A rapid and unprecedented revolution in how we do business has occurred in just the last three years, catalyzed by the global pandemic’s effects on small and large companies.
We’re talking about the great migration to online retail, or eCommerce (eCommerce simply refers to commercial transactions conducted via the internet).
Today, it is almost a necessity that brands worldwide have an eCommerce presence – allowing potential customers and clients to purchase products and engage with services via online platforms accessed through their phones or computers.
Estimates show that around one-quarter of all retail transactions occur online, while eCommerce growth in 2020 alone saw double-digit growth in 32 countries or more.
While new businesses and formerly offline-only companies race to build an eCommerce platform, others seek to stay ahead of the growth curve.
In this article, we spoke to 13 professionals in eCommerce or fields related to online commerce growth.
We asked for their expert opinion on the best eCommerce growth hacks you can apply to your online business strategy today to help you build a sustainable, profitable, consumer-friendly digital retail service.
Saad Raza - SEO Analyst at eWorldTrade
“Nothing less than excellent customer service will do.”
Providing excellent customer service is a critical component of eCommerce success. It involves providing prompt, friendly, and helpful support to your customers at every stage of their buying journey.
It can include answering pre-purchase questions, providing technical support, and handling returns and exchanges.
It's essential to be responsive and accessible to provide excellent customer service. Provide clear contact information, such as a phone number, email address, or chat support, and respond to inquiries as quickly as possible.
Be proactive in contacting customers to provide updates on their order status or to resolve any issues they may be experiencing.
Finally, being transparent and honest in your communication with customers is essential. It helps build trust and confidence in your brand and can lead to long-term customer loyalty.
Provide clear and accurate information about your products, pricing, and shipping policies, and be upfront about any issues or delays that may occur.
Fintan Meagher - Digital Marketer at ReConvert
“Add offers to your thank you page.”
As merchants, we often spend all our resources optimizing the front end of our marketing efforts. However, quickly upgrading the post-purchase funnel is often easier and faster.
Think about it - everyone in your sales funnel sees your thank you page. Plus, those impressions are coming from highly qualified customers who are in full buying mode.
Moreover, our analysis shows that customers return to the thank you page on average 2.2 times per order to check shipping updates.
So, stop letting those impressions go to waste. Take a leaf out of Amazon’s book (and eBay's book) and add innovative offers to your order confirmation page today.
It’s a quick implementation that’ll boost AOV and scale as you do.
Rajnish Kumar - Marketing Team Lead at Yo!Kart
“Cross-sell and upsell on the platform.”
One of the most significant advantages of eCommerce over legacy brick-and-mortar stores is the possibility of guiding the buyer into making informed decisions.
In physical stores, there are placards, banners, and signs ― that you hope the buyer notices. In case these are not noticed, you miss the opportunity for sales.
In an eCommerce marketplace/store, you can display related products or services on the product pages. You can also show bestselling or recommended platform products.
The platform may suggest socks or shoe-cleaning kits if a buyer adds shoes to the cart. The idea is to make relevant product recommendations that add value to the customer's purchase.
If the buyer is already making a purchase, there is a high chance that they will consider related products or services.
Also, when the buyer notices products under bestselling or recently bought, chances of conversions are enhanced due to the trust factor.
Similarly, you can also implement this strategy to make the buyer increase the order value by giving product recommendations similar to what the buyer is considering buying, but a similar product that holds more aspirational value and can churn in more revenue.
Hence, these critical marketing hacks can increase revenue for your eCommerce business and its growth.
Eugene Odyntsov - SEO manager at Mailtrap
“Use an AI chatbot as a customer service tool.”
- Chatbots can provide instant support and assistance to customers, resulting in an improved customer experience and higher satisfaction level;
- Chatbots can handle a high volume of customer inquiries, freeing up your support team to focus on more complex issues;
- Chatbots can provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, informing future marketing and product decisions.
However, there are a few disadvantages, too.
- Sometimes chatbots cannot handle complex customer queries or requests, leading to customer frustration.
- Implementing and maintaining a chatbot can be time-consuming and require technical knowledge.
- Chatbots can appear impersonal and fail to provide the level of support customers expect.
- A chatbot must learn how to understand customer requests, or it can hurt the customer experience and damage your brand's reputation.
- Chatbots can be vulnerable to security breaches, leading to the leakage of sensitive customer information.
Tommy Le - SEO Specialist Mageplaza
“Optimize the checkout process with one step.”
One of the most critical aspects of any eCommerce website is the checkout process. A long and complicated checkout process can quickly turn off potential customers and result in cart abandonment.
Many online businesses turn to One Step Checkout extensions, which streamline the entire checkout process into a single page.
For Magento 2, One Step Checkout is a popular extension that offers a wide range of features to simplify and optimize the checkout experience.
With this extension, customers can quickly complete all necessary information, including shipping and payment details, in a single step.
It saves time and reduces frustration for customers and can lead to higher conversion rates and increased revenue for your online store.
Implementing this extension can improve the overall customer experience and boost your eCommerce growth through increased conversions and customer loyalty.
Jinal Mehta - Digital Marketer at Middleware
“Employ an ecommerce observability tool to reduce downtime and provide a seamless customer experience.”
As e-commerce shopping becomes more sophisticated and we rely on them more than ever, observability for e-commerce applications and the clouds they run on has become more critical than ever to one’s success.
When the site is slow, you might buy elsewhere if checkout isn’t up to par. So, observability is the key to letting our customers be on our site and keeping the site running fast.
Your e-Commerce will deliver a record holiday shopping season with observability for e-commerce helps troubleshoot problems more quickly and effectively.
Tobi Ojenike - Digital Marketer at Venngage
“Utilize the storytelling technique.”
Social media storytelling has shown itself to be beneficial in the past. The reason? People enjoy stories because they capture their attention, have the potential to go viral and allow them to connect with other people's stories through their emotions.
Take into account the goals guiding both your promotional and non-promotional content. The most significant social media content producers utilize the company's goals and values as a guide to provide relevant content. Play on the audience's nostalgia and memories by traveling back in time.
Today, a growing number of businesses are using narrative. Whether in a written article, a video, or an image, this format appeals to millennials and younger generations. They establish a loyal following and perform brilliantly on social media.
The tricky aspect is choosing which stories to tell. However, if you know your audience, it will be straightforward to ascertain what they want from you and your business.
Nikola Roza - Founder at Nikolaroza
“Leverage the power of customer loyalty program.”
Customer loyalty programs are a powerful growth hack for eCommerce businesses. By offering rewards and incentives to customers for repeat purchases, referrals, and other desired behaviors, companies can create a loyal customer base that returns repeatedly.
These programs can take many forms, from points-based systems to VIP programs that offer exclusive perks and discounts.
One of the key benefits of a customer loyalty program is the ability to increase customer lifetime value.
Businesses can boost revenue and improve their bottom line by encouraging customers to purchase more and refer their friends and family.
Also, loyalty programs can help companies to build a sense of community and strengthen customer relationships.
It’s important to offer valuable and relevant rewards to your customers. Consider segmenting your program to provide different rewards to different customer groups and use data and analytics to track program performance and make adjustments as needed.
By implementing a successful loyalty program, businesses can build a loyal customer base that supports their growth for years.
Chia Ping Ong - Digital Marketing Specialist at Benova
“Offer free shipping.”
Free shipping can be a powerful incentive to drive sales and increase customer loyalty.
When customers see that they can get free shipping, it motivates them to complete their purchases.
Cart abandonment is also a common problem for e-commerce websites, with some estimates suggesting that as many as 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned before checkout. One of the reasons for this is unexpected shipping costs.
By offering free shipping, you can reduce cart abandonment and increase customers to complete their purchases.
When it comes to offering free shipping, there are different ways you can do it. For example, you can provide free shipping on orders over a certain amount, offer free shipping for a limited time, or offer free shipping on specific products.
The key is to clarify to customers that they can get free shipping, motivating them to complete their purchases.
Dominique Vatin - Digital Content Writer at ResumeGenius
“Empower your customers with a strong UGC strategy.”
User-generated content (UGC) is an excellent way for eCommerce businesses to show off customer reviews, images, and videos on their website and social media pages.
Using it can boost sales by building trust and credibility with your audience, increasing visitor's time on your website, and making your email marketing more effective.
To successfully grow your brand, you should:
- Showcase diverse UGC
- Actively engage with UGC creators
- Monitor and moderate UGC
Studies show that eCommerce businesses using UGC see notable increases in conversion rates compared to those that don't.
Customers also tend to trust brands more when they see honest feedback from other customers, leading to higher engagement.
UGC is a great way to show off your brand's authentic and more humanized side and a crucial element to incorporate into your overall business strategy.
Millennials aged 25+ contribute over 70% of all UGC. At the same time, Gen Z is born with UGC as a natural part of their consumer experience.
Naveen Kumar - Marketing and Head Product Head at Joomdev
“Augment your profit margin in three steps.”
Profit is the lifeblood of any business. With enough flow of revenue, survival in this fiercely competitive world is possible.
However, making a profitable eCommerce business is always challenging. But you can hit this goal without raising the prices of products if you:
- Reduce operating costs: Start auditing expenditures on payroll, utilities, rent, etc., and try optimizing each. Look for alternative solutions like outsourcing and invest in cutting-edge software that helps keep things on track.
- Increase trust in your brand: Shoppers have countless options for everything, but when you gain their loyalty, they aren’t going anywhere. Work on the content, design, and aesthetic elements of your website.
- Create customer loyalty programs: Customer-focused loyalty programs encourage sales and grow your profit margin. It helps you gain the loyalty of your existing customers and acquire new ones.
These innovative strategies will improve your profit margin and help you build a strong base for your business.
Saurabh Thakur - Sr. Digital Marketer at FATbit
“Build trust if you want traction.”
Trust is an essential factor for eCommerce success. Consumers in many regions worldwide only shop on Amazon because it offers returns and refunds.
To reach the level it has accomplished today, Amazon first had to build trust. eCommerce startups need to replicate the same trust factors to grow.
Apart from a clear return and refund policy, they can offer product warranties or simply put a verified badge on their most reliable products.
Secondly, it is crucial to accumulate user-generated content (UGC), which is our ratings and reviews. You can send email reminders to existing customers to request product feedback.
Another trust-building element is social proof. You can show it on your website if you have had a feature in a product magazine or celebrity review. Otherwise, you can show how many customers have already trusted you.
Providing transparent and easy-to-reach customer support options on your website also helps build trust.
Usama Noman - Founder at Botsify
“Be where your customers are.”
Most businesses miss this; mobile apps and websites are essentials, but social channels are sometimes where your customers are!
Many businesses not only use TikTok for influencer marketing but also for their business profile, where they frequently upload customer videos, and anyone who watches becomes your potential customer.
Instagram and Whatsapp are other examples. You can contact your customers in DM to collect orders or redirect them to your website.
Be crazy, and think out of the box. It may also be an offline channel, festival, or exhibition where a small outlet can generate additional revenue.
Gone are the days when simply offering an online retail option could help your business achieve steady growth.
With some estimations claiming that as much as 95% of all retail transactions will be made online by 2040, brands must work that much harder to ensure their eCommerce growth.
The 13 pro eCommerce growth hacks collated here in this article have clearly shown that there are many means of achieving eCommerce growth.
Instead, keeping your brand at the forefront of customers’ minds requires constant innovation and experimentation across UI, UX, digital marketing, SEO, and customer service.
This article taught us that trust is critical in encouraging eCommerce growth. With so many options, customers need to feel that they can trust the quality of your brand. One way we may gain this trust is by leveraging social proof.
Of course, you must find your eCommerce customers before building their loyalty. Social media marketing has been a necessary means of engaging various target audiences.
In contrast, storytelling within social media content elevates its quality and increases the chances your content will connect with your audience.