Growth hacking is a popular term within the marketing world and more recently this technique has made its way into ecommerce businesses, both big and small.
Embrace the growth hacker mindset to help build an agile and competitive ecommerce business with the right growth strategies from day one. Think about where your customers are gathering online, and try to think of innovative ways to draw them onto your company website from there. Here are the top five ways to growth hack your ecommerce strategy and increase traffic to your website.
What is Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking places a strong focus on innovation, scalability, and user connectivity.
Growth hacking is based on experimentation and seeing what works. It promotes rapid growth, and so is most effective in the beginning of your company’s journey, but it is a good idea to use it throughout your business strategy.
By embracing growth hacking, you will have to be on the lookout for creative and fun ways to boost engagement levels and overall traffic to your website. Every single business strategy, idea, and tactic should be centered around adding growth. It’s as simple (or as hard) as that.
A surefire way to drive more traffic to your website is through creating engaging content – and what better way to reach a new audience than through other people’s blogs or websites?
Reach out to other bloggers or businesses and write a guest post on your startup journey to reach a wider audience.
How to do it:
- Make a list of potential blogs and businesses you could write for – include ones where there is strong crossover between what they do and your niche
- Come up with a list of a few blog titles you would be willing to write for their blog – be as targeted as you can
- Reach out to your chosen companies or blogs to ask if you are able to write for them via email and follow up if you don’t hear back
Guest blogging is a great growth hacking technique to use for your ecommerce business. Just remember to be honest about who you are and your company – don’t mislead.
Do not write promotional content about your own products; write content that adds value to readers. Only contact people to whom you can actually add value – here are some guest posting tips.
Offering free tools, trials and even freebie products can boost traffic to your website because people love to share free stuff with each other. But it can also help you find your own army of loyal followers and early adopters. This is a great way to ‘seed’ your product and it’s worked for the likes of Dropbox…
How to do it:
- Use your social media channels and even paid advertising to offer your free giveaway. Offer a free tool, trial, tester, product – anything that gives a real flavor for your company ethos and products
Remember, this doesn’t even have to be tangible products. It can simply be giving away something for free to spark interest in your company like a report or whitepaper – but just make sure you are actually offering value and not irrelevant fluff. Give more.
User Generated Content
Offer your customers the opportunity to be part of something bigger and embrace the power of user generated content.
How to do it:
- Get your customers involved in promoting your products by posting pictures and tagging you on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Think of innovative ideas and competitions to get people involved and make your customers feel they are valued. Perhaps you can offer a discount to the best photo? Keep it fun and light and customers will be happy to get involved
- User generated content will spark a buzz on social media and people will want to see what the big deal is about
- A good strategy that you can harness is asking people slightly uncomfortable questions that hit a nerve – it can get tricky to manage, but you won’t get much of a return if you stick to bland and generic ideas. If you don’t want to go down that route, get people to weigh in on something personal that is relevant to your product
Remember to engage with and like as much of the content as you can in order to keep the buzz going.
Using the Right Platform
Go for a platform that doesn’t cripple you with loads of costs and debt and that allows for growth. You want something that can be scaled up (or down) in function of the marketplace.
How to do it:
- Platforms like Amazon and eBay are good for first-time business owners and offer more visibility which is great for when you are just starting out
- Moving to your own ecommerce store on your own domain will allow you to gauge your customers, track page views, and use your own branding; but it will mean less visibility and more work as you get things set up and start to build your own traffic base
- There are many different avenues to go down when it comes to choosing your online store platform. Take a look at the benefits and disadvantages of ecommerce providers to find out what platform would work for your company. You can go for the beginner’s basic online store builder, or the hardcore custom coded solution – whatever you do, go for one that you can easily manage and update in-house to avoid expensive maintenance costs
Ask for Referrals
Seems so simple, yet loads of businesses don’t do it. If you are faced with a happy customer – ask them to send some of that love back to your store. Growth hacking isn’t all about data and going viral – it’s also about relationships.
How to do it:
- After a customer has ordered from you, send them out a request to refer other potential customers to your website
- You can offer incentives to customers so they are more likely to do it, perhaps a 10% off their next purchase or a freebie for referring a new customer?
The impact of growth hacking can be huge and it’s definitely a strategy worthwhile adopting for your ecommerce company. If you are just starting out, it’s always good to focus on the simple stuff first. The more you experiment, the more results you will see. Keep an eye on customer data and react accordingly.
Are there any other growth hacks you have tried and tested recently? Were they successful? Let me know in the comments below.
Patrick Foster, ecommerce entrepreneur, coach & writer.