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Useful Marketing Strategies for Major eCommerce Platforms

How can you relate products effectively to maximize your sales volume? What are the ways to attract more customers to your web store? If you ever bother answering these questions, you should pay attention to the following marketing strategies intrinsically meant to boost your sales, increase average order size and customer pool.

  • Cross-selling is a sales technique that consists in offering additional products that are likely to interest the customers when they make a purchase. Cross selling refers to the practice of promoting complimentary items – you link certain products together, draw customers’ attention to the products that complement their purchase and encourage them to explore these relevant items. Often to persuade the customer to accept the recommendation, retailers may also provide a cross selling offer discount.Cross-sell products may appear in the product info page (in this case people call them related products, meant to be purchased in addition to the item the customer is viewing) and on the shopping cart page. It is highly advisable to display cross-sells already in the shopping cart as customers tend to make more impulse buys on this stage. Anyway, choose wisely which products to highlight and where and what moment to offer cross-selling on your website. You can use the analytics website to find the best relevant associations between your products. But do not overwhelm the customer with additional products, cross-selling must be perceived as an intuitive ‘plus’.Apart from offering associated products, there is also a widespread cross-selling form called ‘People who bought this, also bought’ – in the order details page the customer sees products that other people have purchased along with the chosen product and thus can be easily induced to make additional purchase. This is a good way for retailers to maximize the cart. Keep in mind that with cross-selling you may increase your average buying basket by 30% - that is a third of your product sales.
  • Up-selling is another proven strategy to drastically increase your online profits. Retailers can enhance their checkout process with an up-sell block to offer the customers an upgraded or premium version of a product customers have chosen. Discounts may also be applied with an up-sold product.Through selling the customers just before they complete their purchase, you easily generate add-on sales as the wallet is already out. If you are not focusing on this, you simply miss out on some serious opportunity to boost your cash flow.As a store owner you need to define those upgrade options that can be up-sold when certain products are added to the customers’ basket. But describe them in a way that helps customers justify the additional higher value they will receive with your up-sell item suggestions.
  • If you are running an e-store, you almost certainly need to integrate Affiliate programs. This is a type of negotiating with another company in which a business rewards with commission one or more affiliates for each customer brought about by the affiliate's own efforts or marketing strategy. This is indeed an effective sales channel as it forces higher targeted traffic, better SEO ranking, collectively promotes your product reducing at the same time your overall marketing costs, since you only pay for quality performance.Note that you should consider the levels of affiliate marketing programs, as there can be multi-level affiliate commissions. You can, for instance, offer commissions based on direct sales for the affiliate or offer another level of commissions for indirect sales, which could be much attractive for the affiliates.

The evidence is clear this triad really works, and if used properly such strategies represent an enormous opportunities for online retailers. There is no reason therefore not to use them for your eCommerce business. If you puzzle over how to adopt these excellent techniques, stop messing out. We’ve made special guidelines for you listing all the necessary instructions, applications, services, and software you may possibly need to employ these techniques. We will provide the information for five eCommerce platforms – Magento, PrestaShop, Zen Cart, VirtueMart, and osCommerce. Today goes the first part covering Magento and PrestaShop. Check out the continuation of this topic in part 2 with Zen Cart, VirtueMart, and osCommerce Marketing Tools in the focus.

Magento

CROSS-SELLING and UP-SELLING

Robust and feature-rich Magento platform offers cross-selling, up-selling, and related products (products which can be purchased in addition to the item the customer is viewing, mostly displayed in the right column of your online store) options as built-in features. Website developers can easily set up these kinds of product relationship from the admin panel. What’s needed?

  • log in to the Magento admin >>
  • navigate to Catalog > Manage Products >>
  • find the product to which you want to add cross-sells to/ up-sells/ related items to/ >>
  • select and edit this product >>
  • hit the responsible cross-sells/ up-sells/ related products tab and you’re done.
  • from the products list that appears check any products you’d like to mark as cross-sells/ up-sells/ related and press ‘save’.

Now, you will be able to see cross sells, up-sells, and related products in front-end. Magento website owners can also use SQLi Reverse Cross-Selling module (free-available, Magento compatibility 1.2, 1.3) as a valuable addition to the standard related products, up-sells, and cross-sells functionalities of Magento. SQLi Reverse Cross-Selling adds 3 new tabs in product edit page – ‘reverse related products’, ‘reverse up-sells’, and ‘reverse cross-sells’, and allows you to select your product for reverse links. The module has easy to use interface, similar to standard relations.

AFFILIATE PROGRAMS

If you are looking to set-up Affiliate Program for something that you are selling online through Magento website, there is a free, open source, and highly configurable component for Magento called Affiliate for All that lets you create your own affiliate program. Among other alternatives you can find:

  • Affiliate Pro Magento Extension ($199, Magento compatibility CE 1.4.x, 1.5.x) – is a completed solution for you to create your own affiliate program. The module as well offers a flexible invitation program and supports banner creating.
  • Affiliate Program for Magento ($250, Magento compatibility 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.4.1.1, 1.4.2, 1.5, 1.6) – using this affiliate system people can introduce products or promotional campaigns by emailing to their friends or place banners in their own sites. Among other great features, this software allows running affiliate programs for certain products or categories and offers Facebook sharing feature.
  • With Magento Affiliate Module (€89, Magento compatibility 1.4, 1.4.1.1, 1.4.2, 1.5) you can run your own independent full-fledged affiliate program, in German and English. It offers excellent support of your SEO efforts, allows unlimited number of affiliates, highly flexible provisioning, and many more.
  • Another solution is Post Affiliate Pro Connector (free-available, Magento compatibility 1.3, 1.4, 1.4.1.1, 1.4.2, 1.5) – this module provides seamless integration with Post Affiliate Pro – full featured, low cost affiliate tracking solution. The Connector adds vital extra features handling click and sales tracking, providing a Magento based sign up form, and offering more additional features not available otherwise.
  • You can also integrate an affiliate management program with Magento using JAM (has free and licensed version) by JROX. This is great software you can use to start building your own revenue-generating affiliate marketing program. You’ll only need to install the JAM software on your website or hosting account, and this module will manage your affiliate program and your affiliate members.
  • Magento store owners can also add iDevAffiliate tracking software to their sites ($99.99 – standard edition, $199.99 – gold edition, $299.99 - platinum edition). This affiliate marketing tool works with nearly all merchant accounts, shopping carts, billing systems, and membership management systems, and has two control panels – the administrative center where you manage your affiliate program and the affiliate control panel where affiliates signup and manage their accounts.

PrestaShop

CROSS-SELLING

Cross-Selling option is available built-in under PrestaShop Catalog features. However, there are other great options that also easily allow online retailers to increase their sales volume. Those are not in-house, but third-party supported alternatives.

  • Cross Selling on Cart (€39, PrestaShop compatibility 1.2, 1.3, 1.4) – this module will help retailers induce the customer to purchase additional products. If this module is installed on your shop, you can display complementary products on add to cart action. Cross Selling on Cart allows unlimited number of products, using products filters selection for quick entry, and what’s more, product proposals will fit with the contents of the cart.
  • Better Together (free-available, PrestaShop compatibility 1.2.4) – this is a PrestaShop discounting module (‘buy A get B at a discount’) allowing vendors to promote related items and persuade the customer to accept the discount recommendation. Additionally, Better Together may be used to facilitate two-for-one offers for identical items, however there is no support in the admin panel for Better Together, discounts must be added by hand and you have to manually create the rules for each category.

UP-SELLING

Up-selling in PrestaShop is only available through third-party add-ons. One of the most prominent solution is The Up-sell Module – For PrestaShop ($97) that allows you to create a dynamically generated up-sell page based on category based up-selling, previously bought togather up-selling, and general up-sells. The module is easy to use and requires no programming, you’ll only need to drag and drop it in to your ftp in your/ modules folder and activate the module in the backend.

AFFILIATE PROGRAMS

If that’s of any help, there is a customer referral program option in PrestaShop already built-in. You can find PrestaShop's Affiliate program section in their shopping cart via Back Office >> Stats >> Referrers >> Add New button. This tool works like an affiliate module where you reward the referrer. There are however some more interesting things to show you – further you are to find a list of affiliate program solutions available for PrestaShop platform.


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  • Professional and working Affiliate application that is known to work great with PrestaShop is Post Affiliate Pro (€60, PrestaShop compatibility 1-1.4) that was designed to empower or establish your affiliate program. This easy to set up and easy-to-use module integrates clicks and sales tracking, as well as validation and/or denial of commissions based on the status of orders.
  • Additionally, you can create and manage affiliate users via Omnistar Affiliate Software (free for 15 days, then $27/month – professional version, $37/month – premium version, $47/month – unlimited version). Omnistar Affiliate is capable of being integrated with PrestaShop, and it does not require technical experience letting you easily have other users to promote your products. Omnistar enables setup 10-tier programs, can provide site replication, rich automated option as well as multiple creatives for affiliates.
  • In the range of other pretty nifty affiliate management software applications we can find Prestashop Affiliates (€100, PrestaShop compatibility 1.4), which is a standalone affiliates module for PrestaShop. Using it, your customers create widgets, which display a random list of products from your site, and put them on their websites. In addition, with PrestaShop Affiliates you can generate vouchers for the commission amount. Overall, this seems to be a great solution, but way too pricey.
  • Above, we’ve already mentioned Affiliates for All (free-available), this software works flawlessly with PrestaShop as well. Over the next two links you’ll find the instructions on ho to install Affiliates for All in PrestaShop and have a seamless AFA installation.

* * *

If you are starting out with these strategies, you’ll need to experiment extensively. Mix and match different options to find just the right solutions for your business. Check out the continuation of this topic that includes all the necessary instructions, applications, services, and software you may possibly need to use these 3 proven marketing strategies for Zen Cart, VirtueMart, or osCommerce.

Note also that TemplateMonster currently offers 20% discount on PrestaShop Templates, so in case you need to make a complete design overhaul of your PrestaShop-driven web store this is a chance to do it cost-effectively.

Choosing the Best eCommerce Platform [Free eBook]


Lilian Rigo

Lilian is a young but very talented copywriter who does researches on various themes. It seems that she knows everything about TemplateMonster products and loves to do listings that could help users to find something they need. Design trends, typography, coding, website building - Lilian writes about all those topics.

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