Do you ever feel like you’re just waiting for the phone to ring? Or, these days, waiting for your next order notification? You hear stories about store owners who are so overwhelmed with orders that they can barely keep up. And… you want to be overwhelmed, too.
Well, if you want to increase sales, revenue, and profits, it’s time to get moving. There are very specific, proven steps you can take to increase sales in your WooCommerce store, and we’re going to show you the 12 that will make the greatest impact.
Whether you sell physical products, digital products, or both, the ecommerce strategies in this article apply to almost every WooCommerce store.
And the best news is, you can start working on all of these right now. Even better, since there are twelve, you’ve got a plan you can use as a roadmap for improvement over the next year. Focus on one strategy per month, and this time next year you might just be one of those store owners overwhelmed with orders.
Let’s get to it.
1. Boost your page loading speed
There’s a direct link between page loading speed and sales. Why? Because if your pages take too long to load, potential customers will abandon your site before they interact with your content. If they don’t use your site, they can’t buy anything.
So it’s in your interest to make sure your site is running quickly. If your pages take more than three seconds to load, 40% or more of visitors will simply give up.
But how do you boost your site’s speed? Even if you’re a relatively new store owner or aren’t familiar with the technical aspects of WordPress, there are some simple steps you can take to help your site’s performance.
First, you can test your current site speed using a variety of free online tools like GTmetrix and Google PageSpeed. These tools will not only tell you how quickly your site loads, they’ll also show you specific ways you can improve.
Your next step is to install Jetpack Boost, a free plugin you can use to optimize your core web vitals. These metrics are a good indication of the experience that people have with your store, measuring things like loading performance, visual stability, and interactivity. Additionally, Google factors them in when determining where to rank your sites on search engine results pages.
Then, give Jetpack CDN a try. This is a free content delivery network that loads your website from super-fast servers located around the world. This means that every individual visitor will get the best possible experience based on their location.
Jetpack CDN also has extra speed-boosting powers like image optimization based on the device each visitor is using to access your website. You can get both things in one place, along with additional security, performance, and marketing tools through Jetpack Complete.
Looking for more tips? See 9 Ways to Speed Up Your WooCommerce Store.
Pro tip: Hosting isn’t the best place to try and save a few dollars per month. Even a perfectly-optimized site will run slowly if its hosting service is subpar. Your host provides the foundation for everything else needed to run and deliver your site to visitors. Learn how to choose a host for your WooCommerce store, or look through our recommended WordPress hosts.
2. Improve the checkout process
No matter how many ads you run, blog posts you write, or referrals you receive, the checkout page remains one of the single most important points in the sales process. Despite getting so close to the finish line, many potential customers abandon their cart during these final steps.
So improving this single point in the process could have an immediate, profound impact on your sales.
Think about it: Every abandoned cart represents someone who found your site, chose one or more products, and at least began the process of making a purchase. But something held them back from completing it. And this happens way more often than any of us like to admit — about 69% of shopping carts are abandoned.
So how do you improve your checkout process?
Start with the easy stuff — remove unnecessary fields. Only keep the ones you need in order to complete the sale. If you want, you can provide opt-ins for joining your email list and other incentives and optional items, but don’t overdo it and be sure they don’t interfere with simply completing the purchase.
Also, don’t require customers to log in or register just to buy something. In most cases, you won’t need to do this, and customers can always return later to create an account if they want to make another purchase. If creating an account is absolutely necessary, you should at least allow people to log in using their social media accounts to offer a more frictionless experience.
Next, allow multiple forms of payment. Credit cards are the baseline, but many people also expect to be able to pay using things like Venmo, Paypal, and Apple Pay. And, for many stores, the time is right to start offering the ability to pay with cryptocurrencies.
WooCommerce Payments makes it easy to accept payment in multiple forms and in many different currencies. The best part? It’s completely free.
3. Consider offering free shipping
While consumers always love free shipping, you can’t afford to simply give everything away. For most merchants, fulfilling and delivering orders is a major expense. But, if done correctly, it might just turn into an advantage. Here are a few factors to consider about free shipping on your ecommerce store:
- The weight of your products
- The shipping providers you’re using
- Distance to customer
- Speed of shipping
- Cost of the product or order
- Profit margins
If offering free shipping eats up all your profits, it’s a bad deal. Some businesses include shipping in their prices. This means they charge higher prices up front, but then there’s no shipping charge added on the checkout page.
You can also offer free shipping if the order size is above a certain amount. And you can hold special free shipping for particular days, events, or promotions.
4. Improve the user experience
Website usability matters no matter what type of site you run. But for ecommerce stores, its importance magnifies. A WooCommerce store that’s hard to navigate will make fewer sales because shoppers will get frustrated and give up.
And, the more products you have, the more complicated it becomes to maintain a store that’s easy to use. You need clear product categories, a logical navigation menu, a responsive design, and a functional search feature.
Jetpack Search makes it easy to add a search feature to your WooCommerce store that allows your customers to find what they’re looking for with minimal hassle. It offers advanced filters, spelling correction, and live results to make the process fast and simple.
For more options, check out the best WordPress search plugins.
5. Give the information your customers need
If all your product pages are looking pretty bare — maybe just a photo, a title, and price — you can increase your WooCommerce sales by making these pages more robust.
People have questions. They want to know certain facts about products before buying. If your store has been around very long, you probably already know what people ask. You’ve answered the same questions dozens of times. Don’t make them come to you or your FAQ page — get out ahead of them so they can make a purchase decision right then and there.
If you’re not sure what information your visitors might be looking for, go back and look at your customer service communications and make notes. If you get any product returns, find out why.
If it’s food, list the ingredients. If it’s clothing, specify the sizes. Describe the materials. Explain the care procedures. If it’s a more complicated product, give some information about how to use it, what it’s made of, things to know, and even directions for use. Include high-quality photos.
And another note about clothing. Sizes are not standardized, especially if you’re selling children’s clothes. If possible, include a size chart with measurements so there’s no room for error.
Anticipate what a customer might want to know, and put that on the product page.
6. Use email more effectively
Once you’ve won a customer or gotten someone to opt into your email list, start sending emails! There are a number of smart ways for WooCommerce stores to increase sales using email, such as:
- New product announcements
- First-time customer discounts and rewards
- Referral rewards
- Abandoned cart emails
- Holiday campaigns
- Birthday and anniversary specials
- Segmented emails based upon prior purchases
Email is an excellent method for following up with potential customers. They cost very little to send and the subscriber list data is yours. You have more control and ownership over this kind of marketing when compared to advertising on social media or search engines.
WooCommerce store owners who are new to email marketing should look into MailPoet. It has automations that are built specifically for WooCommerce stores, so it works seamlessly. Plus, you can manage everything directly from the WordPress dashboard. Create promotions for those who ordered from a particular product category. Follow up with people who’ve abandoned a cart, announce your newest product launch, or reward your most loyal customers.
There’s a lot you can do, and improving your email marketing is almost guaranteed to help grow your store.
7. Be available to online store visitors
When potential customers have questions, they want answers. At the bare minimum, every WooCommerce store should have a phone number and contact page.
If you want to increase sales from your WooCommerce store, respond within minutes, if possible, but certainly on the same day. If you wait too long, a shopper might buy from somewhere else or just give up.
Live chat is even better than contact forms! Customers can get answers more quickly. You can designate an employee to handle requests based on their availability, or if it’s just you, connect a chat program to your phone so you can respond to notifications right away.
8. Use coupons strategically
Coupons make great sales boosters, as long as you’re not giving up too much revenue. Look at it this way:
Suppose you sell a product for $30, and your profit margin is $10. If you give a 20% off coupon that a customer uses on that item, they’re now buying it for $24. That reduces your profits by 60%!
So while coupons can sometimes seem like an appealing strategy for convincing more customers to buy from you instead of the competition, you need to be careful. Here are few ways to use coupons strategically:
- Offer one-time coupons to encourage new or returning customers
- Use coupons on specific holidays when competition is more fierce
- Offer coupons for new or specific products that have a higher dollar value
- Use dollar-off coupons rather than percentages
That last one could appeal to customers, increase your order size, and reduce your profit losses.
Suppose you offer a deal where the customer saves $20 off a purchase of $100 or more, and $40 off a purchase of $200 or more. Seems like the same thing right? 20% off. But it’s not, because the discount doesn’t increase with the price. How many people will spend exactly $100 or $200 dollars?
A customer who spends $200 saves $40. But a customer who spends $280 also saves $40. Your profits increase the more they spend. And anyone who spends $180 or more in that scenario will probably try to bump up their order to get over $200. This approach increases order size and doesn’t cut into profits as much as a percentage discount.
If you offer a 20% off coupon and a customer spends $280, your profits go down $56 instead of $40, because the percentage increases the amount saved no matter how much is spent.
Another coupon strategy is to offer an upsell.
Suppose the customer is about to spend $50 on an item. Offer them the chance to buy two for $89 before they check out. It saves them $11, but it increases your order size without much effect on profits since shipping one order costs less than shipping two separate ones. Here are more creative ways to use coupons.
9. Nurture your leads
One of the most effective ways to use email marketing is with segmented and personalized emails. But what does that mean?
A large part of it revolves around knowing what your customers have purchased, and communicating with them based on that knowledge.
As a simple example, suppose a WooCommerce store sells T-shirts, sweatshirts, and jackets, and also has a business line where companies can create branded versions of those same products. Any business customer should be communicated with as a business, not a person. They’re not going to be ordering a couple shirts here and there.
On the other hand, another customer may be ordering kids’ shirts and sweatshirts every couple years. Clearly, this customer is a parent buying for their kids, and their kids are getting older, as kids tend to do. So you would communicate with that customer very differently from a business.
How do you keep track of customer purchases at this level? With a CRM (customer relationship management) tool.
Jetpack CRM enables you to keep track of customer purchases, order sizes, dollars spent, and other information that will help you to nurture and follow up with your customers and leads in ways that are relevant and timely to them.
For the family buying ever enlarging kids’ clothes, the best time to send special deals and new product announcements would probably be before school starts, and in the months leading up to the holidays.
A CRM plugin or tool allows you to keep track of this information and make your marketing more effective. And the best thing about JetpackCRM is that it connects seamlessly with WooCommerce. See how it works.
10. Offer social proof
One of the greatest barriers to online sales is trust. Can I trust this company and their products? One of the best ways to overcome that is with testimonials and reviews.
As you acquire more reviews, post them all over your site. You can integrate reviews from well-known sites like Google, and put them on your own product pages to increase authenticity.
And don’t just put all your testimonials on one page, or on the homepage. When you get reviews that mention specific products, put those on that exact product page. If you get a review commending your customer service, put that on your contact page, checkout page, or other relevant page.
If you have any reviews on social media, connect people so they can see the reviews on your site.
You can’t have too many customer reviews and testimonials. And the more detail you include, the better. Full names are better than first names. Cities are better than states or provinces. For business customers, include company names and the job title of the person leaving the review. Photos are better than just names. Video testimonials are gold.
See more ways to use reviews to generate sales.
11. Harness the power of upsells and cross-sells
One of the most powerful ways to increase WooCommerce sales is with upsells and cross-sells.
An upsell could be like the example given earlier, where a customer bought an item for $50, and you offer them the chance to buy two for $89 before they finish checking out. You’re getting them to spend more, but it’s a good deal for them, too.
Another common upsell strategy is to offer a bonus item or some other perk such as an event ticket or contest entry. You can also upsell by offering larger quantities. This works great for food and consumable products.
Cross-selling, on the other hand, involves recommending other products that relate in some way to the first one. Using the clothing example again, if someone orders a couple t-shirts, you can mention sweatshirts and jackets of a similar color or style as a product recommendation.
This is also another place you can use coupons strategically. You could combine the product recommendation with a one-time-only coupon to buy two items and get a third one free. Or, if you have a minimum threshold for free shipping, mention how close the shopper is to reaching that when you recommend other products.
Here are five more strategies for upselling and cross-selling.
12. Increase your marketing efforts
Even though this is the last tip on this list, if you’re using this article to help plan out your next twelve months, don’t wait until the 12th month to start this one. Marketing is a continuous process and many of these methods begin with a slow build. So start early, and keep building on it as you implement other strategies on this list.
Online marketing requires online traffic. How do you get traffic? In general, there are two ways:
- Attract the traffic organically
- Pay for the traffic
You can attract online traffic from social media and from search engine optimization (SEO). Social media sites such as Facebook and Pinterest offer ways to showcase products, post comments and updates, get feedback, and interact with customers. You can also use social media to send people to your site.
For many WooCommerce stores, Pinterest can be particularly helpful because it’s a visual showcase. With the free Pinterest for WooCommerce extension, you can link your online store to your Pinterest page and put your entire product catalog on display.
SEO is how you attract online traffic organically, through search engines like Yahoo, Bing, and Google. SEO relies on having high quality content on your website that uses keyword terms that your ideal customers might be searching for. This is another reason why having quality product pages with lots of helpful information should be a high priority. Your SEO also improves with well-organized and clearly-defined product categories and site architecture that’s easy to navigate.
And you can greatly improve your SEO by writing helpful high-quality blog posts, which offer a natural way to answer questions often asked by customers, and provide solutions to common problems.
With paid online ads, you can more directly attract people who are searching for your products, and leapfrog ahead of the organic listings in search engines. The downside is that you’ll pay for every click and, if you stop paying, the traffic stops flowing. That said, it can still be a great way to generate profitable traffic and learn what terms your audience uses most.
The Google Listings & Ads extension, another free download for WooCommerce, makes it easier to run ads that sync with your specific product pages.
Frequently asked questions about increasing sales on WooCommerce
1. How can I analyze my WooCommerce sales performance?
The simplest way to begin is with the site stats you can see through Jetpack. This is a free feature that shows where your traffic is coming from, and your most popular pages. Next, review the built-in stats that come with WooCommerce. You’ll see which products are most popular along with everything from gross and net sales to average order size, taxes, shipping, refunds and more with WooCommerce Analytics.
And if you want more data, you can use Jetpack to connect WordPress with Google Analytics for an advanced view of site stats and marketing performance.
2. Which metrics or KPIs should I focus on, in priority?
For most WooCommerce stores, your key metrics will include total sales, average order size, returns, and discounts. There’s a lot more depth within each of these such as date ranges, categories, coupons redeemed, and more. All of these metrics and much more can be found within WooCommerce Analytics. See what else WooCommerce Analytics can show you.
3. How can I see where my sales come from?
The best way to see which of your marketing sources are producing the most sales is to connect Jetpack with Google Analytics. Here’s how to set it up. This will show you geographical data, but also which paid ads, blogs, social media sites, emails, and other marketing channels are producing your sales and converting your customers.
When you’re ready to get more detailed, you can learn about advanced analytics and marketing performance tracking for WooCommerce.
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