Growing E-commerce Business in 10+ Free Ways
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Growing an e-commerce business may look like a mammoth task with no solution in sight. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Nope, we ain’t bluffing! E-commerce businesses have the highest potential in the coming years. In fact, according to Nasdaq estimates, by 2040, 95% of purchases will be conducted online, making traditional physical stores virtually redundant.
And if you haven’t tapped into this goose that lays golden eggs, you’re at the right place at the right time. Read on to find 10+ insider tips on growing your e-commerce business today!
1. Bank Upon Your Customer Reviews
Your customers are your best marketers. They can build your online credibility and dramatically improve your conversions. In fact, 89% of people read online reviews before making a purchase decision. That’s how powerful online reviews are in terms of establishing your online reputation.
Think of Amazon. Any purchase you make is followed by an email asking for your experience and review. Their email copy is designed in a way that you end up feeling that your opinion does matter.
Furthermore, think of review websites like Google+, and even Facebook. It will give a massive boost to your brand reputation and reach.
2. Hangout on Instagram
Do not commit the sin of being absent on the go-to social media platform for growing e-commerce business – Instagram! The #1 reason we say this is because there are expected to be 1.2 billion users on Instagram by 2023.
But what’s more? Instagram has consistently brought new features that aid creators, business owners, and entrepreneurs to maximize their sources of revenue online.
With the introduction of Instagram’s Marketplace, Instagram facilitated in-app shopping experiences and check-outs. But that was just a start. Since then Instagram has brought multiple features like Reels, IGTV, and more to help businesses to sell online.
While these features open doors for e-store owners and make Instagram a cool place to hang out with customers, your conversions depend on how well-entertained and engaged your prospects are. So be innovative and don’t make everything about your products. Instead, humanize your brand and show behind-the-scenes, product launches, etc. not just on stories but also on Instagram TV! Sprinkle humor and repost your customer’s posts with curated hashtags!
Interestingly, here’s a brand that takes user-generated content legit seriously. Frank_Bod heavily posts real people’s photos/creatives. It so happens that they grew their sales to $20 million in a year mainly through Instagram! Encouraging piece of news, don’t you think?
3. Recruit Your Army of Influencers
Before you hit the panic button, let us tell you that we’re still talking about how to market e-commerce business for FREE! All you have to do is shortlist influencers, preferably micro-influencers, who fit your niche and brand ethics. They are trusted and have a fan following that holds their opinion in high regard.
In fact, approach a micro-influencer who is already your follower. It will be a golden opportunity for them to be able to represent a brand they adore. Some of them might even agree to review your products for free! Just figure out the scope of work and send them samples! This acts as a great e-commerce marketing strategy!
Also, keep the following things to keep in mind.
1. Take into account the demographics of their followers, especially if you are a local business and want to be relevant and establish an instant connection.
2. Study how connected they are to their audience.
3. Last, choose the platform carefully. Whether it is bloggers, Instagrammer, or YouTubers, know which social platform is best for your business.
4. Mingle with the Redditors
Reddit is a social news aggregator and discussion website that is available in nearly 70 languages! It has close to 430 million monthly active users. Imagine, if you could drop a word about your ecommerce business in a relevant subreddit.
However, remember that all of this doesn’t happen overnight.
You will have to participate in discussions and gradually speak about your e-commerce business. Let’s say, you are a sustainable fashion brand. It will be a good idea for you to subscribe to subreddits like /r/Entrepreneur/, /r/BuyItForLife/, or r/environment. Participate in discussions and contribute to the community you actually belong to.
Resource: Social Media Hacks To Grow Your Business
5. Leverage User-generated Content
Videos are a massive hit! One of the most telling signs is that “61% of marketers see video as a “very important or extremely important” part of their marketing strategy.”
E-commerce businesses can see a huge boost in sales and growth if they use more user-generated video content on their social media platforms and websites.
Take WarbyParker’s Instagram account for instance. With adorable user-generated videos and photos, they create authentic content and stay on top of people’s minds.
6. Build a Community through Your Blog
Wondering how else to grow your e-commerce business? This is as simple as it gets but mind you, it’s not easy! Create a strong web presence through e-commerce content marketing strategies like writing blogs that aren’t an extended sales pitch. These blogs must provide value and make your prospects feel that they really are part of a community.
One of the examples we can think of is BioLite Energy’s blog. They are an e-commerce business that sells outdoor energy gear. Through their blog, they subtly promote their products and at the same time strike a conversation with the reader.
Read Now: Guide on Social Video Marketing
7. Write Guest Posts for Free Publicity
Hustle, you guys! Write to companies that are related to your niche but are not direct competitors. To make sure they accept your pitch, focus on a topic that is valuable for both your as well as their audience. Most importantly, write for high-ranking websites and make sure that you get the byline, and include your website link.
For example, if you are a DIY expert and sell wall photo frames you could approach interior design websites (similar to Apartment Therapy) and pitch for posts like “10 Ways Vintage Photo Frames Can Give Your Home a Facelift”. Ideally, your aim should be to make the blog as informative as possible and not an over-the-top sales pitch.
8. Distribute Press Releases and Create a Press Kit
With press releases, you stand a chance to pop up in Google searches when someone’s looking for more information about your brand. Besides, there’s no cost involved in marketing your e-commerce this way. As there are plenty of free directories available where you can distribute your press releases.
Another way to market your business is by doing half the work. If your brand is interesting to the press they would refer to the information provided (press releases, samples of past media coverage, mention of awards and recognitions, etc.) and write about you!
Sample the press kit section of Annmarie Skin Care website. They have their story, product guide, and photos, philosophy, brand essence, and process ready for press consumption.
Resource: 11 Smart Ecommerce Promotion Ideas
9. Embrace Online Classified Listings
It may seem old school but online classifieds connect buyers and sellers around the world and locally too. Take, for instance, Craigslist. It is a free marketplace where you can sell just about anything you want.
Regardless of it being a simple advertisement pin-up board, it is quite popular. Even established businesses post there. Since it’s free, why don’t you give it a shot? Here’s a complete guide by Shopify on how to start posting on Craigslist.
10. Engage Your Audience Using a Chatbot
If you thought you could always be available for prospects flocking in on your website, you might want to rethink. Well, fret not – chatbots will be your best friend to cover for you.
Chatbots can answer some of the pressing concerns of buyers on your e-commerce website without you having to appoint a salesperson. Certain repetitive questions can be answered by providing support documents and pre-built responses.
Thus chatbots act as a fantastic e-commerce marketing strategy that allows you to grow your e-commerce business while you sleep! Moreover, chatbots offer great list-building opportunities.
Have you always thought building a chatbot is rocket science? Your worries may not be unfounded but we are here to help you! How about you try building seamless and easy-to-use chatbots for free? No coding is required, we promise!
11. Personalization is the Real Deal
A growing e-commerce business can become a breeze if you use personalization. Personalizing involves making buying decisions easier for buyers. This can involve adding recommendation quizzes, calculators, etc to your ecommerce website.
Take Care/of for example. Their website greets you with a CTA (Call-To-Action) – “Take The Quiz” which looks super lucrative. And since this e-commerce store offers vitamins and other supplements that really need to be personalized, it is a fantastic e-commerce growth strategy.
Quizzes are not only useful for driving e-commerce sales. But also help to build your email list. This is done by adding a lead generation form at the beginning or end of your quiz. This shall give you a potential audience that you can then retarget. This further helps in performing data-driven marketing to grow your e-commerce business.
And getting lead information opens the doors for a vast variety of opportunities for you to nurture them and make them recurring customers.
12. Email Marketing Is Not Dead!
Email marketing is an e-commerce business’s best friend. There is a huge variety of email chains that you can set up to ensure your prospects and buyers don’t drop out.
E-commerce email marketing can range from onboarding emails, follow-up emails, back-in-stock emails, and numerous other kinds.
Let’s discuss a bit about them here.
- Opening mails ensure smooth onboarding.
- Follow-up emails and best-offer emails ensure that you stay on top of the minds of your audience and prospects.
- Back-in-stock emails are for those who have been keenly following a product that’s out of stock or has certain out-of-stock products on their wishlist. This is a fantastic email chain and has a huge chance of resulting in a sale.
- Abandoned cart emails are like extending that olive branch that might do wonders.
Those are just a few examples of the kinds of emails you can send out for a growing e-commerce business. However, you can always experiment. Check out this email by Rudy’s. It has an eye-catching and witty headline with an appropriate CTA.
You can find dozens of such emails on the internet, feel free to experiment with the tone and contents of the email to find what works for your e-commerce business.
13. In Case You Have Some Bucks To Spare
Wondering if we still have more tips on growing an e-commerce business? Yes, we do – in fact, in some advanced ways! Well, we have shared all the tips and tricks to growth hack your e-commerce business without spending much money. So here we offer a couple of tools that you can use to grow your e-commerce business and skyrocket your sales!
These tools are aimed at helping you to boost interactivity and automate the backend processes involved in marketing your e-commerce business. Let’s talk about them a little bit.
Outgrow is an interactive platform that helps you to create personalized experiences for your e-commerce business. You can create recommendation quizzes, surveys, and polls for your e-commerce email marketing campaigns, and much more!
Outgrow further allows you to embed these interactive experiences on your website and reap the benefits of high engagement and virality. In fact, the lead generation forms that come with these interactive content types help businesses fetch the lead details of their prospects.
Kissmetrics is a customer journey automation tool. It offers customer insights that aid you in optimizing the customer journey. This analytics can be super useful in keeping track of customer motivations and needs and making periodic improvements in website flow to ensure the best results.
You don’t need to have a massive marketing budget or get an e-commerce app developed to be successful in the e-commerce industry.
Ready to take the plunge? Do let us know if these helped you in growing your e-commerce business. If there’s anything else you are doing differently that has worked for you, drop a message below!
Yeshaswini is a full-time digital marketer at Outgrow. She loves researching and experimenting with her marketing campaigns. But on most days you’ll find her obsessing over aesthetic imagery and blueberry cheesecake.