The Importance of Developing an eCommerce Growth Strategy
Learn why brands need eCommerce growth strategies and how to develop an eCommerce growth strategy that drives success.
The famous quote from Phil Alden Robinson's Field of Dreams, "If you build if, they will come," isn't exactly the best advice for launching an eCommerce site. Yes, your eCommerce site represents a whole new sales channel with untapped opportunities, but its mere existence may not generate sales on its own. But with some TLC, focus, and intention, your eCommerce site can be the single most significant growth driver in the entire company. Indeed, the right eCommerce approach can provide long-term improvements to your sales trajectory and even reinvent your business model entirely.
In this guide, we explain why companies must develop eCommerce growth strategies, explain how to develop an eCommerce growth strategy, and share our 17 eCommerce growth strategies to try.
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Why develop an eCommerce growth strategy?
Imagine opening a physical store that has no visibility and then never telling anyone about it. In the sea of online competition today, launching an eCommerce store with no short-term or long-term growth plan is essentially that.
Having a clear vision for your eCommerce growth strategy enables you to:
- Attract new and existing customers.
- Grow sales revenue with targeted marketing.
- Reduce costs by automating the right processes.
- Achieve an ROI on your investment with actionable steps.
- Identify bottlenecks in each stage of the sales process;
- Track benchmarks and intervene when expectations are not met.
- Maintain focus on the goals and process of your investment.
How to Develop an eCommerce Growth Strategy
An eCommerce growth strategy must focus first and foremost on the customer experience. Walk yourself through every step of the customer journey – before, during, and after checkout- to understand and empathize with your customer's requirements. Start with how a customer finds out about your business and visits your website, to how they learn about your products and checkout. Then contemplate customer retention strategies and ways to inspire repeated purchases and a lifelong customer relationship.
Look to maximize the success in every stage of the customer journey as it relates to eCommerce by addressing the following points:
- Awareness – How does a customer find out about your eCommerce website?
- Consideration – How would the customer best be guided to make a purchase?
- Purchase – How quick, painless, and reliable is the checkout process?
- Retention – How can you keep customers coming back? Are there additional products or promotions that can enhance their purchase?
- Advocacy – Reward loyal customers and identify influencer audiences.
17 eCommerce Growth Strategy Ideas to Try
Here are some tactics to implement with your eCommerce growth strategy:
1. Define your goals
The first step in any strategy development is determining what you want to accomplish. Clearly define your business objectives and set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. This will help you stay focused, ensure clear communication and alignment within your company, and track your progress.
2. Focus on SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the foundation of your entire online and inbound strategy. Be sure to thoroughly research how and what your customers are searching for to find your products and solve their problems. Align your critical web pages with those search terms, and be sure to include comprehensive details and search terms on your product pages.
3. Invest in website performance
Optimize your website for a seamless and user-friendly experience. Ensure fast page load times, intuitive navigation, mobile responsiveness, and a streamlined checkout process. Focus on providing high-quality product images and detailed descriptions.
4. Invest in paid advertising
Consider using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platforms such as Google Ads or social media advertising to reach a wider audience and drive targeted traffic to your website. Monitor and optimize your campaigns to maximize their effectiveness.
5. Leverage social media
Build a strong presence on relevant social media platforms where your target audience is active. Engage with your audience, share valuable content, run promotions, and leverage user-generated content to increase brand awareness and drive traffic.
6. Tailor experiences to your customers
Think beyond one-time purchases and design experiences that inspire conversions. Gain a thorough understanding of your customers and offer guidance that appeals to their broader economic, social, and emotional goals.
7. Design and layout
Layout your site store intuitively with easy-to-use search and filter capabilities. Tailor the shopping and purchasing requirements to your unique vertical. For example, product configurators or quote generators are sometimes required to ensure customers feel confident and empowered in their purchase.
8. Provide the right payment methods
Allow your customers to pay in the preferred method, which may differ for B2B and B2C clients or by industry vertical. All eCommerce solutions don't readily accept purchasing methods like Masterpass and B2B methods like ACH or invoice, but they must be available if your customers expect these conveniences.
9. Provide the right visual queues.
Follow best practices to maximize conversions. Leverage the power of visual cues to create compelling messaging that functions successfully and tells your brand story. Thoughtfully consider and design buttons, font, layout, and color palette. Be sure to include trust icons to help customers feel safe making purchases.
10. Follow accessibility guidelines
Growthful eCommerce stores provide smooth and engaging experiences for all users. Thus, every eCommerce site's content and navigation features must adhere to the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Optimize legibility by selecting colors that contrast clearly, write text in styles and sizes that are easy to read, and create buttons that are big enough and spaced far enough apart for all fingers to tap.
11. Customer service
Nothing is more frustrating than jumping through hoops to get customer support. To drive eCommerce growth, offer exceptional customer service to convey a positive brand image and help ensure customers are satisfied with their purchases. Prioritize accessible and effective customer service to build trust and loyalty. Consider providing customers with multiple options for support through chatbots, FAQ pages, resource blogs, email forms, and a phone number to a human-staffed customer service line.
12. Loyalty programs
Loyalty programs are powerful tools to incentivize customers to make repeat purchases. Offer exclusive benefits to repeat customers, consider scaling the benefits in proportion to the order value, and provide rewards for customers who refer others. Loyalty programs can help customers feel valued by the brand. Loyalty programs also provide brands with valuable data about customer behaviors, preferences, and purchase history. Brands can leverage this information to enhance customer experiences and drive eCommerce growth.
13. Targeted promotions
Targeted promotions involve tailoring promotional efforts to specific customer segments. This strategy plays a crucial role in driving eCommerce sales growth as a means for brands to reach the right audience, at the right time, in the right manner, and with the right messaging. Targeted promotions can consist of influencer marketing, upselling and cross-selling strategies, seasonal promotions, location-based offers, and more.
14. Explore partnerships and collaborations
Consider partnering with influencers or complementary businesses to expand your reach and tap into new customer segments. Collaborate on co-marketing campaigns or cross-promotions to leverage each other's audiences. Partnerships and collaborations can also help brands build community, and cultivate knowledge and skill sharing, and lead to innovative joint product developments that lay the foundation for long-term business and eCommerce success.
15. Automated email marketing
Automated email marketing can be a powerful tool to engage both prospective and existing customers. Build an email list of interested prospective and existing customers, and segment the list based on customer demographics, behaviors, locations, and preferences. Create targeted email campaigns to nurture customer relationships, promote new products or offers, and drive repeat purchases. Automated emails can consist of abandoned shopping cart reminders, personalized product recommendations, customer reactivation campaigns, and post-purchase emails.
16. Content strategy and community building
Create a variety of content to engage your audience and encourage user-generated content like customer reviews and contests. This will help generate organic traffic, increase brand engagement, and increase product or service's social proof. Consider creating social media campaigns with branded hashtags and building community forums and groups that allow customers to connect with each other.
17. Continuously test and optimize
Experiment with different strategies, campaigns, and website elements. A/B test your landing pages, product descriptions, promotional offers, and marketing channels to identify what works best for your business and optimize your approach accordingly.
Grow Your eCommerce Business with DynamicWeb
Getting your eCommerce site up and running is only one piece of the puzzle to eCommerce success. To capture sales and drive growth, companies must develop and act upon a comprehensive eCommerce strategy.
Wherever you are in your eCommerce journey, DynamicWeb is here to help. With DynamicWeb, you can expand your online business and accelerate your digital transformation. We offer a fully flexible eCommerce solution for B2B, B2C, and D2C that is never limited by customizations or complex requirements so that you can unify the critical components of your online strategy and innovate faster.
To learn more, download our free white paper – Your Guide to Building a B2B eCommerce Strategy.