50 Ecommerce Growth Ideas for 2017 – Part 1

50 Ecommerce Tips for 2017

For 2017, it is no longer going to be good enough to have a conversion optimization

program or growth team. It is not enough to do onsite testing.

We believe that 2017 is the year of Everyday Data Science. The price of collecting and reporting behavioral data has dropped sharply over the past five years. This means more and more questions can be answered without guessing.

While big businesses will be choking on big data initiatives in 2017, winners will be
integrating a little data into their everyday decision making.

Data can no longer be relegated to slides monthly department reports. It will be part
of each decision. Those who can do this will win in their marketplaces.

In 2017, intuition will be paired with information. This will result in greater creativity
and higher conversion rates. Here are three recommendations for eCommerce companies
that want to profit from these trends.

1.Send your marketing team to statistics class.
If your team is going to use data every day, they need to be able to roll it into
many different forms.

They should be able to confidently combine data, knead it, roll it out and shape it into something they can bake into their decisions.

Ignorance breeds fear. Fear breeds neglect. Most digital marketers came out of a
communications or marketing program. They may not see themselves as “mathy”.
If your eCommerce business is going to keep up in 2017, they must be mathy.

Marketers must be discerning data consumers. They need to know when data is
inconclusive and when it isn’t. Marketing teams need to know how to collect data
that gives reliable answers. They must be able to uncover data, correlate results
and avoid bad decisions.

Enroll them in a course on Excel. Invite someone in to teach them eCommerce
analytics. Hire an agency to work beside them and teach them the ropes.

  1. Invite your Data Scientists to the Design Team meetings.

Digital designers work solo too often. They work alone, as part of a small team,
or are informed by small focus groups.
Their decisions are made on small sample sizes, which means they are poorly informed.

A Data Scientist comes to a meeting with data on tens of thousands of actual
prospects and customers. For almost any question, he can “ask” these visitors
what they think.

Want to know how prominent should our site search be in a page design? He can
tell you what percentage of visitors search and if they buy more.

Trying to decide between a brooding design or a light and airy look? Your Data
Scientist can put both in front of thousands of visitors to answer that question.

Want to know which hero image to use on each category page? Your Data Scientist
will help you pick the one that increases sales.

For almost every design decision you can imagine, there is some data available
to help make the best decision. Let your Data Scientist and all of his friends help
you out.

  1. Become Good at Collecting Questions

The best businesses steal from competitors and other websites with similar challenges. This is natural. Every executive that has ever owned a computer believes he has great ideas about how the company website should look. This is unavoidable.

The fastest growing businesses don’t deal in ideas, though. They deal in questions. Ideas are cheap, but answers are precious. And we don’t get answers without asking good questions.

“We should feature our high-profit products at the top of the home page!” exclaims the executive. He may be right. The best eCommerce company will turn this into a question.

“If we feature our high-profit products at the top of the home page, will the website generate more profit?” This is a question that can be answered by a competent Data Scientist. She knows that highlighting high-profit items may cannibalize sales of other products. The result could be higher sales of these profitable products, but a lower overall profit for the business.

Become a collector of questions. Convert every idea into a question and determine if you can answer it with evidence. Start with analytics. If the answer isn’t there, consider asking a panel. Run an eye-tracking study, five-second test or do a quick survey. If you still don’t have an answer, consider an AB test to find out once and for all.

There are no bad ideas. There are bad questions. Curate and collect questions that you can answer and for which the answers could lead to growth.

  1. Listen to your customers

In every way possible and use that to determine what you do. That means looking at their actions (your stats) to see what does and doesn’t work. Regularly reading customer service correspondence and reviews and acting on what you learn to make the systems and products better.

If you can get the customer experience right you will grow. The icing on the cake with this is to survey your email database (without an incentive) and include an open-ended question like “Why do you like {insert product category here e.g. ‘chocolate’, ‘holidays in France’}”.

Hopefully, your customers will give you long answers, then take all that text and put into a word cloud tool where the more a word is used, the bigger it is.

This will give you a visual representation of what’s important to your customers. Then use this in your copywriting AND to pick the subjects for your marketing – for blogs, emails etc.

  1. Chase the money

Work out what brings in the orders, and focus on making it even better. That might mean looking into your marketing activity – what works? Can you do more with it? That might mean looking at your products – which are the best sellers? Can you get more of that sort of product? Is it always in stock? Are there products you should stop selling? That might mean looking at your website – which pages are helping generate sales? Which widgets and plugins are driving sales? That might mean looking at your sales channels – which marketplaces are working for us? Which international marketplaces are working? Does mobile work for us?

In each case look for the glimmer of success and see how you can make more of it. This also means you need to be quick to identify what is not working and stop doing it – otherwise your budget and time are spread too thinly


  1. DO Email Better

Given we now have the knowledge, and technology that makes it affordable – it is depressing how many businesses still just send one message to the whole list and that is all they do. Not even a welcome email.

Customers are craving more relevant communications – so taking a few steps to make your email communications more relevant in 2017 will help you grow and beat the competition.

The first thing to do is to make sure you have the most basic sequences in place
– Abandoned Baskets and Welcome Sequence.

Next take a look at your broadcast plans – are you putting the right messages in those emails? Can you improve it?

Finally – decide what sort of broadcast segmentation you want to do – it can be as simple or as complicated as you want, maybe:

  1. Every week you send two broadcasts, one to buyers of women’s clothes, one to buyers of men’s.
  2. Everyone gets everything apart from once a month when we send an email about that niche product category – then only people interested in that category get the email, the rest get a rest.
  3. Everyone gets the same broadcast, but we’ve inserted a section which dynamically updates with products they’re more likely to be interested in.

 

Res: omniconvert.com