Xero For Beginners: Driving Online Sales With Shopify↘
Are you looking to drive more sales for your online store? Shopify became one of the latest Xero partners to work with the platform and have shared their expert tips to provide merchants with an actionable ecommerce strategy.
For those of you who don’t already know, Shopify and Xero became Xero partners earlier this year and this partnership means more sales for more merchants. After all, who wouldn’t want to sell more and earn more?
So, today’s article is a guide to Xero for beginners in terms of how online businesses can drive online sales with Shopify’s helpful and guiding hand.
N0.1: Product Upsells 📈
At one time or another, most of us have been asked “Would you like to supersize your order?”.
Upgrading an order is a method of upselling and this particular question opens up the possibility of selling a slightly more premium product to the customer as opposed to what they were originally considering.
For many businesses, upselling and cross-selling methods can prove to be greatly effective as opposed to acquiring new customers.
Why? Well, sometimes your store's customers will not know that those premium products are available to purchase from your store, or they may simply need more evidence to understand how this upgrade (or package) is a better fit for their needs.
For instance, is one of the product upgrades made of higher quality material? Or does one carry a special component that’s handmade?
If there are unique features that make the gap between the two product offerings more widespread, be sure to highlight those distinctions and ask the customer if they would like to upgrade their order in a well-timed manner.
We here at Karmoon believe that there are two main considerations that merchants should make when relying on upsells to increase sales and they are as follows:
- The first is to make sure that any upsells are related to the original product.
- The second is to be sensitive to the anticipated price range that your customers will be willing to pay. Your product has to fit the customer’s original needs. Therefore, not very many consumers will be enthusiastic about the higher price point once they have an anchor price in mind.
An anchor price is often the first figure that a customer sees and it is also the number which they will compare other price points against. In short, the new product must be a discernibly better fit than the original for it to be worth the additional cost so, make it worth their while.
N0.2: Follower Engagement (Instagram)
With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social apps on the web, connecting; consumers, influencers and brands alike.
If your business already shares professional and compelling product photography alongside executing a thought-through hashtag and posting strategy, then you’ll be well on your way to building an engaged Instagram following for your online store.
However, the true key to mastering an organic Instagram presence lies with follower engagement. Engaging with your brand's followers on social media platforms such as Instagram is a great way to build a rapport with your store's audience, not to mention the trust and credibility of your business.
So, if you’re looking for smarter ways to communicate with your following, try to run contests or go behind the scenes on social media to showcase your product development process.
Additionally, businesses could give their ecommerce marketing strategy a boost by adding products from their online store to their Instagram posts (via Instagram Shop) and Stories with Instagram links.
Essentially, Instagram Shop will provide a brand's followers with a direct path to purchase, which is key for increasing online sales. The introduction of this shopping tool has now transformed Instagram into an ecommerce marketplace so, it makes sense for ecommerce businesses to take advantage of this opportunity.
N0.3: Reduce Abandoned Cart Rates 🛒
The sad truth is that every business loses money when a visitor abandons their cart without making a purchase. This phenomenon is well-studied, as website browsers often add items to their cart without checking out.
According to the Baymard Institute, 69.23% of shopping carts are abandoned, which is why the Xero partners believe that it is worth addressing as many hesitations as possible.
Believe it or not, some shoppers who abandon their cart choose to complete their purchase(s) when they are reminded of the basket that's waiting for them to checkout.
Perhaps these consumers were persuaded with a discount code or an offer of free shipping, but one simple and effective ecommerce marketing technique that frequently reduces abandoned cart rates are email recovery campaigns.
Email recovery campaigns can convince a store’s visitors to make a return visit and complete their intended purchase. Take LUSH, for example, these guys are always sharing quirky subject lines and email content with additional product suggestions to lure basket-fillers to return to their cart.
When it comes to abandoned cart rates, we’d recommend drafting an email that entices your store’s visitors to return to their shopping cart and check out with their order by reminding consumers of why they considered making a purchase from your store in the first place.
N0.4: Streamline Email Campaigns
As one of the savviest Xero partners on the block, the team at Shopify know that it's not enough to simply capture a bunch of email addresses and have them just sit there. Instead, merchants will need to send out regular and valuable emails to their audience for this channel to be an effective outlet for ecommerce marketing.
Many occasions are the perfect excuse to send your subscriber an email and what's more, they’ll appreciate it.
So, let’s take a quick look at a few ideas from the Shopify partners below:
- Send your customers a personalised welcome email as soon as they have made a purchase.
- Provide exclusive promotional codes and gifts to your active email subscribers.
- Send regular newsletters to alert your audience of the latest; discounts, product tips and company news.
- Share relevant content to help your store’s customers get the most out of their recently purchased items.
- Run a buy one get one free campaign in time for the holidays to promote self-gifting during the season.
- Thank your highest-value customers by sending a personal note expressing your appreciation for their purchase.
- Ask your website visitors to solicit feedback. If a user visits your website but doesn’t make a purchase, ask that individual about their experience and what your team can do to improve it.
N0.5: Capture Email Subscribers 📧
Dollar for dollar, email marketing is one of the most effective channels at any brand’s disposal when it comes to driving online sales and generating repeat customers.
Around 17% of the digital marketing spend is estimated to derive from email marketing, contributing to around 24% of a store’s revenue, according to a 2015 study conducted by Forrester Research.
Let’s face it, there are far too many tweets and Facebook posts for us to keep up with these days, so sending a direct email message to your subscribers can offer a more intimate interaction.
Of course, people are still pretty protective over the kinds of messages that are sent to their inboxes as compared to the content that appears on their social media news feeds.
So, it’s important to express everything that your business has to say in the relevant space where email marketing is concerned. This means putting a message together that contains all of the important information that just won’t fit into those social updates.
To get started with email marketing, why not start to actively promote your newsletter and blog alongside your email capture efforts to accumulate as many subscribers as possible?
N0.6: Customer Experience
The truth can hurt sometimes, but if your store is poorly designed, then you’re most likely losing out on customers because of this.
Besides appearing untrustworthy, a poorly designed store could be:
- Lacking a clear value proposition.
- Confusing to navigate.
Even if you’ve improved the dimensions above, it’s important to note that many merchants still make several design mistakes outside of these areas. For instance, are you segmenting your products correctly? Have you figured out the right balance between text and visuals? These are just a few of the aspects that should be considered. Additionally, if your theme is not converting well, merchants should consider implementing one of the seamless themes that are available to download via the Shopify Theme Store.
N0.7: Live Chat & Support 💬
Alongside social media and email marketing efforts, there are several other high-impact ways that merchants can begin to engage with their customers. For instance, try to implement a live chat support feature in your store to engage with the shoppers on site.
Many live chat features allow businesses to target their store’s browsers on certain web pages after their visiting duration has passed a specified time frame. Additionally, another option is to display a live chat feature for the users who have visited the website through an email newsletter. In a nutshell, live chat enables online stores to have direct conversations with their customers so that they can answer and address customer concerns while they’re planning to make a purchase.
N0.8: Anticipate Future Sales
If a business can expand its product line, merchants should evaluate market demand and see if it’s worth the cost.
This can also be achieved through a variety of methods such as; targeted keyword research, geographic validation, social media trends and more. Furthermore, another creative way to test out your brand’s market is to pre-sell items to discover how many customers are willing to place an order.
If you’re trying to decide which specific products to sell, we’d recommend creating pages for all of your store’s inventory, ensuring that high-quality product photography and compelling copy is utilised for each listing.
Then, all you’ll need to do is list each item as “out of stock” to discover which product(s) received the most attention in terms of back-in-stock notification requests from browsers. With this data, you’ll soon discover which products are the right ones for your brand to sell.
N0.9: Embrace Personalisation 🤗
Personalisation is another effective marketing tactic that the Xero partners recommend for the merchants who are looking to drive sales via their online store.
Using behavioural data, personalised experiences are served to the visitor, according to their past actions and preferences. According to BCG, personalisation can lift sales by as much as 10%, but the opportunity is far greater than that.
Did you know that only 15% of companies are utilising this technology to its fullest extent?
Online businesses can also account for the location to create an experience catered to where their customers are in the world. For instance, one customer in southern California may be looking for bathing suits in October, while another consumer in New York may be in the market for a new coat.
N0.10: User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is an ingenious way for online businesses to generate social proof. When prospective customers see that people just like them are regularly purchasing their store’s products, they’ll feel more confident in doing the same.
According to Salesforce, 54% of consumers will choose to trust the information that they discover from online reviews and recommendations, whereas only 20% of consumers will choose to trust the brand itself.
For the beginners reading this guide, UGC can take many forms and technically, even product reviews are a variation of UGC.
One of the most effective types of UGC has been proven to be pictures or footage of real customers using a brand’s products.
Xero for Beginners 🛠️
As we’ve established within today’s guide, merchants will need the right toolset and tech in place to successfully drive online sales for their business.
For those of you that haven’t heard, Xero is an online accounting software and business platform that embodies all of the tools that merchants will need to run an ecommerce business and manage the books.
Separately, Shopify is a powerful ecommerce and point of sale platform that possesses everything that online brands require to successfully sell goods to their customers online.
If you’re actively looking to work with a Shopify agency designer or developer to assist you with your business, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to get started!