In this day and age, everyone can be an entrepreneur. Thanks to the internet, anyone can set up a website or eBay store without allocating vast resources. The real challenge is growing beyond your first few sales and scaling your ecommerce business. How do you set yourself apart from the competition? How do you growth hack your way to the top and ensure no other retailer outsells you?
In this article, we’ll discuss 10 actionable growth hacking techniques to help you reach the next level of success.
1. Build a Subscriber Base
Many sellers pour advertising money into Amazon and Google, but they tend to stop shortly after the conversion stage. The buyer-seller relationship shouldn’t stop after the sale; there are so many opportunities to engage your customers.
When shoppers buy your product from a marketplace, encourage them to leave a review. If they purchase through your website, collect their email address for the purpose of sending news, discounts and other offers. A great newsletter can keep your brand top of mind.
Don’t be afraid to engage your customers on social media. Try contests and giveaways. Invite your audience to share their purchases on Facebook and Instagram. As for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), growing your subscriber base is equally as important as getting more engagement. When people subscribe to your content, it usually means they enjoy what you’re doing. This is all part of delighting your customers.
2. Consider Referral, Affiliate or Influencer Marketing Programs
Get your customers even more involved by turning them into brand ambassadors. When you recruit a customer into your referral program, it will feel more genuine. You can take this up a notch by working with affiliates and influencers.
In the age of online marketplaces and fierce competition, having a trusted, outside person validate your brand can make a whole lot of difference, especially for niche products. Like our first growth hacking technique, you need to spend time building relationships, and it starts by identifying your audience and whom they trust.
Do they subscribe to certain people on Instagram or YouTube? Think about this before attempting your first sponsored post.
3. Publish Guest Blog Posts on Relevant Sites
Publishing content on your website can help educate customers, promote your products, and earn a better search engine position for your online store. Guest blogging, on the other hand, allows you to reach another audience while enhancing these same benefits.
Aside from the SEO boost from backlinks, your presence on these sites can build your thought leadership, especially when you’re selling specialized products for a certain industry. Go where your audience is. Identify all the watering holes and what other types of content they look for.
4. Personalize the Buyer’s Experience
Thanks to Amazon, personalization through artificial intelligence has become the norm. When you visit the site or app, you’ll get a personalized homepage suggesting products that should interest you, based on previously viewed or purchased items.
You can give the same experience through other forms, such as email marketing or personalized notes inside packages. This is all to delight your customers and encourage social sharing. Managing the customer experience should be part of any growth hacker’s toolkit.
5. Use Retargeting to Encourage Future Purchases
Just because a person shows interest in your products doesn’t mean that he or she will buy anything at that moment. The shopper may want to do more research before committing to a purchase, for instance.
Over time, consumers may forget about your product altogether. You can use retargeting to remind them of your shop. Retargeting drops a cookie into the shopper’s browser, so no matter where the person goes online, the cookie will display advertisements for your product. When it comes time to buy, this shopper will likely land back on your site instead of wandering to a competitor’s site.
6. Show Discounts During the Checkout Process
Nearly 80 percent of online shoppers abandon their carts before finalizing purchases. Why does this happen? Understanding the customer’s psychology may help.
Online shoppers are so used to seeing discounts marked in the final checkout that they feel like they’re missing out on something if discounts are not visually displayed on the screen. Free shipping has become so common in ecommerce that it has become the expectation.
Visually showing discounts during the checkout process can keep shoppers interested. Consider adding coupons for shoppers about to exit your site.
7. Suggest Related Products
A person who buys one product from your store is already primed to spend money. Use this opportunity to suggest products related to the item that the person is buying. For instance, when shoppers purchase smartphones from you, you may want to suggest buying cases, USB cables, and other accessories that will enhance the person’s experience.
Often times, a website is better at this than a marketplace because you have more control over your customer’s journey. By contrast, someone shopping on eBay or Amazon will likely go for the known product over a related but unknown add-on.
8. Sell on Multiple Ecommerce Platforms
Selling on multiple channels helps you reach different demographics and gives you more opportunities to sell. Having a website is great, but consumers tend to start their search on marketplaces over search engines nowadays.
Walmart, eBay, and Overstock may be great options for your product as well. With Amazon raising their Prime fees again, consumers have more reason to explore other channels. The challenge, of course, is managing inventory and importing products from one channel to another. Listing on multiple channels is very tedious and can be error-prone.
There are a lot of automation tools that can help with multi-channel selling, from best of breed inventory management systems to all-in-one solutions. When choosing an ecommerce management software, make sure you choose an option that lets you sell seamlessly on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Walmart.
It also helps to have software that integrates with popular shopping cart platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento or WooCommerce. Find a solution that streamlines and centralizes your operations, so you don’t waste time fixing listing or inventory issues across sites.
9. A/B Test Your Product Pages
When it comes to product pages, in general, you should aim for high-resolution product pictures and rich media. Video is becoming more significant as shoppers still crave the sensory experience of trying out a product. The F-shaped navigation still holds true in most cases, and you’ll need to pay attention to breadcrumbs.
With that said, do experiment with your product pages. Subtle changes can make big differences in how well a page converts visitors into buyers. Use A/B testing to determine which version of a page sells the most products.
10. Guide Your Customers to the Right Product
Sometimes, shoppers browsing your website have an idea of what they want but don’t really know what they need. There are many ways to educate potential buyers, from blog posts and on-site guides, to help center articles and live chat.
Help your customers reach their goals, and they’ll love you for it. Chatbots can even automate much of the conversation to address common questions or concerns about a product. When the discussion gets too complicated for your chatbot, transfer the customer to a sales or customer support specialist for further assistance.
Putting It All Together
Jeff Bezos once said, “In business, what’s dangerous is not to evolve.”
Whether you sell through marketplaces or your own shopping cart, consider these 10 growth hacking tips as a starting point to your journey as a seller. These tips may not always be relevant to your business, and it’s your job to test what works and what doesn’t.
Always strive to improve. Aim for growth. Then you will be on your path to success.