For Business

The art and science of finding unexpected sales drivers

Identifying and acting on the right shopping signals can help improve sales and build brand affinity.

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In ecommerce, there’s a long list of traditional sales drivers and metrics that merchants monitor to ensure their business is reaching its full potential. And through consistent monitoring, business owners can start to understand the signals that prompt shoppers to purchase, while also identifying opportunities to enhance their products and the way shoppers experience their brand to drive growth.

The specific list of metrics change depending on the needs and nature of the business, but in general, many businesses like yours measure business success by tracking signals like customer lifetime value, conversion rate, average order value, churn rate, customer acquisition cost, monthly recurring revenue, product margin, net promoter score, and net revenue retention.

Yeah, it can be exhausting!

There are also less-common sales drivers that can make a big difference to your bottom line. Buy with Prime Senior Economist Aaron Bodoh-Creed recently shared some insights into some of the sales drivers he pays to pay attention to—signals that may seem obvious or basic, but often get overlooked.

Brand credibility and shopper confidence

The old adage that a great product sells itself is particularly true in the era of social proof. Positive, authentic, and verifiable reviews from real people about products they love (or don’t) can have a significant impact on sales.

According to data collected by Statista, sites that display ratings and reviews increased conversion rates by as much as 38 percent. Further, in a survey conducted by Power Reviews of more than 6,500 consumers found that 98% of consumers feel that “reviews are an essential resource when making purchase decisions.”

Powerful signals like these are why Reviews from Amazon for Buy with Prime can be a great addition to detail pages for products offering Buy with Prime, Bodoh-Creed notes. “Buy with Prime can help move the needle on this because people trust Amazon reviews. When shoppers see that reviews from Amazon.com are positive, they’ll be more likely to see it as a quality product and feel comfortable making a purchase.”

For many businesses, their customers are often their most effective salespeople. When it comes to communicating quality, influencer marketing is another powerful lever merchants can pull. According to a recent study conducted by the University of Washington, reallocating just 1% of your marketing spend to influencer strategy can result in a 16.6% increase in engagement.

“To increase your chances of driving more sales, do whatever you can to build customer confidence in your product and credibility in your brand,” Aaron says. “And two actions you can take immediately is providing reviews on your product pages and activating influencers to drive awareness.”

The take away: Showing reviews on your product pages and tapping into influencers willing to advocate for your brand can help increase the likelihood of turning shoppers into your customers.

Pricing for demand

Dynamic pricing strategies can help merchants adjust to variables like demand, seasonality, and competitor pricing. Using dynamic pricing tools and data, you can make decisions about what prices work best for your products based on factors like consumer behavior, inventory, and market conditions.

And price-based decision making will likely play an outsized role in ecommerce this year. According to a global survey conducted by PWC, 43% of consumers say they plan to increase online shopping in the next six months, yet 96% of consumers also say they intend to adopt cost-saving behaviors.

Pricing for demand really comes into play when you’re running sales to reduce inventory, or when you want to run promotions to acquire new customers.

Maintaining consumer trust is paramount when making changes to your pricing strategy. The blue Prime logo and delivery promise sends a trust signal to shoppers when they see the Buy with Prime badge on your product pages.

“Whether you’re modifying product pricing to offload inventory or running a special promotion, having Buy with Prime on your site makes the decision easier for shoppers,” says Aaron. “They realize that they can get a Prime shopping experience with fast, free shipping, so placing the order becomes that much easier for them.”

The take away: A demand-based pricing strategy coupled with a trusted checkout experience can help increase sales and improve shopper confidence in purchasing from your ecommerce site.

Customers’ fulfillment expectations

In a 2023 consumer insights survey from PWC, 40% of consumers said they intend to increase in-store shopping and decrease online shopping because shipping costs are too high.

“The quality and speed of your fulfillment is going to be one of your biggest sales drivers,” says Aaron, noting that returns specifically can be a deciding factor for shoppers. “One common concern we see is ‘Can I return this product I don’t want it? And how much of a pain is it going to be to return it and get my money back?’”

By showcasing the Prime promise of fast, free delivery and easy returns, adding Buy with Prime can help drive shopper confidence by offering transparent delivery estimates for eligible orders on your site.

As Aaron points out, “Orders placed using Buy with Prime are fulfilled by Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF). MCF allows you to leverage Amazon’s fulfillment network and expertise to deliver your customer orders on time, across sales channels beyond Amazon.”

With Buy with Prime, customers get orders delivered fast and free with transparent delivery times and free returns on eligible items.

The take away: A positive shopper experience with free shipping and easy returns can be the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart.

Analytics to understand customer motivations

Having a clear sense of what motivates your customers, customizing their experiences around their motivations, and investing in marketing strategies that appeal to their needs can help drive sales.

Accenture’s recent survey of more than 25,000 consumers across 22 countries provides a revealing snapshot of how consumer motivations are evolving beyond price and quality, with factors like ease and convenience, trust and reputation, personal service, and product origin becoming increasingly relevant.

“Collect relevant customer information and use it to find ways to segment and personalize the way shoppers experience your brand,” advises Aaron. “Work very hard to optimize the traffic coming to your site. Then look at the profiles of your repeat customers and use those inputs to deliver consistent, personalized messages to drive lifetime value.”

If your budget permits, you can hire an agency to help, but there are also a wide range of marketing resources that you can use to help drive conversions and build brand loyalty.

The US Small Business Administration offers helpful resources for market research and competitive analysis, and there’s also a collection of free tools available from the US Chamber of Commerce.

Google and Meta also have analytics tools that can help online brands understand shopper behaviors on their site.

“One of the understated benefits of using Buy with Prime is that merchants get their customer email addresses and data about their orders and returns that can be used to create personalized remarketing programs and provide customer service,” explains Aaron.

The take away: Tapping into analytics tools can help you understand who your customer are and what motivates them, while empowering you to engage with them in more meaningful ways.

Tapping into the trust of Amazon

“Amazon’s brand has a halo effect,” says Aaron. “When a shopper sees Buy with Prime in a website banner or on a product page, they automatically associate the reliability and trustworthiness of Amazon with that merchant’s site. And the reputation that Amazon brings to small brands can have a big impact on sales and customer loyalty.”

In fact, Buy with Prime has been shown to increase shopper conversions by 25% on average*.

Buy with Prime not only helps merchants delight shoppers with fast, free delivery, but also gives merchants an extra layer of credibility that comes with offering Prime shopping benefits directly on their site. Additionally, using Reviews from Amazon for Buy with Prime can also build trust with shoppers, which can lead to more sales.

“Buy with Prime isn’t just a button you install on your ecommerce site,” notes Aaron. “It’s a holistic solution designed to help drive the growth of your business.”

Experimentation is another tool merchants should consider to find unexpected drivers of sales on their ecommerce site. Not only does iterative A/B testing help merchants determine the ROI of adding Buy with Prime, but it can also provide actionable insights about ways to optimize the shoppers experience to drive more sales.

Learn more about how Buy with Prime can help fuel the growth of your ecommerce business. If you’re ready to get started, you can sign up for Buy with Prime now.

*This data point measures the average increase in shoppers who placed an order when Buy with Prime was an available purchase option versus when it was not, during the same time period.

Kelby Johnson