One of the biggest challenges of running an online store is securing a steady, year-round revenue and maintaining qualified traffic.
To achieve this, you need to heavily promote your eCommerce website, attract new visitors, and make sure that they come back. This strategy needs several ingredients, including high-quality products, excellent customer experience, and, last but not least, some freebies.
The truth is that people simply love free stuff, and you should capitalize on this fact. Offering something for free leads to a powerful psychological effect called the reciprocity principle. In other words, when you give something to your customers or prospects free of charge, they will feel some kind of obligation to return the favor – usually by making a purchase.
Here are some free things to offer in your online store and boost your profit.
1. Free Shipping
This one is a no brainer and should be your top incentive for attracting customers.
Almost 80% of US consumers say that free shipping is what makes them more likely to make a purchase online. Don’t forget that you’re up against Amazon as your competitor, and the online retail giant has raised the bar and spoiled its customers with free two-day shipping.
This means that they will expect nothing less from you.
If you take all this into consideration, you can easily conclude that although this strategy might seem like a more expensive one, it actually pays off tremendously. You can test this out by tracking your shopping cart abandonment rate with and without free shipping.
It’s a good idea to borrow a couple more pages from Amazon and additionally streamline your purchasing process by taking your customer experience up a notch with an AI-powered digital assistant. This way, your customers will have 24/7 support, which is crucial for making a purchasing decision. Even companies that offer financial or insurance services have been successfully leveraging intelligent chatbots for automating customer engagement.
2. Free Samples
Since the quality of your product is a factor that plays an important role in convincing your potential customers to pull out their credit cards, it’s essential to give them an opportunity to test before buying.
Since we’re talking about online shopping, the only way to do so is by giving away free samples. Not only will receiving this gift delight your customers, but it will also allow them to try out your products first-hand.
Again, a free sample strategy can seem like a hefty investment, but instead of relying on your claims and promotions, your customers can check for themselves and see whether your products are worth the hype.
Besides this, you can also offer free samples of your products to influencers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs from different relevant niches. Their massive followings will help you get the word about your eShop out, while their credibility will boost yours too.
3. Complimentary Gifts
Another smart move for pushing your potential customers to the checkout page is throwing in something extra in their order.
Adding a complementary (and complementary) item is an old-school tactic, but it still works like a charm. For example, if you’re selling sunglasses, a free case with every order will add value and seem like a great bargain.
Similarly, if you carry beauty products, a small bottle of your latest facial cream or moisturizer is a nice touch, while clothes vendors can think about giving away accessories.
4. Free Resources
Content marketing is a must if you want to position your business for long-term success.
Blog posts, how-to guides, videos, different side-by-side comparisons, as well as pros & cons lists, can be valuable resources to your customers. That’s the reason why companies that set content marketing as their top priority are 13 times more likely to generate a positive ROI.
For this strategy to work, it’s important to research your target audience properly and identify their pain points and interests as that will allow you to produce relevant high-quality content. For example, if your eShop sells sports goods, you can publish sneaker comparisons, discuss what the best gear is for a particular sport, or test the durability of a certain product.
The thing is that even if your content is well-written and helpful, it also needs to be optimized for search engines in order for your potential customers to find it among all the different search results. That’s the reason why you should combine these two strategies in order to target the right audience and improve the overall visibility of your online shop.
Apart from bringing you more traffic, high-quality content will have another benefit that will add up to the success of your eCommerce business – establishing authority in your industry. If you position yourself as an expert in the field, your online shop will come into the spotlight, too, while customers will perceive it as trustworthy and credible.
All these free items and offerings require allocating a portion of your budget, but such an investment will help you make a profit and improve your bottom line significantly.
Guest Post Author Bio:
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.