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Building Your 2024 Ecommerce Growth Strategy: The Ultimate Guide

Building Your 2024 Ecommerce Growth Strategy: The Ultimate Guide

Revenue. Brand Recognition. Business Expansion.

Or you could also say Money. Fame. More Money.

Whichever way you see it, that’s what a strong e-commerce growth strategy can get you. But how do you build one? More importantly, can you afford to?

The answers are ‘pretty easily’ and ‘yes.’

In fact, it doesn't matter if you’re looking to start an online business and want to plan ahead or if you're just a smaller retailer with only a few months of experience. The truth is anyone can do it.

Surprised? Let me break it down for you.

The 10 Best Ecommerce Growth Strategies for 2024

Your expansion as an e-commerce business will largely depend on the platform you choose. Shopify merchants will need a different approach than BigCommerce sellers.

I’ve consulted e-commerce brands to build high-impact growth strategies. Here are the 10 most successful strategies I handpicked for you.

1. Leverage AI for Enhanced Customer Experiences

An Emplifi report found that 4 out of 5 people leave a brand after just two poor experiences or interactions. That doesn’t leave you much wiggle room for mistakes.

As an e-commerce business owner, you don't have much personal interaction with your customers. But you can still deliver an exceptional experience.

Plenty of AI tools let you imitate the care and dedication you’d give shoppers at a physical store. Here are five tips to customize these tools for maximum ROI:

  • Create a ‘can’ system to store standardized user support replies
  • Build an indexed help center to solve the most common customer issues
  • Integrate chatbots/virtual assistants to instantly respond to customer inquiries
  • Optimize your site’s search engine for natural language queries/popular keywords
  • Use predictive algorithms on past user behavior for product recommendations

Use these tips to establish the foundation of your AI-powered customer service setup. More importantly, they’ll help you focus on ease of access (for your products/website) and speed (for resolving customer issues).

2. Increase Average Order Value (AOV)

Unlike traditional businesses, increasing AOV for e-commerce businesses is pretty straightforward. For instance, you can:

  • Create ‘bundle offers’ and provide a discount to increase perceived package value
  • Publish/embed user-generated content (reviews, testimonials, etc.) for social proof
  • Customize your recommendations to suggest premium variants of the same product
  • Run time-gated sales campaigns to create a sense of buyer urgency
  • Track the purchasing history of frequent customers and offer personalized incentives

Here’s a great example from Staples to understand this better. In a single banner, they've managed to showcase discount offers and product bundles while also cramming in a weekly timer.

That’s what you should emulate when building an e-commerce growth strategy: time-bound deals and discounts to incentivize bigger purchases.

3. Encouraging Repeat Purchases

A study by SimplicityDX found that customer acquisition costs (CAC) for e-commerce businesses have increased by 222% in the last decade. That’s not all. You lose $29 for each new customer you acquire.

So, how do you get around this?

To start with, you must strike a healthy balance between your customer lifetime value (LTV) and your CAC through recurring purchases. Here are my tried-and-tested tips to achieve this balance:

  • Providing relevant product recommendations based on current cart items
  • Offering unique incentives to your best customers (discounts for preferred products)
  • Incorporating an upselling page that offers related but inexpensive items
  • Handing out future-use coupons, freebies, and loyalty points (more on this later)
  • Building a focused program for push notifications, promo email reminders, etc.
  • Creating a post-purchasing content system (product usage tips, video guides, etc.)

It also helps to choose payment providers that offer a seamless transactional process. After all, why do you order things online? Because it’s fast and convenient. Let your customers feel the same way every time they visit your site.

4. Marketing & Outreach Automation

People often overlook marketing and automating your outreach as an e-commerce growth strategy. Smaller businesses don't see the point in it because it may exceed their budget. And larger retailers tend to think — ‘If we got by without it so far, we don't need it.’

That’s where they’re wrong. If my experience has taught me anything, it’s that marketing automation can change the game for e-commerce brands. It can:

  • Accelerate internal time to value by streamlining core operational tasks
  • Enhance audience segmentation with distinct markers and demographics
  • Complete control over engagement triggers to orchestrate the customer journey
  • Automate accurate reporting to help analyze your conversion/marketing strategy
  • Enhance lead nurturing through drip campaigns, user-friendly content, etc.

The good news is that you have several apps and platforms to choose from. Just remember, there’s no harm in starting small. Pick a tool that provides the basics and go from there as you scale.

5. Build Lucrative Influencer Partnerships

When it comes to product recommendations, 69% of people trust friends, family, _and _influencers over direct brand messaging. That means influencers can unlock massive and consistent growth for your brand.

I believe when you work with an influencer, all their followers become potential customers. And even if you get a fraction of them to convert, that’s still better than chasing new buyers individually.

Now, several platforms let you browse through profiles of influencers and select the one that suits you best. The choice is completely yours.

But remember these five tips when diving into such channels:

  • Focus on platforms that your audience regularly engages with
  • Pick an influencer that creates content on topics related to your products/services
  • Set clear expectations regarding campaign goals to maximize ROI
  • Avoid micromanaging their content to build a healthy, professional relationship
  • Interact with their content before making an offer to create a distinct impression

You can also never go wrong when you collaborate with somebody who shares your brand values. That minimizes disagreements over content formats/types, helps avoid friction, and creates a long-term partnership.

6. Explore New Sales Channels like TikTok

I consider TikTok to be such a powerhouse for e-commerce expansion that it merits an entirely separate discussion. In fact, in 2023, it generated $3.8 billion in consumer spending alone, becoming the first non-game mobile app to do so.

As a sales channel, Tiktok offers:

  • Access to a massive customer pool with over 1 billion monthly active users
  • Excellent engagement due to the platform’s highly personalized content suggestions
  • An increased likelihood of your products/advertisement/content going viral
  • A boost to impulse buying through streamlined discovery features and the built-in shopping cart

Still, you must keep a few things in mind before incorporating social media into your e-commerce growth strategy. For one, it helps to have a planning and scheduling tool to stagger your posts and retain engagement over time.

Some other best practices include:

  • Ensuring consistency in brand image and tone across different platforms
  • Embedding user-generated content on your site to build social proof
  • Setting up dedicated share buttons/links on your site to help promote your brand

It’s also a great idea to automate product sharing on social media channels through platform integrations. Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and many others offer this feature.

7. Direct Customer Service Through Text & Chat

Your consumers want to be heard, especially when they have a problem. And, in some cases, a bot won't suffice here. They need a real person to communicate with and actively resolve their query.

So, initially, you can have an automated responder with standardized solutions for the most common customer issues. If that doesn't fix the issue, you can redirect the user to a text/chat channel.

When doing this, it helps if you:

  • Ask concise questions to narrow down the source of the problem
  • Balance individualized treatment with rehearsed information to simplify the process
  • Create macro interaction templates to accelerate response times
  • Establish a dedicated internal system to categorize priority tickets/requests
  • Direct them to other relevant messaging channels for quicker support times

Most importantly, learn to manage expectations. Often, customers will ask you things that are beyond your ability to deliver. It could be a gift coupon or a discount. Give them what’s due but no more. And always be polite.

8. Apply Subscription Models in e-commerce

The subscription model has quickly become one of the most popular strategies for e-commerce businesses. Everyone who’s anyone in the space of digital goods and services is turning to subscriptions.

Why? Because the subscription model provides:

  • A reliable, recurring source of revenue
  • Better customer retention than one-time purchases
  • Accurate forecasting of future revenue
  • Increased scope for customer expansion through tiered packages/plans

As an e-commerce business owner, these are are three popular types of subscription models you can adopt:

  • Subcom/Subscription Box: A curated selection of products for a specific niche
  • Subscribe & Save: Offers a discount for regularly used products with a monthly plan
  • Perk-Based Membership: Provides exclusive features to customers with tiered plans

9. The Power of Short-Form Video

A Hubspot study found that short-form videos have the highest ROI out of all other content marketing formats.

That’s an opportunity you can leverage into your e-commerce growth strategy. But there are a few guidelines. For example, each platform has a recommended video duration. Here are the ones for some of the most popular platforms:

  • TikTok: 11-17 seconds
  • Instagram: 7-15 seconds
  • YouTube Shorts: 15-60 seconds
  • Snapchat Spotlight: 5-60 seconds

Aside from that, you should also:

  • Use vertical formats to make it easily viewable on mobile devices
  • Avoid posting third-party material or watermarked content
  • Incorporate popular trends in your videos (soundbites, filters, animations, etc.)
  • Show your products in use

The best advice I can offer here is to pay close attention to what's currently happening in the social media space. Look at the most popular creators and brands. Then, adopt their content formats and style while making the necessary tweaks.

10. Embrace Loyalty Marketing

Building customer loyalty has a lot to do with brand messaging, community management, driving social media engagement, and so on.

But the easiest way to do this is to have a solid loyalty program. And there are a few best practices I swear by when creating a customer loyalty program:

  • Make it easily accessible and provide multiple enrollment opportunities
  • Include non-monetary benefits and incentives centered around your brand values
  • Reward a range of customer actions and not just purchases
  • Incorporate a wide variety of rewards (and not just coupons)
  • Make points actually valuable (1000 points for 1 dollar doesn’t work well)

Remember to come up with a catchy name for the program itself. That adds a certain brand appeal and just sounds nice when rolling off the tongue.

Peaches and Lily, a skincare brand, is a perfect example here. Their loyalty program, ‘Peach Perks’, has all the four points mentioned above. The best part? The program members are called ‘peaches’. It's a play on the brand name and the common phrase, "Well, aren't you a peach?"

How to Start Your E-commerce Growth Strategy

Now, there's nothing wrong with focusing on a few of the mentioned tips and working on them exclusively. In fact, that's how you are supposed to do it.

So, a customer loyalty program? That goes hand-in-hand with a subscription model. Short-form videos? They can be your gateway to influencer partnerships and exploring social media as a sales channel.

Understand what works well together and what doesn't. In other words, pick 2 to 3 of these tactics, adapt them to your e-commerce growth strategy, and then move to the next group.

That’s how you build something successful.

What comes next?

Once your e-commerce strategies are in place and your business is taking off, you should start considering how to keep your business compliant with the law in all the places you’re selling. For example, do you need to register for a seller’s permit in a new US state? After how many sales do you need to register or sales tax or VAT?

When you’re ready, you can learn everything you need to know about VAT, GST, and US sales tax for e-commerce businesses. There are also plenty of e-commerce guides for tax compliance based on your sales platform and what you’re selling.

And at the end of the day, just like you can automate other parts of your business such as email marketing, you can also automate your tax compliance! Companies like Quaderno have built easy-to-use tax compliance software for eCommerce that integrates seamlessly with your business, your payment processors, and the sales platforms you use. Check out Quaderno’s free trial.

Thanks to Eduard Klein for sharing his digital growth expertise and writing this article for us!

Note: At Quaderno we love providing helpful information and best practices about taxes, but we are not certified tax advisors. For further help, or if you are ever in doubt, please consult a professional tax advisor or the tax authorities.