eCommerce growth hacking is essentially about finding the best ways to acquire and retain customers… and being optimally efficient at them!

Social media, blogging, influencer marketing, and retargeting must play a part in your growth hacking strategy if you are to stand out. So let’s dig a little deeper, and talk about the finer details of hacking your way along the consumer journey. This entails paying close attention to your consumer life cycle and using a range of growth hacking strategies and key practices to optimize your customers’ interactions with your store.

In essence, you should listen to your consumers, have a plan on how to gain their trust and always be improving your channels.

Listen to Your Customers

eCommerce Growth Hacking - Customer Journey

Source: HubSpot

1. Understand the Consumer Journey

It is vital to have an insight into your consumers’ behavior from the moment they first visit your site to the moment you send them a Thank You email. You should time your interactions according to the buyer’s journey so your marketing practices and tools have maximum effect.

Consumers’ first interaction on this journey is during the Awareness Stage, where visitors are exposed to your brand for the first time and you should grab their attention. Next is the Consideration Stage where they are looking for more information. And third is the Decision Stage where you should provide strong proof that yours is the best product or service.

For a more in depth discussion, check out this article on how to apply marketing strategy to each stage of the sales funnel.  

2. Analyze Your Data

Use the data your marketing channels generate to approach your audience more effectively. This practice is the fuel for growth hacking techniques and initiatives.

Keep track of engagement metrics to see how your buyers interact with your store so that you can fine-tune the touch points that need attention. Look for abandoned carts, low conversion rates, and negative comments, and take steps to address the problem issues and interactions.

3. Remarket With a Personal Touch

Your analytics give you insight into subgroups within your buyers and prospects and allow you to tailor your message with more precision. That way, if you have customers that buy swimwear, you can include sunscreen suggestions in your next newsletter to them.

If you have a segment that is abandoning their cart often, you can incorporate a pop-up ad that offers them a discount. This highly individualized approach is only possible by employing analytics and testing what works.

A/B testing

Source: Optimizely

4. A/B Testing

Experiments, backed by data, fine-tune your practices and allow you to find the best solution. You can use them in social media, like in your Facebook ads, to test which version drives more conversions. Consider using apps like Google OptimizeOptimizely, Visual Website Optimizer.

You can also test the frequency of pop-ups, chatbot prompts, and emails. Ideally, you should test anything in your store that you think can be improved. That way, you are always using the marketing devices that your audience responds best to.

5. Give Opportunity for Feedback

Offer an opportunity to your buyers to express their delight or frustrations to promote trust and help you improve. One of the most important touchpoints along the consumer journey is sending a follow-up email with a survey or a rating card asking a few key questions.

Even if everything is going fine, you still gain a consumer testimony that can help boost your appeal. And if a buyer complains, it gives you a chance to address the issue and retain their loyalty.

Keep Your Strategy in Check

6. Design Your Homepage to Convert

Homepage design has been pushed to the extremes of efficiency by UX design firms and forward thinking sellers for a reason. Do not underestimate the power of the information and structure of your homepage. Use it to grab attention, inform about your products and services, and call to action.

Keep your homepage brief, to the point, and easy to navigate to improve your chances of conversion.

7. Guest Post on Relevant Blogs

Blogging should definitely be a part of your content marketing strategy so you can offer thought leadership and product information to consumers in the Awareness and Consideration stages of the buyer’s journey.

You should take this one step further and generate leads by posting on relevant industry blogs. This practice will generate quality links for your site, help you rank better and boost your image.

lead magnet

Source: Instapage

8. Employ Lead Magnets

Put some extra effort into a premium piece of content to offer to  your visitors both makes you look like a thought leader and helps you grow your email list.

Offer value to your prospective buyers by helping them with their research. Each time you help a new reader, you are gaining a contact that you can engage with a tailored message via email.

9. Prioritize Retention

Focus your efforts on removing traction from the buyer’s journey and constantly improving their services. That includes impeccable communication, social media engagement, and addressing issues in a timely manner.

Prioritizing retention with these customer-first strategies is one of the cornerstone growth hacks that your store’s success rests on. Maintaining engagement and robust relationships with your customers often leads to trust, bigger orders, and a boost in your digital word of mouth.

10. Establish a Referral Program

When you’ve developed a good relationship with your buyers and know they are satisfied customers,  follow up and invite them to share their experience. You can even go a step further and introduce a referral program by offering incentives like free shipping for a month or access to premium features.

Invite your customers to refer you to their network with a reminder on their email and social media, or with an on-site pop-up. Consumers are much more responsive to peer recommendations than ads, and they love getting something for free.

Never Stop Improving Your Marketing Strategies

11. Limit Navigational Distractions

Stay on top of UX design throughout the buyer’s journey. It is vital to use targeted, visual cues to direct your visitors’ attention. Your call to action should also be the same color across all pages and stand out from the rest of the text and images on your site.

In addition, you should remove any clutter from your homepage that might distract visitors. Your landing page should have limited navigational options and strong visual cues to help users gravitate to your CTA.

12. Use Pop-ups to Reduce Abandoned Carts

It’s nearly impossible to run a successful eCommerce site today without employing apps to improve user interactions. . If you are not sure what would work, visit a few rival sites to see where the industry is standing.

Pop-up apps can offer a last minute incentive to buy, like a discount or free shipping, and reduce your abandoned cart rate. They can also navigate to key products or include a countdown timer to create a sense of urgency.

countdown timer

Source: Kissmetrics

13. Countdown Timers and Urgency Statements

Countdown timers are very useful when you want to create a sense of urgency. They can also build up excitement for an upcoming sales event. You can attach timers to key products or incorporate them in a pop-up that responds to buyer interactions.

You can also display the number of people that have purchased the item to appeal to its popularity. A/B test the timers, though, before implementing them storewide to find where they are most effective for your audience.

14. User-Generated Content

Testimonials, reviews, and comments from delighted buyers are some of the most powerful conversion drivers. Encourage people to rate your products and comment on social media.

You could even go a step further and offer incentives for say – video testimonials. Video is ever growing in popularity and conveys emotions and delight better than any other medium.

15. Suggest Related Products

You have many opportunities along the consumer journey to delight your customers with a timely, related suggestion. You can recommend related products to cross-sell or upsell or customize the notifications further with a pop-up app on your site.

You could also include a brochure in the delivery package and even offer a sample if you are selling cosmetics or supplements. This is a rare moment when you have your buyer’s undivided attention – take advantage of it!

Conclusion

When you are starting out in the field of eCommerce, gaining as much traction as possible is vital. You should use every tool at your disposal to delight and retain your customers in order to promote sustainable growth. eCommerce growth hacking strategies continue to evolve, so stay ahead of the curve and strive to constantly improve your current practices.