Brick and mortar and eCommerce might be brothers, but when it comes to best practices, they’re often worlds apart. If you’ve been killing it in-store but find yourself struggling to take your business online, don’t stress.
Our team at Scrappy Apparel (a.k.a. the best custom t-shirt company in the world) is here to share 10 expert eCommerce tips that will help you demystify online sales and get those conversions rolling.
Let’s dive in:
1. Never, EVER skimp on product quality.
Obviously, new customers can’t hold your products in their hands or see them in person before they place an online order. However, that doesn’t mean you can get away with selling low-quality custom apparel.
A cheap product might make you a quick buck, but it will never create the long-term, sustainable results you are after.
It’s worthwhile to invest the time and money to source products that will check all the boxes for your customers. And guess what? Selling top-of-the-line products will make it easier to charge more for your custom apparel.
Yes, some customers do base their purchase decisions solely on price. But if you focus on quality, you will attract a different type of customer: the kind that is willing to pay a bit more for a product they know is worth it.
High-quality products have a way of selling themselves. We love this quote from Seth Godin (a.k.a. one of the coolest entrepreneurs of all time):
“The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you haven’t given them anything else to care about.”
#TRUTH: With quality products and a well-positioned brand, you can charge whatever you want for your custom apparel.
Don’t know how to find the best materials and products? At Scrappy Apparel, we do all the legwork for you. We continuously source cutting-edge garment patterns that your brand can private label. When you work with us, you’ll never worry about product quality because you know you’re getting the best of the best.
That’s one of the many reasons why we are the best custom t-shirt company the industry has ever seen. After you work with us, we think you will agree.
2. Set up your website for search engine optimization (SEO) success.
Although SEO is a slow-burn strategy that takes time to build momentum, it is well worth your patience and investment. With a rockin’ SEO strategy, you can attract organic web traffic and conversions from search engine results.
How awesome would it be to sit back and relax while the sales roll in passively? With the right SEO strategy, you can make your passive income dreams come true.
There are two fundamental types of SEO tactics: on-page and off-page.
On-page SEO refers to the elements on your website that you can control, like title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and image alt tags. Optimizing your site for on-page SEO will help search engines “crawl” and index your site more easily.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, focuses on external factors like link building and social signals. Strategies like guest blogging, outreach, and digital PR can improve the authority of your site in the eyes of Google’s algorithm. (As we know, it’s important to keep the algorithm happy.)
Both on-page and off-page SEO tactics are important for driving traffic to your website and boosting your search engine rankings.
3. Find a shipping solution that will deliver your products at warp speed.
No one likes to wait for their custom apparel to arrive. In today’s fast-paced world, customers expect (and deserve) speedy shipping.
The best way to ensure quick turnaround times is to find a shipping solution that integrates with your eCommerce platform. This will automate the shipping process and make it easier to keep track of your inventory.
In the wise words of Graham Charlton from ClickZ Global, “Retailers should never underestimate the ‘want it now’ mentality. If customers know that they will receive goods quickly when they order, they’ll keep coming back.”
4. Offer free shipping (because everybody loves FREE!)
Free shipping is one of the best ways to entice customers to make a purchase.
But isn’t offering free shipping the same as lowering the prices of your products? Not really.
Here’s the trick: you can choose to offer free shipping only under certain conditions. For example, your promotion could be “Free shipping for all orders of $50 or more.”
That’s a win-win for everyone because your customers will get the free shipping option they crave, and you can increase the average order value (AOV) of your online store.
If you’re not already offering free shipping, then it’s time to start. A free shipping option is an essential part of any eCommerce business’s marketing strategy—and we can attest to that because it works for us.
We offer free ground shipping throughout the USA, and our customers love us for it!
5. Build a positive reputation for your company by prioritizing customer satisfaction.
This is a no-brainer. Regardless of the type of company you run, your customers should come first.
However, as an eCommerce merchant, it’s crucial to put your customer-centric policies at the forefront of your business and show that you truly care.
Your customers need to experience and understand your brand’s commitment to their satisfaction. If your customers do not feel valued, they won’t feel compelled to buy. It’s that simple.
Ready to show your customers some extra love? Here are a few tips to help you:
Make the return process as easy as possible.
Have you ever tried to navigate a return process with endless provisions, terms, and complications? As a customer, it’s one of the worst experiences you can go through.
You can set yourself apart from other companies by offering easy returns to keep your buyers happy. Of course, no one likes returns, but the return process influences customer satisfaction tremendously.
Enable customer reviews on your website.
We could all use more social proof, right? Positive reviews from customers will show that your company delivers on its promises. Your brand will appear transparent and honest to potential buyers.
In the eCommerce space, reviews and testimonials are paramount—so if you have some great feedback to share, post it everywhere!
(Hint: you get bonus points if you can acquire video testimonials from your customers. Videos appear organic and trustworthy.)
Monitor and respond to reviews on external platforms.
Positive Google Reviews will help you appear more legitimate to your potential customers.
Take the time to respond to both positive and negative reviews. We know the negative reviews suck, but they are inevitable as your brand scales. The good news is that you can use them as an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.
When responding to a negative review, do so in a positive light. You’ll want to show that you’re always available to resolve any issues that arise.
Acknowledge the reviewer, apologize for their bad experience, and tell them what you’re doing to resolve the issue.
Don’t get defensive—no one likes a company that can’t take responsibility for its mistakes. If you place the blame on the customer, the review will reflect even more negatively on your brand.
6. Supercharge your social media strategy with content that stands out.
We don’t know who made up the rumor that “social media is dead,” but that is far from the truth.
Sure, our favorite social platforms have changed tremendously over the years—some for the better, and others for the worse—but as long as people are glued to their phones all day, there will be opportunities for brands to make money on social media.
Here’s how to become a social media whiz:
Give your content a little extra TLC.
Create organic content that is shareable and interesting. No one wants to see another boring ad—especially not on social media.
Instead, focus on creating content that is creative, funny, or educational. If you can make people laugh or pause to think, you’re more likely to get their attention.
And BTW, you can’t avoid creating video content in 2022. (Sorry to all the introverted CEOs out there!)
Video is one of the effective ways to connect with your audience on a personal level. Your audience wants to see the human behind your brand, so don’t hesitate to show your smiling face.
Highlight a special offer and add a call-to-action (CTA) in your social media bio.
As an eCommerce business, your goal is to get people off of social media and onto your website so they can purchase your products.
Make it easy for your social media followers to find your website by adding a link to your bio. Above the link, mention your latest promotion and add a strong CTA so your followers and profile visitors will feel more compelled to click through and enter your custom apparel world.
Here’s an example of what a conversion-focused social media bio could look like:
Scrappy Apparel Company
Scrappy is an elite brand management and apparel division focused on high-end fabrics and embellishment techniques.
Grab your free quote today and get $50 off your order:
7. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
In today’s world, more and more people are using their smartphones to browse the internet.
In fact, over half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices.
So, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers.
Here are a few ways to ensure your site is mobile-friendly:
- Implement a responsive design.
- Use large, easy-to-read fonts.
- Add large buttons and plenty of white space to your content.
- Optimize your images so they load quickly on mobile.
- Choose a fast and reliable hosting provider.
8. Use an abandoned cart email marketing strategy to automatically follow up with customers who left items in their carts.
If you’re not already using an abandoned cart email strategy, now is the time to start.
An abandoned cart email is a series of automated emails that are sent to customers who have added items to their online shopping cart but have not completed the purchase.
The goal of an abandoned cart email is to remind the customer about the items they were interested in and encourage them to complete their purchase.
Abandoned cart emails are an effective way to boost sales and increase customer loyalty.
Some eCommerce platforms have abandoned cart emails built-in. (Thank you, Shopify!) However, others may require you to put your tech guru hat on and configure the emails manually.
9. Create a sense of urgency with limited-time offers.
When the clock is ticking, your customers will feel more compelled to act quickly to make a purchase.
Urgency marketing campaigns well because they create FOMO. Customers don’t want to miss out on the incredible deal you’re offering them.
Here are some of our expert tips for incorporating urgency into your eCommerce marketing strategy:
Use countdown timers on your website and emails.
Who knew a cute little timer could be such a powerful moneymaker? It will let customers know how much time they have left to take advantage of a special offer. When you pair the timer with email marketing, digital ads, and other conversion-focused strategies, you can give your sales a serious boost.
Incorporate urgency into your email subject lines.
Make it clear in the subject line that time is running out. This will entice customers to open your email so they can see what the deal is.
Remember, subject lines are incredibly important because your customers will never see a single word of your beautifully written email unless your subject line is intriguing enough for them to click on. No pressure!
Tell your customers how many items are left in stock.
Do you sell limited edition items? If so, this is your breadwinning strategy.
Letting your customers know how many items are left in stock will create a sense of urgency and encourage them to make a purchase before it’s too late.
You can include urgency-focused messaging on your website, in your emails, or even on social media.
10. Consistently promote your bestselling products. Focus on cross-selling or upselling all your other items.
Your bestsellers are the MVPs of your brand. They’re the ones that are well-known, well-loved, and always in demand.
To keep the sales coming, you need to promote your bestsellers on a regular basis. This will ensure that your customers are always aware of your most popular products and will be more likely to purchase them.
While your bestsellers keep the orders coming in, make sure to focus on upselling your other products. Through the magic of upselling, you can increase your average order value (AOV) and make more sales.
Here are a few eCommerce upselling strategies that will work wonders for your brand:
Offer a product bundle at a discounted price.
When customers purchase bundles, they often feel like they’re getting more bang for their buck. This is a great way to increase your AOV and clear out any slow-moving inventory.
Recommend products that complement the item in the customer’s cart.
You know that ultra-cool t-shirt design you just launched? You might just have the perfect hat to go with it.
Try offering discounted upsells on the checkout page. Customers love the feeling of getting an amazing deal, so they’ll be more likely to add the upsell to their cart if you give them a little encouragement (in the form of a discount).
Feature related items on each product page.
Your checkout page isn’t the only prime real estate to host your upselling strategy. Adding a “Related products” or “You might also love” section to each product page will keep your customers on your website for longer, and they will be more likely to discover new items to add to their carts.
Congratulations, you can now call yourself an eCommerce guru. Just remember to put these tips into practice and you’ll be on your way to driving more sales and growing your business.
If you’re searching for a custom apparel partner that your brand will never outgrow, you’re looking right at ’em. Our Brand Building Process (BBP) is designed to work for brands of all sizes. Our shipping is lightning-fast, and we’ll get your order right every single time—guaranteed.
Let’s get your project rolling: