13 Simple eCommerce Strategies to Grow Your Business

Ron Dodby Ron Dod

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No matter if the company is brand new or doing millions in sales per year, scaling an eCommerce business through increased sales is a necessity.

However, all businesses go through ebbs and flows. Tactics can grow stale and generating more conversions can become a challenging process. Worse yet, business owners can sometimes find themselves at a loss for new ideas for increasing eCommerce sales.

It happens to us all.

That said, the internet provides such sellers with a wealth of resources for finding new eCommerce strategies for growing a business. Be it new UX eCommerce trends, advertising methodologies or platform optimization techniques, retailers can find everything they want to know with just a couple of clicks.

Having found this page, it is clear that you, dear reader, are looking for effective ways to rake in more sales and grow your eCommerce business.

Well, you are in the right place.

Here are 13 powerful eCommerce strategy implementations that can help grow an online retail business.

Post-Purchase Automation Emails

There are plenty of ways to utilize email marketing to boost sales. However, email automation is one of the most effective tools at a seller’s disposal.

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The fact is that there are tons of great email marketing automation tools available online, enabling merchants to easily set up revenue-driving email sequences that can help nurture, upsell or re-engage dormant customers, based on their actions (or inaction), interests and behaviors.

For instance, when exploring ways small businesses employ marketing automation, a wedding invitation company called Paper Style established a series of segmented email sequences to upsell customers. As Venture Harbour reports on the effort:

“The result of moving from a generic newsletter to personalized marketing automation was quite dramatic for Paper Style. Their open rates increased by 244 percent, email click rates by 161 percent, and their revenue per mailing increased by 330 percent.”

It is clear that email marketing automation’s advantages can be a powerful enhancer of an eCommerce strategy aimed at increasing sales. However, retailers need not limit themselves to sending post-purchase emails to upsell customers.

Automate Personalized Communications

Sticking with the email rail for a moment, personalization is another epic eCommerce strategy for growing a business.

The fact is that personalization is rapidly becoming a mandatory eCommerce strategy for merchants to employ. This notion is supported by personalized marketing research from Salesforce, which found that:

“57 percent of consumers say they’re willing to share personal data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts. Additionally, consumers will share personal data in exchange for product recommendations that meet their needs (52 percent) and personalized shopping experiences (53 percent).”

As far as personalization is concerned, an excellent tactic for increasing customer lifetime value is to send out birthday, anniversary and custom seasonal discounts.

Through email automation services, merchants can send out offers that are tailored to specific shoppers. In fact, a study on birthday emails from Experian found that this type of communication resulted in 342 percent higher revenue per email than generalized promotional emails.

Therefore, personalized emails are a great eCommerce strategy for helping a business to reach the next level of success.

However, emails aren’t the only way to personalize eCommerce experiences.

Create a Loyalty Program

As noted earlier, increasing swaths of consumers demand custom interactions with their favorite brands. Loyalty programs are another fantastic way to meet this growing demand.

Given that research from Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company has shown that boosting customer retention by five percent increases profits by 25 to a stunning 95 percent, ensuring customer loyalty is a powerhouse eCommerce strategy for scaling a brand.

firehouse subs points

When turning one’s attention to customer retention, it is clear that this is one of the most effective ways for growing a business, as holding on to profitable customers is far less expensive than obtaining new ones.

Part of the reason for that is that loyalty programs (which are all about customer retention) offer current shoppers perks such as:

  • Exclusive content
  • Discounts
  • Private or early-access sales
  • Free products and giveaways
  • Coupons and vouchers

All of these factors encourage consumers to keep shopping with a specific retailer instead of heading off to competing websites.

Fortunately, building a successful loyalty program isn’t as difficult as some might think.

For instance, by utilizing online services such as LoyaltyLion, retailers can easily create and test a customized loyalty program that will help to increase eCommerce revenue.

However, it should be noted that while offering exclusive content and offerings to loyalty program members can be a tremendous eCommerce strategy for growth, similar privileges can also be extended to the entirety of a brand’s customer base.

Offer Exclusive Sales

Again, catering to existing customers is a more fiscally responsible growth strategy than attempting to reel in new shoppers. In fact, acquiring new customers costs about five times more than nurturing those who have already been converted.

Therefore, retailers must focus their efforts on retention.

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Another great way to serve this end is to create personalized offers for shoppers. Moreover, retailers already have the data necessary to enact such an effort.

As mentioned earlier, consumers are happy to hand over their data if they receive a personalized shopping experience and recommendations in exchange. This means that building out personalized, on-site recommendations, sales and offers is an ideal method for growing an online retail business.

As an example, given that Amazon knows an individual’s purchase history, the company can customize product recommendations to tailor the user experience to each specific shopper, thereby increasing average order values. 

Make the Packaging Memorable

Many eCommerce businesses are focused on creating an outstanding on-site user experience, and rightfully so. However, there are scores of sellers who create a stunning site, only to neglect the offline experience.

A product’s packaging is an essential component that can sometimes make or break marketing strategies. Apple hasn’t invested copious amounts of resources into crafting its iconic packaging for nothing, after all.

Product packaging has become an integral part of an eCommerce strategy as it can inspire repeat purchases from consumers. A 2016 eCommerce packaging study found that 42 percent of shoppers are more likely to buy from a brand again if it delivers premium packaging.

This dynamic is the exact reason why businesses like Apple, Dollar Shave Club, Happy Socks and other brands have invested so heavily in making their product packaging an experience.

Unique packaging can result in word-of-mouth marketing via social media as shoppers love to share their unboxing adventures with friends and followers.

To those who think we might be playing this one up a bit, feel free to reference the 1.2 million #unboxing posts on Instagram.

Optimize Product Descriptions

Product descriptions are an essential component in generating sales. However, this real estate is often neglected, either being ripped from manufacturer websites, haphazardly written or not fully optimized.

Gerber page screencast

Product descriptions give retailers the potential to get their products to stand out among the ocean of options available to shoppers and allow those folks to get a taste of the brand’s personality.

Therefore, learning how to write product descriptions that sell is an essential eCommerce strategy for growing a business.

Without the ability to persuade, a brand cannot produce a profit.

Create First-in-Class Content

Content is a critical component to a successful eCommerce strategy as this is the foundational element to search engine optimization and pulling in top-of-funnel consumers. Therefore, crafting top-notch content is a necessity.

In terms of the kind of content that performs best, long-form content is the most effective in earning brands visibility in the SERPs. Research from a variety of sources has shown this to be true time and again.

Therefore, retailers may want to consider creating long-form, visually stunning guides or employing the skyscraper technique to dominate the competition on Google and other search engines.

Content is one of the most significant opportunities available to merchants for developing an eCommerce strategy that helps a business grow. Stellar content can earn a site credibility as a thought leader, authoritative backlinks and a steady flow of traffic, just to name a few of the many perks.

Learning to drive revenue with content is a must for scaling an eCommerce business.

Optimize the Site’s Checkout Process

Cart abandonment is a massive issue for eCommerce companies. Therefore, optimizing the site’s checkout process is of prime importance.

There are a multitude of ways that merchants can achieve this aim, including:

  • Showing a progress bar
  • Ensure the back button is functional throughout
  • Prevent surprises with features like a tax calculator
  • Clearly display cart contents
  • Employ data autocomplete
  • Provide multiple payment options

While these are all essential elements to an optimized shopping cart, there is one element that should be considered above all, which leads us to our next point.

Keep the Checkout Simple

When speaking to checkout flow essentials for increasing conversions, simplicity is the name of the game.

For retailers to make their checkout process as simple as possible, the first thing to consider is providing a guest checkout option. Many shoppers do not want to create yet another account with yet another password to remember. Therefore, sites that force account creation are more likely to see their carts abandoned than those that give the option to purchase as a guest.

make checkout process simple graphic

The next thing to keep in mind is to truncate the process as much as possible. This means building a checkout that is only a couple of pages in length (at most), and that eliminates asking for extraneous information. The only fields that should be required for buyers to fill in are those that are necessary for completing an order.

After a shopper has placed their order, then feel free to give them the option to create an account if they wish.

Structuring the checkout process in this manner will go a long way in boosting sales.

Display Shipping Costs Upfront

According to the Baymard Institute’s cart abandonment rate research, the number one reason for shoppers ditching their items is that extra costs (shipping, taxes, fees) were too high.

Therefore, it is vital for merchants to be upfront with consumers and (if possible) let them know how much shipping will be at the beginning of the checkout process. If charging a flat shipping rate is an option, this would be a great way to keep things simple for consumers.

Moreover, eCommerce businesses should aim to inform customers about when a product will arrive, as this will help to keep cart abandonment to a minimum.

However, even with all these checkout elements in place, carts will still be abandoned, which leads us to our next eCommerce strategy.

Launch Retargeting Campaigns

The vast majority of consumers will not convert on their first visit to a retailer’s website.

This is a fact.

Therefore, if merchants want to recapture as many of these consumers as possible (plus those who abandon their carts), retargeting campaigns are a must.

Retargeting marketing is essential for eCommerce sales as it enables merchants to follow those folks to popular sites, like Google, Facebook and others, and remind them about products they might like to purchase.

Retargeting adverts have shown to be an incredibly important component of an eCommerce strategy that drives sales and business growth.

These types of ads are a must for maximizing online sales.

Showcase Credibility

In today’s online environment, trust is low. Therefore, merchants must do all that they can to show that their brand is reputable. While many brands help to drive credence through SEO, social media presences and the like, displaying on-site trust signals is just as important.

Given that online security is such a massive concern in today’s digital age, retailers must go beyond mere HTTPS implementation and show that their customers’ safety is something they take seriously.

Therefore, showing trust seals in various on-site locations (in the footer, shopping cart, etc.) is an effective means of helping shoppers to feel more comfortable in placing an order.

When it comes to which trust seals work best, Baymard Institute’s research on perceived security of payment reveals that:

“The 2019 test results tell largely the same story as our 2016 and 2013 results. The SSL seal from Norton dominates as the seal that establishes the best sense of trust, followed by three trust seals… Looking at the results, it’s very interesting to note that the seals from well-known consumer-facing brands, like Norton and Google, perform very well. This suggests that it’s at least to some extent possible for e-commerce sites to leverage the recognizability of these brands.”

If your brand isn’t currently displaying trust signals on its site, this needs to change immediately to enhance its eCommerce strategy for sales growth.

Ensure Mobile Optimization

In recent years, consumers have grown increasingly comfortable completing purchases on small screen devices, thereby making mobile optimization an even greater priority for retail brands.

Therefore, it is critical to employ mobile eCommerce optimization tactics to keep sales high, no matter which device a shopper opts to utilize.

However, another thing that sellers might consider is building an application, given that Adweek notes that, while mobile sales are rising, they split between apps and the mobile web.

That said, building an application can be a lengthy and costly endeavor. But, a relatively novel technology, progressive web apps (PWAs) are redefining the mobile experience and are poised to help revolutionize the eCommerce industry.

Product page

These apps are essentially a blend of a mobile site and a native application, giving retailers the best of both worlds. More importantly, PWAs are cheaper to build and provide better user experiences than most mobile sites.

Moreover, in terms of eCommerce strategy and scaling a brand, PWAs have shown remarkable effectiveness at increasing conversions. Through Flipkart’s PWA implementation, the company was able to generate:

  • Three times more time spent on-site
  • 40 percent greater re-engagement
  • 70 percent increase in conversions

There are a variety of PWA case studies that show similar results.

Consider integrating PWA technology into your brand’s eCommerce strategy.

When it comes to establishing an eCommerce strategy that will help brands scale operations, creativity and experimentation are key. While there are tons of potential tactics to utilize, not all will produce equally prosperous results for all companies.

However, with the assortment of strategies listed above, retailers are sure to find several that are able to help elevate their brand’s performance.

That said, implementing new programs can sometimes be quite challenging, often requiring a bit of trial and error. If your company would like help getting past the growing pains of integrating new elements into its eCommerce strategy, check out the various eCommerce services offered by Visiture. We can help your brand with everything from SEO to ad optimization, web design, strategy consulting and everything else your business needs to grow to that next level of success.

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