This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click a link and purchase a service, I may receive compensation for referring you. However, all opinions expressed in this post are my own and based on my personal experiences with any mentioned products and services.
Every BigCommerce store owner wants to increase their sales. But sometimes you’re limited by your budget, whether that’s because you’re a startup or small business or because of expenses you’ve made for other business needs.
However, there are several budget-friendly ways to increase e-commerce sales, no matter how much you have to spend. As we move into the new year, here are my top four recommendations for increasing BigCommerce store sales in 2022 without breaking the bank.
Improve Your Store’s Search Results
In the early days of the internet, most shoppers browsed. They clicked on menus, navigating through categories and subcategories to find what they wanted to buy. This is partly because the early big “search engines” weren’t that focused on search. Instead, they were more like big internet directories.
That all changed when Google hit the scene. With no actual directory, Google presented just a simple search box. People started searching and they never looked back. Of course, many people still browse, and many do both browsing and searching. But there’s no doubt that searching has become an incredibly important (if not most important) part of the online shopping process.
Unfortunately, the default BigCommerce search box and accompanying search results just aren’t that great. The built-in search functionality doesn’t do well with part numbers, UPCs, skus or multi-word product names. It’s gotten slightly better over the last decade, but it still leaves much to be desired. And every time a shopper searches on your website and doesn’t get good results, they get frustrated, potentially leaving because they don’t think your store sells what they’re looking for – even if you do.
Searchanise is an affordable 3rd party search tool that vastly improves your store’s search capabilities. Installation is super quick and it’s shockingly inexpensive for the functionality it provides. Pricing is based on the number of products in your store, with a 500 product store costing just $9 per month. Have a larger catalog? Searchanise is just $18 per month for a 5,000 product catalog.
For that small fee, Searchanise provides:
• Instant search results from your search box
• The ability to search products, categories, pages and blog posts
• Customization of your search experience using CSS/HTML
• Keyword based redirects
• Filters on the search results page
• Merchandising rules
• Analytics and more
Even if just one out of every 100 searchers on your website was able to find and buy a product easier each month, Searchanise would pay for itself. Imagine if a few dozen shoppers were able to find their desired product faster, or even a few hundred. Searchanise may be the most affordable way to increase BigCommerce store sales in one day.
Make Checkout Faster and Easier
You’re already spending money or time (if you’re using free marketing channels like social media) to get visitors to your website. But only a fraction of them will purchase. Even if you have a high conversion rate, 95% or more of your visitors aren’t going to buy. Therefore, a cheap way to increase sales is to convince more of your visitors to place and order.
One of the biggest barriers to purchasing is a long checkout process. Shoppers simply don’t like having to fill out forms, even if you’re using the fairly quick optimized one-page checkout that BigCommerce provides. This is especially true for mobile and tablet shoppers where forms appear even longer.
What if you could shrink your checkout to just a few fields so that customers could place their order faster? Enter FAST Checkout. Not only does FAST have a minimal number of checkout fields, the FAST checkout button can be placed directly on the product page. This lets shoppers complete their order without having to visit the traditional cart or checkout pages. Fast and easy! Plus, once a shopper creates a FAST account, they can sign in and checkout in even fewer steps on any website that offers FAST.
FAST Checkout has no flat monthly fees, only transaction fees on orders placed using FAST. And not only has FAST been shown to increase conversion rates, it’s also been shown to increase average order sizes – a nice added bonus. This means you can install FAST on your BigCommerce store at no cost. You’ll only pay if shoppers use it.
If you’re interested in trying FAST, contact me for a quick demo and I’ll provide FREE installation on your BigCommerce store. Talk about budget-friendly!
Allow Shoppers to Buy Now, Pay Later
You’ve probably seen pay-in-installment options on big retailer websites you shop. Buy Now, Pay Later services have become really popular in the past few years for a reason – they make it easier for shoppers to afford larger purchases that they otherwise might not make. Adding a Buy Now, Pay Later app to your website will not only increase conversions, but it’s a great way to increase average order size and thus boost your overall store revenue.
There are a lot of Buy Now, Pay Later apps available but my favorite is Sezzle. They’re a relatively new option, but they’re taking the market by storm for a few reasons. First, they take into account more than just traditional credit in their application, so younger shoppers like Millennials are more likely to be approved. Second, Sezzle doesn’t charge the customer interest unlike some other multi-payment vendors. And third, Sezzle works with smaller stores unlike some of the more established players like Afterpay and Affirm. You don’t have to be a multi-million dollar company; even small businesses can increase BigCommerce store sales with Sezzle.
The reason I like Sezzle the most is that they’re a B Corp. That means they’ve committed to caring about more than just profit, by focusing on sustainability and social responsibility. Becoming a B Corp is no easy feat, so I always try to support companies that have been certified when I can.
Sezzle is super easy to set up on BigCommerce through the app store. Like traditional payment gateways, you’ll pay a percentage of each sale plus a nominal fee for every order that Sezzle processes. Keep in mind that all Buy Now, Pay Later services charge higher fees than your normal credit card processor. That’s because they are taking a higher risk. But you’ll only pay Sezzle when a customer makes a purchase, so if you’re paying fees, it means you’re getting sales!
If you’re interested in trying Sezzle for your store, make sure to use my exclusive code DUCKSOUP during signup to get a discounted rate of 5.5% + 30 cents per transaction plus a 30-day introductory trial at 2.9% + 30 cents.
Leverage Email Marketing for Repeat Sales
I’ve always loved email marketing because it’s a cheap way to increase sales for your BigCommerce store. Many people get intimidated by email marketing, thinking that’s it’s going to take a ton of time, skilled writing and beautiful imagery to create effective campaigns. But with Mailchimp, it’s easy to create a simple email template and then quickly populate it with product photos and Shop Now buttons any time to want a sales boost. You can even use stock photos if you’re selling lifestyle oriented products like athletic gear, cookware, outdoor living décor or activity-based products.
Email campaigns can be set up in advance, so you can easily create a few when you have some extra time and then schedule them to go out on a weekly or monthly basis. If you have a marketing calendar, you can quickly match up your campaigns with upcoming seasons and key shopping holidays. Need to grow your list? Check out my video tutorial about growing your email list with a website popup.
But beyond email marketing campaigns, Mailchimp offers automation tools that can increase BigCommerce store sales with very little effort on your part. Once you add the Mailchimp app to your BigCommerce store, information about customer purchases will automatically sync to your email list. Now, it’s important to remember that not everyone who orders from your store will opt in to receive your email campaigns. But that’s okay, because you can create automation campaigns that are triggered when someone purchases.
Automation campaigns can be very broad, such as a post-purchase email that includes a coupon to bring customers back for a second order. Or they can be more specific, targeting people who bought particular brands with an email featuring other top sellers from those brands. You can also use content, such as product care tips, assembly instructions or “how to” FAQs, to follow up with customers who purchased certain brands.
While it can take a little time to set up automation campaigns, they are well worth the effort. I suggest starting with a broad campaign to get the hang of the setup process and then building out more niche campaigns as you get more comfortable. Klaviyo also offers advanced automation features, so you don’t have to use Mailchimp if you’d prefer another provider. I just like Mailchimp because it’s free for the first 2,000 subscribers and I find their interface easy to use, especially for those who aren’t super tech-savvy.
Have other ways you’ve found effective to increase sales on a budget? Let me know in the comments!