Even the most compelling products don't sell themselves. To thrive in the world of online retail, you need to invest in smart eCommerce strategies.
So, what's the secret to becoming an eCommerce star? From your digital campaigns to the tech powering your storefront, here are our top five tips for building aneffective eCommerce growth strategy.
1. Use your data
Data is the backbone of any smart eCommerce growth strategy. Not only does it help you understand your customers better, but it also helps you refine and optimize your marketing, product, site experience, and more.
Luckily, your site likely already has the tools, plugins, or analytics to track key data points like:
Conversion rates for different campaigns or channels
Bounce rates and page views for key pages
Most popular products, categories, or content
Abandoned carts and reasons for abandonment
When it comes to data collection, we always recommend working smarter, not harder. While granular data has its place, focus on the metrics that will have the biggest impact on your business.
As well, if you're spending more time organizing your data than putting insights into practice, it's time to reevaluate your approach.
Avoid succumbing to data analysis paralysis by choosing a few key metrics to track each month or quarter, rather than trying to measure everything at once. Once you've identified trends or opportunities, you can then dig into more specific data points as needed.
2. (Re)Establish key priorities
When building any eCommerce marketing strategy, it's critical to establish key priorities upfront. What goals do you want to achieve? Who is your target audience? How will you measure success?
If you don't have clear priorities to guide your plans, you may end up being reactive or losing focus. For example, you might impulsively start a social media campaign or introduce new products without evaluating how they align with your brand positioning. Although experimentation is crucial, having a strong base to work from is necessary.
So, before you dive in, take a step back to define your overarching eCommerce goals. Outline the key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to impact. Then, develop focused plans to achieve those goals and regularly evaluate how you're progressing. Adjust as needed, but keep your key priorities front and center.
It's always harder to pivot midway through a project or campaign, so do your planning upfront when possible. As well, be sure to get your whole team on the same page about priorities to avoid derailing your strategy.
3. Be an eCommerce technology geek
High school football teams step aside; technology is where the cool kids are at these days. That's right, eCommerce tech is both powerful and exciting. From AI and machine learning to augmented reality, new innovations can help boost your customer experience and business results.
Every eCommerce platform out there, whether that be Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and so on, offers a variety of applications and plugins available to integrate with your storefront. When picking tech solutions, always prioritize the ones that give you the most bang for your buck.
To stay ahead of the competition, keep tabs on emerging eCommerce technologies and find ways to implement them into your strategy. Maybe it's using chatbots to provide 24/7 support or leveraging recommendation engines to suggest products to customers. Even small changes, like adding an exit-intent popup, can drive big wins.
What's more, make sure the applications integrate seamlessly with your entire tech stack. The easier it is to pass data back and forth between your tools, including email marketing, CRM, ad platforms, and more, the more successful you’ll be in the long run.
Don't forget about your store's built-in tech. If it's been doing the job, you might not need to change a thing. But if you do decide to upgrade, take the time to research and consider all of your options. Weigh your available tech budget against the potential returns.
While it's important to keep up with trends, don't implement new tech just for the sake of it. Only adopt innovations that align with your goals and customer needs. If you do add new tools, be sure to measure the impact so you can determine what's working and what isn't. Over time, a mix of tried-and-true and cutting-edge tech is often the winning combination.
4. Tap into your buyer journeys
Understanding the steps your customers take when using your eCommerce store is essential for success. Think about each of the touch points a customer goes through from first encountering your brand to purchasing and beyond. This includes exploring a product, adding it to the cart, and completing the checkout process — all the way through post-purchase follow-up and loyalty programs.
Do most customers first encounter your brand on social media? Do first-time buyers take the plunge during a sale, or after they've read product reviews? What type of content resonates with your customers? Start asking questions, and use the answers to inform your strategy.
Pro tip: Most businesses are really good at addressing the customer journey to purchase. But it’s just as important to understand how customers interact with your business after a purchase, and what will bring them back for another.
5. Never stop remarketing
Even the most loyal customers need a reminder from time to time, and the best eCommerce businesses don't leave this up to chance.
Remarketing campaigns— especially email remarketing — are a great way to bring customers back for second, third, and lifelong purchases.
Consider how you can use email remarketing to stay top-of-mind and give customers reasons to come back. For example, segment your existing customers into different groups and send them tailored emails.
Maybe you could offer a special discount or free shipping for repeat buyers. Or, share content that’s relevant to their interests, like products that are related to items they've purchased in the past.
Remarketing should never be synonymous with junk mail. Make sure you’re only sending content that's valuable to your customers and truly worth their time. Your goal should always be to nurture relationships and increase customer loyalty.
Nothing great ever happens overnight. Growing a successful eCommerce business takes time and effort, but making the right investments upfront can pay off in the long run.
While it doesn't hurt to hope for a quick win, remember that your success will be built over time. With the right strategy, team, and tech, you’ll be able to growa store that stands the test of time. After all, eCommerce success isn't built in a day — but with patience, it can be built to last.