Despite being a new concept, growth hacking is slowly becoming mainstream in the digital environment. Coined in 2010, this term has been thrown around quite a lot. It mainly refers to the importance of following ecommerce growth hacking tactics and focused around key elements, which is growing your business.
As an eCommerce owner, it is vital to make use of the top eCommerce growth hacking tactics available out there, especially if you want to get an edge over your competition and improve your business. Taking into account the latest eCommerce growth statistics, you want to act as soon as possible, especially as the competition is growing by the day. By 2021 retail e-commerce sales will reach $4.9 Trillion.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the top 20 growth hacking strategies you should try in 2020 and beyond. Make the most out of these eCommerce tactics and skyrocket your business like never before.
20 Ecommerce Growth Hacking Tactics
Tactic #1 – Start with the Qualitative
Most eCommerce owners will find it extremely useful to properly understand the purchasing behaviors from different cohorts of people. While it’s tempting to start changing the design of your site as soon as you notice that you’re not converting, it becomes mandatory to have a deep understanding of your customers before proceeding with your plans.
Whether it’s existing customers, customers who have abandoned cart, newsletter subscribers, or new customers who have visited your site for the first time, you should talk to each and every cohort to learn a little bit more about what it is they actually care about.
You want to learn if your customers found what they were looking for on your site, why they abandoned the cart, or even discover how they think you can improve their experience on your platform. By asking them questions that are relevant to their satisfaction, you’ll be able to get deep insights into what your customers are thinking about.
You might find out they have abandoned your cart because they are concerned about the warranty policy, or they left your site because of poor design or high product prices. In the end, you should be able to paint a clear picture of what your customers want from you and what they actually care about.
Here are some ways that you can track customer behaviors.
Install google analytics’ in your ecommerce store and keep an eye on your customer’s journey in your store. You can know where the customer landed from and where he is going to exit. And also how much time has he spent on the store and more other data that will provide strong indications as to where you need to shift your focus on. As an example, you can focus on the visitor’s exit pages and investigate. Why the visitors are exiting from that page without purchasing? In order to get more successful customer behavior data, you can use the Google tag manager and Google analytics combination. The best thing is both the tools are free and you just need to plug your store to them.
Heat maps are paid tools that monitor user clicks and scrolls on your e-commerce website. But there are some tools like Hotjar which has additional advanced features. What hotjar does is, it records the sessions and you can watch videos to understand what exactly the visitor does in your store. Also, there are other tools that provide heatmaps including color-coded presentations.
You can maintain an email sequence to get feedback about your store. Ask your customer how was their shopping experience and what are their expectation. If they reply try to personally write back to them to appreciate their opinion. Maybe you can send a discount code with your reply that they can use it for their next shopping in your store. Feedback emails are not just an email. With that, you can include your customers to build your brand by listening to them. Adidas doing this strategy massively for building its brand.
Tactic #2 – Move on to the Quantitative
In 2020, it’s crucial to be data-driven, especially if you want to outperform your competition. A complete eCommerce growth strategy always includes both qualitative & quantitative. You have to measure the quantitative to know if whether you’re improving or not.
At this point, you need to determine what your main channels are, what the conversion rate for each channel is, what the average basket size for each channel is, and ultimately what is the LTV (lifetime value) for each customer. Once you manage to answer these questions, you’ll be able to know exactly what channel is the most profitable for you.
You want to be able to estimate the impact of how movements of specific channels affect your bottom line. For example, if your eCommerce site gets a ton of people coming in organically, but with only a 2% conversion rate, and only a limited number of people from referrals, but who have a 5% conversion rate, it means you have to invest massively in referral marketing and paid ads. It also means you should send organic traffic to an awareness page instead of trying to convert them right away.
The below image shows how the e-commerce conversion rate works based on traffic sources. Below research is done by Episever by using 1.3 billion shopping sessions in 159 retail stores.
By looking at traffic sources paid, organic and referral marketing plays a significant role when it comes to conversion rate. If you are a beginner do not focus only on paid traffic. Invest in SEO as well. That makes a huge impact on your ecommerce growth strategy.
Tactic #3 – Build a Solid Audience
A lot of SaaS companies, or Software-as-a-service, are using this tactic to create a following for their brands. You also need to realize that people who come to your site, make a purchase, and never come back, should not be your target focus. Your focus should be people who come to your site, sign to your blog, make a purchase, connect with you on social media, review your services, buy again, bring a friend with them, and slowly but surely become a brand ambassador for you.
So how can you build an audience based eCommerce growth strategy in 2020? You can offer a free eBook or a free guide that people can download, and in exchange for that ask people’s email addresses and then send them smart follow-up emails. You can also allow people to sing up for your blog to receive a monthly blog digest.
Finally, you can give people a discount for leaving their email information on your site. This is a really great incentive, especially if you want to transform first-time customers into loyal customers.
Email follow can be an old school method. But there are other methods that you can leverage easily. You can use Facebook page, Facebook group, Youtube channel etc…to keep your customers close to you. Try to keep your customers in the loop by using any social media platform. Facebook groups are one of the best ways to communicate with your customers.
Never leave the customer after the purchase. Make sure to serve them again and again by connecting with them again.
As an ecommerce business owner, it’s important to stay engaged with your customers personally and listen to them. Be loyal to them if you need loyal customers.
As an example look at how Sepora using Youtube channel to stay connected with its customers. They have 1.2million subscribers. They use youtube videos to educate customers about how to use the products, new product releases, beauty tips, Influencer marketing, etc…
The below video shows how Rihanna uses Sephora’s brand new lipstick.
Tactic #4 – Follow up with First-Time Buyers
Email marketing is at least 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers when compared to social channels like Facebook or Twitter.
Another excellent eCommerce growth tactic you can use is to follow up on your buyers. That little email that says: “Hey. Remember me? I’m here to help you out and do business with you. Check out my other products listed on the site.”
The truth is that following up with new buyers or people who have left their email address is a must if you want to succeed. Once again, you have to build a solid audience. The end of the funnel is as important, if not more important than the beginning of the funnel.
If you haven’t heard from an old customer in a while, you should probably check out what they are doing. Simply be proactive and remind them that you are still here and are ready to meet their needs, whatever those might be.
Companies that make a rule to follow up with first-time buyers have managed to keep their businesses growing, despite all the challenges they faced in the last few years.
Here are some Email samples that you can use for first-time buyers.
Tactic #5 – Be Smart About Search Engine Optimization
You’ve probably heard about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) before. The core concept is that people search for products they need, not for specific stores. It’s paramount for you to understand what people are searching for.
There are great tools out there like SemRush and Moz that let you discover key terms people are using to land on your site. By finding the right keywords for your needs and by grouping them together, you can get some ideas on how to modify your page descriptions, meta tags, and content on each page to start ranking better for high-value keywords.
Figure out which keywords are not doing well in your organization and which are thriving, and continue refining that. The unique thing about SEO is that it expands over a longer duration of time. You need to do it all the time and continually optimize your site.
Perform constant optimization for your on-site keywords and if they are not doing well, either change the keywords with new keywords that are trending or do some advanced SEO to get an edge over your competitors. Neil Patel can show you how it’s done.
Tactic #6 – Bring your Customers Back
Creating segmented email campaigns can drive a 760% increase in revenue to your business.
This eCommerce tip is one of the most important eCommerce growth tips you can use. Whether someone made a single purchase from you and never came back, or they have constantly made purchases and stopped at a point, you want to remind them that you are still in business and you can still provide value to them.
So how can you do that, in addition to the standard weekly or monthly emails you have in your funnel? First, you can set up a monthly blog update via RSS or right on your blog, using banners or pop-up windows. You can show your customers the new releases you have or updates to your old products.
Another option you have is to create a featured item box where you can promote one or two specific products at a discount. However, to really entice your audience to come back to your store, you could leverage the true potential of customers’ stories. Modern users love stories and are eager to discover how your products have helped their peers.
Lastly, you can offer supplementary products, or upsells. For example, if one of your customers has purchased a coffee machine, you should also offer him/her beans, temping nets, or other supplementary products. Of course, you don’t really have to sell these products in your store, but you can recommend them on partner stores.
Eg: The below screenshot belongs to one of the supplement stores in Dubai which I received after I made a purchase. They emailed me about the new products, discounts, and special offers. I usually check them to get discounted prices.
If you are running a successful email campaign, It’s a Win-Win situation for both you and your customers. Find out what your customers want to see more. Through email open rate, CTR can give you signals on what your customers like to see from your emails.
When you find what your customer really needs, you may create the email sequence .Give more of what they like.
Tactic #7 – Master Conversion Optimization
This is one of the most important subjects in all eCommerce owners’ forums online. Each and every eCommerce site owner want to skyrocket their conversions and make more money. However, it’s easier said than done. You need to have a practical approach in order to take your conversions to the next level.
What we recommend you do in terms of growth hacking techniques is to look at the best, which is Amazon. Amazon has managed to find the winning formula for taking conversions to a whole new level. What they’ve done is introduced elements of trust, scarcity, urgency, and also added a bargain in the mix.
Basically, you want to include on each product page the number of customer reviews, the overall review score, a percent off for a limited amount of time, free shipping, and the number of products left in stock.
But unfortunately, most of the newbies in the ECommerce have less idea about conversion optimization. Most of them are focusing on traffic methods. I had an opportunity to check many drop shippers stores and they are lacking in optimization. That brings their sales down and higher expenditure on ads.
If you optimize your store for sales you can double your sales with the same traffic and ad cost. It’s an important step to optimize the ecommerce stores before the ad campaigns.
Tactic #8 – Capitalize on Referrals
Another highly successful eCommerce growth hacking tactic you want to try in 2020 is to use referrals at their full potential. If you know that people are raving fans and you have a set of loyal customers, you should capitalize on them in order to share your products to the masses.
To do just that, you can use the following online business hacks:
- Create your own affiliate programs and allow other people to make money by referring their audiences to your site. This is a win-win situation, where both you and your affiliates get to keep a part of the profit.
- Enable people to share on social media a certain featured product and get a hefty discount.
- Capitalize on the influencers in your community to get people to guest blog about your products
Shareasale is a good place to start your referral marketing strategy. They are accepting many retail stores into their program.
Tactic #9 – Proper Landing Page Optimization
Using videos on landing pages can improve conversions by 86%.
When it comes to your online business growth, it becomes mandatory to focus on ensuring your landing page is fully optimized and works seamlessly for any type of device. Do not just drop people at a random page, but create smart landing pages that can drive up conversions.A/B testing of a landing page can help you to find better conversion of the landing page.
Ensure that you have one key goal that you want people to drive towards. Don’t just drop people to a random page on your site or your main page and let them take whatever action they want. Instead, align your call-to-actions with the user’s intent.
For example, if you’re doing paid ads, don’t just send people to your main page, because they’ll have to click around in order to find the product that spiked their interest in the first place. Always drop them to the specific product they’ve seen in your ads.
The whole idea is to entice them to make a quick buying decision and drop something in the cart, as opposed to having to waste time navigating your platform. Two practical things you can do is to align all the CTAs on your page and to constantly test out images and copy.
checkout Bigcommerce landing page examples to get a better idea about landing page optimization
Here are some of landing page optimization hacks :
The landing page should be aligned with the ad copy.
Do not make fake offers on ad copy that the landing page doesn’t align with. And product features should be equal on the ad copy and landing page.
Distraction-Free Landing page
visitors’ focus should be only on the offer. Do not distract the visitor by using unnecessary graphics and email popups.
CTA can be ‘Buy now” or Add to Cart” buttons. Within the landing page, the CTA button should get good attention. By using rede or Amazon orange colors CTA can get extra attention. Also, make sure to add large buttons that are easily visible.
Include a Video
Including a video can reduce the text on your landing page. Also it has the power to engage the visitor and spend more time on the landing page as well. More time on the landing page can increase the possibility of conversion.
Use below Buzzsumo data to create your video. It shows which emotions people are taking action om
Tactic #10 – Never Stop Marketing
Even if this is a no-brainer, it is by far one of the most misunderstood ecommerce growth hacking tactics. eCommerce site owners think that they only need to do marketing once in a while, either for SEO purposes, when launching a new PPC campaign, or when optimizing their landing pages. However, the truth is that marketing should become an integral part of your strategy.
Many eCommerce owners are just starting out their businesses and then expecting hundreds of orders to just come in from their winning products. These orders will never come in if you’ll not take action every single day and promote yourself.
So what can you practically do? First of all, do social media marketing, email marketing, and be creative in putting your business out there. Social media and email marketing are key here, being considered some of the top ecommerce hacks.
Collect people’s emails on your site, get their details in lead ads on Facebook, connect with them on your Facebook page and group, and also talk to potential clients on forums, blogs and on Q & A sites such as Quora.
As an example look at the Dollaeshaveclub Youtube campaign. The below video has a 26Million Views and that’s massive reach.
Tactic #11 – Build a Strong Community Around your Brand
Even if you are just at the beginning of your brand, building a strong community should be one of your main priorities. If you already have a well-established brand and you don’t have a community, building one is imperative.
As one of the most successful growth hacks for increasing sales, building a community allows you to create a group of like-minded people who work in unison to help you grow. The community can help you stay profitable for years and can dramatically grow your brand.
Becoming successful in today’s highly competitive eCommerce is not about making the most sales, but about helping the most customers. Serving your customers should be your main goal – sales will follow closely by.
Before buying from you, most of your customers will want to learn more about your brand and will want to discover what it is that actually makes you different. They want to understand your brand and gain the assurance that they can also fit into your story to make the world a better place.
In order to get their attention, gain their trust, and benefit from their dollars, you want to build a strong community in which you showcase your business, unveil why you are different, share your mission & beliefs, and educate your audience.
At the same time try to understand your audience as well. Eg: What do they like, pain points, what emotions they brought to your store, etc… Those data will help you to realize what kind of promotion you need to do for your next product launch.
Below is the color wheel and it represents the emotion classification of the colors. Use the colors carefully to build the community around your brand
Tactic #12 – Get Back to the Basics
While trying out advanced marketing tactics and leveraging the technology to gain an edge over your competitors, sometimes the best thing you can do is to get back to the basics.
The core values of retail will always remain consistent. Customer experience, customer service, employee performance, and store branding will impact your success. Of course, translating all that into a digital format, you need to focus on offering flawless customer service, ensuring that your employees are performing exceptional, and your digital brands are growing by the day.If you are a general store owner make sure do proper trending product research and ride on trends. For that, you can use tools like Pexda to save your product research time. Read my Pexda review to learn how the tool work.
No matter how much technology or data management tools, together with automation, can help you do not forget to get back to the basics. Out of all ecommerce growth tips, being focused on these important basic aspects of your eCommerce business will help you enjoy wild success in the long run.
Practically, you want to ensure that your employees offer world-class customer service, while your brand keeps meeting and exceeding all of your customers’ expectations.
Here are some of the things you can do to increase customer service quality.
- Use live chats to provide a quick response.
- Do not use Bots for everything. Human to human is a powerful way of serving your customers.
- Use personalized emails.
- Celebrate Customer’s special events and days. Example-Get your customer’s birthdays and wish them on their birthday and give them a special birthday discount.
- Keep a 24/7 customer service telephone line.
Tactic #13 – Capitalize on your Opt-Ins
One of the best sales hacks you can use to stabilize your eCommerce store and to make it grow on a constant basis is to leverage the power of email marketing. An eCommerce business built on hacks and tricks will be unstable. You need to bring more stability in your business, and the best foundation you can get is opt-ins.
You need to begin prioritizing email marketing. Start by rolling out basic newsletter campaigns and offering a whitepaper or webinar recording as a reward to people who are signing up on your email list. Next, experiment with email marketing campaigns and opt-ins, getting to use behavioral-based segmentation, personalization, analytics, and automation.
Once you focus your efforts on growing your email marketing database, you’ll notice how your email list will start to explode. People will want to leave their emails, knowing that you’ll only send them the highest quality of information possible.
In the beginning, you’ll start with a value per subscriber which is very low. However, as you get better with time, you’ll notice how this value will increase, so you’ll be able to bring many more customers out of referral marketing.
Tactic #14 – Create Promotions for Certain Segments of your Users
This is one of the most overlooked ecommerce growth hacking tactics. You won’t find it anywhere else, because it’s quite advanced and unique. However, it’s extremely effective. In today’s world of content overload, this strategy stands out, enabling you to run promotions while also getting the most bang for your bucks.
You need to be smart and not over-promote to the most profitable customers you have. Instead, keep your eyes open for those customers who have the potential to convert and ensure you’re not under-promoting to them.
Basically, what you want to do is to segment your customers based on their behavior. Find out which of your customers are frequently buying from you and put them on the “white list”. Find those who rarely bought from you and place them on the “black list”.
To gain proper information, you have to integrate your eCommerce store with good CRM and use advanced testing and analytics tools. Measure the impact of your campaigns and promotions and ensure you’re using the correct promotions for each segment of your client list.
Tactic #15 – Tell a Unique Story
When it comes to online growth hacking, you’ll never be successful without telling a story. Each and every content marketer will tell you that stories are mandatory for success. A good story can dramatically increase your chance to be remembered and will enable your audience to resonate with your values, products, and services.
Most people would hardly remember statistics, numbers, or even prices. Instead, they will remember how a certain person felt when he or she got through the experience. They’ll also remember the feeling they had when they were presented with a powerful story.
Your role is to create unique stories around your products and to “sell” these stories to your target audience. Create ads with a longer ad copy, and present a short story about one of your customers who got his problem solved after using your products. If people want to read more, send them over to your blog.
Noted, they might not convert in the first place, but you can be sure that they will think about the story and, after seeing some of your remarketing ads for a few more weeks, they might choose to buy your product and create their own unique story.
You can tell a story practically anywhere, including ads, pages, blogs, social media, or newsletters. Just be creative and try putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. Not only that, but you’re about us page is a good opportunity to tell a good story about your brand. Here is some good about us examples from the search engine journal.
Below is a screenshot from one of the unique coffee mugs and winning products. This company created a coffee mug in a different way. Its called ‘Goat Mug’. In their store, they explained their story behind the goat mug and how they started in 2014 as a Kickstarter project.
Tactic #16 – Reviews are your Best Friend
When it comes to ecommerce growth hacking, you need to be well aware that reviews can make or break your business. According to Spiegel Research Center, over 95% of shoppers read at least a couple of reviews before making a purchase. Displaying product reviews can boost conversion rates by over 270%. Here is the PDF file related to the research.
Yes, you read that right. By simply integrating reviews onto the page, right under the product description, you can boost your sales by 2.7X. That’s just insane. What’s even better is that you don’t need only 5-star reviews. A product with a rating of just 4 stars can sell just as good as a 5-star product.
The minimum number of reviews you need is 5. With just 5 reviews and an average rating of between 4 and 4.5, you can double your ROI just like that. Of course, you need to know how to get reviews. Here are Optinmoster talks about 8 ways to get product reviews.
First of all, ensure that you have the permission of the manufacturer to post the reviews on your site. Second, ask your customers via email how was their buying experience and kindly ask them to leave you a review.
Of course, you can also pull some reviews right from the manufacturer’s site.
Tactic #17 – Use Live Chat & Chat Bots
Now, this is something you really want to try. Offering top-notch customer support services is paramount if you really want to win in this eCommerce game. However, the benefits of live chat move beyond the ordinary. It’s one of trending eCommerce growth tips in the world.
With live chat, you won’t only be able to offer exceptional customer support services, but you’ll also be able to reply faster, save customers’ time, and improve their satisfaction. To top it all, you’ll be able to capture their email address and, together with their agreement, you’ll be able to send them emails.
So how can you make the most out of live chat & chatbots? First of all, live chat allows a representative to talk to your customers in real-time. In case they contact you when your sales reps are busy or offline, you can leave a message similar to “We are sorry, but all our service reps are offline or away. Could you leave us your email address so we can notify you when they are back?”. You can then notify them via email when your sales rep can talk to them, and then request them access to send them promotional materials.
With chatbots, you can completely automate your on-site customer service and can create specific iterations to enable your customers to order faster. You can discover more about chatbots and eCommerce here .
Tactic #18 – Capitalize on Product Scarcity
You’ve probably head of other eCommerce shop owners how they have managed to double, even triple their sales, by simply using a powerful hacking technique. Known as product scarcity, this technique enables you to create a need in the buyers’ mind, a need to buy this product until someone else purchases it.
“Only 5 products left in stock. Order now!” Any customer reading this will say to themselves: “What if this product runs out? I need to get it now until someone else gets it in my place.” According to stats released by Sumo . Product scarcity has enabled some companies to boost their sales by as much as 226%.
There are several types of product scarcity techniques you can use to get an edge over your competitors and get those sales rolling in. You can choose from quantity, time, excess demand, and exclusivity.
If you are looking for hacking in e-commerce this tip will earn you a good profit.
Here is how booking.com uses scarcity on their hotel bookings. Their app shows how many rooms are available in the hotel that visitors looking in to.No one wants to lose their favorite hotel room.
Tactic #19 – Offer Unique Discounts During the Checkout Process
Checkout Optimization Can Increase Conversions by 35.62 Percent
Stats don’t lie. Over 80% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart and never finalize the purchase. This is a big problem that needs to be tackled. How? By simply understanding the customer’s psychology.
For them, free shipping has become so common that it’s meaningless. Almost everybody offers free shipping. However, by displaying on the screen an extra 5% off if they finalize the purchase within the next half an hour, you can bet that your prospects will be wildly attracted to make the purchase. That’s just the extra incentive they needed.
In addition to the discounts, you should offer only to shoppers who add something to the cart and move over to checkout, consider adding extra coupons. For example, you can explicitly tell them that, if they order today, they’ll receive a coupon with 20% off for their next purchase. They’ll receive the coupon on mail, and may choose to give it to a friend.
Perform some split tests with discounts and coupons at checkout and discover the winning formula in your case.
Tactic #20 – Sell on Multiple eCommerce Platforms
The last ecommerce growth hacking tactic we want to reveal to you is a very important one, that most people are not aware of. Most eCommerce shop owners will start on one platform and stick to it for years, without realizing that things are moving fast and other platforms may have better features.
Instead of relocating your store to an entirely new platform, why not create another store on a new eCommerce platform. If you’re already using Shopify, why not get your own store on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy? A growing number of people are now starting their search directly on marketplaces instead of search engines, so if you’re not present on that marketplace, they’ll never find your store.
Of course, the challenge to manage inventory is huge. You might need to hire another person to help you keep all your sites updated and running well. The great news is that there are plenty of automation tools that can ease your job by putting all your stores in one place. You should also use a SaaS provider that offers API integration with multiple platforms so you can automate daily tasks and save a whole lot of time when optimizing your store.
Sellbright shows other high traffic platforms that you can sell your products.
You’ve just explored the top 20 ecommerce growth hacking tactics available in 2020. While we recommend you to try them all, you could always start with just one or two and do some split testing to see how your sales increase.
Do not hesitate to stay up to date with all the ecommerce growth tips that are being used by experts and you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve and outsell your competitors.
Indika is the founder of ecom hustler.com.And director of Bluechip mind. He runs his own digital marketing agency.
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