As eCommerce continues to grow at a rapid pace, online retailers need to stay ahead of the curve to remain competitive. One way to do this is by utilising growth hacks, which are tactics and strategies used to quickly and efficiently grow a business.
In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the top 4 eCommerce growth hacks for online retailers in 2023.
1. Gamify the product selection experience
Ever lost an hour or two to Buzzfeed quizzes?
There is something compelling about discovering a bit more about ourselves, and personality quizzes are certainly a fun way to pass the time.
At the same time that we’re all on our own journey for self-discovery (as gimmicky or as seriously as you want to take it), the world of online marketing and sales is in the middle of a massive push towards online personalization.
This presents a fantastic opportunity for eCommerce professionals to marry these trends together and create a unique growth channel, one that doesn’t require a ton of API work or technical involvement.
Rather than leaving your potential customers to browse aimlessly through your products, and have them ponder whether or not a particular object is right for them, we suggest creating a short picklist quiz that leads potential customers to a curated list of items that would best suit their responses.
These quizzes don’t have to be in-depth – it could be as simple as a couple questions asking, “What word would you use to describe your personal fashion?” or, “What colour palette most closely matches what you typically wear?” On the flip side, it can involve more in-depth and personal (and therefore, engaging) questions such as, “How would your friends describe you?” or, “When you travel, do you look for history, food, culture, or relaxation?”
Ultimately, the goal is for the customer to get excited about seeing which of your products best suit them.
Here’s a great example of this experiment in practice on the AWE Inspired website.
2. Highlight real customers
In a world where consumers are getting better at identifying marketing tactics, real-user reviews and social proof are becoming an increasingly important part of the online buying journey.
When customers can’t try something on, can’t hold or touch the object, can’t experience the product for themselves before they buy, they look to other customers to confirm satisfaction and quality.
Unfortunately, many online retailers know it’s not always the easiest task to get good reviews. It’s even harder to get good reviews that include product pictures.
An innovative growth hack to not only generate more reviews, but also increase page conversion, is to set up a Review Campaign for new eCommerce product launches.
When there’s a new product coming out on your site, consider sending a “Sneak Peak” offer to some of your top clients. This can include giving coupon codes to a set number of customers who order, if they write a review with a picture of the newly launched object.
This not only provides your most loyal customers with an additional perk and an incentive to keep shopping with you, but it also provides a reliable channel to get real-user reviews for other customers to reference when considering a purchase. It allows other customers to see what the product looks like in real life or in practice.
This initiative shouldn’t stop there, though. We also suggest running a test for on-page review placement.
Where most eCommerce sites display user reviews at the very bottom of each product page, consider taking the reviews and clearly displaying them close to the related product’s main specs. If your product has a colour-picker, a size-selector, or details about dimensions, consider prominently displaying a drop-down for your user reviews near those elements.
3. Loyalty and Points Programs
In a similar vein as perks and incentives, setting up a loyalty or rewards program for your eCommerce store is a sure-fire way to lock in repeat business, and if done correctly, can be a great avenue for referrals!
By allowing customers to accumulate points over time with purchases, they are incentivized to continuously return to buy more, which creates a positive growth loop.
For a great example of a successful points program, eCommerce professionals can look to the PC Optimum program available at the popular Canadian drug store, Shoppers Drug Mart.
For retailers that want to go the extra mile to accelerate the growth loop and widen their audience, eCommerce companies can launch a secondary loyalty campaign based off of referrals.
For this experiment, we suggest offering current loyalty members a boost in points every time another customer signs up to the loyalty program using their referral code. You can also sweeten the deal by giving all new loyalty program members that sign up via a referral an initial boost in points, too!
4. Exit-Intent Pop-Ups
Exit-intent pop-ups can be a critical asset for your website to have as a growth lever. These pop-ups can be incredibly effective at grabbing the attention of visitors on your site, and they provide a last minute avenue to engage with prospective customers, collect their email, or entice them back into the buying journey with a compelling offer, before they leave your website.
Why is it so crucial to engage with potential customers that are about to leave? As it currently stands, anywhere from 70-96% of visitors abandoning a site will never return. Being able to bring them back from the ledge with a coupon code, or even grabbing their email to send them collateral later on, can prove to be a massive win. In fact, according to OptinMonster, exit-intent pop-ups convert an additional 3% of website visitors.
Here are two examples of well performing exit-intent pop-ups:
Lush’s website serves up an impossible-to-miss pop-up when customers are leaving the site.
Here we see JCrew’s website serving up a smaller pop-up, but one that entices the customer to make a purchase with the offer of 15% off.
Want to put this in practice? Check out HubSpot’s piece on 29 Exit Intent Popup Examples and What Makes them Effective.
Let’s recap how eCommerce professionals can successfully drive sustainable growth in their business with an increase in sales, brand awareness, and loyalty;
1. Utilising personalization through gamification
2. Review campaigns for better social proof and user-confidence
3. Loyalty programs for better customer LTV and expanding audience reach
4. Exit-intent pop-ups as a last-ditch effort to convert potential customers
These are some of the most impactful eCommerce growth hacks that can help online retailers stay ahead of the competition in 2023.