Over the years, we have been fortunate to work with top companies to improve their marketing performance through conversion optimization strategies. On the same note, we have also worked with some up-and-coming companies that have scaled quickly.
What we have learned is there are four key elements these companies all have in common that have allowed them to grow and scale their marketing to the $10 million in sales mark or more, and that is precisely what we are going to discuss in this article.
Here are four ways to scale your e-commerce business:
1. Traffic Sources
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I can’t count how many sites we’ve reviewed where 99% of the traffic is from one source, and that source is typically Facebook. Sure, Facebook is great and should be leveraged, but it shouldn’t be the only source you rely on. What happens if you are like the many others who get their accounts wiped out? Does that wipe out your entire business?
The fact is that the most successful companies we work with have diversified traffic sources. They get traffic from paid search, affiliates, display ads, native advertising and, of course, remarketing to maximize the results. Many of those companies find they get more profitable customers from sources outside of Facebook. So, if you have all your eggs in the Facebook basket, you may want to diversify a little.
2. Email Marketing
They say that following up is king, and what better way to have a captive audience for your next sales promotion than to have a growing email list?
Many companies leverage email marketing to market to their prospective new customers and their existing customer bases. Consider deploying quarterly sales promotions and rapport-building content to build trust and drive revenue. It’s also a way for you to reduce the number of abandoned carts. Contrary to what many people say, email is not dead, and it works if you truly take advantage of it.
3. Diversified Products
While there are companies out there that do quite well with only a few products, fast-growing companies tend to have a diversified product list. You may have the 80/20 rule come into play, where 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of the products and, in some cases, even 1% of the products. But having additional products allows you to cycle promotions, hold new product release sales, appeal to a bigger audience and help increase your average order value on your store. Diversify your product listing if you truly want to scale.
As the president of a conversion optimization company, I know and have seen the power of optimization. If you want to scale, you need to actively optimize your store. Optimization allows you to continue evolving as the digital marketing landscape changes and your target audience’s buying habits shift. It allows you to figure out the likes and dislikes of your audience and helps you make educated and data-driven decisions on marketing changes and ideas.
Plus, conversion optimization is less about actual conversion rate than it is scalability and other key marketing metrics. Optimization of your site allows you to affordably scale traffic campaigns. If you were to turn on 50% more traffic tomorrow, your site results would drop. But if you were optimizing, you likely wouldn’t see a dramatic drop-off, and that new traffic would be more effective in driving customers. Say you have a 1.5% conversion rate, and you turn on that new traffic. Without optimization, you may see that rate dip below 1%. With optimization, you may only see it dip to 1.2% and then normalize much quicker.
Even if your conversion rate through optimization never went up, but you added much more traffic, you would still be winning in the long run, and the long run is key. Don’t forget about average order value increases, too — 50% more traffic, converting at a higher rate and spending more money with you. That is where you truly win.
To effectively optimize, follow both your qualitative and quantitative data, and create a list of why you feel certain things are happening on your site, such as why people are abandoning their carts or why they are viewing products but not adding things to their cart.
Once you have the list, prioritize it based on how much impact you feel it could have and how easy the changes would be. Then, split test every possible element you can think of to improve the key problem areas you have on your list, and always try to determine “why,” no matter if the results are positive or negative. That’s how you learn more about your visitors and get the exponential growth you are looking for with optimization.
There you have it: Four things you need to be doing to effectively scale your e-commerce business. There is, of course, more to it than just a few quick tips, but these are the commonalities we see in some of the most successful companies.