10 eCommerce Growth Tips For Small Businesses

10 eCommerce Growth Tips For Small Businesses

Jul 28, 2021 14 min read

I knew that if I failed, I wouldn't regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.- Jeff Bezos

Almost everyone with internet access has made an online purchase at some point in their life. But small eCommerce businesses often feel that they need to break their bank to get a piece of that pie.

After all, the eCommerce segment has become hyper-competitive due to large online retailers like Amazon and Walmart. Their high advertising budget combined with benefits like free shipping has got them a lot of potential customers. But don't let this set you back; you still have ways to gain a competitive edge and win shoppers.

Let's take a look at the 10 eCommerce growth tips to steer your online store and seize the opportunity that's waiting for you.

Short on time? Here's your skim-read summary.

#1: Figure Out Your Niche To Micro-target Audience & Create Awareness
#2: Make The Most Of Customer Reviews
#3: Get Discovered By Focusing On SEO
#4: Be Mobile Responsive & Video Friendly
#5: Get The Most Value By Using Several Product Images
#6: Invest Passionately In Customer Service
#7: Don't Overlook The Value Of Social Media
#8: Create An Optimal Checkout Flow
#9: Run Holiday Marketing Campaigns
#10: Perfect Your Business With The Right Tools

#1: Figure Out Your Niche To Micro-target Audience & Create Awareness

No niche is too small if it's yours. - Seth Godin

For large eCommerce brands that have been around for a long time, offering a diverse product line is achievable. But as a small eCommerce business owner, you need to stay laser-focused.

With limited resources in hand and tons of competition out there, it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd, especially when you are just starting. In such a scenario, focusing on a specific product category will make it easier to describe what you do.

Targeting a niche will get your website in front of people searching for specific products instead of casual browsers. It will also give purpose to your sales and marketing copy across all social channels.

By choosing a niche, you avoid one of the most common reasons that hinder eCommerce growth: Going too broad with your store's products.

eCommerce Success Stories - Nundle Woolen Mill

An Australia-based eCommerce store, Nundle Woolen Mill, is focused on reconnecting with Australia's wool heritage.

The business spins yarns that its customers then turn into soft furnishings and stunning clothes. Nundle Woolen Mill also sells a carefully curated collection of apparel, gifts, knitting accessories, homewares, and books with a particular emphasis on wool.

Figure Out Your Niche To Micro-target Audience & Create Awareness

Image Source: Nundle Woolen Mill

#2: Make The Most Of Customer Reviews

Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room. - Jeff Bezos

Trust plays a massive role in the ongoing eCommerce growth. Without it, people simply won't convert. Fortunately, you can establish a loyal relationship with your audience by displaying customer reviews on your eCommerce site.

The biggest reason why reviews and ratings are essential to your eCommerce growth is that it ultimately leads to increased sales by giving prospects real insights about other customer’s experiences.

Customer reviews provide an outside perspective about your product and services to your potential customers. Customer reviews have become an effective word of mouth marketing strategy that most customers search for before making a purchase in the digital age.

Customer reviews will offer you insight into how well your products and services are doing in your target market. It provides a source of valuable feedback, and paying close attention to them can highlight potential areas for improvement.

Below are the four primary reasons that will make you realize why online customer reviews play such a crucial role in eCommerce growth.

1. Unbiased Insight Into Products

People trust online consumer reviews nearly 12 times more than product descriptions provided by manufacturers. It helps them understand if the product is the right fit for their needs.

2. Creates Customer Loyalty

When you ask your customers for reviews, it makes them feel as if they have a part to play in your business growth and that their feedback will be valued.

3. Increases Engagement

Online customer reviews have the power and effect of creating an active social community where your customers can share the experiences that they have had with your product and services.

4. Improves Rankings

Customer reviews create a steady supply of keyword content. Reviews eventually contribute to your eCommerce growth by improving website ranking and having a more prominent online presence.

Additional Reading: 10 Ways To Build A Better Reputation Online With Reviews

eCommerce Success Stories - Casper

As a public eCommerce company selling sleep products online, Casper has a dedicated section on their official website where they display customer reviews.

Make The Most Of Customer Reviews

Image Source: Casper

Not just that, Casper as well repurposes their customer reviews for marketing purposes. On their homepage, they use customer reviews to sell products.

Make The Most Of Customer Reviews

Image Source: Casper

#3: Get Discovered By Focusing On SEO

Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It's about partnering with Google to provide the best search results for Google's users. – Phil Frost

A centerpiece of successful eCommerce is making sure that people can find your website.

SEO is an essential small business tip for your eCommerce growth as, without it, you will most likely be throwing money at content that goes nowhere. Without optimization, your eCommerce website remains a needle in a haystack.

SEO contributes to eCommerce growth by creating a user-friendly website, gaining leads, converting them into customers, and that too returning ones.

To start with SEO optimization, you must first understand your target audience's interests and vocabulary.

Here is how you can take a more focused approach towards your eCommerce growth using SEO strategies

  • Target long-tail keyword variations
  • Provide internal linking to relevant products, categories, and resources
  • Properly manage out of stock products on your website
  • Write unique & engaging product descriptions
  • Increase page loading speed
  • Create an easy-to-navigate website
  • Optimize website content for featured snippets
  • Use schema markup
  • Allow customer reviews on product pages

eCommerce SEO will take time but definitely pays off.

None of these strategies are easy as they involve putting in some real work and devoting a considerable amount of time to improve your website's authority on search engine results.

In a time when more people resort to online shopping than ever, SEO will be a worthwhile investment for any business wanting to earn more and increase its sales.

Additional Reading: How to Rank your Local Business Higher on Google

eCommerce Success Stories - Silver Palace Inc.

As a silver jewelry importer, Silver Palace Inc. had an excellent website design, and still, they were not able to generate quality leads. They worked on optimizing their website and focused on social media optimization, because of which they got 183% more website visitors for their online store in just 9 months.

Before SEO optimization, they were ranking on the first page of Google for only 2 keyword terms. But after SEO, they had 30 keywords ranking on the first page of Google.

Get Discovered By Focusing On SEO

Image Source: Silver Palace Inc. Facebook

#4: Be Mobile Responsive & Video Friendly

If your plans don't include mobile, your plans are not finished. - Wendy Clark, former SVP at Coca-Cola

Mobile traffic has long surpassed desktop website traffic, and this number is only continuing to rise with no signs of slowing down.

When a customer visits your eCommerce store for the very first time, first impressions do matter as they expect an exceptional experience. Therefore, as a small eCommerce business owner, you need to ensure that your website should be optimized for mobile viewing if visitors access your website through their mobile.

As a small business tip, think of it as your website should look as if it was purely built for mobile. It is pretty fair if the desktop version of your website never exists (your mobile viewers will never know any different).

If you want to make your website visitors buy products, you need to make them feel related. While product images give a fair idea about how it looks, videos cover up the missing aspects of your product that an image does not reveal. Your potential customers would any day find video more accessible and attractive than reading product descriptions.

Here are the three reasons why videos delight your customers and explain the usage and intent of the product.

  1. Videos have the power to turn watchers into buyers
  2. Videos are more shareable and clickable for anyone viewing them
  3. Video easily strikes an emotional chord with the customers searching for the similar products

You should also emphasize creating mobile-friendly videos. Social media channels like Facebook and Instagram recommend using a vertical video for better clarity.

Additional Reading: Tips To Improve Life And Value Of Video Content

eCommerce Success Stories - Offspring

As a fashion sportswear brand, Offspring previously provided a poor user experience for those who accessed their website via mobile devices as they had no mobile website. Such poor user experience had a direct impact on the conversion rate and revenue. It became pretty clear that they needed a responsive website design to align with current consumer trends.

The migration to a responsive web design yielding some impressive results for this brand. They saw an increase of 15.19% in mobile conversion rate, and their organic traffic increased by 26%.

Be Mobile Responsive & Video Friendly

Image Source: Offspring

#5: Get The Most Value By Using Several Product Images

Creativity without strategy is called art; creativity with strategy is called advertising. - Jef L. Richards

An incredible product image can make the difference between sale or no-sale.

Using high-quality product images that reveal all product details helps your potential customers see all facets of the product and make up their minds. Including product images from different angles serves as an 'in-hand -product' experience for customers.

Clear and high-resolution product images ensure the shoppers that the product they will be purchasing will match their expectations, thus reducing the chance of returns and increasing customer satisfaction. Attractive product images go a long way in creating customer trust in your brand.

Your product images are the cornerstone of eCommerce growth. How users interact with your website depends on what you show them. This simply means that your user's eye will go wherever you place a visual.

Additional Reading: Social Media Image Sizes Guide 2021

eCommerce Success Stories - ASOS

As an online clothing brand, ASOS provides its shoppers with different views of its products. Each shot is beautifully taken and builds on the preceding shots. In this manner, any customers get a clear view of the products before they purchase. They also provide the facility to zoom in to know the texture and provide video of the product. This pulls customers into shopping.

Get The Most Value By Using Several Product Images

Image Source: ASOS

#6: Invest Passionately In Customer Service

In a world where products and services are becoming more and more commoditized, customer experience is the only true differentiator. - Annette Franz

Excellent customer service can make or break your small business eCommerce growth.

Various issues can occur while your customers are shopping on your online store, such as website troubles, stock problems, delayed delivery, promo code not working, etc.

In an effort to ensure that your customers have a seamless experience while shopping on your platform, you need to adopt a world-class approach to customer service.

Think beyond just solving their queries as a part of eCommerce growth. Go above and beyond to "wow" your customers and create longevity among your customers that assure excellent user reviews bringing in more customers.

Live Chats

Live chats help to address customer queries instantly, without losing the human touch. Rather than calling or emailing, customers or prospects can type their questions or request and instantly connect to your customer representative.

Chatbots

Chatbots are an interactive version of the FAQ page. They are extensively used to enhance the productivity of the customer support team. Using a chatbot, you can provide support to your customers 24 X 7. Chatbot also provides advantages like an instant response to customer queries and reducing human errors.

Omnichannel Support

In this age of instant gratification, when customers have become more impatient than ever, omnichannel customer service efficiently integrates multiple contact methods for your customers to provide a unified brand experience.

Additional Reading: Why Omnichannel Marketing For eCommerce Is Essential (+3 Best Practices)

Social Media Customer Support

While you use social media to expand your reach, there comes a great possibility of your customers taking up their complaints on social media to draw your immediate attention. Response time plays a critical role while managing complaints on social media, but social media management tools can effectively help you with this.

Statusbrew unifies all your social conversations in a single dashboard to help you provide consistent, personal, and effective social media customer care. Its Social CRM feature allows you to manage customer data with ease, understand their queries and identify common patterns to win them over by becoming proactive.

Try Statusbrew

eCommerce Success Stories - Ergofit

When the rehabilitation and gym equipment specialist, Ergofit, wanted to expand and allow their customer support team members to work from different cities of Germany, they adopted customer service management tools that helped them increase their team's efficiency.

They could easily notice a significant increase in the number of queries they were handling per day, which directly impacted the sales opportunities they created.

Invest Passionately In Customer Service

Image Source: Ergofit

Additional Reading: How To Provide Great eCommerce Customer Service

#7: Don't Overlook The Value Of Social Media

Business Insider predicts that US retail social commerce sales will rise to $36.09 billion in 2021.

Using social media for businesses is really non-negotiable.

If customers can't find your eCommerce business via social media, they will probably purchase from your competitors who have a social media presence.

However, having a social media profile isn't enough; you should also invest time and resources in growing your social audiences to turn your likes, comments, and shares into offers.

The bottom line remains to identify where your customers are and how they like to be approached. And in today's digital age, social media is the answer to both those questions making it a perfect channel for your eCommerce growth.

Additional Reading: Social Media Best Practices For eCommerce Brands

eCommerce Success Stories - Cluse

As a watch and jewelry brand, Cluse goes beyond using elegant imagery in its social presence. Their feed is full of user-generated content that shows their products with a personal touch.

Invest Passionately In Customer Service

Image Source: Cluse Instagram

#8: Create An Optimal Checkout Flow

Around 87% of online shoppers abandon their carts during checkout if the process is too long or complicated.

You can lose both potential and regular customers if your checkout process is not simplified enough and doesn't complete within seconds.

Even a slow-loading page with minor glitches can annoy shoppers so much that they might never visit your website if their payment crashes midway. Therefore, it's essential for your eCommerce growth that the checkout page is well-designed, responsive, and friendly to buyers.

If this step is completed smoothly, they will come back to your online store again many more times. Hence, ensuring that you have an excellent checkout process enhances the customer experience for increasing trust and loyalty.

However, if this step is not carried out efficiently, it results in cart abandonment. Cart abandonment happens when a customer puts products in the cart but does not complete the purchase process. And one of the most recurring reasons found for cart abandonment is checkout problems.

This is why your online store needs to improve the payment process if you want to recover the lost revenue.

Here's how you can make the checkout process more straightforward and easier to decrease the cart abandonment rate.

  • Minimize the number of steps
  • Save regular customers information
  • Avoid making the registration mandatory to complete the checkout process
  • Offer guest checkouts
  • Improve the page speed
  • Provide multiple payment options
  • Be transparent with shipping fees and avoid any surprise costs
  • Pay attention to customer's data security
  • Don't forget the mobile version

eCommerce Success Stories - American Swan

As an online fashion and lifestyle brand, American Swan wanted to understand the reason for cart abandonment by their customers. Hence they devised a campaign on their checkout page that asked their customers to fill surveys just before they abandoned the cart.

They incorporate necessary tweaks in UI/UX based on customer feedback gathered from the survey conducted. This helped them reduce their cart abandonment rate by 20%.

Create An Optimal Checkout Flow

Image Source: American Swan Facebook

#9: Run Holiday Marketing Campaigns

What differentiates sellers today is their ability to bring fresh ideas. - Jill Konrath

The holiday season is a prime time when your shoppers are in a happy mood and are looking to give gifts to their loved ones. They are eagerly shopping on the internet and searching for great deals on their favorite products.

With the festive sales galore running, the competition becomes even higher, especially for small businesses.

In such a scenario, if you have to ensure that consumers buy from your platform and not your competitors, then you need to prepare well beforehand to ornate your website and give it a top-notch makeover that's fit for the festive season.

Giving your eCommerce website a holiday look and feel will help your website visitors know that you have prepared for the holiday sales and that some holiday discounts are running there.

Give out deals that would make the customer feel as if they're losing out if they do not buy from you.

Free delivery is another way to entice your customers and keep them hooked to buy more products than initially intended. You can also consider offering upsell and cross-sell suggestions to your customers based on their search history on your website.

This will increase your average order value, and your customer will be happy about the deals and discounts they have acquired.

Additional Reading: Holiday Social Media Tips For Ecommerce Businesses: The Aftermath

eCommerce Success Stories - Pura Vida Bracelets

As a handmade jewelry bracelets brand, Pura Vida Bracelets runs a Sunday steal campaign where they offer products at a discounted prices and free shipping. Until now, all their holiday campaigns are running successfully.

#10: Perfect Your Business With The Right Tools

Spend the time upfront to invest in systems and processes to make long-term growth sustainable. - Jeff Platt

If you try to do everything on your own, you will limit yourself from potential eCommerce growth. An eCommerce business powered by systems and tools can easily handle the multi-layered demands of expansion.

Having robust systems backed by powerful eCommerce software and tools in place will help you focus on the essential aspects of eCommerce growth. Review your current operations and see which aspects are repetitive or monotonous.

Make it your goal to automate as much as possible so that you can remain focused on your business growth. Rather than using several tools for serving your several different needs, search for tools with combined features that will save you significant time.

Additional Reading: Top 10 Must Have Tools For eCommerce Marketing

Statusbrew is one such platform whose multiple features allow you to manage your social media activities effectively and take care of social customer service, all from a single dashboard.

  • The Publish feature allows for scheduling bulk posts on your social profiles as well as getting insights for content performance that helps you make smarter choices for better engagements.

  • Ad Comment Management feature allows you to control the comment section and clear out the noise in your ad comments by hiding, deleting, or disabling the unwanted ones on your posts, regular and dynamic ads.

  • Social Listening feature helps to listen to conversations about your business and its related products to discover potential leads.

  • Statusbrew’s Approval Workflow allows your team to effectively collaborate and adopt a robust workflow system that includes permissions, approvals, and user groups.

Want to discuss further? Book a free demo or start your free trial today!

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Rushali Das

Rushali is a content writer at Statusbrew. She is fond of writing content that compels people to slow down and look more closely to discover the unknown stories.