Selling Variations To Improve Sales

So you’ve signed up for an ecommerce shopping cart software system and you’ve got a store running. You also have a healthy pool of loyal customers and everything seems peachy. Sales are good…but they can always be better.

Many merchants don’t usually consider the obvious when trying to improve sales figures. Always start with the resources you have because they are most probably free, familiar, and do not require much effort.

Read on to find out more…

Statistics have proven that people tend to buy more from a store they have previously purchased from. In fact, merchants can increase their sales by as much as 30% by concentrating on existing customers alone. This is not to say that you should abandon all efforts of getting new customers. Targeting existing customers is merely another avenue to improve sales.

So what can you do to improve your sales figures with what you already have? A typical ecommerce shopping cart provider usually provides ecommerce solution shopping cart software that includes a few helpful selling functions. Many merchants overlook these functions because they do not understand the possible impact they might have on their sales. Obviously an ecommerce shopping cart software system provider will not have included these features if they didn’t think it would be useful to their merchants.

So what should you do?

Cross-Sell

Amazon are experts at this. To mere mortals, it may not make much sense to cross-sell, for example, a DVD to someone who has just bought a bar of soap but apparently it makes a lot of sense to Amazon. Who are we to argue? The point is, cross-selling items encourages impulse buying from customers. It tries to milk the “Since I’m already here, I might as well buy this too” frame of mind. It probably helps to pitch customers products that are related to what they already have in their shopping carts, though. Try to offer cross-sell items that could be useful in combination with whatever your potential customers are showing interest in.

Up-Sell

Up-selling is a bit of a challenge as it involves persuading a buyer to purchase items which are sometimes more expensive than the item they’ve just bought or are interested in, in order to render the sale more profitable. These items are typically from the same product category and include upgrades, add-ons or non-tangible items like service packages, insurance, apps, or extended warranties. Merchants usually present the argument that purchasing the items suggested at this juncture will cost less than if a customer buys them separately.

Re-Sell

As mentioned earlier, once a person buys from your store, they will most probably shop there again. If the product is a consumable or needs to be consistently replaced (e.g. contact lens cleaners, vitamins, magazines or shaving blades) you can actually make it more convenient for the customer by using the recurring billing/product subscription function. This function allows you to re-sell and re-bill the customer for the same product on a fixed timescale. This saves the customer from having to repeatedly re-order products manually each time they need to replenish their supplies.

All the methods above are not only great for increasing revenue from existing customers but also help improve the image of your store by making it seem more customer-friendly (one-time related product purchases and product subscriptions save time and money)  as well as help build a long term customer following.

Do you have any cross-selling ideas that you’ve tried that you’d like to share?

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