With low barriers to entry, easy to use platforms, and a booming online economy, there are huge opportunities to start and grow an e-commerce business.
Sure, you need a good product to drive sales. But having good products isn’t enough on its own to scale your business. You need to be smart with your marketing tactics, and this is where most e-commerce businesses fall short.
Are you in the growth phase of your business, or have your sales hit a plateau? Regardless, if you have products that meet a market demand, all you are the right marketing channels.
If you’re looking for ways to grow your business, below are 15 growth hacking e-commerce marketing tactics to try.
15 Ecommerce Marketing Tactics To Grow Your Business
1. Highlight Social Proof
Social proof is a powerful marketing tactic that businesses of all sizes use to grow their brand. It can increase conversions and sales and essentially influence people to copy the actions of your clients.
You can demonstrate social proof by showing positive customer feedback, creating case studies, and using sound bites or testimonials from influencers in your niche.
2. Start a Referral Program
Customer referral programs are one of the oldest - and still most effective - ways of growing e-commerce businesses.
The principle is simple; offer some kind of incentive or reward to customers so they spread the word about your business. Make the process even easier with referral program software that can get you up and running quickly.
Word of mouth and referral business is incredibly valuable to businesses. It’s a great way to grow your e-commerce business with minimal marketing and effort on your part.
3. Use Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing is the process of using messaging apps to make communicating with your customers easier and in real-time.
This may be through third-party tools that integrate a suite of apps with your site. Or, you can use a chatbot, Facebook messenger, KIK, and any other app that allows you to talk directly with your customers.
Conversational marketing is known to increase conversions and sales as it improves user engagement. You can answer questions and help customers going through your sales funnel in real-time, instead of them dropping out of your funnel.
4. Start an Affiliate Program
An affiliate program is similar to a referral program. The main difference is you offer a commission to individuals or businesses that sell your products through their sites.
Affiliate programs are one of the fastest ways to reach a wide audience without doing outreach and marketing yourself. You get to retain control over who you work with, the commissions you pay out, and it also benefits your SEO, brand awareness, and trust.
5. Use Social Media
There are numerous social media channels that are free and easy to use to reach a wider audience. In fact, 37% of consumers find purchase inspiration through social media. Not every channels is suitable for all businesses, but finding some that work for you can help you grow your business and brand.
For example; Instagram and Pinterest are perfect for visual businesses. Meanwhile, Facebook works well for local or community-based organizations, and LinkedIn is great for B2B. See which platform suits your business model and start building a presence there.
6. Split Test Your Most Popular Sales Pages
Split testing and maximizing conversions come down to a fine art for e-commerce businesses. Something as simple as the size of a call to action button, the color of the checkout box, or where you’re listing your prices can make a huge difference.
Experiment with small changes to the layout of your sales pages to see what makes a difference. Base every decision on the data.
7. Retarget Customers with Follow-Up Emails
Finding new customers is great, but returning customers are even more valuable. After a customer makes a purchase from you, follow up with a “Thank you” email that starts your drip campaign.
8. Think About Upselling and Related Items
There are huge opportunities in upselling. You only have to look at Amazon's checkout process to see how many related items they recommend during a customer’s purchase cycle.
Depending on the e-commerce platform you’re using, there should be an option to populate related items when a customer has selected items in your store.
Wordpress and other common CMS platforms have plugins that can do this for you, too.
9. Use Scarcity and FOMO
One of the oldest sales psychological tactics in the book is using scarcity to encourage someone to make a purchase now rather than later.
Use countdown timers to show when your sale items and limited-time offers end. Highlight how many products you have remaining in stock, and use pop-ups to show when item counts decrease.
Anything that can give a customer the sense or feeling that he or she might miss out can push them that much closer to making a purchase.
10. Share Your Story and Be Personable
Sharing the story behind you and your business will help you connect with people on a more emotional level. This builds brand loyalty, gets people talking about you, and helps people feel more comfortable buying from you.
Some ways to do this includes featuring some behind-the-scenes pictures on social media, writing a detailed “About Us” page, or doing interviews through media channels. As long as you’re honest and transparent about your business, people will relate to you.
Sometimes, even case-studies or videos highlighting employees can leave a big impression on site visitors.
11. Simplify Your Checkout Process
Cart abandonment is a real problem e-commerce companies face. It’s estimated that the typical cart abandonment rate for online businesses is between 60%-80%. That’s a huge number of abandons before the final sale.
How many steps does your checkout process currently take? Optimize the final steps by making the experience convenient to the user.
One way to reduce your cart abandonment rate is to make the check out process as simple, quick, and smooth as possible. Make each step clear to the user, autofill any boxes where possible, and leverage visual completion bars at the top of the page.
12. Build Your Domain Authority with Outreach
Domain authority relates to the strength of your website. It’s kind of like an online brand authority metric that you can’t see, and it has a huge impact on your SEO.
There are a number of ways to increase your site’s authority. One of the best ways is through outreach. You increase your domain authority by guest posting on other sites or garnering mentions and links to you content.
One way to enhance your outreach is by building your network. Attend trade shows and networking events that get in you in front of other people in your space.
13. Always Consider SEO when Writing Copy
Search Engine Optimization should be the long-term goal of any online business. It’s one of the slower growth channels, but it’s also one of the most consistent and profitable.
By utilizing strong on-page and off-page SEO techniques when building your site, you can expect to see an increase in organic traffic over time. This means more sales, better brand visibility online, and ultimately, a healthier bottom line.
14. Listen to Your Customers
There is an old sales adage that the customer is always right. While they might not always be correct, there is certainly a lot to learn from listening to the people who help keep the lights on.
There are two ways you can approach this:
- You can survey your audience to find out what they want.
- You can encourage them to contact you via a feedback form on your site.
Either way, garnering feedback from your audience will help you better tailor your products and services to meet the demands of your niche. This can help to increase your conversions and grow your business quicker.
15. Capitalize on Seasonal Trends
Web traffic, online spending, and consumer interests all peak at different times during the year. For example, Christmas and Black Friday are two of the busiest times for e-commerce businesses. You can check a topic’s seasonality using Google Trends.
Plan well ahead of time for these spending holidays by promoting an upcoming sale on these dates. Utilize as many forms of marketing as you deem relevant, such as paid ads, social media, press releases and so on.
It’s worth researching if there are any other trends that affect your industry too. You might see an uptick in sales for different seasons, during or after national events, or just simply whenever you run a promotion.
The general theme with most of these marketing tactics include increasing customer engagement and tailoring your products to better serve your customers.
There’s no set blueprint that works for every business. Otherwise, it would be too easy. A challenge pushes us to do better. Start with some of the marketing tactics highlighted herein, and visit our blog for more tips on better marketing.