Growth hacking is a term that has only come to light recently. As a business owner, you are always looking at growth to rise above your competitors. Growth hacking techniques make use of creative ways with just one objective in mind- a visible impact on growth. They make use of innovative ways and the power of technology, content, or product engineering to go beyond traditional marketing techniques.
In ecommerce, growth means customer acquisition, conversion, and retention. As an ecommerce marketer, staying ahead requires you to ensure that these three factors are being taken care of.
Let us find out what growth hacking techniques are going to come in handy for you to stay ahead of the curve.
Get A Faster Website
Ecommerce customers are quite sensitive to the website load time. Kissmetrics says that 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load and 79% shoppers who are dissatisfied with the website performance are less likely to make a purchase from the same site again. The image below shows the relationship of page load time with page abandonment.
The same source suggests that a one-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversion. This means a one-second page delay can cost $2.5 million in lost sales every year for an ecommerce company making $100,000 per day. That gives you a reason to sit up and take notice. If your website is not performing well, you might be losing money.
Decreasing your load time by just 2 to 3 seconds can increase your conversion rate by 14% to 21%. By using this one tactic, you can make a significant difference in your conversion rate and as a result, in your sales.
A slow website can also lower your search ranking. Google takes into account the load time while ranking a website on its search results. That means not rectifying a slow website will put your competitor ahead of you on the search engine results page.
There are certain resources you can use to keep a track of your website load time. For instance, Google has its own web-based tool called Page Speed Online, that gives a score for your website speed and also suggests ways to improve it. You can check out other tools like Google Analytics plugin by Yoast if you are using WordPress or Google Webmaster tools.
Deliver More Than Expected
Larry Page, co- founder of Google once said, “Always deliver more than expected.”
In customer service, small changes can make a big impact on your conversion rate. One of the most critical parts of the process is the follow-up after purchase or sign-up. The idea is to make the user experience worth remembering, right after they have chosen you.
There can be a number of ways this can be done like free product training/support or a free product related widget or guide. Anything that gives something extra to the customer than promised makes them come back to you.
Consider PayPal and Dropbox that gave out attractive incentives to their customers.
PayPal gave away $10 to each new customer who signed up with them. Not only that, if the customers got his/her friend to sign up, the customer got an additional $10. Not to mention, that the friend got his share of the money too for signing up and the chain continued. Eventually, PayPal grabbed millions of users before pulling the offer out.
Take a look at what Dropbox did for users who referred their friends for the service:
The reason why these strategies work is because they add value to the customer’s user journey and they prefer you over your competitors.
When it comes to maximising your conversions, you cannot rely on guesswork. Your decisions have to be data-driven and A/B testing is a great way to optimize your marketing through data and statistics.
A/B testing enables you to compare two variations of a website or an app to know which one performs better. The decision of which version to keep is taken on the basis of a detailed data driven analysis of the response of the audience to each version.
Apply A/B tests on different instances of the customer journey, right from the home page to checkout, depending upon the nature of your business. Take a look at some experiments you can conduct:
Test your Call-To-Action
Beamax is a Belgian company that manufactures and distributes projection screens for home cinemas and meeting rooms globally. Here’s what Beamax did. They tested a link that asked the customer to check out other deals. The company A/B tested the original version (with a blue link), a variation with a red link and a red banner that they thought would have a greater impact.
The red banner and link winning over the original blue link was expected. But what came as a surprise was that the red link got more clicks than the red banner. The improvement of red link compared to the original blue link was a phenomenal 53.13%.
Test your navigation/menu
Formstack, an online form builder, tested two variations by changing the content of a navigation item. Renaming “Why Use Us” to “How It Works” increased page views by 50% and site conversions (sign ups) by 8%.
This is how the two variations looked like:
Different images on the website can be tested along with their size, placement, number and so on. Take the example of Highrise, a CRM solution for small businesses, that tested these two variations with different images :
The second image saw a higher percentage of sign ups. You can run similar tests on your product images.
These are just a few ways that A/B testing can be used to increase conversion. You can use this effective growth hack by trying out a large number of other variations.
Increase Email Signups
Having a solid email list is one of the best growth engines for an ecommerce business. Email marketing is still the king of all marketing efforts. Campaign Monitor says email marketing generates a 3800% ROI or $38 for each $1 spent. That means, acquiring more signups is one of the most effective growth hacks you can use.
Email has the highest conversion rate of 66% compared to social, direct mail and more, when it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message. That means, you need to start sending your discounts, sales and offers through email.
Place your sign up or opt-in forms at strategic locations on the website where users are most likely to subscribe. A/B testing can help you to test different ways of putting up your sign up forms.
Take a look this example where the sign up form appears as a sidebar:
Use an exit pop-up
Exit popups are appear at the exact instant when a user is about to abandon the website to convert them into leads. To see how they are used to increase conversion, consider the example of a shoe retailer, ShoeMe. The company made use of a ‘15% off’ coupon as an exit popup to reduce the shopping cart abandonment rate.
This was the coupon presented to the users. With this move, ShoeMe was able to convert 6.87% abandoning visitors into making a purchase.
These growth hacks just form the tip of the iceberg. You can get innovative in so many ways to grab eyeballs. It all depends on what your business is about and what your customer is looking for. Don’t forget to measure the effectiveness of your strategies by monitoring the analytics.
Download an interesting research on what works (and what doesn’t) in email marketing for ecommerce by TargetingMantra.