Four Ways to Find Hidden Revenue on Your e-Commerce Site

4 minute read
John Boyle avatar

When managing an e-Commerce site, it’s all about ROI. How can we improve the site performance metrics and all media channels used to send in traffic?

It’s important to focus on landing pages, product pages, offers, messaging, media budgets and placements, among other efforts to improve those numbers. But keep in mind there are other ways to monetize your e-Commerce site without cannibalizing online sales.

Most marketers don’t even consider these four hidden ways to generate new revenue. I’ve laid them out, so here they are for the taking!

#1. Be a Digital Marketing Matchmaker: Tie Search Queries to Specific Pages

Often when users land on a website, the first thing they look for is a search box to find what they are looking for rather than browsing your site. Mining this internal search data can provide you with a treasure trove of information about what your users are looking for and what they can’t seem to find.

The more steps there are in an online buying process, the more user abandonment will occur. Instead of delivering a search results page, send them directly to the content they are looking for when they click “search.” Your abandonment rate will drop and user engagement will increase.

For example, if users are searching for “coupons” on your site, why deliver a results page with the coupons page as the first result of 25 other links and hope they see and click it? Instead send them straight to your coupons page. Keep it simple and intuitive.

#2. Fail Out Page: Sorry Just Doesn’t Cut It

In an ideal world every user is the exact user you are looking for. However, this is not always the case. Even if they are interested in your offer, they may not qualify because they don’t have the right level of education, a high enough credit rating, or there is some other issue that prevents you from accepting their business.

Often times when this occurs the user is bumped out of the funnel process to a fail out page. If you are sending these users to a mostly blank page that says “Thanks, but no thanks,” you are missing out on a huge opportunity!

This is an excellent time to let the user know why they don’t qualify for your offer then upsell them on another complimentary product or service. If you don’t have another way to directly upsell, consider using an affiliate offer. There’s always something to be offered.

#3. 404 Pages: Not Always a Dead End

In a previous position, I managed a B2C e-Commerce site that generated millions a year in revenue. By taking steps to monetize these fail out pages, we were able to generate an extra US$ 300,000+ in revenue a year. This was money that went straight to the bottom line!

Learning Opportunities

As sites grow, the URLs to important pages often change. Just because you make these changes doesn’t mean that all the sites that link to you will. Setting up redirects from an expired URL to another page will help but it probably won’t catch all the incoming traffic to those expired pages.

Rather than showing a simple “404” message, why not customize the landing page to help users find what they are looking for? Include some copy that lets them know the page they were looking for has moved. Then include links to popular topics/categories on your site with a search box. Your 404 pages are only a dead end if you choose to let them be!

#4. Thank You Page: Thank You Doesn’t Mean Goodbye

You made the sale! Congrats! But your work isn’t done. Your “Thank You” page can be a great opportunity to add offers that may be of value to your users. You can try complimentary affiliate offers or Google advertising. Don’t be too aggressive here though. Remember, this is the page where your user turns into a customer, and you don’t want to leave them with a bad taste in their mouth by beating them over the head with ads and popups. Find the middle ground and you’ll be successful.


As you can see your e-Commerce site isn’t just product pages and buy buttons. By taking advantage of these opportunities you can add more value to the company’s bottom line and improve your site’s ROI.

What are some other hidden ways to unlock more revenue from an e-Commerce site?

Title image courtesy of Filip Fuxa (Shutterstock).

Editor's Note: You may also be interested in reading:

About the author

John Boyle

John Boyle has over 15 years of experience in e-commerce and online marketing. As a digital marketing and optimization consultant at Webtrends, he creates online marketing strategies designed to improve website monetization and improve customer experiences.

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