21 min read
09 Apr 2022

The Ultimate Guide To Customer Acquisition In eCommerce

The Ultimate Guide To Customer Acquisition In eCommerce

Your goal as an eCommerce business owner is to bring in more customers as much as you can.

But what if you're having a hard time acquiring more customers?

What if there are only a few people who are willing to try your products for the first time?

That seems to be a problem...

Because to scale your business, you need more customers.

But this guide will help you learn how to expand your customer base!

You see, it's not easy to constantly have new customers everyday.

You need to have a streamlined strategy to acquire as many customers as you can.

And you're in luck...

This guide will help you from prepping your eCommerce store to analyzing the results!

Not only that...

Because there's also a bonus tip waiting for you!

So, you need to keep on reading if you want to have a powerful customer acquisition strategy in place!

But first...


What Is Customer Acquisition?

Customer Acquisition is the process of bringing in new customers to your business.

It's also the process of persuading more people to try your products for the first time.

So, from the awareness stage, you have to help your prospective customers glide down your sales funnel.

And the cost of acquiring a customer is called "Customer Acquisition Cost," which we will talk about later.

In the meantime, let's discuss...


The Importance Of Having A Customer Acquisition Strategy In Your eCommerce Business


1. Increase Brand Awareness

Before you convert your prospective customers into paying customers, they have to be aware of your brand first.

So, if you're bringing in new customers, it means more people are discovering your eCommerce business.

And that's a good thing!

Because if more people are aware of your brand, you can...


2. Expand Your Customer Base

Expanding your customer base is another way to grow your business.

Why? Because the more new customers you can add to your existing customer base, the more people can foster loyalty to your brand.

You can offer them deals, new products, or rewards for customer loyalty.

This will also help you increase their customer lifetime value if you're able to keep them.

That's not all!

If you expand your customer base, it also means you will...


3. Increase Your Sales

Of course, this is one of your goals.


You need to earn more, so you can have the resources to grow your business even more.

And by acquiring more customers, it means you're also increasing your sales.

So, this is one of the benefits of having a customer acquisition strategy in place.

I know you really want to know how, so let's get to the first step.

Prep Your eCommerce Store

guide step

Identify Your Customer Persona

If you want to create an effective customer acquisition strategy, then you need to study your customers.

This includes knowing their pain points, demographics, lifestyle, and any information that will help you find out how you can make them your actual customers.

Here's what a usual customer persona looks like:

Buyer Persona

As you can see, there's a name, age, gender, profession, personality, interests, challenges, and problems.

These are important to help you determine where should you focus on your strategy.

It will be easier to create content, write your copy, and talk to them if you know who they are.

Ask yourself...

  • Are they aware they have a problem?
  • Are they already aware that my products could be the solution to their problem?
  • Are they aware of my brand?
  • Are they trying to purchase, but having second thoughts?
  • Have they interacted with my brand before? If yes, what stopped them from purchasing?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you'll be able to craft a customer acquisition strategy that suits their current buying stages!

And surely, your customer acquisition strategy will be effective.

But before that, it's also important to...


Evaluate Your Current Strategies

You probably have a customer acquisition strategy right now, but hey...

You can still improve it!

And one way to improve customer acquisition strategy is by evaluating your current one.

Here are some things you might want to consider when assessing your current customer acquisition strategy:

  • What are the platforms or channels you're currently using?
  • What are your current content marketing efforts?
  • What are your current customer acquisition efforts? What needs to stop and what should you still use?

These are important to determine if you want to create a new and improved customer acquisition strategy for your eCommerce business.

And of course, before we hop on creating the plan, you also need to...


Evaluate Your Resources Before Choosing Your Strategy

This is one way to prep your eCommerce business for enhancing your customer acquisition strategies.

You can't just choose a strategy because you like it.

You also need to evaluate your current resources and tools.

Here are some questions you can answer for a great start:

Set Your Goals

guide step

I know your goal is to convert them into paying customers, but you can still set other goals that will help you achieve that.

It means we're going to break a big goal into smaller ones.

And let's take a look at the customer acquisition funnel.

Customer Acquisition

So, you're going to set goals based on this funnel and where your customers are at.

Are they at the awareness phase? Your goals could be:

  • Increase website visits from first-time users.
  • Generate more leads.
  • Gain more followers on your social media platforms.

But if they've already interacted with your brand, they might be considering purchasing from your eCommerce store.

Your goals could be:

  • Get more inquiries about your products to address their concerns.
  • Have more prospects answer your forms (if you have).
  • Have more prospects add products to their carts because it means they have an intent to purchase.

It's important to understand your customers when setting your goals.

Once you achieve these smaller goals, you can now create a customer acquisition strategy that will convert them into paying customers.

After setting your goals, let's get to the juicy part of this customer acquisition guide!

Plan Your Campaigns

guide step

After choosing the digital marketing tactic you think will work for your customer acquisition strategy, it's time to plan what campaigns or content you'll be publishing.

Whatever strategy you're going for, you need to plan ahead your campaigns.

Here are some ideas:


1. Referral Programs

Referral programs can help you keep your customers and acquire new ones.

How? Because think of it this way...

You're rewarding your existing customers with discounts or exclusive deals in exchange of bringing in a new customer.

So, it's like hitting two birds with one stone!

Because you can also boost your customer retention while acquiring more customers!

But of course, you also need to...


2. Offer Deals For New Customers

To encourage more new customers to buy from your eCommerce store...

Why not offer great deals for new customers on their first purchase?

Having promotional offers can help you expand your customer base because who doesn't love a good deal, right?

So, if you want to have more customers, make sure to offer good deals on their first purchase!

Another thing is...


3. Discounts On Email Signups

As I mentioned above, email marketing is an effective way for you to gain and retain customers.

And to capture their emails, you can offer discounts upon email signups, which they can use on their first purchase.

Just imagine expanding your customer AND subscribers list.

Sounds amazing, right?

Now, another way to acquire new customers is...


4. Social Media Ads

We've talked about paid advertising above.

But here, we're focusing on social media ads as a vehicle for your customer acquisition strategy.

Social media ads can help you target the right people. And because of this, you can create an ad based on your objectives.

There are also different types of ad formats to choose from.

For example, Facebook.

Facebook has a lot of different ad formats to choose from. But here are some:

  1. Image ads. Image ads are just simple. It's an image that consists of your products or offers.
  2. Video ads. Since a lot of Facebook users consume videos, this is your chance to take advantage of it. You can this format to tell your brand story or show how your products can help your target market.
  3. Carousel ads. These are ads that consist of 10 images or videos in one ad. And for each, there are different links included. These are great if you want to promote specific product sets and drive your audience to your website.
  4. Slideshow ads. These are similar to video ads, except it's lighter, easier to make, and more affordable.
  5. Collection adsCollection ads allow your customers to browse your products within the platform, then you can redirect them to your website.

So, that's only for Facebook! There are different ad formats and techniques for each social media platform, too.

That's why if you want to acquire a lot of customers using social media ads, you need to understand how each platform works and how to tailor your ads based on your target audience.

But that's not all...


5. Affiliate Marketing

Did you know that more than 80% of businesses have their own affiliate programs?

This proves that affiliate marketing is a big deal to a lot of brands.

But what is it?

Affiliate Marketing means you're rewarding your affiliates each time they bring customers who purchase from you.

It's kind of similar to giving rewards to your existing customers when they refer their family or friends.

But in affiliate marketing, the affiliates need their own marketing efforts because you will give commissions.

You can collaborate with bloggers or any internet personality of your choice, and give them personalized codes to share with their followers.

And you're probably thinking... how to start with this?

Well, you can launch your own affiliate program! ?

Another way to gain customers is...


6. Run Giveaways

Before you acquire new customers, you need them to be aware of your brand first.

And running giveaways can help you with that!

If you run a giveaway, you can require those who want to join to share your post. This way, you can reach more people who might want to join your giveaway.

That already makes them aware of your brand!

But how to acquire new customers?


Running giveaways has a lot of benefits for your eCommerce brand.

You can capture emails, gain more followers on social media, and receive a lot of likes and comments on your giveaway post.

So, you're going to take advantage of these to gain new customers.

Why? Because more people are now aware and engaged with your brand.

Even if they didn't win, your brand is on their minds. And they might make a purchase as long as you continue pushing your products out there.

And lastly...


7. Video Marketing

If you're not yet using videos in your marketing efforts, you need to start now!

Because this year, online videos are expected to make up more than 80% of internet traffic!

This means that more and more internet users are consuming videos during their screen time.

And you need to take advantage of this to acquire new customers!

So, what can you do to smash your video marketing campaigns?

You can film an unboxing video, tutorial, or use your products.

Then you can post it on your brand's social media platforms. Some giant video platforms are TikTok and Youtube.

Do you now have any idea which campaigns or content you'll be doing?

Because before you can implement any of these, you need to...

Set Your Budget

guide step

Acquiring customers would require you to spend some money to get the best results.

And before launching your campaigns, you need to set your budget.

But first, you need to know how to calculate your Customer Acquisition Cost or CAC.

Here’s how:

Customer Acquisition Cost Formula

So, you need to add all your sales and marketing expenses that you used to acquire customers. Then divide it by the actual customers you acquired.

Easy, right? But what are these "expenses" anyway?

Here are some expenses you can include when computing your CAC and setting your budget:

  1. Staff salaries. If you have employees working with you in running your eCommerce brand, then you should include their salaries in your expense.
  2. Ad budget. Once you run ads on social media, you also have to include this in your calculation.
  3. Influencer fees. If you want to partner with influencers to promote your brand, you also need to set a budget for this.
  4. Production and professional fees. These include photographers, videographers, designers, or editors for your campaign.
  5. Tools. These are the software or platforms you use to acquire customers.

These are some of the things you need to invest in if you want to acquire new customers. You need to include them in calculating the costs, too.

And once you've already set your budget, you can now launch your campaigns and get new customers!

Then after launching, you have to...

Analyze And Optimize

guide step

Now, after planning your campaigns and setting your budget... you need to analyze the results of your campaigns.

This will help you optimize or tweak your strategies based on what worked and what didn't.

Here are some things you need to ask yourself when analyzing your campaigns:


1. How much did you spend?

Knowing how much you spent in a timeframe to acquire customers? You need to analyze the cost per acquisition because it will help you adjust the budget for your next campaigns.

You can also figure out if there are irrelevant expenses that you need to withdraw.


2. Which customer acquisition channel is bringing the most customers?

If you diversify your channels, you need to identify the channel that's driving the most number of customers.

Then you can create a more laser-focused strategy for your next campaign.


3. Who are the newly acquired customers?

This is where you interpret your customer data and demographics.

Where are they from? Where did they find you? Anything that you think would help you tweak your customer acquisition strategy.


4. What are the products they bought?

You can also see which products they're buying the most.

For example, if you're selling food, some customers might go for the best sellers first instead of other menus.

So, you need to identify this because you will need to optimize your product or home page to entice your new customers to try various products.


5. Where did they hear about you?

One of the best ways to identify where your customers came from is by asking them.

You can ask your acquired customers where did they hear about you. And if an existing customer referred them, maybe it's time to tweak your referral programs.

Lucky for you, here's one way to put this feature on your website.

Debutify has an Order Feedback Add-On that you can use to ask your customers how they heard about you.

Order Feedback Add-On

If you think this is everything... you're wrong! Because I still have something for you! ?

Choose Your Strategy

guide step

Now, you need to choose which strategy you should focus on.

And that includes choosing your customer acquisition channels or platforms.

There are different types of digital marketing strategies to choose from.

But don't forget to ALWAYS go back to Step 1 when planning... you need your customer persona because this will help you identify which is the best strategy.

And remember, choosing a strategy is not like playing the game eenie meenie.

You need to conduct research to find out which one you think would work well and help you achieve your goals.

So, what are the things you need to consider when choosing a strategy?

  1. Your audience. Where are they? What platforms are they using?
  2. Your budget. Is the platform free? How does it work? Do you need to invest in ads to reach more people?
  3. Your business model. Are you targeting consumers or businesses?

If you answer these questions, you can start looking into different types of digital marketing tactics and see what would work for you!

Let's start with...

Social Media Marketing

Incorporating social media in your marketing efforts is an excellent way to acquire customers.

And the data never lies.

Did you know that 54% of users browse social media to research products?

It means that your target audience is just around the corner... browsing and researching.

And if they haven't heard about your brand yet, this is your chance to introduce yourself.

This is an effective way to acquire more customers, as long as you do it right.

But hey, creating a social media marketing strategy is not that easy.

Yep, it's free. You can create your social media accounts without cost, but managing them requires time and resources.

Because you're not just posting random stuff and expect customers to flock on your eCommerce store.

You need to brainstorm your content marketing strategy based on the current buying stages of your target market.

To get you started, here are some things you need to take note of:

Choose the best social media platform for your business.

It means you need a social media platform that suits your business model and content marketing strategy.

For example... if your business requires you to post multiple photos, you can go with Instagram. Or, if your business model is B2B (business-to-business), LinkedIn is a great option.

You don't want to waste your effort, so make sure you're using the right platforms and...

Optimize your social media profiles.

If some of your target customers are still in the awareness phase, you need to properly optimize your profile first.

So, what does this mean?

It means your social media profiles should tell your target audience who you are, what you do, and how you can help them.

This will help them decide if they're willing to further interact with your brand.

Bonus if you can also make them remember your brand through logos, profile pictures, headers, and publishing materials. 😉

And don't forget to...

Engage with your target audience.

Again, your target customers are in different buying stages.

Some are just hearing about your brand. While some are already showing an intention to purchase.

Now, you're probably wondering... how can you engage with them?

To start, you can answer their questions (if they have any). They might be already thinking of buying from your eCommerce store, but they still have some concerns.

And answering these could help them become your customers.

See? Social media is an excellent way to acquire customers. You just have to do it right. 😉

Another digital marketing strategy you can give your energy to is...

Search Engine Optimization

Listen... this is also a very effective method if you do it properly.

Because Search Engine Optimization allows your brand to show up on SERPs or Search Engine Results Page.

Your potential customers can come across your eCommerce website once they search for specific keywords.

For example, you're selling luxury candles. You can optimize your content and website using these keywords.

So, when your potential customers search for the terms "luxury candles," they can see you on the results page.

But wait... it's not easy to rank on search engines organically, but it's worthy of your effort.

That's why here are some starters if this is the first time you'll try Search Engine Optimization.

Use relevant keywords on your website.

Finding the right keywords is the key to having an effective Search Engine Optimization strategy.

Because these are the words your target customers are searching for on search engines.

One way to find the best keywords to use is by using tools that specialize in Search Engine Optimization, such as Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner.

Of course, you need to...

Take advantage of blogging.

This is another form of producing high-quality content.

By having a blog, you can use relevant keywords that make your eCommerce website discoverable on search engines.

You can also promote your products and services, and write informative blogs to show how valuable your products can be.

And speaking of writing...

Write high-quality website content.

To convert your website visitors or prospects into actual customers, you need to have enticing, high-quality content.

This includes blogs, product descriptions, and other nitty-gritty details on your eCommerce website.

If you have high-quality content, more people will visit and stay on your page.

And the next thing you know is...

You are now acquiring more customers because of SEO!

But there's still another one!

Paid Ads

Paid Ads include social media ads, Google ads, or any ads on the internet as long as it's paid.

And it's one of the best ways to have your potential customers discover your brand.

Not only that, but paid ads can also deliver faster results as long as you optimize them to reach the right target market.

So, here are some tips to acquire customers using paid advertising.

Create shoppable posts.

Let's say you're launching an Instagram ad campaign.

Don't just boost your post... make sure you use the tools that will make it easier for your target customers to buy from you.

For example, you can create a shoppable post using the Instagram Shopping feature.

This will redirect your customers from your Instagram post to your products and website.

See? Shoppable ads make it easier for your audience to turn into paying customers because of how smooth it is!

Another tip for paid ads is...

Show off the benefits of your products.

To grab the attention of potential customers, you should be telling them how beneficial your products are.

You need to address their problem and let them know how your products can solve it.

This will encourage them to buy from your eCommerce store.

The next one is...

Tailor the ads based on your buyers' stages.

To make your paid ads more effective, you should create an ad based on the buying stages of your target customers.

If they haven't interacted with your brand yet, make sure to create an ad that introduces your eCommerce business to them.

But if they already did, you can create a retargeting ad to get to them again.

So, hear me out...

Paid advertising is an effective way to acquire new customers. Just make sure to optimize your strategy for excellent results!

And here's another way strategy for you...

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing is the use of public figures on the internet to promote or represent your brand.

And the influencer market is growing.

In fact, the influencer marketing industry reached $13.8 billion in 2021. And it's expected to reach $16.4 billion in 2022.

It's obvious that it's not going anywhere.

That's why you need to take advantage of this to strengthen your customer acquisition strategy.

So, what can you do?

Start with finding an influencer within your niche.

If you're selling beauty products, you need an influencer that has followers who are interested in beauty.

That's how you can reach your target market to introduce your products.

But another thing to remember is...

Choose an influencer based on their engagement rate.

An influencer can have 20,000 followers but can only have an average of 1,000 engaged followers.

But there are also influencers with 10,000 followers with the same average of engaged followers.

Choose wisely because either way, you'll have to pay them or send them your products.

Make sure to get the best ROI or Return On Investment.

And the last tip in influencer marketing is to...

Find an influencer that represents your brand values.

Consider the influencers you'll work with as a representation of your eCommerce brand.

If your brand advocates for sustainability, you should work with an influencer that promotes it, too.

This will also help you find potential customers who share the same values as yours.

You see, influencers can be a great investment for your business.

But that's not all, because you can also use the next strategy to gain customers.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is probably not new to your digital marketing strategy.

So, t's no surprise that it's a cost-effective tool because emails affect the buying decisions of 50.7% of customers.

And there are various ways to take advantage of this to expand your customer base using emails.

Use automation tools.

Automation tools allow you to send emails based on their customer journey.

For example, you can send a welcome email the moment a prospect gives you their email address.

And once they interacted with your emails, you can send them another one based on the next customer journey.

The purpose of this is to tailor your messaging based on their current stage.

And this leads us to our next tip...

Use social proof in your emails.

To convert your leads into sales, why not share what others say about your products... right?

This will help you acquire new customers, especially if some of your subscribers have an intention to buy but are hesitant.

So, make sure to use your positive reviews to turn your leads into sales!

And lastly...

Redirect them to your website.

If they're already thinking of buying, you should lead them to the next step.

Which is redirecting them to your website.

Of course, they can't purchase from you if you don't redirect them to your website.

That's why it's important to ensure that your links are working so you don't waste a prospect!

Now, you're probably wondering...

Do you only need to choose one digital marketing strategy or customer acquisition channel?

The answer is not necessarily...

But here's the thing...

It also doesn't mean you'll spend all your time and resources on all these digital marketing strategies to acquire customers.

Because each of these strategies has different purposes depending on your current business and customer needs.

So, choose the ones you'll need first... and analyze the results, which I will show you how later.

And before any of that, you have to...


3 Quick And Easy Tips That Will Help Convert Your Prospective Customers Into Paying Customers

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1. Display Online Reviews On Your eCommerce Website

Some of your website visitors aren't ready to buy yet.

Some of them are still hesitant because they want to see what other customers say about your brand first.

Of course, they trust other customers who have tried the products or services firsthand.

But you can totally end the hesitation by displaying social proof on your website!

Let's see an example...

Kirrin Finch

Kirrin Finch displays online reviews from their community on their home page.

So, if there are website visitors who aren't keen on buying yet... seeing these reviews can help in their purchasing decision.

If you do this on your website... BAM! Acquired customers!

And you need to stay tuned...

Because managing and collecting online reviews will be easier soon! ?

To increase your chances of acquiring more customers, you also need to...


2. Use Calls-To-Action

These are texts, buttons, or images that you can use to prompt your visitors to take the next step... which is purchasing from your eCommerce store.

And to make sure you can get more customers, you need to create a sense of urgency.

For example, you can use words and phrases like...

  • Limited
  • Hurry
  • Now
  • Until today only
  • Don't miss out!

By using these, you are urging your website visitors who have a FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out to purchase your products.

But hey, you can also...


3. Branch Out Your Customer Acquisition Channels

A customer acquisition channel is any platform you'll use to reach your target market.

And as I mentioned above, you don't have to be on all online platforms.

You just have to choose the right ones.

You need to be on channels that your target customers use and are relevant to the nature of your business.

Take note: Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Doing this can also help you identify which channels are bringing in the most customers, and you can tailor your strategy to make it more effective.

So, are you ready to acquire more customers?

Reduce Your Cart Abandonment Rate And Increase Your Conversion Rate!


Reduce Your Cart Abandonment Rate And Increase Your Conversion Rate!


It sounds challenging, but with these tips... I'm sure you're ready to reduce your cart abandonment rate! You already know how to:

  • Identify The Cause Of Cart Abandonment
  • Segment Your Customers
  • Have A Website Recovery Plan
  • Create A Retargeting Strategy
  • Measure The Results
  • Optimize Your Checkout Page

But to make it work better, you need to have a theme that supports the tips I've mentioned...

And that's Debutify!

It's a mobile-friendly and fast-loading eCommerce theme.

The best part? You also saw how Debutify Add-Ons can help you achieve your goals... which is to increase your conversion rate.

So, what are you waiting for?


Optimize Your eCommerce Store And Try Debutify Free - Today!

14 Days Trial. 1 Click Installation. No Credit Card Required.

Trisha Ballesteros
Trisha Ballesteros

Trisha Ballesteros is a content writer and digital creator who's skilled and passionate about marketing, social media, tech, and user experience.

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