‘There are no shortcuts to success; hard work is the only way.’ This is a famous phrase pondered by most esoteric marketing minds. But smart work outweighs the toils otherwise endured by hard work! In the chaotic world of e-commerce, being smart is the new sexy. Maintaining an e-commerce platform is not an easy job. But by combining your (perhaps scarring) experiences of the past and by exerting some smart work now, you too can build your own e-commerce empire.
Many start-up e-commerce retailers drain a lot of resources in the initial phases of the business by looking for ways to improve sales. Conventional sales strategies don’t have an immediate impact on revenues. So current-gen e-commerce experts have adopted a multitude of new growth hacks to improve their sales numbers. Studying and implementing these “hacks” should be done in an educated and efficient way.
The hype around the term “growth hack” is not something completely new. In pre-internet times, door-to-door salesmen had to incorporate similar strategies, but in more conventional ways, and done physically. Let us look at a few growth hacks to improve sales and revenue on e-commerce platforms.
- Be you
Be genuine with your customers. What you offer must justify your expenditure as well as the product value for the customer. Never take your customer for a fool, or you will be (usually cruelly) put in your place in the long term. Study your native audience and don’t be pretentious about your product. This inevitably yields a loyal customer base, and ultimately will be a positive advertisement in itself.
- Perks of keeping it light
Currently, Google has the biggest online footprint. How did Google become so successful? Yes, you guessed it right – by being simple and keeping it light. Although your e-commerce website will have a different marketing approach, the philosophy is the same.
- Design your website with less load time.
- Use the restricted copy length and banners wisely.
- Use power words that capture the visitor’s imagination.
- Avoid using heavy or unnecessary plugins for the pages.
- Use the tools available online that are put at your disposal, and analyze the load statistics.
- Tweak and optimize the website for easy usage. This will elevate the user experience and in due time will prove to be fruitful.
- The face is the index of the mind
The first impression is the best impression. Usually, the homepage provides visitors with their first impression of your website and brand name. So make sure this page is designed well – uncluttered, streamlined, with a clear messaging and with a design that reflects the mood of your product (e.g. elegant, snazzy, fun, sophisticated etc.). Provide everything that a user might judge you by in your website.
Your homepage is like a display window. Be it your patrons or window shoppers, they get a preview of your merchandise. An attractive window will turn the window shoppers into a purchaser.
Identify yourself loudly with your brand and motto. Offer clear and simple navigation with search options. Have an appealing value proposition and strategically placed CTAs (call-to-action buttons). Don’t forget to feature customer testimonials, reviews and also select merchandise highlighted for that month/season.
- Turn viewers into buyers
When you convert visitors into buyers, it means that you are winning. Window shoppers have the patience and indifference of saints. If your content can convert a viewer into a buyer, feel free to follow the same strategy and reiterate it for more conversions.
Deliver what you promised. Failing to meet your promise can sometimes be catastrophic. Bring your customers to expect practical deadlines and always strive to over-deliver. Maintaining such standards consistently is the key to glory.
- Viral marketing and referrals
The viral marketing technique makes use of resources available online to propagate sales and increase brand awareness. If done properly, the returns on viral marketing can sometimes exceed your expectations by growing more than your target audience. We can learn this lesson in viral marketing from the crazy fidget spinner!
Referrals are an interesting engagement technique, wherein you rope in your current customers to be your marketing and sales executives. Your customers or visitors can be offered a commission amount or an appropriate incentive for bringing in other customers.
- Social media marketing
With the dominance of social media, the advertisement medium has got its paws on Facebook and Twitter. Newsletters and ad-journals sent through e-mails are inefficient and almost obsolete nowadays as they land directly in the recipient’s spam box.
Most social media platforms have built-in data analytic tool to track the progress and engagement of campaigns. With proper research using tools like Google AdSense, you can focus on niche markets and specific demographics.
Although data and analytics give us feedback in terms of numbers, they lack human cognition and intuition, and thereby, can’t deliver the kind of inference required for you to make decisions about your marketing and product. Surveys and feedback deliver that emotion straight from the mouths of the customers. You need that to understand your drawbacks and then improve on it. At the same time, you also get to know your strengths by the customer’s acknowledgement of the same.
Several survey tools and plugins are available online. Always avoid the ones with extensive forms and lists as they can backfire on your campaign. People in general don’t like to fill in elaborate forms. Keep your questions precise and simple.
- Live chat
Live chat is a hit feature in most of the leading e-commerce websites as it is reassuring and adds a sort of human element to the website. The customer can clarify anything regarding the products and logistics. Having a live chat feature in your website also adds credibility to your brand.
- Reviews and testimonials
Feel free to highlight the customer testimonials to visitors as it is an effective advertisement in itself. The reviews of your sold products are a testament to your brand quality.
Consider these guidelines when growth-hacking, but do be mindful of how they can be tailored to suit your business, and tweak them to bring in your own style. Consistency is the key here and will certainly yield positive results. Work smart and use these growth-hacking techniques to improve your marketability and sales!