One big goal for anyone with an eCommerce store or online startup is to increase online sales in a significant way. But, you have to remember, there is no magic switch that you can flip to suddenly generate massive sales online.
However, there are several ways to ‘hack’ your growth to start making as many sales as you want. This guide is all about tactics and growth hacks that can help you boost your online sales.
But before that, let’s pick it up from the basis of what we are saying here, shall we?
What Is Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking – a term coined in 2010 – is a business-building strategy that rapidly undertakes several marketing tests to swiftly generate crucial data needed to make highly informed decisions.
It is essentially an iterative approach – that anyone with an eCommerce store can adapt – to online marketing along with driving conversions. It involves trying some eCommerce tactics, channels, copies, or creatives, and seeing how it goes.
If you are not getting satisfactory results, you change it a bit and then try again, working super-fast to quickly optimize your marketing on the go.
Growth hacking comes with lots of benefits. But its primary goal is this: growth hacking enables you to achieve much more marketing success for less money within a shorter time than conventional digital marketing.
Growth hacking focuses on boosting what you have, instead of increasing investment in what you do not. And that is why it appeals to startups, new online store owners, or businesses. (A minuscule budget is okay when using growth hacking). Businesses at this level love and prefer low cost per acquisition over traditional upscaling of marketing.
If you haven't taken a recent look at the numbers in the eCommerce industry lately, it may surprise you to discover that there are more than 12-14 million eCommerce stores in existence. But then, only about 650,000 of them enjoy a revenue higher than $100,000 per annum.
What do these eCommerce sites do that sets them apart from others? You guessed it: they use growth hacking methods to skyrocket their sales, leaving their competitors biting the dust.
Researchers say that by the end of this year, retail eCommerce sales will reach up to $4.9 trillion. If you want to take a nice slice out of that money pie, you need to employ some eCommerce tactics as soon as you can.
If you are ready to take your online store to the next level with regards to sales, check out the following eCommerce growth hacks and start trying them today!
Top 13 eCommerce Growth Hacks You Should Try Today
Bear in mind that the following eCommerce growth hacks or eCommerce tactics will involve a little time. But you will end up paying far less to acquire new and serious customers. And you will also see a significant increase in your customer retention rate.
1. Zero Mandatory Registration
More users and online buyers do not like filling out lengthy forms in advance to make a purchase, find out precisely how much shipping fees will be, etc.
According to User Interface Engineering, offering optional registration can significantly boost sales by 45 percent or more.
2. Always Follow Up With First-Time Buyers
One of the excellent eCommerce tactics you should adopt is to always follow up on your first-time buyers. Have you ever received that email with a few lines that say: "Hey, Amigo. Remember me? I’m here to help you and to answer any questions you might have. Check some of my other products listed on the store!”
If you want to succeed in the online space, following up with first-time customers is a MUST. Of course, they have to willingly leave their valid emails first. And for this to take place, you need to start building a super-solid audience.
Every aspect of the sales funnel is vital, so do not joke with any aspect in any way.
If you have not heard from an old customer for a while, consider checking them out via email. Be proactive: let them know you’re just an email away and always ready to meet their needs.
Organizations that make it an undiluted rule to always follow-up with first-time buyers enjoy massive business growth.
3. Get The Email
Remember we briefly mentioned ‘emails’ earlier in this guide? The truth is having lots of vital information about your customers is great. What is not-so-great is having to ask for thousands of pieces of information upfront. It is a proven, supersonic method of losing a potential lead.
Instead, focus on only one thing: getting their emails. Every other thing can follow even as prospective customers move step-by-step through your sales funnel.
You can streamline your eCommerce store online form to require nothing more than an email address.
Never ask for much upfront. Getting only the email gets your foot in your prospective customer’s door. You can request more information later on via a survey or need-to-know email.
4. Adopt Search Engine Optimization Smartly
If you've been around long enough, you may have heard of SEO (search engine optimization), and the magic search engines use it for.
The core concept behind SEO is that most people or search engine users usually search for products they want and not for specific eCommerce stores. To understand precisely what people are searching for online, you need to have an excellent understanding of SEO.
When people search for products they need online, they enter specific terms into search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Duck Duck Go, etc.
As an online store owner, use special tools like Moz and SemRush to discover those key terms most people use when searching for products online.
When you find the right keywords that may land people on your eCommerce store, group them. Then, brainstorm ideas on modifying your meta tags, product descriptions, and content on every page of your eCommerce store.
This will help you confirm the precise keywords that are doing incredibly well and those that are not doing so well for your eCommerce store.
Continue to refine your content and product descriptions by removing non-performing keywords and substituting them with the top-performing ones.
What makes SEO truly unique is that it considerably expands over an extended period. It is something that needs to be done all the time – or most of the time – so that your site continually gets optimized.
5. Always Write In Helpful Tones
It takes 2 ways to market something:
- Push marketing that is convincing and sounds salesy.
- Pull marketing that is incredibly kind and helpful such that customers are literally hypnotized and naturally pulled in.
As you can see, 'pull marketing' marketing has the desired effect, i.e. it naturally pulls in customers. Therefore, change the tone of your sales letters or copy from push marketing to pull marketing.
Research that involved an A/B test that compared the tone of 2 marketing emails for a particular eCommerce store, led to a 349 percent increase in inquiries. The more effective tone was the pull marketing one.
Be as helpful as you can to your customers. People always respond positively to helpfulness.
6. Exclusivity/Product Scarcity
Another great eCommerce hack you should consider is limiting subscriptions to get your product. Limiting the possibility of accessing your services makes customers much more curious, thereby fueling a greater sense of exclusivity.
You can also use it this way: for anyone to buy your products, it becomes highly essential for that individual to receive an invitation from another confirmed customer.
Dropbox uses this exclusivity to the ‘T’ by offering its numerous customers more space to keep their documents in the cloud in exchange for recommending this tool to their contacts.
7. Make Smart Use Of Referrals
Referrals can be your best friend, especially when used smartly. Make it incentivized and its effectiveness skyrockets.
Word-of-mouth advertising remains a potent weapon in the hands of any eCommerce store owner or digital marketer. You will most likely listen to a friend who recommends a particular company rather than an organization you have never heard about.
Dropbox’s campaign remains a perfect example of an organization that used referrals to grow its customer base and business online. It is one of the most successful campaigns ever, and that was because it worked like a charm.
During the early days of Dropbox, the business was a bit slow, and signups or subscriptions were incredibly low. Dropbox became desperate and launched the referral program. Anyone who signed up to the cloud platform, and recruited another user successfully, received an additional 500MB of free storage space.
That campaign caught like wildfire in the online space. This simple incentivized referral program significantly increased signups by up to 60 percent!
Most people will listen to their friends before they even listen to you, an eCommerce store. This is not a barrier: use it as a vital opportunity to grow your eCommerce business.
8. Create Enriching Content
A blog post is an example of enriched content. Use it to offer highly enriched or loaded content with even greater value in exchange for an email address, etc.
You can drive email signups and the wow factor by offering readers the opportunity to download free guides. And of course, the only way they will get it is by giving their email address to you.
Just make sure the add-on content remains highly relevant to the original content. And the content value should be piled on as much as possible.
Any customer interested enough to read your first blog post may want to learn more by clicking through to the add-on content. And they will willingly give you their email addresses in exchange for access to the more value-laden content.
9. Live Chat
Do you know that up to 53 percent of online adults in the United States will not complete a purchase on-site if they do not find quick answers straight away? If you don’t have ‘Live Chat’ on your eCommerce store, it could be the reason your overall conversion rate still hovers at less than 1 percent.
Therefore, add Live chat to your eCommerce store. This allows you to start conversations with shoppers. But for it to work, make sure you personalize. Always add a hint of your personality to all the messages you send. This makes the shopper feel you are personally helping them out.
And this can result in an appreciable increase in sales!
You can read our guide on "18 Great Live Chat Apps For Your Ecommerce Business" to find the best live chat application for your ecommerce business.
10. Adopt The Free Shipping Magic
People, even the rich dudes, love free shipping. What is even more interesting is that many people are willing to pay more for a product if they get free shipping.
Use this free shipping magic to your advantage by telling your customers about it. This is one of the easiest eCommerce growth hacks to adopt as an eCommerce store owner. By increasing the prominence of all your free shipping labels, sales will skyrocket almost beyond measure.
Make sure you do the following:
- Add Free Shipping to Your Product Pages
- Add them to your Home page as well as any landing page you send high-quality paid traffic to.
- Add free shipping to your cart. Whenever a user checks what you’ve got, they will eyeball the words ‘Free Shipping’ right there.
Free shipping can also help you capitalize on opt-ins if used smartly.
11. Web Push Notifications
Some shoppers don't like the idea of leaving their email addresses with your brand, even on the first visit. They still want to stay in touch with your eCommerce store. But they do not wish to make any other smaller commitment. This is the category of customers that need web push notifications.
Web push notifications allow shoppers to subscribe easily and quickly to updates from your eCommerce store without sharing their email addresses or other contact details. This makes such customers more than willing to engage actively with your eCommerce store.
Via web push notifications, you can quickly establish a communication channel that keeps the shoppers in the loop all the time. As you already know, engaged shoppers are those who convert.
12. Use Images To Drive Your eCommerce Store
As an eCommerce store owner, you should already know that images are essential to your business. Let's see a typical example.
Are you familiar with Airbnb, the online business that caters to people who rent short-term lodgings? The founders of this business suddenly discovered that only the apartments with HD-quality images got more reservations.
A light bulb moment occurred, and the founders of Airbnb flew immediately to New York. As soon as they got there, they hired professional photographers and started going from door to door, taking professional, High Definition photos of hosts’ apartments.
And by the following year, that investment paid off big time: AirBnB had grown by up to 800 percent!
The same thing applies to your online store. In eCommerce, product photos have the same desired impact. Make sure you get some excellent quality pictures of the products you sell on your eCommerce store. Place these images on your Home page.
Ensure the images adapt perfectly to any screen, irrespective of the size. They must be highly intuitive to navigate, complete, and up to date. Show all the angles of the products in explicit detail. This is one of the eCommerce growth hacks that Amazon, the #1 eCommerce platform, uses to boost sales.
13. Messenger Chat
One platform that your target market likely uses actively is Facebook Messenger. Messenger has grown significantly over the years and is now home to millions of active users worldwide. You can use this channel to smartly nudge an interaction with a prospect or shopper before they even leave your eCommerce store.
Since they are probably logged into their accounts, it becomes far easier for shoppers to readily subscribe to eCommerce store updates via Messenger. This makes it an excellent channel for increasing your subscription rate within minutes.
You can also drive shoppers back to your eCommerce store via Messenger, thereby getting you even more sales without a lot of effort.
Let’s Wind Things Up
Investing in eCommerce growth hacks calls for more creativity and ingenuity than traditional digital marketing or resources. This is why it is considered safe to try out these eCommerce tactics.
The principles of growth hacking – which involves testing, iteration, never-ending optimization via automation, and data-driven decision-making – can be applied to almost any business model.
The top 13 highly effective eCommerce growth hacks highlighted in this guide, if adopted, should help you see significant changes in your eCommerce sales. It is highly recommended that you give each one a try.
Start with one or two and carry out a few split tests and their effect on your eCommerce store. Do not forget to stay up to date with the latest developments in the eCommerce industry.
And keep an eye on the eCommerce growth hacks that top marketers are adopting so you can do the same to outsell your competitors.