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E-commerce Growth Hacks – 9 E-Commerce Strategies to Skyrocket Your Sales and Revenue

e-commerce growth hacks

E-commerce has revolutionized the way business is done nowadays. Taking advantage of the digital market, with its reach to potential global consumers, the e-commerce industry has grown to a whopping $3.543 trillion in 2019 and has a forecast of reaching $4.9 trillion by 2021. That is a huge growth rate, that too in just 2 years’ time. Now, that’s some advancement worth getting behind.

But being successful in e-commerce is a challenging feat as well. With the huge number of businesses that have already established their monopoly here, the competition is pretty high. So, if you are a budding entrepreneur venturing into e-commerce or a bigwig veteran who has recently started investing, then these startup e-commerce growth hacks are for you to help make your mark in this industry.

1. Increase Conversions Using Exit Intent Pop-Ups

When you have an online shopping website, it becomes extremely challenging for you to refrain your visitors from leaving your e-commerce store. Most of the time, they just browse and then exit the page. Imagine if you could compel those visitors to buy something before leaving or subscribe to your email lists for further communication. Doesn’t it sound profitable? Of course, yes.

And an exit-intent pop-up helps you do the above. It is a type of website overlay that pops up when a visitor attempts to leave the page without making a purchase. It can be an offer, a coupon, a live demo, or an email newsletter sign up to convince the customer to take an action. This way you can increase your e-commerce sales and gain more leads along the way.

Unlike obtrusive popups that annoy the heck out of any visitor, these exit-intent popups add value to consumers. Depending on what the consumers are searching for on your website, these popups can be customized accordingly and act as a last chance opportunity to keep them engaged and increase sales.

For example, attempt to provide a discount on the products that the consumers were browsing for and most likely they would make the purchase with that little incentive.

exit-intent discount popups

You can also capture email-addresses by providing customers access to specific content that they have been searching for. These email addresses will help you nurture your leads for future sales possibilities.

exit-intent email list popups

There are various other ways these popups can be utilized and taken advantage of for better sales conversion rates. A few great options for setting up exit intent pop-ups are Bounce Exchange, Gleam, OptinMonster, and SumoMe.

2. Set up Referral Programs

Wouldn’t it be great if you can reach more potential customers through your already existing ones? Referral programs are the ultimate way to do so. A recommendation from an already satisfied customer is likely to convince others to give your brand a go too.

Verified customers are happy to spread the word online through social media if they are asked to do so. So, encourage referrals by providing them with offers and sales incentives. The benefits here are twofold.

  1. New consumers trust and purchase from a brand that they have been referred to by friends and family. According to Social Media Today, around 81 percent of consumers’ purchases are influenced by their friends’ social media posts.
  2. Increase sales from the old consumers when they come back to redeem the offer coupons that they have earned for a successful referral.

e-commerce referral programs

You can customize the incentives for a referral depending upon your consumers’ needs. It can be cash or a non-cash one but make sure that it adds value to the consumer. Otherwise, you can also give them a few offer choices that they can browse through to choose the one that excites them the most.

The brand Uber goes for a non-cash incentive. They provide a personalized referral code to every new user on their account activation. With every new account created using that referral code, both parties get the next Uber trip free.

uber referral programs

The Korean luxury brand W Concept, on the other hand, offers cash incentives. They award a 10 percent off on the next purchase for both the referrer and the referee.

Many more popular e-commerce brands owe their popularity and success to their extensive referral programs. So, you should start yours as well and boost sales to an all-new height. Referral program tools like Smile.io, Ambassador, etc. make the process of creating customized referral programs fairly easy without any development skills involved.

3. Set up Retargeting Ads

The path to an assured purchase on your online shopping website for a consumer is never straight forward. It rarely happens that a consumer visits your website, likes what he sees, and makes a purchase all in one go. According to Marketo.com, 96 percent of the customers are not ready to buy when they first visit a website. Well, you can imagine the substantial loss that your brand is incurring due to this.

So, what do you do to make this huge chunk of visitors return to your e-commerce website again and buy from you? The answer is “Retargeting Ad” strategies. This is an effective method because it focuses on consumers who are familiar with your brand and have already shown interest. It allows you to keep your brand in front of the customers who have already visited and left your online store.

This image by ReTargeter shows exactly how the retargeting process works.

retargeting process

Taking advantage of the visitors’ browser cookies, retargeting ads keep reminding the consumers about the products they have searched for and indirectly nudge them to go back and buy it, just like dangling a carrot in front of a bunny.

I am a big fan of fandom clothing and through Google found about this incredible online store Thesouledstore.com. But as it was a new brand to me, I decided to watch a few reviews and stalk them on Instagram before making a purchase. After that, every other website I visited had these popups from Thesouledstore.com enticing me to go back and buy their merch, and I am happy to say that I am now a verified customer and yah, not an affiliate yet.

You can use tools such as ReTargeter, Criteo, and AdRoll to create retargeting ads for your online store and to also monitor their performance.

4. Deep Dive into Influencer Marketing

Influencers nowadays are the gateway for any marketer to get their brand noticed and increase sales conversions quickly. Influencers usually have huge fans followers who trust them to recommend products worth buying. This follower base can be converted to your potential customers if you can tap into that source through a collaboration with an influencer.

You can search for influencers who have already purchased from you and mentioned or recommended it to their subscribers. Contact these influencers and propose a deal to provide you ad space on their domain in exchange for monetary compensation. The ads along with the recommendations will get your brand better coverage and you will get more leads and guaranteed conversions.

You can also provide the influencers with the affiliate codes of your products or personalized promo codes that will be beneficial to both, them and your targeted audience, if and when they choose to make use of it. It’s an overall win-win deal and can boost your e-commerce sales tremendously if done right.

As your brand-ads are featured on the Influencers’ domains and social channels, it will also count as social proof. Proof, that real people are using your products and getting benefitted from it.

influencer marketing

Powerful influencer marketing tools like BuzzSumo, Upfluence, Pitchbox, NinjaOutreach can help you team up with the right influencers for your e-commerce growth marketing.

5. Offer Giveaways

As an e-commerce marketer, you would want your customers to come back again and again and remain interested in your brand for a prolonged time. Giveaways is a marketing tactic to keep your brand in the limelight and retain your consumers engaged even when you do not have a new product to promote or any new deals to advertise.

You can host giveaways of popular products through your brand’s social media channels or influencers’ social media accounts. Giveaways give your old consumers an opportunity to engage with your brand anew and also reference it to band new customers. It gives your brand increased exposure and also added leads. The more the consumers are interested in your brand and the giveaways, the more the chances of conversions.

e-commerce giveaways

Along with hosting simple giveaways, you can partner up with other e-commerce brands for loop giveaways. You can search for brands whose products complement yours and create a giveaway that will target an audience interested in both. For example, if you are a men’s grooming company, you can team up with a men’s apparel e-commerce brand to host a loop giveaway.

You can also extend the loop by adding more relevant brands in the mix as well.

This method helps in increasing the eyeballs on your brand by opening up your brand to the audience of the other brands as well. The followers of one brand can reference the other brands and vice versa. Not necessarily all audiences of all the brands will participate but those who will are potential customers for your brand.

As this kind of loop giveaways encompasses more than one brand, the entry process can be a little more complicated than a simple giveaway. So, make sure to keep a hefty reward as the giveaway prize to better motivate your audience to participate.

You can use tools like RafflePress, ShortStack, Agorapulse, Easypromos to create your next giveaway campaign.

6. Offer Exclusive Member Rights

Exclusivity is a big motivator for buyers to engage with a brand. Why? Because being part of an exclusive club of a brand generally involves perks that are not available to normal consumers. These perks act as added incentives to your consumers along with your regular services.

exclusive member rights

These exclusive member perks can be special discounted prices, offers in advance, free shipping, priority customer services, and many other deals for your member customers. They can be excellent add-ons that provide value to your consumers and also make them feel special.

Initially, you can charge a fee for an exclusive membership, based on the period of the offer. It can be a year or more during which the consumer can avail of all the exclusive deals and offers.

It is a great method to engage consumers and keep their interest focused on your brand for any purchase that they want to make during that period. As consumers are paying a fee in the beginning, they will likely want a return on their money, which means they will be sure to make purchases and thus increase your e-commerce sales and conversion rates.

7. Create Urgency to Increase Your E-commerce Sales

Creating urgency to invoke FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a well-known buyer psychology. By instilling FOMO in your e-commerce audience, you are encouraging them to make quick purchases.

How do you instill FOMO? Well, you can do that by creating urgency on your product pages, you can also try creating contests, limited time promotions and offers to achieve the same. It should make your buyers feel the urge to immediately purchase before time runs out. People tend to buy stuff more when they see that the items they have been watching for long are about to be sold out.

fomo ecommerce strategy

The basic three ways of creating urgency are:

  • Limited inventory left
  • Limited time left on temporary free shipping
  • Limited time remaining on a sales offer

These messages tend to make the buyers feel that they are missing out on an opportunity. And as the FOMO sets in, the buyers are compelled to complete the purchase to avail the limited-time offers or to buy the last-available product.

fomo ecommerce deals

Amazon does this with its Lightening-deals. They put a timer right beside the product along with the fulfilled mark. The timer ticking down to the end of the sale and the number of products getting sold off continuously double the urgency in customers’ minds.

8. Send Thank You Cards and Encourage Social Media Sharing

A personal touch like a thank you card or note goes a long way and makes your customers remember your brand. Whereas a handwritten note can increase consumers’ delight, you can also go for gifts to appreciate your customers.

Customers are touched and feel special by the extra care and they tend to make a purchase again or refer your brand to friends and share it on social media.

ecommerce thank you cards

To induce more social sharing, place a social media sharing link in the thank you card. You can also dole out an added incentive like promotional codes for their next buying in exchange for sharing their recent purchases on their social media accounts.

You can create a custom hashtag relevant to the purchase, which will allow you to keep track of the user-generated content posted on customers’ social media accounts.

The reward and loyalty points are always great incentives for your e-commerce customers to influence them to engage more and continue sharing every time they make a purchase.

9. Use Video Content Marketing

E-commerce promotion through video content marketing has reached new heights with platforms like YouTube due to its seamless experience and huge user base. With the consumption of video content increasing more than any other form of digital content, it has become an essential part of e-commerce growth strategy.

Having a channel for your brand is a must if you want to reach out to more audience and thus increase conversions. Not just paid ads on YouTube but a legit brand channel that will give your customers access to new product sneak peeks, behind the scenes, first looks, product stories, promotional and sales offers is imperative for increasing customers’ excitements and thus sales.

e-commerce video marketing

This will ultimately help in building trust and increasing brand exposure manifold. And we all know that consumers who trust you will buy from you. So, make the consumers a part of your brand by engaging them in contests, giveaways, behind-the-scenes, etc., all through your video content. It not only adds value to consumers’ life but also gives your brand a human face, which is more approachable and makes your consumers more comfortable to engage and reach out.

Wrapping Up

Let’s quickly recheck the list of e-commerce growth hacks.

    1. Increase conversions using exit intent pop-ups
    2. Set up referral programs
    3. Set up retargeting ads
    4. Deep dive into influencer marketing
    5. Offer giveaways
    6. Offer exclusive member rights
    7. Create urgency to increase sales
    8. Send thank you cards and encourage social media sharing
    9. Use video content marketing

If you are a startup online shopping company, especially when you have so many plans to execute to boost up your e-commerce growth, you may get overwhelmed. But don’t be, implement one thing at a time and see how it works for your online store.

Remember, there is no absolute e-commerce growth hack. Rather, you must apply a series of experiments to know the best e-commerce tactics that will skyrocket your online sales and bottom-line.

Apart from these tested and proven e-commerce growth strategies, you must closely examine your website’s SEO, paid campaigns, content marketing, and email marketing strategies. Also, make sure to dig deep into voice search SEO, as it is going to be a real game-changer in the days to come.

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Soumya Roy

Founder, CEO at PromozSEO
Soumya Roy is the Founder, CEO of PromozSEO Web Marketing Academy, a leading digital marketing course in Kolkata, India. He is a seasoned digital marketer and coach with over 11 years of extensive experience under his belt. In his long years of experience, Mr. Roy has worked with 100s of brands of different sizes, and mentored and trained more than 2500 professionals and corporate clients.
Being an entrepreneur and digital marketer, he loves to share his knowledge and experience in topics related to internet marketing, SEO, SEM, social media, content marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, and many more.
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