How Businesses Generate More Online Sales by Doing Less

Your top priority as an ecommerce proprietor is to keep sales high at all times. Most business owners would take this to mean that you should constantly expand your sales operation in whatever way you can. You can try out new technologies, target new markets, pour more money into marketing, and use countless other ways to grow your business.


If this sounds like a lot of work, that is because it is. You might start to wonder what the point of generating more sales is if you end up having to do more work as time goes by. A smarter approach to doing business, at least as far as your quality of life is concerned, would be to do just enough to keep sales growing, without going overboard with constant optimisations.


So to help you get the most out of your ecommerce business, we present 7 tips for increasing sales with minimum effort.


1. Look for Upselling and Cross-selling Opportunities

Many ecommerce businesses fall into the trap of spending thousands of dollars on marketing to acquire new customers, without first trying to extract more value from their existing ones. Selling to someone who has no previous knowledge of your business is much harder than selling to an existing customer. So instead of chasing ever higher customer numbers, look for upselling and cross-selling opportunities within your existing customer base. Send reminder emails to customers with abandoned shopping carts, notify email subscribers about similar products to those they bought, and in general try to stay in touch with your customers over longer periods of time.


2. Engage in Viral Marketing

Digital marketing is at a point where marketers have gotten it down to science. You have your fact-based methodologies, specially designed software tools, long-term strategies, and teams of experts implementing the whole thing. That is a lot of money and man-hours spent on what’s basically just letting people know about your business. But there is another way to generate buzz for your business online, namely viral marketing. By creating memetic marketing content, you have the potential to reach a massive number of people, and it can be done on a shoestring budget. You’ll need some luck to have your content go viral, but since it’s cheap and easy to produce, you’re bound to make a hit eventually.


3. Provide High-Quality Product Images

On the technical side of things, small tweaks and optimisations can do wonders for improving sales. A good place to start are your product images. Images convince people to buy more readily than words do, so start re-examining your product image gallery and look for images that merit replacement. Sometimes all that’s needed is a higher resolution image, or a different viewing angle. If you want to be fancy, you can create 360° degree images, to give customer a deeper look at your products.


4. Write Enticing Product Descriptions

While we’re on the topic of easy tweaks, your product descriptions could probably use some work as well. Too many ecommerce website simply post generic, overly-technical product descriptions, which confuse customers more than they help. Instead of just listing features and technical specifications in your product descriptions, try to frame them in terms of a solution to a problem. If you’re selling yoga mats, don’t dwell too much on the size and the material of the product, and instead describe all the things it can be useful for, such as working out at home.



5. Leverage User-generated Content

Increasing sales via marketing frequently requires a content-heavy approach. And good content requires time and resources. However, there is a way to acquire quality content for next to nothing, and it involves outsourcing content creation to the online masses. User-generated content can be acquired by hosting contests, challenges, and giveaways on social networks. Simply design a challenge, offer a reward for the best submissions, and start harvesting user-generated images, stories, videos, and more. User-generated content looks and feels more authentic than sponsored content, which further increases its effectiveness for increasing sales.


6. Use a Customer Service Chatbot

Automation is your best friend when it comes to improving sales in an efficient manner. And one of the easiest ways to automate your sales workflow is to set up a customer service chatbot on your website. A chatbot can answer common customer queries, place orders, offer product suggestions, and even provide rudimentary customer support. Chatbots require little supervision once you set them up, and they can service customers from across the globe 24/7. Some customers even respond better to chatbots than to live sales reps.


7. Create Artificial Scarcity

A lot of potential customers require only a slight nudge in the right direction to get them to buy. All you have to do is shift their perspective a bit. One effective way of doing this is by generating artificial scarcity. To put it simply, there is a difference between offering to sell a product, and offering to sell a product from a limited run of only 100 items. The implication that there is a limited quantity of items available will drive customer to commit to a purchase lest they risk losing out on the opportunity. The same effect can be achieved with limited-time offers, or flash sales.



Selling more is always desirable in ecommerce, but the price of making it happen can be steep. So instead of taking a brute force approach to increasing sales, you can play things smart and only implement the most cost-effective optimisation tactics.


About the author – Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham. 


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