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E-commerce growth strategies evolve as store-front platforms change, social networks mature and Google changes search algorithms. As exciting as this makes e-commerce marketing, keeping up with trends presents its own challenge. To help you stay up-to-date, here are five powerful e-commerce hacks for accelerating growth in 2020 and beyond!
Social influence (or, social proof) plays a critical role in the success of your e-commerce marketing strategy. From family and friend recommendations to product reviews from customers, shoppers rely heavily on the experiences of others to make purchasing decisions. Nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase — and displaying reviews can increase conversions by 270%. Here are three ways to harness social influence into a snowball effect that builds your brand and strengthens your community.
It’s important to follow-up with happy customers to ensure they leave product recommendations on Facebook, Google, Yelp and anywhere else that your company has a presence. Although this strategy can be challenging, the value and impact on sales are high.
Brand personality can play a major role in increasing word-of-mouth for your brand. A study from the Asian Academy of Management Journal indicates that emphasis on a brand’s personality characteristics can provide brand differentiation and increase trust. Increase the presence of your brand personality on social networks and a study from Management Research Review indicates this will create a significant improvement in brand attitude and consumer purchase intention.
Fostering communities and conversations with your online social network presence creates a strong foundation for business growth. A study in Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing states that “managing the negative interactions in the virtual communities and relationship development with members through non-commercial conversations should be the two main priorities for effective brand management.” Adding credence to the idea of community development with a branded social network presence, Computers in Human Behavior finds that “it is important to create a virtually interactive environment, enabling users to exchange reliable, rich and updated information in a timely manner.”
E-commerce growth is all about helping to get shoppers to the point of conversion by providing tools, resources and offers that matter to them. Testimonials and customer reviews are a big part of that process, so try highlighting them throughout your company website to boost consumer confidence and move them through the funnel.
Glowing recommendations from previous customers are especially useful when placed directly on the product page where consumers spend time considering a purchase. However, marketers should also be sure to sprinkle customer ratings and testimonials throughout the website to build credibility, excitement and reinforce shoppers’ enthusiasm with social proof. Create consistency by leveraging testimonials beyond your website with personalized ad campaigns (Yotpo can help with this).
Best-sellers are a great focal point for campaigns because people love products that other people love. You can build a landing page specifically for these types of products and market them directly through advertising. Experiment with long-form landing pages that tell the story of the product to further entice viewers.
A/B testing is a crucial e-commerce growth strategy. If you don’t A/B test your marketing activities, the time to start is now. Several platforms for testing, landing pages, emails or e-commerce shops exist that will help you create A/B tests. Take your existing product page or email and create a duplicate with a single, significant change. Split traffic to one of the two variations, and over time determine which variant creates a higher purchase rate. As you experiment with new marketing messages and offers, make sure you keep track of winning changes. Experiment with various types of changes like an illustrated vs. a consumption-oriented background for product photos, copy with emotional vs statistical appeals or the location of your CTA and purchase paths.
The “fear of missing out” (FOMO) is a big deal in consumer psychology. Marketers can encourage shoppers to convert sooner by creating a sense of urgency. Product scarcity e-commerce hacks have helped some companies boost sales by 226%. The University of Maryland explains that “when something is rare, it’s alluring whether you’re talking about gemstones or a pristine edition of the first issue of Action Comics. Psychologists have long known that you can make a consumer good more desirable by making it appear rare.”
Techniques include displaying a limited number of items remaining (e.g., “Order now! Only 5 items remaining.”) or adding messaging like, “Hurry! Clearance items are limited, shop now for the best selection.” Alternately, you can place visual countdown clocks to the end of a sale to make customers feel like they need to buy now. However, be careful not to overuse this technique as it can cause annoyance. Select items that are actually low on inventory or on sale.
Adding a live sales notification to your site can add some social proof that will boost browsing shoppers’ confidence in your brand. Many e-commerce platforms include these sales popups and several standalone products exist as well. This is a great way to show that your store is in demand.
Retargeting ads are one of the most effective tools for e-commerce growth, far exceeding the conversion rates of regular advertisements. Retargeting focuses on shoppers with high intention to purchase since they have already expressed interest in your products. PlayOn used retargeting to increase conversion rates and decrease their acquisition cost and CPC. The same opportunity exists for your brand.
Information is important to the modern consumer. 80% of consumers shop online to find the best pricing before making purchases. The easier that you can make this process for consumers, the greater the likelihood they will make a purchase.
If you offer products that are similar to one another, display those similar products to your visitors on the product pages and enable them to compare and contrast these items based on certain features. On-site comparisons provide easy access to the information that shoppers need to make the right purchasing decisions and help to prevent consumers from leaving your website to find the information or products elsewhere.
As e-commerce growth strategies continue to evolve, it's important to be aware of new trends and opportunities as they arise to gain a competitive advantage. These five growth hacks help businesses achieve revenue goals by staying consistent, building customer communities and delivering relevant content.
Are you interested in learning how to launch a holiday marketing campaign? Check out some of our other pieces of holiday-related content.
Originally published on September 6th, 2019, last updated on September 20th, 2022.