If you run a business or blog and sell products/services online, you probably spend a LOT of time driving traffic to your website and building your audience. I know personally, at least 50% of my time each week is dedicated to social media marketing, managing Facebook ads, maintaining my Pinterest posting schedule, email marketing, networking with other business owners to get more exposure and cross-collaborate, write blog posts...the list goes on and on!
It takes a lot of time, effort, and often money to nurture someone along in a marketing or sales funnel, and get them to the point where they are interested in making a purchase. Often this is called “customer acquisition cost” or “cost per sale”. It can be EXPENSIVE to get new customers interested in your business when you really start looking at the numbers!
Maybe this isn’t something you think about that often or really track or analyze every month. It’s definitely not one of the more “fun” parts of running a business...however, understanding these costs and doing what you can to maximize the “return on investment” for your marketing efforts will help you build a more profitable business in the long run.
Today, I want to share three things on the sales side that can help you make the most of each sale of a product or service for your online business. These three strategies ensure that once you’ve done all the hard work of:
- Getting someone to your website
- Capturing their interest in your product or services
- Establishing and building trust with that customer, and
- Convincing them to purchase from you…
...that they ultimately follow through and complete the checkout process with you.
As you may know if you’ve read my blog for a while or attended one of my workshops in the past, my sister and I own a local bakery together in Oak Park, IL (just outside Chicago). Several times per year, we accept online orders for major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and 4th of July. These online pre-order sales are HUGE revenue drivers for our business, and I am always strategizing new ways for us to increase pre-sales for these big holiday seasons.
One thing I have been struggling with for the past couple months is that a lot of our less tech-savvy and older customers have a difficult time understanding the concept of an online checkout process. Time and time again, I am getting calls from customers who added items to their cart...but don’t understand that they actually have to enter their credit card information to complete the transaction.
Now, to a lot of people who are on the Internet all the time, and extremely used to buying things online, this may seem ridiculous. BUT, after going through all the work to acquire a customer...losing the sale to something as simple as a technology barrier is super frustrating.
There are all sorts of reasons potential customers decide not to purchase from you, and technology barriers or usability of your checkout process is just one of those reasons.
The point is, once you have done the hard work of acquiring a customer...the easy part should be making sure the checkout process is seamless once they want to make a purchase from you.
That is why I started using SamCart for my own business, and why I have implemented it for several of my clients now, as well. Their checkout pages are gorgeous, streamlined, and (my favorite part) … only one page long. No opportunity for lost sales during a multi-page checkout process. Perfect.
In addition to the simple, well-designed checkout pages and user-friendly checkout process, there are THREE features included with SamCart that help you increase sales:
- Cart abandonment follow-up
- Creating true scarcity & urgency
I wanted to talk about each of these features and give you a quick demo. I am super impressed by how easy SamCart has made it to implement these features into your checkout process, so you can maximize the value of each sale once you have done the hard work to get a customer “in the door”.
Upsells & Cross-Sells
Upsells & cross-sells are the digital equivalent of asking someone if they want to “supersize” their order with you. (I hate that expression, but hopefully it is one that most of you can understand to conceptualize this strategy!)
Basically, SamCart allows you to upsell a totally separate product on your checkout page, that may be related to the product they are currently purchasing. You can offer the upsell product at a reduced price if they bundle it with the product they’re currently purchasing, or sell it at the full price.
The reason I love this feature is because it allows me to get my related products on customers’ radar right at the point they are most interested in purchasing from me. Even if they don’t end up purchasing the product right then and there, they at least see it and become aware that it’s available. Really, planting a seed in their mind and starting to build interest in that next product they might be interested in buying.
Once a customer has bought from you ONCE, they are much more likely to buy from you a second time.
One company that does a GREAT job of offering upsells during the checkout process is Amazon. If you’ve ever added an item to your cart on Amazon, you’ve probably seen the section for “Customers also bought…” that includes links to related products.
I recently bought a new cash box for our store, and when I added it to my cart I was presented with offers to buy a security pen (the pen that tells you if large bills are real or fake), a price scale, and a locking cash drawer. Honestly, these are ALL things I would consider purchasing or at least felt reminded that I should think about.
SamCart makes it easy to offer upsells with just a couple clicks when you are setting up your product checkout pages. Love this!
Cart Abandonment Follow-Up
This is a newer feature of SamCart, and I love that they decided to add this in. This is something that I felt was missing from their checkout page toolkit before...and I am excited to implement this feature now that it is available.
Have you ever shopped online, added something to your cart, but then didn’t actually make a purchase? Sometimes, you will get an email a couple hours or days later reminding you that you added the item to your cart, and asking if you want to complete the purchase.
I can’t tell you how many times I get interrupted (especially when I am impulse-buying in the middle of the day!), and forget to check out.
By sending a reminder email, you will be more likely to get that customer interested again, and remind them to actually go ahead and make a purchase from you.
Consider also taking it to the next level by offering a coupon, add-on offer, or some other incentive for them to go back and make the purchase.
SamCart has an integration with Zapier that allows you to connect SamCart to ConvertKit, and when someone visits your checkout page and begins to fill out the form (but fails to complete the transaction), you can tag them in ConvertKit and send them through a reminder sequence to complete their purchase.
This is so easy … you don’t even have to do any manual work once you set this up, and it will help increase your sales on auto-pilot for you. SamCart has said that their tests show 35% increase in sales using cart abandonment reminders, which is pretty impressive!
If you don’t use ConvertKit, they also integrate with tons of other email platforms...MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, AWeber, etc.
Zapier & SamCart can also integrate with Facebook Messenger, Trello, Asana, and tons of other apps so you can create a custom workflow that makes sense for your business and team, if you don’t want to use email for the cart abandonment follow-up.
Creating Scarcity & Urgency
This sales strategy is nothing new, and you may already be using it to increase sales and encourage people to buy your product or services.
Until SamCart integrated this feature into their checkout software, I was using a clunky, manual workflow to turn off and on pages of my website to manage cart open and cart close deadlines. I had no good way to cap sales of digital products (or services), either. This was an issue when I was selling one of my courses in the fall that had a start and end date...I didn’t want more than 10 students enrolled, and I had no way other than turning off the checkout page when I hit 10 enrollments to cap enrollment.
Now, SamCart allows you to automatically close checkout after a certain date AND stop accepting orders once you have hit a limit.
This allows you to create true scarcity, without hacking together a clunky workflow or manually managing it yourself on the back end.
If you’d like to check out SamCart, they offer a 14 day free trial of their Basic or Pro accounts, as well as a 30 day free trial of their Premium plans. I use their Basic plan, and find it more than sufficient for selling digital products and services, but if you are selling subscriptions, need to accept recurring payments, or want to use advanced upselling or cross-selling functionality, I recommend looking into their Pro or Premium plan.