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5 tactics to increase eCommerce sales

November 17th 2020

Camilla Bass

By Camilla Bass

Senior Content Marketing Manager

5 tactics to increase eCommerce sales - featured image

2020 has seen shoppers shift online out of necessity, convenience and safety concerns. In the UK, 74% of people now feel comfortable buying products online thanks to the coronavirus outbreak. But with competition hotting up and the eCommerce space becoming more and more crowded, the pressure to delight shoppers and convert them into loyal customers is high.

We’re here to help in your quest to provide tailored, seamless customer experiences using advanced eCommerce personalization. Read on for our 5 tactics to boost eCommerce sales, along with 10 real life examples from leading brands and retailers.

1) Product recommendations

Sales clerks have been giving their customers product recommendations as part of their marketing strategy since retail began. And for good reason. Product recommendations work. They help customers make the right purchase for them, which boosts conversions and increases loyalty. In fact, one company saw a sales uplift of 112% with their personalized product recommendations on their eCommerce store. Product recommendations can be paired with behavioral targeting to deliver the right message or offer at the right time based on how a customer has interacted an ecommerce website previously.

There are plenty of types of product recommendations to choose from depending on your goals and audience. Here are a couple of examples to get you started.


Suggesting popular products and bestsellers is a great way to inspire new visitors to your website to make a purchase. This tactic makes use of social proof, the concept that people will follow the actions of the masses. This is particularly important for your eCommerce site, as without the ability to try on, touch and see products in the flesh, customers are more likely to be swayed by other shoppers’ opinions before making any online sales.

Total Fishing Tackle displays their popular items on the homepage to inspire visitors.

Total Fishing Tackle product recommendations example

Source: total-fishing-tackle.com

Frequently browsed

Displaying a shopper’s frequently browsed products is an effective way to remind them about products they are already interested in but haven’t carted yet.

Cottages.com uses customers’ past browse data to tailor their homepage with personalized product recommendations, increasing their chances of moving the customer through to a product page by only showing them what they’re interested in.

Cottages.com product recommendations example

Source: Cottages.com

2) Dynamic content

No two customers are the same. So why show them the same generic marketing?

Dynamic content on your eCommerce site gives marketers the power to personalize every step of the customer journey to an individual’s preferences, behavior and real-time context. Each user sees content that is timely and relevant, which in turn encourages clicks and sales.

Almost all content has the potential to be used dynamically. Adding name personalization of existing customers to email subject lines is one of the most well-known examples. But there are plenty of other ways to get creative and engage your audience using digital marketing.

Personalized banner

When it comes to email marketing, the hero banner is your one and only chance to make a good first impression once your recipient opens the email. Instead of sending your subscribers the same banner, use dynamic content to personalize the imagery based on their product preferences, favorite color or the weather in their current location. This can be used for new customers, but it can also be used for a customer retention strategy.

Thorntons makes their Valentine’s Day email extra special by displaying the recipient’s name on top of their product imagery in their email marketing strategy. Who wouldn’t be tempted to read on after personalization that sweet?

Thorntons dynamic content example

Source: Thorntons email

Welcome back popover

Make your customers’ lives as easy as possible by helping them pick up where they left off when they return to your site.

Cottages.com uses dynamic content in their popover to remind visitors of their last viewed product, including an image of the product to help jog their memory. Shoppers will appreciate the gesture, as they don’t have to waste time finding the product they searched for last time.

Cottages.com dynamic content example

Source: Cottages.com

3) Triggered emails

The recipe for effective eCommerce marketing is simple: deliver personalized, real-time content to shoppers at the moment they are most likely to convert. But like all recipes, you need the right tools to get results that boost sales.

Enter triggered emails.

With triggered emails, customers who take a specific action are automatically sent an email that nudges them towards the next action and turn potential customers into paying customers. Cart abandonment emails are probably the most well known type of triggered email, but let’s take a look at a few other examples to add to your toolkit.

Browse abandonment emails

Browse abandonment is when a shopper visits your site and takes a look around, but leaves without adding anything to their shopping cart or making a purchase. There are many reasons for browse abandonment. Perhaps the shopper got distracted or found the website navigation clunky. But instead of mourning the loss of a potential shopper, it’s time to recapture that lost revenue with a browse abandonment email and earn yourself more sales. Our research shows that sending a browse recovery email can lift sales 5%.

Glasses Direct includes an image of the browsed product to jog shoppers’ memories, along with product recommendations to help them find the perfect pair of glasses for them.

Glasses Direct browse abandonment email example

Source: Glasses Direct email

Replenishment emails

For frequently purchased consumer goods, give customers a timely reminder to repeat the purchase they recently made. Viovet sends replenishment emails to customers of particular products, reminding them that the time to reorder is approaching. These helpful reminders foster customer loyalty and increase the likelihood of repeat purchases and thus increase sales.

Viovet replenishment email example

Source: Viovet email

Price drop emails

Price drop alerts encourage price-conscious shoppers who have frequently browsed a particular item but might have been hesitant about the price tag. These types of triggered email are proven to increase sales by an average of 3%, making them a worthwhile tactic to try out.

Country Attire sends triggered emails to inform their shoppers of discounts to their favorite products outside of a formal sale.

Country Attire price drop email example

Source: Country Attire email

4) Data capture

The ability to provide a tailored email experience starts with collecting quality email addresses for your database. The use of a pop-up or popover form on your website can contribute to this. In fact, one Fresh Relevance client increased newsletter sign-ups by 333% through targeted popovers.

When implementing pop-ups and popovers, timing and context are key. Your pop-ups and popovers will be most effective when they are prompted by shoppers’ actions and inactions, and should be triggered based on when they will have the most impact, for example at the moment of cart abandonment.

Printer Pix presents new visitors to their site with a popover offering 50 free photo prints when they enter their email address.

Printer Pix popover example

Source: printerpix.co.uk

5) Social proof

Most of us read several product reviews before making a purchase, or scroll through photos of real customers wearing or using the product we’re interested in buying. In fact, 93% of consumers use online reviews to inform their purchase decisions.

By including social proof in their marketing, eCommerce stores can ease purchase anxiety, reassure customers and increase online sales. Here are a couple of examples of social proof in action.

Ratings and reviews

More than 1 in 3 customers won’t purchase if an online store doesn’t show product ratings and reviews, so make sure you’re using this social proof tactic in your marketing.

Sunglasses Shop includes ratings and reviews on their product pages to give shoppers the confidence they need to make a purchase.

Sunglasses Shop social proof example

Source; sunglasses-shop.co.uk

Popularity messaging

Popularity messaging is the online version of a large group of customers crowding around one product. Popularity messaging shows online website visitors that the product they are looking at is in demand, playing on the wisdom of the crowd to drive a purchase decision.

Buyagift’s use of popularity messaging in their marketing emails has resulted in a 13% increase in sales for the company.

Buyagift social proof example

Source: Buyagift email

For more inspiration, download The Ultimate Ecommerce CRO Lookbook, packed with 21 real-life eCommerce personalization examples to help you increase your conversion rate.

Download The Ultimate Ecommerce CRO Lookbook [new visitors edition]

Camilla Bass

By Camilla Bass

Senior Content Marketing Manager

As Senior Content Marketing Manager at Fresh Relevance, Camilla leads the global content strategy and manages, writes and edits user-centered content that helps marketers in the eCommerce and travel spaces get their jobs done.