For Business

Charting a path for growing your business

From SEO to omnichannel marketing, tap into these proven tactics for ecommerce success.

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If you’re a small or midsize ecommerce business, figuring out the best way to drive revenue and growth is likely to rank at the top of your priority list. On the Springboard blog, you’ll find advice and insights for scaling your business, tracking the right sales drivers, customizing your marketing to engage different shopper archetypes, tips on becoming an ecommerce expert, and much more.

There are many ways to chart a path for growth in ecommerce. What works for some merchants might not always work for you, but there are more than a few tried-and-true techniques that might help.

To drill down into some of those growth tactics, we asked two experts in the field to share their hard-won secrets for success.

Hayim Paices is the Director of Ecommerce Growth Strategy at Lab916, an agency founded by former Amazon sellers that specializes in growing and optimizing brands on Amazon. Jordan Brannon is president, COO, and co-founder of Coalition Tech, a leading SEO agency. Both have years of experience helping digital businesses thrive.

When it comes to key growth difference-makers for businesses, here’s what they advise.

Develop a hybrid approach

The first step in developing a hybrid approach is creating a dedicated ecommerce website for your brand and taking advantage of a platform like Shopify or BigCommerce.

“These days, you need a hybrid strategy – with a presence on as well as a standalone brand website – to be able to get more traffic and win more customers,” Hayim says. “Especially for private brands, adopting a hybrid approach guarantees them a higher probability of success. It’s very important for growth.”

Hayim points to Lab916 client Wilbur Packing as a particularly instructive case study. By developing a hybrid strategy for the family farm in California, which included an storefront and a brand website for its new Looney Pruney product line, Lab916 says it helped boost the company’s sales by 72%.

“Buy with Prime is a great example of the effectiveness of a hybrid approach,” Hayim explains. “When a new customer lands on Looney Pruney and they see Buy with Prime, they think, ‘Oh, this person also sells on Amazon.’ It creates a perceived value and connects Looney Pruney with a familiar shopping experience. Now almost every second Loony Pruney order is through Buy with Prime.”

Hayim says another benefit to the hybrid approach is converting customers who abandon their carts. “You can send an email along the lines of ‘Hey, sorry to see you go, you forgot to finish your order.’ And then follow up with, ‘We’re also on and here’s a link to the product.’ That can help increase the rate of conversion on those abandonment emails by giving shoppers options on where to purchase. That’s what we’ve seen with our clients, particularly for higher price point items.”

Add more channels and funnels

With a solid hybrid foundation for your ecommerce business, Hayim recommends clients to expand to a multi-channel strategy, moving into more markets and across social media channels.

Expanding your sales channels, according to Hayim, “Allows you to collect orders from multiple channels because you’re tapping into the loyal fan base for specific brands on specific commerce channels.” From there, Hayim says, you can begin to embrace an omnichannel strategy, “and you start to focus on adding more product attributes while organizing and centralizing all your data to cohesively optimize across all sales channels, platforms, and systems.”

“Look for ways to cross over customers between channels,” adds Jordan. “We find that a lot of customers are making purchases in multiple channels, so we have to find ways to tap into omnichannel consumers as part of our omnichannel business strategies.”

If you have a shopper who is interested in your product, Jordan says, chances are they’re also shopping and buying competitor products on other channels.

“Don’t ignore that opportunity to be present inside of channels that have strong parallels to existing successful channels because you’ll find there are some distinct audiences there—and so your strengths often play well in each of those channels without much additional work,” Jordan says. “Your customer is likely shopping actively in several of those channels at once, and you may be missing out on that repeat purchase or customer loyalty opportunity if you’re focusing on one particular channel.”

Shoppers are increasingly making purchasing decisions while consuming content on social media, so Jordan recommends being present across those social channels that are relevant to your brand—basically, be in places where your potential customers are.

Prioritize mobile

The multi-channel sales approach relies on a mobile-friendly experience. “When I review a client’s perceived value, I do it on mobile because I have clients that are seeing as many as 95% of their customers using mobile devices on their websites,” says Hayim.

Hayim notes that there’s a decline in desktop and laptop usage among Gen Z, and it would make sense to follow Amazon’s A+ Content approach when it comes to setting up product pages with compelling layouts, thumbnails, images, details, and reviews in order to help optimize conversions.

And when it comes to shopper confidence, social proof is critical. “One thing we’re also noticing is that customers love reviews with images,” he adds.

Don’t be afraid to discount

Promotions and sales are proven tactics to help move inventory and attract new shoppers.

According to Hayim, one common issue with smaller clients, third party sellers, and private brands that start out on is that they’re hesitant to discount.

“They’re scared to use Amazon Prime exclusive deals, and they’re scared to liquidate inventory when inventory is not moving,” he says. “I personally always tell them you need cash flow; you can’t be holding on to the inventory, and it’s better to take action now.”

So, if you’re not currently using promotions, consider testing discounts on some of your popular products to see how it impacts your sales.

Invest in SEO

“SEO is typically one of the more worthwhile investments simply because it has more staying power than a lot of other marketing channels,” Jordan says. As you earn authority with search engines as a competitive, reliable, trustworthy provider of whatever your product is, that reputation accumulates, making it harder for competitors to displace you.

“With almost every other form of digital advertising, you’re often only as good as your last email, social post, or ad,” he adds. “Those marketing channels can deteriorate quite quickly.”

That’s why Jordan recommends making a larger early investment in SEO. “Pay-per-click social, email, and SMS are secondary investments in terms of priority over time,” he explains. “As we establish some of the foundational aspects of SEO, we’ll shift budgets increasingly towards paid channels.”

Inspire your customers to produce content

People, not brands, produce the best SEO-boosting content, Jordan says, “so make sure that people associated with your brand who have authority, who are trustworthy, or who have influence inside of a specific industry are being put out in front of the content that’s being produced.”

To that end, it’s valuable to get your customers to produce content for you. “It’s low cost and typically quite compelling content,” Jordan explains. “It can include things like reviews, photography, answering Frequently Asked Questions, discussing the overall purchase or user experience.”

If you tap into user-generated content (UGC) and incorporate it into your marketing channels and forums, these assets can help drive awareness and sales for your small or mid-sized business.

Another tactic Jordan uses to help clients drive growth is to use existing audiences to reach new ones.

“A lot of the paid advertising platforms today allow for lookalike audiences or similar marketing techniques that allow you to take people who have a similar demographic makeup or interests and map those to create new audience segments that you might otherwise have not been able to engage,” says Jordan.

Focus on lifetime value

It’s critical to maximize the lifetime value of each customer that you’re acquiring. “If you already have someone who is making that purchase and they’ve placed enough trust in you to use their credit card on your website, that experience is really significant and can be a watershed moment for you as a brand,” says Jordan. “What is your strategy to go back to that customer and create a repeat purchase, to get additional value out of them?”

It helps to think about complementary products, upselling, and cross-selling. “If you have a narrow product catalog, you have to think really carefully about what your complementary products are,” Jordan explains. “For some products it’s easy, but for others you really want to think about creating opportunities, so you can keep that customer relationship alive and continue to monetize it.”

Jordan suggests considering a range of different approaches, including enhancements to the core product and complementary products. “If you’re selling shoes, sell socks or laces. These upsell opportunities are really important for a lot of businesses in terms of growth—they’re opportunities to not only make additional dollars on the initial sale, but to re-engage customers as a means to generate more revenue.”

Learn more about how Buy with Prime can help you grow your business.

Kelby Johnson