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Growth Hacking – How To Make It eCommerce Relevant For 2020

Brent Peterson Brent Peterson July 23, 2019

Growth Hacking – How To Make It eCommerce Relevant For 2020

Growth hacking is sometimes dismissed as an overused marketing term — but its tenets still hold true.

The ability to growth hack an eCommerce business, create rapid growth, and scale fast, hinges on your ability to create a highly marketable product and value proposition.

You need to create a network of loyal customers who just can’t help but buy and recommend your products. How? Make your brand irresistible.

Here are some tips on how you can adopt the growth hack mentality for your growing eCommerce brand in 2020.

Invest in product-led video stories

Live video and social media stories are extremely popular content channels. Currently dominated by personal interactions, they are the perfect place for brands to test the waters and seed their products.

Creating a whole video series and seeding them out through Instagram Stories, or hosting a sequence of review-style Facebook lives with a popular influencer are two great places to start.

Invest in strong visuals — lifestyle imagery and a beautiful/stimulating setting are a must.

Spend time crafting your captions too. Humor can be a great way to ‘break the ice’ and get people talking about your brand.

  1. Paid media works really well here. Put some advertising budget behind your video content to see it really fly off the shelves. Even a small investment can bring exponential views and engagement.
  2. Seed your content with the seasons. Work with seasonal browsing and shopping peaks and invest more into your strategy when people are out shopping in droves.
  3. Work with influencers in your space to co-create engaging content. Lean on people who have real stories to tell about your products — find up-and-coming influencers in your customer community.

Engage with new content formats

Growth hackers are always first on the scene when things start happening. Do like them and engage with new content formats for your brand.

Whether it’s the latest social media platform creating a buzz, or a new viral trend that’s getting everybody talking, engage with what’s new and fresh out there.

Make sure you spend a few hours a week (or month) doing market research to make sure you don’t fall behind. Agile startups will be coming up all the time and making the most of new communities.

As a marketer, you’ll know that early adoption is a great way to create a solid brand footprint.

  1. Monitoring reddit is a good idea for content inspiration — a lot of exciting things end up on there.
  2. Social media groups are great places to find out how customer communities are ‘feeling’ about a certain topic or trend.
  3. As soon as advertising becomes available on a popular platform, it’s a good idea to jump in. Be first on the scene and test the waters with some advertising revenue. This is how many eCommerce phenomenons start.

Automated referral programs

Referral and loyalty marketing are no new kids on the eCommerce block, but artificial intelligence and machine learning are making them easier than ever to implement.

The ability to automate referral programs means that more and more eCommerce brands can make the most of this cost-effective eCommerce growth hack. Automated commerce is an exciting prospect — recent studies suggest that up to 1.1 Billion eCommerce decisions are routinely offloaded to automation platforms.

And automation doesn’t mean that eCommerce is becoming more impersonal — quite the opposite. Automation allows you to sift through customer data at scale so that you can reach more people with a more personalized message.

Invest in a good referral program and start simple with a loyalty-based group of VIP customers. Create a sense of buzz and prestige around referrals, and make sure that the reward for the referrer is something worthwhile. Value your customers’ time as well as their money.

Advanced email automation

Continuing on with the theme of automation, dynamic email and advanced email automation recipes are making people’s inboxes a more exciting place for merchants and shoppers alike. Despite the advent of Facebook Messenger and social media messaging, email is still an eCommerce growth hacker’s top channel.

Email automation is a great way to send out personalized offers, re-capture abandoned carts and lapsed customers, and generally check in with customers.

The ability to automate email sequences based on a wide range of data and features is exciting — you can ultimately create a whole library of automation ‘recipes’ that are fine-tuned to your customer base.

Here are some automation triggers you might want to consider:

  1. The weather
  2. Basket size
  3. Basket abandoners
  4. New product/collection stalkers
  5. Shopper frequency
  6. Age
  7. Location
  8. Travel data
  9. Referrer data.

Power up your email automation with some Facebook advertising and you’ll be onto a very strong proposition indeed…

Cut costs — be smart

This is solid business advice — not just a growth hack. Many eCommerce entrepreneurs don’t make their businesses lean enough and struggle to scale with inefficient systems and low profit margins.

Don’t fall into the same trap. Cut the fat and operate a lean business that can scale and downsize in function of demand.

  1. Outsource where you can and hire slowly. Freelancers and contractors can help you scale well, as long as you have good processes.
  2. Invest in an eCommerce platform that integrates and automates business processes.
  3. Don’t spend unnecessary capital on inventory, storing, or shipping. These can be expensive eCommerce sinkholes.
  4. Be ruthless about chasing ROI — especially when it comes to marketing and content. Don’t invest in campaigns to boost vanity metrics, but track your sales pipeline. (Here’s a good guide on how to integrate Magento with Google Analytics).

Want to grow your business in 2020? Adopt these tactics to help your eCommerce business scale and grow in the right direction.

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