7 effective ways to grow your e‑commerce business


Thomas Smale, founder, FE International

Thomas Smale, founder, FE International

The future looks bright for e-commerce. By 2021, it is estimated that 15.5% of all retail sales worldwide will take place online. That’s more than double the amount from 2015. There’s no reason to think that this trend will slow down anytime soon. As more people worldwide gain internet access, and as m-commerce continues to grow, it is truly an ideal time to be an e-commerce business owner. With all of that growth comes challenges as well as opportunities. Are you doing everything you can to grow your e-commerce business into a success? Here, we take a look at the seven best ways to grow your e-commerce business.

Abandoned Cart Emails

Did you know that over 76% of shopping carts are abandoned before a purchase is completed? An estimated $4 trillion of merchandise never gets any further than the cart. Not all of those sales need to be written off. Triggered abandoned cart emails have been shown to be one of the most effective forms of email marketing. 48% of cart abandonment emails are opened and 33% of these result in a purchase. If you are an e-commerce retailer and you’re not taking advantage of triggered abandoned cart emails, chances are you’re leaving easy money on the table. There’s no reason to do this—abandoned cart recovery software is readily available for every major e-commerce platform, from Magento to Shopify. Another important tip—be timely. 90% of sales leads go cold with one hour after cart abandonment. Retarget your leads right away.

Optimize for M-Commerce

80% of internet users now own a smartphone. It is estimated that, by 2018, the average American adult will spend 3 hours and 23 minutes per day consuming media on their mobile devices. By now, any e-commerce retailer worth their salt will have aresponsive website. In the mobile future, that alone will not be enough. While m-commerce currently lags behind traditional e-commerce in terms of conversion, that trend is not forecasted to continue for long. It is predicted that nearly 50% of all e-commerce sales will take place on mobile devices by 2020.

Visitors that find your e-commerce site through organic search are over eight time more likely to convert than those who visit through paid search advertising.

The primary reason for low mobile sales conversion rates is that many e-commerce sites simply don’t work well on mobile devices. This can be due to factors beyond a retailer’s control, such as poor connectivity. But much of it is because many e-commerce owners aren’t specifically targeting mobile customers. Instead, they expect users to muddle through a user interface designed to be viewed on a desktop, offering them a decidedly diminished mobile experience. Embrace the opportunity to optimize your e-commerce website for m-commerce—it will pay dividends now and in the future.

Triggered Emails

Abandoned cart email is just one of the triggered email marketing solutions you should implement for your e-commerce business. Here areeight other typesof automated emails you should consider sending to your customers:

  • Welcome email
  • Replenishment reminder email
  • Recommendation based on browsing history
  • Purchase follow up/reminder to review email
  • Order confirmation
  • Recommendation based on purchase history
  • Holiday email
  • Winback email (for inactive customers)

Content Marketing

Visitors that find your e-commerce site through organic search are over eight times more likely to convert to a sale than those who visit your site through paid search advertising. Now that the days of keyword stuffing are permanently in the rear-view mirror, producing high-quality, relevant content is the only way to improve your search engine results page ranking (SERP). Quite literally, your SERP determines which order your website ranks on a search result query through Google. Pages that rank higher in search results, particularly those on the first page of SERP, see significantly more traffic from search than those sites whose SERP results are lower. This is the reason that search engine optimization (SEO) plays such an important role in online marketing today. Creating long-form content, carefully optimized for relevant keywords, is the best way to improve your organic search ranking—and to engage your potential customers.

Translate for New Territories

As e-commerce continues to spread around the globe, now is the time to consider whether you can expand your e-commerce business into new markets. Would the products you sell appeal to people in a market where English is not the first language? Once you determine which markets may be worth targeting, research potential competitors already operating in the local language. If you still feel that your product offering would work, look at options for translating your site. Nearly 75%of consumers are more likely to purchase a product if the description is in their own language. TextMaster specializes in translations for e-commerce sites and works in over 50 languages. They boast a turnaround time of 24 hours or less for most projects. Geango is another good option, with over 20,000 translators worldwide working simultaneously.

Speed Up Your Website

Website speed is more important than ever. Consumer attention spans are shrinking at the same time that their desire for instant gratification is growing. Recent studies show that 40% of users will abandon a website with page load times of three seconds or more. It’s not just seconds that count. Even an additional 100 milliseconds load time can decrease conversion rates by up to 7%. Fortunately, there are many ways to boost the speed of your website and potentially supercharge your conversion rates:

  • Optimize your images
  • Shop around for faster hosting
  • Use a content distribution network (CDN) such as Cloudflare
  • Utilize GZip compressionfor your website

Affiliate Marketing

One of the most powerful ways to drive traffic to your e-commerce site is to implement an affiliate marketing program. Affiliate marketing leverages content on third-party websites by paying a commission on referrals that result in a sale from your site. To give you an idea of just how effective affiliate marketing can be, Amazon’s Associate program is one of the oldest affiliate programs on the web. It has been an integral part of helping Amazon grow into the behemoth it is today.

Contrary to popular belief, it is typically not expensive or technically difficult to launch an affiliate program. Major e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and Magento make it easy and inexpensive to get started. Reversion offers integration with these and many other platforms. The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you don’t pay your affiliates until you make a sale. This is a huge advantage over traditional marketing and advertising where many if not all your costs are upfront. Think of how much you could increase your e-commerce site’s reach if the people who are writing about the products are then referring their readers to your site to make a purchase. Having a generous commission structure in place will also incentivize publishers to write about your products in the first place.

In this article, we have taken a brief look at seven of the best ways to grow your e-commerce business. To summarize:

  • Abandoned cart emails
  • Optimize for m-commerce
  • Triggered emails
  • Content marketing
  • Translate for new territories
  • Speed up your website
  • Affiliate marketing

Put these seven best practices to work for your e-commerce business today.

FE International advises internet business owners on selling their businesses.

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