10 Tried and tested E-commerce Growth Strategies to Rock in 2021
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10 Practical E-commerce Growth Strategies for a High Growth Business

10 Practical E-commerce Growth Strategies ExpandCart

Like most people in the eCommerce industry, we’ve always looked to investing in eCommerce business as a way to build wealth. You work hard, sacrifice to invest your money in building an eCommerce store and someday you get to enjoy the rewards and great wealth just like ‘Scrooge McDuck’ on our lovely Disney Comics… Right?

If your answer is Yes, and I’m sure it is, so you need to get some tried and tested e-commerce growth strategies to help you get your eCommerce small business to stand out from the crowd, reach your goals, and achieve the wealth you dream of.

Without further ado, let’s get to the heart of the matter and start learning…

Initial Step: Be Clear and Define Exactly What You Want to Grow

It might be a silly question if I asked you what do you want to grow?

Most people’s answer will be “I want to grow my business.”

Turns out, that’s not really the right answer!

Of course, it’s great that you want to grow your business, but you still don’t have a clear vision of what exactly do you want to grow.

The first step toward success is to be specific. Ask yourself again what exactly do you want to grow?

  • Do you want to expand your eCommerce business into new regions, locations, cities, or countries?
  • Do you want to expand purchase locations (i.e., selling in new stores or launching an online store—in case you don’t have one)?
  • Do you want to expand your current office, retail, and/or warehouse space?
  • Do you want to add new product(s) and/or service(s)?
  • Do you want to add new locations or branches of your business?
  • Do you want to grow your revenue and/or profit?
  • Do you want to grow your customer base and/or customer acquisition rate?

It’s possible that your eCommerce blueprint will include multiple of the objectives outlined above, which makes sense. For example, increasing your sales will increase revenue, and possibly additional locations and products will result in increased sales.

Your growth goals are the endpoints of choosing the right e-commerce growth strategies. They give you and your team a clear direction to work smart. They will also determine which strategies work best for your business. So, it’s very important to set your business goals smartly.

SMART Goals for marketing plan

SMART Goals — Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound

Top 10 Practical eCommerce Growth Strategies

Okay, let’s say you’ve clearly defined your goals. It’s time now to know more about the best practical growth techniques to expand your eCommerce business.

Here we go…

  1. Conduct Market Research
  2. Find the Compelling Need to Buy
  3. Target the Right Customers
  4. Run Dynamic Remarketing Ads
  5. Enter New Markets
  6. Achieve a Clear Competitive Advantage
  7. Spoil Your Existing Clients Using Loyalty Programs
  8. Develop Your Marketing Channels
  9. Allocate More Resources for Producing Videos
  10. Collaborate and Partner with Complementary Businesses

1. Conduct Market Research

The first and most important strategy to grow your eCommerce business is to conduct deep market research. For any type of business, there’s a real need for market analysis and customer analysis. This is especially the case for small businesses. New businesses need customers and sales as soon as possible, and market research can ensure that those customers and sales will last for a long time.

There are countless compelling reasons that justify the role of market research in achieving sustainable growth. Here are some:

  1. Market research can help you develop better business and marketing strategies tailored especially to your eCommerce business.
  2. It can help you identify potential business opportunities and create a proper market fit for better business outcomes.
  3. It helps you to better understand your consumer preferences and needs by clearly identifying who you want to reach out to, where you can reach them, and what they’re interested in.
  4. Conducting business analytics and competitive analysis delivers accurate insights about your competitors and their marketing approach. This helps you to set your game, grab more customers, and maximize sales.
  5. Market research also helps you to reduce losses and potential risks.

You can create market research by running surveys and focus group discussions with existing and potential customers. You can also dig into existing industry research conducted by third-party firms or experts.

Download our free competitive analysis template that includes an in-depth checklist of what information to collect on your competitors.



2. Find the Compelling Need to Buy

One of the most important growth tactics is to have a product that satisfies a compelling need in a medium to a large growing market, that has no close competitors for some length of time.

Your potential customers are not always aware that they have a need for a specific product. Your role is to create their need for the product/service to satisfy it. Many products were introduced to the market through the use of “Fear Marketing”. This need may be created by you or by nature.

Let’s take the COVID-19 pandemic as an example. The coronavirus outbreak is marketed as a danger to your health, so marketers immediately offer to face this danger with their latest product, which of course will kill and/or face all those nasty viruses and bugs.

Take your time thinking about the below-mentioned questions and think about how you can create a compelling need to use it to encourage buying your products and grow your business.

  • What problems are you solving?
  • To what extent is it important for customers to solve that problem?
  • Are you (your products/services) satisfying a need or a desire?
  • What degree of penalty or cost results from not buying?
  • What happens if the customer does not buy?
  • What alternative to your product or service could customers buy?
  • Who is required to solve the problem? What happens if they don’t?

3. Target the Right Customers

E-commerce Growth Strategies: Target the Right Customers

It’s no surprise that successful high growth eCommerce businesses have a very clear definition of their target customers. They know exactly what goals they are working to reach, what problem they are solving, and how and where to deliver a sales message to the customer in a way that will convert and lead to closing a sale.

We can see so many eCommerce businesses all the time working to reach out to the general public in the hope they will buy. When some businesses fail or closeout, it’s not hard to guess what went wrong with most of them. They set up their eCommerce business using the ‘Hope’ strategy. This, of course, doesn’t create a high-growth business.

To be a high-growth e-commerce business, you need to target a specific customer who has a problem and you have the solution. Defining the right customers to target can make it easy to be readily reached through an established, or readily built, distribution channel. The main aim is to gain easy access to the specific customer who has a high likelihood of having the problem that is being addressed by your products and/or services.

There are so many online free tools that can help you better understand your customers to target them effectively. Here are some of them:

  • Google Analytics
  • Facebook Audience Insights
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator
  • Alexa
  • SEMRush
  • Demographics.io

4. Run Dynamic Remarketing Ads

What if there was a way to create ads easily and quickly to show up your customers exactly which products they looked at on your eCommerce site?

That’s exactly what “Remarketing” is.

“Remarketing is a form of digital ads that are used to re-engage with your customers to keep your brand in front of bounced traffic or abandoned carts after visitors leave your eCommerce website.” So, eCommerce remarketing all starts first when your customer visits your e-commerce store.

Any e-commerce website can use dynamic retargeting or dynamic remarketing campaigns using Google and/or Facebook. By using such a technique, Google will create ads for you dynamically. These ads include your product image, price, and text of your choice, all based on your website visitors’ behavior.

You can not also ignore using “Facebook Remarketing.” It’s a super-powerful e-commerce growth tactic that helps you to increase conversions, lowers the overall cost per customer acquisition, and effectively improve your marketing ROI.

Whatever the platform you want to use for remarketing, you need first to create and install Pixel — “It’s a piece of code for your website that lets you measure, optimize and build audiences for your advertising campaigns.”

💡 You can easily build an online store using the ExpandCart platform that enables you to activate Facebook pixel (and other pixels for other applications and search engines, like Snapchat and Google) from their dashboard by toggling a button on and off and tailor the actions you need to be tracked from your e-commerce store visitors. 😉



5. Enter New Markets

One of the most profitable e-commerce growth strategies is to enter new markets. But why? Expanding your business in new markets can not only be profitable in terms of revenue but it can also improve the way your business work, as well as benefit the market that you move into.

Even you’re a small business, tapping into new markets should be a part of your company’s plan. A new market may involve selling a new product or service in a new country or region, or it may include targeting a new segment of customers. Either way, achieving business growth strategies in accessing new markets involves a great deal of planning and research.

In general, there are seven main steps to create a winning market entry strategy, that are:

  1. Setting clear goals
  2. Deeply researching the market
  3. Prioritizing and selecting markets
  4. Studying the competition
  5. Developing market entry options
  6. Defining your financing needs
  7. Developing the strategy documents

6. Achieve a Clear Competitive Advantage

eCommerce Branding for Small Business

Be Different…

The competitive advantage, in its simplest sense, is what makes your company different. Of course, with great innovations come great competitive advantages. It’s clear that innovation in product functionalities or characteristics that taps into unmet customers’ needs can provide massive growth opportunities.

At the same time, innovations can lead to a creating raft of new products or services which can provide a ‘First-mover Advantage’, and this might give your business time to seize a leadership position in an emerging market.

Your way to achieve a competitive advantage for your business is to identify a niche market and develop products and services which better meet the needs of the target market. But let’s face facts, if everything you do to be different can be easily copied with little effort, then obviously you are in a business that has little chance of any real growth.

The question now is how to determine my company’s competitive advantage? There are some ways to follow and some questions to ask yourself.

Let’s start with tips…

  • Perform a competitive audit with both marketing and the actual product.
  • Talk to your existing customers to know their feedback using interviews and/or online surveys.
  • Attend trade shows or other industry events to talk to prospective customers to gain insights into potential new offerings they would interact with.
  • Assess your business opportunities to develop or improve your competitive advantage.
  • Tell the world about your competitive advantage and monitor the feedback.

Now, it’s time for questions…

You may sell products or services so answer the questions that match your business specifications.

  • How well does your product/service do the job (advantages)?
  • Do your product/service is safer to use than others?
  • Do your product/service has interesting colors, design, and style?
  • Does it impact the environment and has this been taken into account in the design?
  • How easy is it to carry and use?
  • How simple is it to operate?
  • How easy is it to find and buy?
  • How easy is it to find out about the product and have questions answered?
  • What is involved in getting it delivered and picked up?
  • What after-sales help, warranty, training, etc can you access?
  • How easy is the product to use?
  • How easy and expensive is it to get maintenance?
  • How easy is it to try before you buy?

7. Spoil Your Existing Clients Using Loyalty Programs

You may hear the common saying that acquiring a new customer costs 5x more than keeping an existing one. According to many marketing experts, this is largely true. Additionally, the Gartner Group confirms this in its recent study, which says that 80% of a company’s future profits will be gained from just 20% of its existing customers.

As a small e-commerce business, using a reward program benefits you in many ways.

  • It provides customers with a reason to come back and make repeat purchases, hence an increase in your sales and revenue.
  • By rewarding loyal customers with special offers, they can be your brand ambassadors, who are more likely to spread good word-of-mouth about your business to their social and/or professional networks.
  • Customer loyalty programs can be an effective way to stand out and remain competitive in a market dominated by giant brand names.
The Importance of Customer Loyalty Program for eCommerce Businesses

Customer loyalty programs provide customers with reasons to come back and make repeat purchases, hence an increase in your sales and revenue.

We’ve talked about everything related to loyalty programs in a previous article. But in short, there are many customer loyalty programs that fit more for small businesses. We mention the following options:

  • Providing free offers: It’s like buy-one-get-one offers.
  • Providing free upgrades: It’s like offering loyal customers free upgrades to the latest versions, in case your product is software or application.
  • Creating a punch card or a point-based system: It’s a very cost-effective type of loyalty program. It’s like enabling customers to earn reward points for each eCommerce purchase they make on your online store.
  • Creating a VIP club: It’s a super-effective online promotion to maximize your sales by creating a VIP club that offers its loyal members rewards such as time-sensitive deals, free samples, new product pre-experiences, and more.
  • Offering birthday and anniversary gifts: It’s a great way to build a strong connection between customers and your brand. It’s like giving your customers greeting cards or surprising gifts on special occasions like their birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

💡 It worth to be mentioned that ExpandCart offers you the ability to integrate your online store with great customer loyalty programs once registering for the “Professional and Ultimate Bundles.

Just one click is all you need to build your online store with ExpandCart to get benefit from all features of our available loyalty programs platform and grow your business. 😉



8. Develop Your Marketing Channels

E-commerce growth strategies cannot be mentioned without mentioning marketing. Your business is nothing without marketing it.

Ask yourself what is the benefit of having a great product without having someone buy it? That’s what marketing supposed to do — to tell the world about you and about what you offer.

The best marketing channels for your business growth is a topic that has been extensively discussed in myriad blogs, books, and research. A single paragraph included in an article is not enough to mention the countless marketing channels you can include in your eCommerce growth strategies.

Below, we’ve listed 3 marketing channels to consider that are effortless to implement and will help you fuel your eCommerce growth strategies.

1. Blogging

Your business blogs can be a cost-effective and easy approach to drive more traffic to your eCommerce store and acquire more customers. But keep in your mind that the key to blogging success is the ‘Relevancy’.

Posting irrelevant content on a company blog in an attempt to improve their rankings on SERPs may put you at risk. In contrast, your content should anticipate the needs of your target audience and/or answer any questions they may have.

This will enhance your brand’s reputation and creates an impression of it as an authoritative source of information. And at last, your target audiences will be more inclined to trust your brand, and ultimately purchase from you.

2. Email

Email marketing has always been known as the marketing channel that achieves supreme with the highest ROI. It’s a high impactful conversion channel.

Why?

Because the vast majority of the audience you are communicating with using email newsletters has consciously given you permission to contact them and tell them more about your brand, products, and services.

Build a good reputation, deliver quality content consistently to your target audience’s inbox, and ultimately, they’ll be more willing to purchase your products.

3. Mobile

Today, we carry the whole world in our pockets…

We spend more time than ever using our mobile devices. Our smartphones became our life — Communication, entertainment, education, working, payment, and much more now can be run using smartphones. This is not far from e-commerce. Mobile commerce has rapidly grown and has been somewhat inevitable.

Mobile gives your business the opportunity to interact with customers anywhere at any time. You can send sales promotions, discounts, special offers, and personalized messages to your targeted customers based on their location, in an attempt to get them to make a purchase.

So, it’s critical that your eCommerce website is fully optimized for smartphone and tablet devices to make it easy for them to fill in a contact form, search for a product, complete a transaction, and so on.

9. Allocate More Resources for Producing Videos

By 2021, 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video and there will be nearly 1.9 billion Internet video users, up from 1.4 billion in 2016. No surprise that YouTube is now the world’s second-largest search engine after Google.

For any business, particularly in the e-commerce field, video content is a fundamental part of any marketing activity aimed at customer engagement and conversion.

There are many types of video content that people are interested in and you can get advantages to promote your brand. These types include tutorials, video ads, vlogs (video blogs), video presentations, video interviews, product demos, product reviews, video testimonials, and recordings of live streams.

Once counting these types, I thought of a lot of ideas that I could produce to promote my business brilliantly. I’m sure you have many more ideas to generate.

10. Collaborate and Partner with Complementary Businesses

One of the most common e-commerce growth strategies is collaborating with complementary businesses. This strategy can steadily grow your market share.

The whole idea is to achieve a win-win situation with your complimentary partner, so you can both support each other’s growth goals. This leads to a very consistent, fruitful supply of customers for both parties, and can be an excellent strategy for long-term growth.

For example, ExpandCart—the largest eCommerce service provider in the Middle East has partnered with the ‘Tagerly’ first and largest dropshipping platform in Egypt. and has partnered also with ‘Bosta’, the fastest Courier Service in Egypt. All those partners complement each other simply by targeting the same target market.



Final Note

While there are some tried and tested e-commerce growth strategies — there isn’t a magic stick that will help your business grow. All you need to do is to test different eCommerce growth strategies to find the one that works best for your own business.

Being creative and adventurer is very recommended to grab the attention of new potential customers, but definitely it should be based on a clear vision and a well-built strategic plan.