What’s the best way to increase the revenue of your ecommerce store?
Difficult question to answer, right?
I mean, there’s a multitude of potential answers to that question, all differing depending on the size of your store, your budget, and what your long and short-term goals are.
You could explore influencer marketing, implement PPC ads, roll out a joint venture campaign, or any number of other methods.
But if there’s one method lauded more often than any other as the best method to increase revenue it’s this; increase traffic.
There’s a belief that growth is simply the result of getting more eyes on your store.
And it couldn’t be more wrong.
Quantity is not a substitute for quality.
If you want to grow your store in a meaningful way, you have to deliver the right message to the right people, at the right time.
Today, I’m going to run through two methods that are key to increasing your store’s revenue through quality, not just quantity.
The Two Highest Return Actions Your Store Should be Taking
The average conversion rate for ecommerce is low. Like, really low.
According to SmartInsights, you can expect around 3% of your website visitors to make some form of transaction.
That means 97 out of every 100 people are looking at your site but not making a purchase. If we gave each user a value of $10, you’re missing $970 for every $30 you make.
These are, of course, general stats that include data from all different channels. But even breaking it down by channel doesn’t make a great difference.
What’s most interesting in the above are the conversion rates of email. Email converts at a higher rate than any other channel.
The question is, why?
Email is the only channel of those listed above that hits certain, specific marketing needs. Email is the only channel that:
- Users have to explicitly opt-in to
- Is a direct line to your users
- And can easily hit the multiple touchpoints needed to make the sale
It’s that last point that’s super important here. Multi-touchpoint marketing is the most effective method to increase revenue.
If you dip into your own analytics, you’ll see that the majority of users visit your store several times before buying.
The only people who arrive ready to buy are the 3% who end up converting. The other 97% need to be nurtured along the customer purchase path.
They’ll follow the common purchase journey, moving from unaware, to problem aware, through solution aware, to product aware before being ready to buy.
Problem is, if you’re relying on direct, social, or search traffic it’s almost impossible to control their progression through the above journey.
Email’s one of the few channels which permits ongoing correspondence with your users. It allows you to continually talk to them and easily facilitates those follow-up touchpoints.
And that’s the secret to increasing your store’s revenue. It’s about hitting your users at multiple touchpoints.
However, email isn’t the only method for multi-touchpoint marketing; and honestly, it’s no longer even the most effective.
The problem with email is two-fold. First, it’s a highly saturated channel. Most promotional messages are filtered through promotional tabs, missed thanks to inbox clutter, or ignored because they feel too salesy.
Second, they require an opt-in from your user. If you fail to grab their email address, you can’t keep the multiple touchpoints going.
So what can you do if email isn’t cutting the mustard?
Fortunately, there are two other excellent methods of optimizing the customer journey so you can continue to delight and amaze your customers who are earlier on in their purchase journey.
Step 1 – Retargeting Ads
PPC of all kinds is considered one of the most effective methods of increasing ecommerce revenue.
Problem is, the reports, case studies, and braggadocios articles on the topic always focus two things:
This narrow focus makes all the difference.
Making $6k per day sounds great until you realize that the store is paying $5.5k in ad spend.
Driving 20,000 visits sounds incredible until you realize only 20 people purchased a product.
Focusing on revenue and traffic is a fool’s gambit. It comes with a high ad spend and low return.
The reason ad spend for traffic gen is so high is because, even with advanced targeting, you’re never going to hit 100% of your ideal audience. In fact, a good portion of the people who see your ads will have no interest in what you’re selling.
According to RetailTouchpoints;
“As many as 22% of shoppers have received ads for products they would never purchase, while 16% have received similarly misguided product recommendations.”
Too many brands are paying for ads that have no appeal to the audience they’re targeting. But you don’t need to waste your ad spend on an audience who may or may not be interested.
Instead of pouring the majority of your ad spend into ToFu traffic driving ads, look to retargeting.
Retargeting ads are where smart store owners focus their efforts.
The ad spend for retargeting ads is lower because you’re only targeting those who’ve already expressed an interest. More importantly, they hit the next logical touchpoint for your users.
But here’s the best things about retargeting ads.
- They don’t have to be at all complicated (as demonstrated in the below example from RetargetApp)
- The return on and spend (ROAS) can be astronomical – averaging between 700 to 1000%!
Notice how simple this second example is. It’s a quick mention of the sale the user checked out with a rotating ad of the different products.
If you’re going to run any retargeting campaigns, we recommend starting with Facebook.
Why focus on Facebook? Because:
- It’s super easy to set up retargeting ads on Facebook
- The majority of your users already use the platform
- Comments, likes, and shares offer easy review of your ads
- Facebook has over 2.19 billion monthly users
By retargeting through Facebook, you’re going to keep costs low and ensure that your ads are seen only by those who have expressed an initial interest in your products.
It’s a win-win. You’re keeping your ad spend low whilst simultaneously generating extra touchpoint.
Step 2 – Facebook Messenger
I mentioned earlier how email is one of the most effective methods of driving revenue because, with multiple sends, you’re hitting those multiple touchpoints.
However, if you’ve spent any time experimenting or researching email marketing you’ll know that open and click rates are low.
In ecommerce, you’re generally looking at a ~23% open rate and ~3.5% CTR.
That’s low. It makes it pretty difficult to build the relationships and touchpoints when 8 out of 10 of your audience aren’t even reading your messages.
This is where Facebook Messenger comes in.
Messenger is like email in that it’s a direct line to your potential customers, however, it boasts vastly superior engagement rates.
The below are statistics we pulled from high performing email and Messenger campaigns of Recart merchant accounts.
Don’t get too excited.
At first glance, it looks like Messenger is the next level of direct response marketing. But it’s not a full replacement for email.
There are things that Messenger can do better than email, just like there are things email excels at.
Rather than move all of your email campaigns over to Messenger, first start by supplementing your automated emails with Messenger accompaniment.
I’d recommend starting with cart abandonment campaigns.
Why start at the end? Partly because I always like to optimize first nearest the money. Second, because this is where intent was highest.
In fact, in trialing Messenger vs email, we found Messenger to be the clear winner.
Once you’ve added Messenger to your cart abandonment campaigns, look at how you can incorporate it to add extra touchpoints to the user’s journey and help them progress along the path to purchase.
For example, a welcome series to turn first-time problem aware users into solution aware product seekers would be an ideal way to use Messenger.
You could build mini-funnels at every stage of the purchase journey to ensure your visitors keep taking steps towards becoming visitors.
How to Use Both Retargeting Ads and Facebook Messenger Together
The common belief with any marketing is that the goal is always to get the sale.
That every action, campaign, strategy, and tactic is to close some form of a deal and increase revenue.
But that’s not true.
The goal of every ad, email, Message, product page, or outreach is simply to push the user to the next step.
A re-engagement ad is not intended to drive the sale but rekindle the user’s desire and get them back to the product page.
The product page’s job is to get the user to add the item to cart.
An abandonment message has the goal of getting the user back to the checkout. And then it’s the checkout’s job to secure the sale.
You shouldn’t be looking at every marketing effort as an attempt to sell, but rather as a method to move your user along the sales funnel.
These goals become more complex when we take the purchase journey into consideration as you want to progress the user’s level of awareness and desire with each contact.
That’s what you have to keep in mind when leveraging both retargeting and Messenger.
They might seem like unrelated elements, but smart marketers will figure out how they can use them together to build a more successful purchase journey.
What I’d recommend is using retargeting to help your users progress through the stages of the purchase funnel, and then hit them with an automated Messenger campaign once they get to the bottom of the funnel.
Basically, you’re using retargeting ads to hit those top and mid-funnel touchpoints. Then going straight in with Messenger where it’s strongest, at the bottom of funnel for the conversion.
A very high-level overview of the process looks something like the below.
With each ad you focus on bringing the user back to the store and getting them to progress to the next stage in the funnel.
Once they’ve got to the stage where they’re adding an item to their cart, you go for the jugular and try to get the purchase.
Don’t get overly complicated in your approach or think that this needs to be some massive, complex funnel.
Start simply. Build retargeting ads for each stage that aim to bring the user back to the store. The end goal for those ToFu and MoFu ads is to get them to a product page and add an item to cart.
Once that’s done, you can hit them up for the sale.
Improving on 3%
Unless you have traffic in the hundreds of thousands every month, it’s going to be very difficult to drive enough revenue to survive off a 3% conversion rate.
Instead of wasting ad spend on trying to hit those high traffic levels, be smart about your marketing.
Help your users progress through the purchase journey. Let them know of the awesome deals and benefits of coming back to your store to check out more products or finish their purchase.
Not only will it save you money in marketing fees, but it’ll drive far more revenue than simply throwing as many people into the top of your funnel as possible.