completing a purchase, that’s money lost. And it happens more often than you’d probably like to believe—nearly 70 percent of all shopping carts are abandoned.

Some of this could be avoided with a simple reminder to finish the transaction, an offer of free shipping, or a discount. If they do leave your site, the next step is an email recovery campaign. It can be a very simple, no-frills message with a link to their cart. The team at LUSH uses nifty subject lines and suggests more products that might interest the customer.

4. Become an Email Expert

Despite the advent of social media, text messaging, and many other shiny new innovations, email remains one of the most reliable marketing and sales tools. Even though only 17 percent of the average marketing budget goes toward email, it brings in 24 percent of revenue.

The average consumer lets nearly anyone “friend” or “follow” them on social, but they guard their email address much more closely. And email allows for longer-form communications that a tweet just can’t deliver.

One of the best ways to customize your email promotions is to use customer purchase history, which a connected POS platform can easily provide. The folks at Uncommon Goods use last-minute pushes on holidays such as Father’s Day that really get the attention of a panicked spouse or child.

5. Get Chatty

Live chat is a great way to actively engage shoppers while they’re browsing your site. You can customize the messaging based on where they are, be it the homepage, FAQs, or checkout.

Retail fashion legend Nordstrom’s live chat offers access to a personal stylist, designer stylist, or beauty stylist, bringing their top-notch expertise outside the store and into your home.

6. Create Content That Keeps Them Coming Back

Content is king when it comes to attracting and keeping customers. They need something new to see/read/watch in order to regularly visit your site. Every online shop, no matter how big or small, should consider a regular blog. Not only does it help maintain strong customer relations, but it can also improve your search ranking.

But there’s more to content than blogging:

  • Start a podcast. People can listen to your expertise, even while doing the dishes or going for a jog.
  • Be a guest writer for other companies or industry blogs. This can generate backlinks, which also boost SEO.
  • Don’t be afraid to create longer content. Repeat customers are themselves experts on your brand, and they’re hungry to go deep with guides, e-books, and white papers.

An unexpected content rockstar is River Pools and Spas, which decided to become the one-stop shop for all questions about fiberglass pools, turning free advice into sales.

Click here to read Part 2: 11 Ways to Boost Your E-Commerce Sales!