October 6, 2016
It’s a noisy place out there – almost like the freeways in Los Angeles. 24 hours a day, billions of surfers look for products, services and bargains. And millions of ecommerce sites are vying for those consumers’ dollars.
And, according to the National Venture Capitalists Association, for every 10 ecommerce startups, three fail, three do worse than average, three are a moderate success just by breaking even, and one will be highly successful. There are multiple reasons for these results, but there are also specific tactics that an ecommerce entrepreneur can use to have a better chance for success. Here are seven of them.
Use More User-Generated and User-Focused Content
Getting feedback and comments from customers can be made easier, if you have a system in place for them to quickly post their reviews and testimonials. Adding a perk, such as a chunky discount, for that review or for sharing their pleasure on social media turns customers into brand ambassadors.
A second and perhaps more powerful message can be obtained by asking customers to submit photos and videos using your product, which can then be posted on your blog and all social media accounts. ModCloth does a great job of this. WD-40 continually updates its list of unique uses for its product – uses that are submitted by customers.
Using a software tool to automate and simplify the feedback process is a good place to start.
Personalize Landing Pages
The concept is simple. A consumer has visited your site, has spent some time looking around, and has honed in on a product or service. The next time that consumer visits, a personalized landing page reminds him of what he looked at the last time he visited.
Show Social Responsibility
Millennials especially want to do business with companies that share their concerns for the environment and for the improvement of society in general. Ecommerce companies such as Toms shoes and Headbands of Hope, have social missions. If you can establish yourself as a company that has a cause as a part of its brand, you will attract a larger audience and more sharing.
Put a Share Request on Order Confirmation Page
Every time a purchase is made, you have an opportunity to gain another brand ambassador. Include a request on the order confirmation page that they share their purchase on Twitter or Facebook. And, of course, offer an incentive for them to do this. How about free shipping if they share? You can make it even easier by creating a pre-written message which includes a link to your site. All they do is click to Tweet or share.
This is just another form of personalization but can be pretty powerful. Using tools such as Adroll or Criteo, you can follow your visitors and continue to promote your products or services. If your budget is a bit tight, begin with Facebook.
Use Urgency Statements
This, of course, is an old tactic, but it does still work. If you can promote “limited supplies,” “free shipping for the next 24 hours,” or “sale price ends tomorrow,” you can create a sense of urgency or exclusivity that appeals to consumers. If they think they are getting a great deal or that they will become a “member” of an exclusive club, they are more likely to convert. Use a tool like Optimizely to rotate and change your urgency statements dependent upon what you want to offer.
Analyze Your Bounce Patterns
Use heat mapping tools to learn where bounces are occurring on your site. When you get your reports, hone in on where the bounces are most frequent. What can you do to improve those places? You can then use A/B testing to evaluate changes that you make. This is a longer-term process but is ultimately worthwhile.
This is just a small sampling of growth hacks, but each of them can be implemented immediately, easily, and at a reasonable cost.
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