4 ways retailers can increase eCommerce sales - Retail Council of Canada
Digital Retail & Technology

4 ways retailers can increase eCommerce sales

June 29, 2021

This article is provided by Reshift Media, a Canadian-based digital marketing and development organization specializing in retail businesses.

Retail eCommerce is more popular than ever, in large part due to consumers to turn to their devices to buy the items they want during the COVID-19 pandemic . In December 2020, Canadian eCommerce retail sales reached an all-time high of $4.82 billion, far surpassing previous years, and the numbers remain significantly high today (and likely will in the years to come).

As eCommerce continues to evolve, there are many ways that retailers can grow along with it and generate an increase in sales. This blog post will outline four different strategies you can get started on today, but keep in mind your brand identity and your customers’ needs, as growth tactics are not one size fits all.

1. Invest in Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a type of online advertising method where you pay only when a user clicks on your ad. You can promote your online store and/or various products through these ads, and they can appear on search engines or social media platforms, most commonly Google and Facebook.

PPC advertising is a great way to boost eCommerce sales because you can reach consumers who fit within your typical customer base. Targeting specific audiences, whether it be through uploading your customer list or targeting specific geographies and demographics, ensures that your ads are displayed in front of interested users who are searching for what you are advertising. In fact, 65% of consumers click on PPC advertisements, and they can increase brand awareness by 80%, which demonstrates just how instrumental they can be for retailers.

Another great opportunity that PPC advertising provides is the data you can retrieve from it. Not only can you gauge how much money you spend, but you can better determine what works and what doesn’t. PPC advertising can tell retailers what brought someone to your site, which can help with future ads.

2. Implement Retargeting

Similar to PPC advertising, retargeting is a way to advertise to certain audiences. Retargeting involves showing ads to customers who have engaged with your business before, such as visiting your website, subscribing to your newsletter, or interacting with your social media posts.  You can use this method to target people who engaged with your eCommerce retail store but did not convert. This is quite common among shoppers, as 72% are likely to abandon their cart before making a purchase.  

Retargeting can be a great approach to increase eCommerce sales because, like PPC advertising, your ads are displayed in front of a curated audience. It is so effective that consumers are 70% more likely to purchase a product when they are retargeted. As well, retargeting brings back about 26% of those who originally abandoned their cart.

One way to get started with retargeting is by adding a retargeting pixel to your website, such as with a Facebook pixel. You can also use retargeting lists, which you form when existing customers or visitors supply their email addresses on your site, or you can tag your website with a Google Ads tag to create an audience.

3. Email Marketing

There are a variety of eCommerce email marketing campaigns your brand can implement, each with a different strategy that can increase sales. The main goal with these emails is to get the consumer to click, and you can choose to do this through emails that announce new products, coupons, promotions, etc. Investing in email marketing, regardless of the format you use, is vital because it leads to a greater return-on-investment (ROI). Research shows for every $1 put into email marketing, brands will receive $42 in return. 

Email is used by 4 billion people globally, so it is important to approach email marketing with the right strategy. Welcome emails seem to generate great results, as they lead to four times more opens than regular email messages, while 50% of consumers will open an email based on its subject line. This is where creativity and personalization come in handy; emails can be personalized based on how the receiver has engaged with the business in the past (products they’ve previously bought, topics they’ve expressed interest in, etc.), which can create a better user experience and can lead to more sales.

4. Optimize for Mobile Devices

It is key to optimize your website for mobile devices because that is where most consumers are spending their time. Between 2019 and 2020, mobile use jumped to four hours a day. This is why creating a simplified user experience on mobile is key, as the more difficult it is to purchase, the more likely it is that consumers will visit another site. Factors such as navigation, load speed, and the ability for consumers to visit their carts at a later time should all be considered. Creating an uncomplicated and straightforward pathway to purchasing from your site while using a phone needs to be a top priority.

Retail sites should also be optimized for mobile search. Mobile searches for local businesses increased 250% between 2017-2019, and 70% of mobile searches result in the searcher taking action within an hour. These stats illustrate just how important it is to optimize your website in order to meet the needs of these searchers who have chosen to buy off of your website.

Google also plays a large role in mobile traffic, as 92.59% of mobile searches are done on the search engine. If you have advertisements displayed on Google, users are most likely visiting your website from a mobile device, as Google Ads receive 95% of mobile clicks. It is key to be prepared for these mobile searchers via a mobile-optimized site.

As eCommerce sales on a mobile device are projected to reach over CAD $30 million by 2023, considering how your website looks and functions is essential to your eCommerce growth.

Reaching your customers, both current and prospective, is key in increasing sales for your retail eCommerce website. Implementing the above strategies can help generate conversions and can lead to the overall growth in your business.

About Reshift Media

Reshift Media is a long-time partner of the Retail Council of Canada. The company is a Toronto-based digital marketing and development organization that provides leading-edge social media, search and website/mobile development services to retailers around the world. Please visit www.reshiftmedia.com to learn more.