How to restart eCommerce growth and get the most from your customers
Your store is up and running. Sales are steady. Most importantly, you have quality products that you know your customers - and your prospective customers - will love.
But there’s a problem. After your initial growth, your stream of new revenue has slowed to a trickle, and it feels like your eCommerce sales have plateaued. Maybe you’re still running marketing campaigns for your store, but the ROI isn’t what it used to be. You’re getting new site visits but no sales. Or one-off purchases but no repeat customers.
Here’s the good news: you’re not alone.
Many established eCommerce businesses start strong but struggle to consistently bring in the new sales that they need to grow.
If that sounds like you, check out these tips to push past the plateau and achieve sustained growth with savvy eCommerce advertising.
Start by asking more questions about your audience
Intrusive, scattershot attempts at lead generation may put plenty of eyes on your business — but aren’t likely to drive sales or conversions. To find the right audiences that will convert and make a purchase, you need to fuel your marketing with strategic, data-driven targeting.
You probably already have more information about them than you realize. But that means thinking about all of the tools available through your store itself. That can mean cookies that help you dig a little deeper into the habits of your existing customers — but as we rocket towards a cookieless future, there are other ways to stay connected with them.
Try incentivizing form and email submission so that you have more data to work with. That might mean providing a free download or coupon code to entice them onto your mailing list, or incentivizing a post-purchase survey to better understand what purchasers want from your business after you’ve completed a sale.
Understand audience behaviour on and off your site
With the right analytics setup, you should also be able to identify what’s worked particularly well in previous eCommerce advertising campaigns and adjust your approach accordingly (more on that shortly). You can conduct industry research to understand what sets you apart from your competitors and lean into those strengths — or even invest in a brand uplift survey to get insights directly from your audience.
Better yet, take the same approach on your site itself to understand where visitors who don’t make a purchase are stumbling on their way to a sale. From there, you can work to remove points of friction and more consistently turn visitors into buyers.
That information will help you personalize both your prospecting and remarketing efforts. Your eCommerce advertising — and your customer journeys — will be more effective as a result.
Experiment with new marketing channels
When it comes to your advertising, a simple shift in perspective can unlock new opportunities for growth. If you find yourself stuck in a rut, consider diversifying your marketing channels and exploring new avenues for generating leads.
This could mean setting up partnerships with influencers, expanding into emerging channels like Walmart or Uber ads, or taking advantage of the latest trends in digital advertising — like audio ads (think Spotify) or social channels like Reddit & TikTok. If your customer research reveals that you have a prospective audience somewhere you don’t have ads, it’s probably worth dedicating some of your budget to those channels.
The right eCommerce advertising agency can help you perform an audit of your current marketing channels to assess the options available to you. From there, you can decide which ones align best with your goals and budget.
And whichever channels your campaigns are running on, remember that proper SEO for your site is table stakes for eCommerce marketing success. Organic search consistently delivers the highest ROI for eCommerce websites, but the ever-changing algorithm behind your SERP means that your site’s SEO will need periodic updates. If your sales are slowing, this is another place to look for a refresh.
Of course, not all big wins will happen right away.
Test different strategies
Building winning eCommerce advertising won’t always be immediate — but struggles with new campaigns are an opportunity to learn and optimize your approach. We can’t stress this enough: don’t be afraid to experiment with your eCommerce ads!
While gathering data about customer behavior is essential for making informed decisions about how best to drive growth in your business, sometimes the only way to get results is by testing out different strategies until you find one that works. Consider running experiments around pricing models, content formats, product offerings, etc., and see what resonates most with your target audience.
Most paid search platforms will incorporate some form of built-in optimization, but they can only work with the copy, creative, and information you provide. That means that A/B testing different creative options — or regularly refreshing campaigns and creative — can help keep audiences engaged and paint a clearer picture of what is working or not for your campaigns.
This kind of experimentation can open up new possibilities for driving more sales in unexpected ways!
Nurture existing customers to keep them coming back
Of course, once you’ve won that first purchase, don’t let up. It’s one thing to bring new customers into your business; it’s another thing entirely to keep them coming back.
That’s why it’s important to build retention strategies and nurture campaigns to keep your existing customers loyal and engaged. Not only does this provide the opportunity to upsell with added value, but it encourages those customers to build a relationship with your brand — which can lead to customer advocacy and positive word of mouth down the road. Both can be a big leg up when it comes to winning over new audiences.
How do you win them over?
Work to keep customers engaged across all channels
Consider offering loyalty programs or discounts for repeat purchases. Or, explore ways to create ongoing value for customers throughout their lifecycle with your brand. Maybe they get early access to new sales, or you reward them for leaving reviews of your products and services. Perhaps you build out a content strategy that delivers new and relevant blogs or videos to loyal customers on a regular basis.
You don’t have to add all of these tactics at once, but the right touchpoints and nurture journeys can help turn those first-time buyers into loyal customers — and eventually, even brand advocates that drive more growth for your business.
Not sure where to start?
Of course, there may not be a single silver bullet to restart your growth. A combination of these strategies might be what it takes to get your eCommerce business back on track — but the solution will be different for every store.
If you’re looking for an eCommerce agency that can help you find the source of your slowed sales, let’s work to relaunch your growth today.
Sean Robinson, Copywriter
The comfort zone is the most dangerous place to be in.