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6 simple steps to increase eCommerce sales by 36%

Six steps to increase your ecommerce revenue with real-time personalization

By following the first 6 of these Simple Steps, our figures show that on average a website will increase its sales by a staggering 36%. Then continue with the others and the sky's the limit!

So what are you waiting for? Either do the work yourself, or we can setup almost everything for you as a services package.



Step 1: Cart abandonment emails (8% uplift)

You are losing a huge number of sales unnecessarily, when customers put products in their cart and drop out before completing their purchase. Of customers who get around to putting a product in the cart, more than half abandon before they finish buying ( (53.88% - Fresh Relevance Real-Time Marketing Report for 2018). 

Fresh Relevance collects real-time data from shoppers as they browse. If they abandon their cart, we send triggered, personalized "cart abandon emails" to call them back and complete their purchase. Cart and browse abandonment emails get high open rates and work extremely well for pretty much every site with annual turnover above $500k. 


Step 2: Browse abandonment emails (3.5% uplift)

You are losing even more sales when customers look at products but don't get around to carting them. More than 2/3 of browsers drop out like this and we send triggered, personalized "browse abandon emails" to call them back and complete their purchase. 


Step 3: Personalized recommendations on email campaigns and product pages (3.5% uplift)

Add a recommended products row to the bottom of your product page highlighting trending products in the same category. The idea is to help shoppers find what they want quicker, and showing related products like this means there's more chance that they will see something they want to buy. It's important to be helpful like this, because shoppers are overloaded with information and often abandon after a few clicks. 


Step 4: Email address capture forms

Add a data capture form, so that unidentified visitors are asked for their email address after a delay or a specified action. Use a form from your ecommerce platform, ESP, or a third-party vendor. Either load it yourself, or create a custom Smartblock using one of our form templates and simply paste the form HTML into that.

The advantage of using a Fresh Relevance SmartBlock is that our marketing rules give you a lot more control over when the form is displayed and who sees it - for example you might wait until the shopper has browsed for one minute and seen at least one product page. 

(This is a "slow burn". Email capture forms don't give any immediate sales uplift, but they gradually increase your email list, so there are significant long-term benefits).

Step 5: Automatic daily or weekly emails (10% uplift)

It's not rocket science. If you regularly email customers with details of products that are likely to interest them, then some of those customers will buy. It's simple, maintains engagement, and has great ROI. Just one problem - manually editing product emails is a lot of boring, repetitive work. We all know we should be doing it, but most of us never quite get around to it, or we let it lapse whenever something more "important" comes along. So Fresh Relevance just automated these emails. You can setup automatic campaigns which select the most relevant products to promote to each individual, and just let them get to work. 

Find out about automatic daily or weekly emails.


Step 6: Personalized home page (7% uplift)

Your home page is the most important part of most sites, so this is where personalization has the most effect on sales. As with personalized product pages, the idea is to help shoppers find what they want quicker, because many shoppers lack patience and will abandon after a few clicks.

There are two basic approaches:

If your company sells several distinct product lines (for example cars vs trucks, or banking vs insurance) you can get a huge uplift by showing returning customers the line that are most interested in. A shopper who is interested in cars will see content orientated towards cars, likewise for customers interested in trucks, and unknown customers will see a mix of both. Not just products change, but links do too. Create a SmartBlock for each case, either containing the content or a redirect, and use marketing rules to choose whichever is appropriate.

If your customer chooses a wide range of products, personalize the body copy with trending products that the shopper will like (just like in step 5 above) and include recently-viewed products and categories in the navigation. 


Bonus step 7: Countdown timers and live images

Countdown timers are a great way to increase urgency, boost engagement and encourage sales, for email and web.

Other uses of live images include real-time offers (for example show the current hourly deal whenever an email is opened) and real-time pricing (for example read the current price of a flight, advertised in your email, from your booking API). These applications make marketing more effective by increasing automation and giving marketers control over prices and offer availability in real time - even for channels such as email where traditionally the content was fixed at send time. 


Bonus step 8: Coupons

Coupons are a proven way to increase sales and Fresh Relevance supports personalized coupons for your emails and on eCommerce sites. Now marketers and retailers can personalise the content of coupons based the on the shopping behaviours of existing customers and new visitors, such as browsing habits on the website and recent purchases. Read More.

The new Fresh Relevance coupon feature makes use of easy-to-manage marketing  rules, making it quick and simple to create and distribute. 

  • Hourly coupons – Use a single slot to display the current hourly coupon.
  • Cascading offers – As shoppers buy more they get to see successively more valuable coupons.
  • Limited quantity offers – Only the first 1000 people see a coupon.
  • Time-based discounts – A discount that drops over time, or other exotic offers, in to email.


Bonus step 9: Social proof

Social Proof is also a powerful technique to convert browsers to buyers during sale periods and limited offers by reassuring customers about quality and giving a sense of urgency. For example, displaying that 68 people have looked at the same 50% off product in the last 30 minutes will motivate the visitor to make a purchasing decision faster, if they fear they may miss out.

CEO of Fresh Relevance, Mike Austin explains: “Social proof is a tried and tested tactic used by large online retailers to boost sales and now Fresh Relevance is making this functionality available to a much wider market.” He adds: “Arguably, for smaller retailers that lack the marketing power of larger corporates, social proof has even greater significance. Showing what others on the site are doing in real-time instils confidence that other shoppers are also buying the same or similar products.” 


More bonus ideas (the sky's the limit!)

What should you do after you've implemented all these ideas? The low-hanging fruit is gone, but there are still a lot of very profitable ways to improve your sales. 

  • Improve your segmentation by creating lists of people with similar behaviour (e.g. recent visitors) or who have bought similar products, using Fresh Relevance data.
  • Vary your contact frequency, so that e.g. highly engaged people are contacted more often, using Fresh Relevance data.
  • Create a sense of urgency using countdown timers.
  • Use exit intent popups to forstall site abandoners (created from one of our Custom Smartblock templates.) 
  • Create more effective images automatically by personalizing for each shopper.


Here's the math

Where do those sales uplift numbers come from?

Throughout 2014, the average Fresh Relevance customer increased sales 8% by cart abandon emails and 3.5% by browse abandon emails.

Also in 2014, an Econsultancy survey showed that personalization increased sales by 14%. We believe that half of that (7%) is from the home page and quarter (3.5%) on product pages.

We know that email address capture forms are effective, but this is a long-term effect by increasing your mailing list, so we've not counted any immediate uplift from them.

Automatic Daily or Weekly Emails are extremely effective. Most marketing teams are up against hard limits for head count or budget and end up under-marketing. Automating these regular emails allows you to increase marketing engagement at near-zero cost, so we have assigned a 10% uplift.

Calculate the total sales uplift: 1.08*1.035*1.07*1.035*1.10 = 1.36, i.e 36% uplift

Of course, the usual warnings apply. There is a lot of variation in sales uplift across our clients even in the same sector - everyone is making money, but not equally so. And, as with all such data, there is room for error in these figures ... We do our best, but nothing is 100% accurate.