The e-commerce world has come a long way since consumers considered it a novelty to order books online. Now, shoppers have everything from mugs to mattresses at their fingertips. So, for the retailers on the other end, the possibilities are similarly limitless. E-commerce did away with the expense of operating a physical location, greatly reducing the barriers to business entry. Anyone with a great idea stands a chance of — eventually — achieving online retail success.
Just as with any other business model, growth is the ultimate goal when it comes to e-commerce. Yet it can often be a challenging and complex process to achieve it. Too few visitors to a website may result in lower-than-projected sales, or perhaps it’s the lack of credibility-boosting customer testimonials that are dampening conversion rates.
Luckily, online retailers can implement multiple strategies to help overcome these challenges and grow their companies steadily over time. If you’re looking to jumpstart the growth of your e-commerce business, here are some tips to get you there:
1. Beef Up Your Online Presence
Almost by definition, an e-commerce business requires a compelling online presence in order to succeed. If yours is falling short, you’ll need to improve your online presence in ways that grab your target audience’s attention. Your website needs to be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and responsive to keep your customers engaged when browsing through your online store.
Having a well-designed website that is visually appealing and consistent with your brand image is an important step in forming a good first impression with potential customers. Additionally, your website should be optimized for search engines by using relevant keywords in your content, meta tags, and descriptions. Following SEO best practices will help your e-commerce store rank higher in search engine results pages so your target customers can find you.
Another powerful tool that can be used to boost online presence is social media. Consistent posting on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter lets you build brand awareness. It also engages with your target audience and promotes your products.
2. Leverage the Power of Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are a powerful marketing tool that can be used to grow your e-commerce business organically. Positive reviews from other consumers can increase your credibility and encourage prospective customers to buy products from your business.
To make those reviews more visible, you can feature your customer reviews and testimonials directly on your website and social media accounts. You’ll also attract consumers who see rave reviews of your business on third-party review sites. These can include sites such as Google, Trustpilot, and Yelp.
To encourage your customers to write reviews for your business, you can offer incentives such as discounts or free products in exchange for a review. Or you can ask satisfied customers to write testimonials that you post on your website.
3. Find the Right Partner
There are many different aspects of running an e-commerce business, such as web design, content creation, digital marketing, fulfillment, and customer support. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to do everything all by yourself — especially if you want each of these tasks to be done well. That’s when it’s important to look for a partner.
If you’re in the direct-to-consumer product space, a DTC accelerator like Boomn is one strategic partner option. The company has a proven process that can help your business scale, from customer acquisition modeling to inventory forecasting and management. Rather than outsourcing various business tasks piecemeal, you gain comprehensive support that will spur the growth of your e-commerce business.
4. Use Paid Advertising Strategically
An attractive, easy-to-use website loaded with relevant content and customer testimonials will help draw organic traffic. Sometimes, however, those efforts will need a boost. Paid advertising can be an effective strategy to help drive traffic to your website and increase your sales. However, you need to use it strategically to get the best results possible for your business.
Tailor your ads to your ideal customer demographic, using relevant keywords to attract your target audience. It’s also important to test out different ad formats, such as text ads, display ads, and video ads to see which ones perform best with your desired customer base. Keep track of your ad performance over time and adjust your strategy based on your clickthrough rates, impressions, and conversion rates.
5. Focus on Customer Experience
Once you’ve attracted online shoppers, managing the customer experience aspect of your business is a critical step to take to promote the success of your venture. You need to make sure that your customers are satisfied with their purchase and that their overall experience with your business is a positive one.
Customer service software platforms like Help Scout can streamline your communications with your customers, whether they contact you via email, live chat, or text. Such tools will ensure you’re able to provide purchasers with the proper customer support in a timely and seamless fashion. You can also enhance your customer experience by sending personalized emails, creating a loyalty program, and offering customized recommendations for products or services that complement your customer’s initial purchase.
6. Monitor Your Website Metrics
Monitoring your website performance is essential to understanding the health of your e-commerce business. Tools such as Google Analytics and Kissmetrics will help you keep track of your metrics, revealing things like the number of users, average order value, bounce rate, and customer lifetime value.
By analyzing these metrics, you can gain a better understanding of where your business is performing well and identify areas that need improvement. For example, say you discover that one of your product landing pages has a high bounce rate. You can modify the content and use A/B testing to see whether the changes improve your conversion rate. With the insights you gain by tracking your website metrics, you can optimize your growth strategy accordingly.
Get Going on Growth
While there’s no “one size fits all” solution that will guarantee the growth of your business, these strategies will help you focus on the aspects of your e-commerce business where you may be lacking. By adjusting your strategy based on what you learn, you’ll achieve better business results over time.