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How to grow a successful eCommerce business

Digital commerce website owners may find it challenging to effectively grow their online store. Oftentimes owners hope that the target audience will somehow find their business naturally. The other reason is simply not having any growth plans. So businesses are likely to end up with an ever-changing list of tactics hoping that something will eventually work out.

Utilizing various tactics without having a plan and waiting for a miracle to happen is a definite recipe for failure. To avoid this, you need to understand what steps to take, at what stages to implement changes, and what the expected results should be.

Below you can find an overview of customer acquisition and retention tactics. It was devised to aid you in writing a checklist of the most important things to have in mind when creating a roadmap for scaling your eCommerce business.

Choose the right metrics to track

90% of product owners admit making bad decisions because of their inability to make sense out of their data in relation to their goals!

The ultimate objective for your business is to set the right goals and choose meaningful metrics to track. For example, you want to grow your website’s traffic by 50% by the end of the next year. Accordingly, the metrics to track this should include: the number of daily visitors, most valuable traffic sources, context and display ads performance, and YouTube channel views. Other online stores may choose to focus on growing sales as the most valuable strategy. In this case, they need to monitor their daily sales, conversion rates, and site traffic.

These are the three basic steps you need to take to improve your eCommerce business:

– Understand what business areas need to be improved

– State relevant and attainable goals

– Develop a set of metrics correlating with those goals

Keeping in mind that KPIs should vary based on the overall goals, we can consider the corresponding set of metrics and indicators:

Sales related indicators

  • Daily/Monthly/Yearly sales volumes
  • Average order size
  • Average margin
  • Cost of goods sold
  • Bundle sales vs. individual product sales
Marketing related metrics
  • Number of site visitors
  • Chat sessions initiated
  • Conversion rates
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Number of product reviews
Customer services metrics
  • Emails received
  • Phone calls per day
  • Average goods/services delivery time

By having these key metrics rack OrbitLift can crunch your data to find the best opportunities to grow your revenues

Plan efficient customer acquisition

Even in case you have a unique product (which is rare in most cases), it doesn’t mean that you will grow effortlessly. In the early stages of an eCommerce business, you need to make sure that your store experiences regular month on month growth. Although most acquisition strategies are largely dependent on the type of your store and industry, there are several key online acquisition tactics that you can generally use.:

Optimize website for organic search

An integral part of your plan should be centered on organic search. And basically to drive organic online search you need to have a compelling website content and proper descriptions. Be ready to dedicate an appropriate amount of time to build your online presence through external links.

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Master content marketing

The key to success is creating high-quality content for your website, blog or external media outlets. Quality content means something your audience finds valuable enough to stop, read and share with their peers. Only by establishing proper relations with your audience you can acquire engaged visitors and eventually convert them into customers.

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Manage and optimize paid ads

Pay-per-click ads are a major source of online user acquisition. These are Google context ads, Facebook, and others. Each platform has its advantages and special tactics, so you should have a specific plan for each of them that includes launch, management, and optimization.

Manage email marketing

Having an extensive database of prospective customer emails is an easy way to generate the first batch of sales and start building your brand. Your strategy should be focused on delivering useful and valuable content, not just product offers. The thing is that once someone subscribes, you have more chances to turn him into a customer.

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Make smart use of social media

Social media like Facebook and Instagram can be the best sources to find and engage the right audience. To make it work, you may need to ensure that you have a product/market fit. You should know your buyers’ persona to effectively use targeting options and find valuable users without wasting your marketing budget.

Blogger/influencer outreach

In your early development stage having an aggressive digital PR campaign is important to develop awareness of the new online store among opinion leaders. When you find clusters of your audience – whether these are forums, podcasts, review websites — you want to build a relationship with them. You can tell them your story of who you are and why you are passionate about your new venture. Or, for example, if you have physical products, you can offer them samples to review.

Make use of marketplaces

As a smart online store owner, you would want to target the locations with your target shoppers. Amazon, eBay, Etsy and other large sites offer unique chances to reach millions of dedicated customers. So if you have your own products, don’t forget to use these opportunities to grow. You can also consider using special discounts and offers to encourage users’ visiting your personal online store.

Convert visitors to customers

When you have enough visitors at your online store, the next critical issue is to convince them to make purchases. The art of doing so is called “conversion optimization.” It's more of an art than science. These are the main things to remember when mastering CRO (conversion rates optimization)

Establishing trust

The purchase decision is rarely about the price. It’s more about your prospective audience trusting your site. Include “safe shopping” badges, dedicate a special area for customer reviews, show that your store is equipped with latest secure payment systems. All of this helps when building up trust.

requested SMB’s to improve content quality
Perfecting design and UX

One of the most simple and common mistakes is not to improve the site load speed. If it’s too heavy loaded with images and video content, it loads slowly (especially on mobile). It means you lose your revenue. Lack of properly done navigation is another common reason. People expect products to be placed in logical and predictable order so that it’s convenient to browse through the store. Improving UX and site navigation, in particular, can have a dramatic effect on your bottom line.

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Decreasing shopping cart abandonment

There are a number of reasons why your visitors can abandon their shopping cart: due to the complexity of the process because they run out of time, have payment issues, or because of high delivery costs (if they find out about them only in cart). That’s why user behavior analytics and remarketing is so important and has to be in place to make sure you return as much of your audience to the shopping cart as possible.

Retain your customers

Once you’ve dedicated a lot of work to get the target audience to visit your website and make purchases, you need to turn this audience into loyal customers. It’s a well-established fact that it’s much more cost effective to keep your current customers happy and encourage their repeated business than to find and convert new ones. Hereby are some tips for retaining your shoppers and converting them into loyal clients.

Perfect your customer support

Dedicate your time and efforts to make sure your customer support is client-focused, fast and friendly. Make sure your personnel knows how to treat impolite customers and be patient with the pickiest clients. It sometimes can be a cause of serious frustration to lose an important and valuable customer due to a single negative customer experience.

Introduce loyalty program

A loyalty program should actually stand up to its name: an actionable plan aimed at keeping your customers engaged and motivated to continue purchasing from your store. These programs may encompass a lot of things including sampling, different kinds of special offers and incentives. Starting from very basic offers such as promotional coupons the program can then be transformed into a more sophisticated structure that is based on personalized offers.

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Improve customer experience

One of the most effective ways to manage one-on-one customer communication is to check in with your customer in several days after they make a purchase with your store. This allows you to get a real understanding of how they feel about the purchasing process and evaluate their experiences. On a more sophisticated level, when your store has personalization capabilities you can create special content based on existing behavioral data and customer purchasing history. This is one of the things that make businesses such as Amazon successful.

Follow eCommerce trends

As the face of online retail changes so rapidly it’s vital to keep a close eye on the eCommerce trends and plan your growth strategy accordingly:

Mobile commerce

OrbitLift believes that mobile is a well-established channel for retail transactions, considering the fact that the mobile devices are in the center of connected consumer’s world. In 2015 nearly four in ten transactions happened across mobile devices while top retailers saw double figure growth in mobile transactions last year when compared to the year-on-year average.

Social commerce

The ever-changing face of digital commerce is influencing how businesses approach consumers. With maturing of eCommerce and proliferation of social media, there’s been a major push towards the so-called “social commerce,” where retailers and social networks are partnering to offer consumers an improved engagement and convenient online shopping experience. In the early days of social media, it was enough to just have your social profile and make updates on Facebook. And now companies must create an engaging experience enriched with product video, online streaming, interactive reviews and comparison charts.


With the advance of technology, personalization has become more affordable and available not only for the largest retailers but for the small ones as well. While some online stores allow customers to design entirely unique products by giving a blank template to create on, others provide a predefined design that customers can change by using features like text, fonts, and colors. With so many ways to implement a personalized approach, it’s an effective strategy to make sure you differentiate from your competitors, effectively engage users and create a unique product niche.

Maybe you are just starting your online store or you’ve already seen revenue growth, there are numerous ways to reach your key business goals through profound metrics analysis. Let our professionals analyze the current state of your business and help you achieve success!
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