For new and established e-tailers, one of the most common pitfalls when scaling up acquisition and conversion is falling into the vanity/sanity trap. Spending too much time on what works or looks good for the business and not enough time delivering experiences that customers really need, want and will come back for.
So, before you make, shake and roll out your up and down stream initiatives, it pays to get back to your customer roots. Here’s our top tips to fast-track growth:
1. Be your own best customer
When was the last time you bought something from your webstore? Tried to share a product on social? Or search for it on your mobile? The only way truly understand customers’ hot buttons and heart burns is to live their experience.
2. Beware the data trap
It’s great to get deeper customer insight but not at the expense of too much data entry. The more steps you add the more friction and barriers to a sale. Use one-click where you can and keep marketing data-capture optional, not a prerequisite for purchase.
3. Create comfort zones not distractions
Boost confidence by making sure essentials – product specs, payment details, delivery and returns – are clear and unambiguous. Prevent delays (and dropped baskets) by using cookies to recognise repeat customers and pre-fill forms.
4. Personalise messaging
Customer data – purchases, page views, traffic, trends, etc – can help build profiles and personalize engagement. But keep comms targeting simple – three to four segments max. Too many and it won’t be repeatable or scalable.
5. Reflect social preferences
With so much market choice, a good referral helps you stand out. Find out where customers are hanging out (Instagram, twitter, etc) and make sure your web pages, products and creative treatments reflect this, and are easy to link and share.
6. Benchmark data
You don’t know your business if you don’t know your data. Audit performance everyday – step by step and click by click – to measure progress. Feedback results into comms and op teams to boost engagement and ROI.
7. Avoid over-reliance on sales
It’s easy to get sucked into discount cycles to drive acquisition and shift stock. But what is it really doing to your brand and your profit margins? Maybe there are better ways to stimulate click-throughs other than dropping price e.g. offering Pay in 3.
8. Broaden appeal
All customers are important for growth – one offs, frequent, big ticket or small. However, with acquisitions costs high, offset expense by finding partners like Klarna with their own ecosystems to broaden reach and drive loyalty.
9. Create a tribe
Follow in the footsteps of Gymshark and Beauty Bay and leapfrog competition by targeting tribes rather than individuals. The key is combining an authentic voice with innovative campaigns to build communities and drive them to your checkout.
10. Pick the right payment partners
Do your partners elevate your business? Do they have a world class proposition, an existing customer ecosystem, a great brand and reputation? Are they creative, flexible and able to add value? If not don’t partner with them. It’s as simple as that.
Still stuck for ideas? When looking for inspiration, remember there are very few ‘firsts’ in retailing. Someone will have done it before. Learn from other merchants’ scale-up journeys – avoid their mistakes and replicate their successes.
To hear more from Kevin, listen to the webinar we recorded with our friends at Loyalty Lion.