Growth Hacking for New Ecommerce Stores

This is a guest post by Matt Janaway.

Gary Vaynerchuk describes growth hacking with this simple
quote:

“Growth hacking is just: GET USERS!”

It’s a simple statement pulled from his Twitter account, and it
works as a nice introduction to this term we call “growth
hacking.”

I’m not a huge fan of the movement, considering it’s a vague
term, and most people don’t have the slightest idea what it
means. So, yes Guy is completely right. Growth hacking is
simply what online companies would call the pursuit of bringing
in more and more customers.

However, this can also be called customer acquisition, or some
of the many other terms you stumble upon when building your
online business.

What is Growth Hacking, Really?

Growth hacking is when a company uses ideas, tools, technology
and products in intelligent and creative ways to generate more
customers or conversions. Quite often, growth hacking is
brought into play when an online company doesn’t have that much
money to spend on a marketing budget. You can even growth hack
using
email marketing.

Most of the tactics put forth with growth hacking are done with
the help of data and analytics, so your business is not taking
wild swings in attempts to reach out to new users.

So, in short, growth hacking is an educated creative marketing
endeavour.

What are some of the best growth hacking tips for new eCommerce
stores?

Use a Combination of Social Proof Elements
to Convince Customers of Your Credibility

From testimonials to ratings,
social proof is one of the easiest ways
to convince customers that your company is credible. For
example, you don’t have to spend much, if any, money to ask for
a testimonial from one of your early customers. Posting the
testimonial on your homepage is a surefire way to boost
conversions, considering people make decisions based on what
other people have done in the past.

Social proof gets creative on many fronts, and it’s not only
reserved for the testimonials that you may post in a video,
text or image format.

For example, many eCommerce stores have ratings and reviews on
their products, while others share social follower counts in
sidebars. After all, if a company has 100,000 Facebook
followers, many others will want to follow. Other great
examples include links and logos to known businesses you’ve
worked with in the past.

Many eCommerce shops highlight logos of the publications
they’ve been featured in. Along with case studies, customer
stats and more, the power of social proof is one of the top
growth hacks out there.

Cut Out the Junk on Your Homepage

When we say to cut out the majority of junk on your homepage,
we mean almost all of it. Most customers aren’t going to land
on your homepage, so what’s the point of having dozens of
little widgets, sidebars and images to distract those who do
come to your homepage?

New products are nice to have on your
homepage, but what about all of the other
content that takes away from the initial message? Since many of
your customers are more likely to land on product or category
pages, they are not even going to make it to your homepage to
search for a product. In fact, they’ve already done so in
Google.

So, cutting down your homepage to the barebones, delivering
only one or two messages to the brand new visitors who heard
about your company from another website, blog post or from a
friend.

Use it as the ultimate landing page. For example, Tomtom wastes
no time explaining that the company is about, but they keep the
content to a minimum. A slider is provided with recent sales
and events, and the most popular products are highlighted in
one row. That’s about it. Everything else can be learned on the
product or category pages, and it’s shown to keep new customers
interested longer.

Interestingly, cutting out the junk can also help with your
website’s conversion rates. An easy to use website with just
the right amount of information and very little noise will
always perform better than a website which draws the visitors
eyes all over the place.
Here are a few tips to improve your
conversion rates quickly.

Make Site Speed Improvements on a Monthly
Basis

Learn how to test your site speed on a consistent basis with
tools like Pingdom
and GTMetrix.
Slower
page response times result in more abandoned
carts. After that, many of these people are not
likely to return to your website since they don’t have the
patience to wait around for your slow page loads.

This is the most common growth hack you can find online for
eCommerce stores. It doesn’t take much money, but it is wise to
spend a decent amount of time per month improving the speed of
your site.

Give Out or Discount to Bring in More for
Yourself

The tiered discounting method was made famous by Groupon, in
that customers would receive steeper discounts when they
referred more people to a particular product sale. It worked
out rather well for Groupon since it became one of the
fastest growing companies of all time.

Giving customers a benefit while buying serves as a handy
growth hack, because you don’t generally have to spend too much
money, and the potential for social sharing is huge.

Square built buzz about their new company by giving out free
card readers when companies signed up for their mobile card
processing service. The Square device was a pretty inexpensive
tool, but they were able to get consistent subscribers by
giving away something that was close to worthless.

Many other companies give back by going with free shipping
after a customer buys a certain amount of items. Others are
prone to give away items with an email signup.

Treat Customers Differently

Do you treat old customers just as you would new customers?

You shouldn’t.

In fact, a wonderful growth hack entails segmenting your site
visitors drastically to reveal certain promotions, emails and
even ads that may relate to them better than it would other
people. For example, AirBnB automatically starts giving little
pop ups on how to use the system for new users. When you become
a more seasoned user, they get right to the point and ask about
your next trip.

Over to You…

Growth hacking tips for new eCommerce stores are all over the
place, so you can come up with your own or tweak some of the
suggestions we talked about above. If you have any growth hacks
that are bound to be useful for our audience, let us know about
them in the comments below.

Matt is a digital
& online entrepreneur and marketer, specializing in the
retail & eCommerce arena. He has built, purchased,
optimized and sold in excess of 10 eCommerce businesses with
multi-million pound revenues and is now heading a team
project optimizing 30 websites with over 20,000 products.

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