Growth Marketing for E-Commerce

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2017 has seen the e-commerce industry growing faster than previous years, all thanks to social media, m-commerce and marketers pushing the boundaries of omni-channel strategies. Using creative strategies, industry players are gaining greater visibility while sustaining growth. Growth hacking, originally coined by Sean Ellis in the year 2010, seems to be playing an important role. Since then, the e-commerce industry has made it a marketing buzzword with many stores trying out different hacks. Before discussing growth hacking tips for e-commerce businesses, lets learn more about this term. In simple words growth hacking is all about leveraging the resources at your disposal to experience rapid growth with conversions and traffic. So here are some proven growth-hacking tips for your e-commerce business.
Go Viral with the Power of Free
A great way to incredible growth is to harness the power of going viral by passing out freebies. Although it is not too simple to execute, creativity is what makes your product or service go viral. Making your content easy to share, and freebies for certain specific actions are great ways to go viral with your services or content. Looking closely at how these can be used to promote e-Commerce content, it is noted that making sure the freebie or give away selected is of high value can add miles to your campaign, or bring it to an abrupt halt. People loving your give away’s can be seen as customer satisfaction and acquisition. This technique, known locally as handing out ‘freemiums’, has been used by many big companies. Some of them include Mailchimp, which allowed users to send 12,000 emails per month to a list of 2,000 subscribers for free. All users could enjoy most basic features, but all premium features came at a cost. Mailchimp is now adding 30,000 free users every month. So think hard and utilize this power.
Incentives for Sharing
Creating content that is shareable is another great strategy with which you can go viral. But before anything, ask yourself, why would people share your content or product? You can tell yourself that you have a built a great product that people would love, and hence it will get shared. But it is far from that reality. There needs to be something extra in it for the people who would be doing the sharing. A reward, or an incentive for sharing is a great way to go about this. Look at what Dropbox did. They incentivized sharing wonderfully. They allowed the initial users to save photos or videos, and share with contacts for free. Next they started incentivizing users to share the site where this was happening. They rewarded users with additional free storage space as they shared the site with colleagues and friends. This resulted in a massive inflow of users and Dropbox netted nearly 4 million users in a year.
Referral Programs
With a specific focus, referral programs can show great results for your e-commerce store. Then again, creativity and fresh engaging content that motivates users to refer becomes critical. If done the right way, these programs can be very effective and is known to increase customer base manifold in a short time-frame. The referral programs are of 3 types – Affiliate Programs, Customer Referral Programs and Partner Programs. The first involves an online merchant web site paying affiliate web sites a commission to send them traffic, and ‘customer referral’ programs are where you are promoting products or services to new customers through referrals. A ‘partner program’ collaborates with the producer to market and sell. Uber used this to perfection. Initial users were offered 10 dollars when they referred Uber, and were allowed to refer 30 people this way. This way everyone was a winner. And word about their services spread like wildfire, with the company witnessing an increased customer base in a short span. Today, Uber enjoys this position in the industry with very little competition.
Email Campaigns
Email marketing, when when used effectively, gives wonderful results, and is an effective marketing tool. Under this, ‘drip email’ campaigns are excellent growth hacks, as they remind customers of the previously concluded shopping experience. Statistics show that 78% of consumers still prefer emails for all marketing communications, and other updates. Besides that, 44% of email recipients made at-least one purchase on the basis of a promotional email. Personalized promos via email had higher open rates than non-personalized ones. Campaigns that work on the drip philosophy can be defined as a communication strategy to send pre-defined messages to your target audience over a period of time, and this works well for e-commerce operators. Sending visitors a series of mails on a schedule is called a drip campaign. Consider a scenario where a user on a site is reviewing home-theatre systems and spends time on your site reviewing the different models you offer. Lets say he/she adds one to the cart, but leaves without making a purchase, thus putting the onus on you to understand why he left midway. Generally after monitoring user search behavior, you need to trigger a series of mails to the user to convince them to purchase the product, and usually results in shopping cart abandonment recovery. This email marketing strategy is used by almost all e-commerce vendors. Amazon is known to make great use of this technique. Within an hour of closing a session, an email is sent to the visitor about his abandoned shopping cart. Later than this and you run the risk of losing a customer to a competitor. The mail should include information about the product with features, benefits and a CTA button that easily takes them back to complete the purchase. Second mail should be sent between 24 hours and should include an enticing offer, but valid only for a limited period. Generally, after this mail, the chances that a customer completes the purchase go higher. The last chance of shopping cart abandonment recovery is to entice the customer with a bigger discount in the third communication. Even after this mail if a customer does not complete a purchase, then chances are low that he/she would return to your site for a purchase. These series of mails target a specific user-behavior and there is no one size fits all remedy. These campaigns are aimed at only engaging the customer.
This is an effective growth hacking strategy and is also a powerful conversion optimization tool for online businesses. Using Adwords, you can keep your brand in front of traffic that bounced. Re-targeting gives better ROI, as you spend money on advertising to people who have shown interest in your product. Although majority of the users who visit your site don’t turn into customers in the first visit, re-targeting helps you reach maximum users who didn’t convert right away.
Today, users are flooded with re-targeting ads, and to stand out as a marketer, you need to come up with fresh ideas that drive conversions. Use compelling videos, or customer testimonials, and make sure that your re-targeting ads contain exclusive content, with CTA’s to drive maximum conversions. With no secret sauce to success, innovation is the only thing that can help. However, after implementing the above growth hacks, you are bound to experience rapid growth in less time.

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