E-commerce Growth Hacking Strategies for Beginners and Startups

Date posted: March 13, 2018


By Fretty Francis

Coming up with a profitable business idea can be a herculean task. But figuring out how to set up an e-commerce store, package your products or services and drive loads of targeted traffic there is easier said than done. It takes a lot of work and discipline. It may take you a year or a couple of years to get your ducks in a row.

In order to stand out from the crowd of competitors, you have to work on the finer details of your growth hacking techniques. You need to implement workable strategies that will help your startup acquire and retain customers.

Here are some of the strategies you can employ to attract more prospects and optimize interactions on your ecommerce website.

1. Listen to the “Voice of the Customer”

Customer loyalty is critical to the success of every business. But, the customers of today are more cautious than ever and are likely to shun your e-commerce store if you don’t align with their needs and values. As a result, the race to meet customers’ expectations from each touch point is getting tougher day by day.

Giving your customers a reason to visit your competitors could be catastrophic for your business. According to customer experience related stats, only 1 out of 26 dissatisfied customers complain, the rest simply churn.

To be on the safe side:

  • Put on your innovative gear – Invest in ecommerce platforms that help you map out customer journey right from the moment they click on the homepage to the moment you shoot them a Thank You
  • “Bring them in” – Gerry McGovern, a customer experience expert, recommends observing real customers perform actual tasks on your website to improve the experience of your store.
  • Break down the silos – Working in silos prevents organizations form understanding the pain points and degrees of satisfaction, leading to poor and disconnected experiences for customers.

2. UX is Everything

Great UX design helps improve the user experience and increase conversion rates. As an e-commerce startup, you design UX to connect with the user, while the user uses the positive experience to share your store with their network.

But, a bad UX, according to Karl Gilis of AGConsult, will most likely result in the visitor leaving your website with a negative feeling about your brand.

Follow these tips for a great UX design:

  • Come up with intuitive navigation to promote discoverability
  • Prioritize functionality above all else
  • Weave up a customer-centric copy, then design with the copy in mind
  • Design UX for both desktop and mobile devices. Remember that throwing up a mobile responsive theme doesn’t mean your store is mobile UX optimized.

3. Drip Email Campaigns

Drip email campaigns are an excellent growth hacking strategy for startups. You can use these to win new customers or for upselling to your existing customer base – which is significantly easier.

For example, Amazon uses drip campaigns with a resounding success. You can also use drip emails to target buyers who have abandoned their carts and send targeted emails that increase the conversion rates.

4. Kill the ‘we don’t trust you” element

A survey conducted by About.com revealed that about 84% of customers would not buy from a brand they do not trust. Allow for refunds if they are not 100% satisfied, and make it easy for them to do that. Also, take privacy and security seriously. Customers are highly worried about their personal information falling into the hands of criminals and cyber-frauds.

Your ecommerce store must provide reassurance of safety to your customers. Make sure you are using SSL or TLS protocols to secure payments and encrypt information that is relayed through your website.

You can also add trust badges of respected brands like VISA, Mastercard, Paypal, VeriSign, among others on your website.

5. The power of analytics and metrics

Your e-commerce marketing channels will generate a lot of data. If you track the metrics, you will get a pulse on the viability of your startup. The metrics will also signal you when a course correction is needed. As a result, you can use this data to come up with targeted approaches that will win the hearts of your customers.

For example, Shoepassion.com, an online shoe retailer leveraged their data to compete in the fiercely competitive shoe industry. The startup signed up with a self-service data analytics tool, Datameter to help it bring their unstructured and structured data together. Using the tool, they tried to find actionable insights from their data and used it to build a bird’s eye view of the startup. They discovered that the customer who bought shoes were likely to buy matching belts. So, by tweaking their marketing campaigns, the startup saw an increase of 10% in their cross-sell revenues.

Summing it up

The “if you build it and they will come” philosophy does not apply to your ecommerce store. You have to be a little bit aggressive and innovative with your growth hacking strategies if you want to grow your online ecommerce store. You need to invest in ecommerce software and tools that help improve customer experience. That way, you not only close more sales, but you will also retain more customers.

Fretty Francis works as a digital marketing executive at SoftwareSuggest, an online platform that recommends software solutions to businesses. Her areas of expertise include ecommerce platforms, helpdesk software, and performance management software. In her spare time, she likes to travel and catch up on the latest technologies. Twitter handle: @SoftwareSuggest

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