We’ve worked with a lot of eCommerce stores both big and small. Stores with $100+ million in revenue and stores just starting out and everything in between. One common factor for all of these businesses comes down to addressing a pressing question: how to increase eCommerce sales, or, how to increase eCommerce revenue.
Now that’s the common denominator all e-commerce businesses share, but there are also significant differences between stores that stay under $10 million in revenue and ones that grow far beyond that. In a nutshell, there are 7 important factors you need to weigh. So, without further ado, let’s explore how to grow your eCommerce business.
Every successful brand has one person directly responsible for growing the business. They do not necessarily do everything to promote the brand and sell the products themselves, but they do organize the teams responsible for those actions in order to optimize eCommerce sales funnel. There is one person who is in charge of growth and it is their neck that’s on the line if the company doesn’t grow. It could be the founder, it could be a chief operating officer chief marketing officer whoever but there’s always one person who is 100% responsible looking for ways to increase eCommerce sales.
Next, successful e-stores have a marketing and sales plan that they actually execute on. It is not sporadic, it is not ad-hoc. They actually have a plan that they follow. In that plan, they have benchmarks which they’re trying to achieve and they measure against those benchmarks trying to figure out whether they’re hitting the targets or not and if they’re not hitting the targets why not and that monitoring is always very very ongoing.
Another important factor is that stores have a budget for growth and that budget was not derived arbitrarily. It’s always based on very strategic thinking, like: “We’re looking to achieve X number of dollars in revenue the following year. We’re going to spend a certain percentage of that expected revenue on ensuring that we actually get that revenue.” That number could be 7%, 10% or 15% of future revenue. Whatever it is that is reasonable that actually works for the brand or the store to achieve that revenue growth.
The fourth most important factor successful e-commerce business have going for them is a strong team that actually drives sales performance. For most larger brands, those that have achieved revenues of like 20+ million in revenue may have this team internally. The smaller brands, on the other hand, even very successful ones, tend to outsource this work and the reason for that is they do not try to blow their payroll expenses on one department. They want to be efficient no matter how large they grow and that efficiency comes from hiring and expertly but outside team that could save you anywhere between 60 to 90 percent in expenses depending on how large of a team and how much it is that they actually need to do on regular basis. This is key when asking yourself how to grow eCommerce sales.
Number five on the list is to do what all successful brands do, and that’s leverage an affiliate network. They understand that to scale fast and strong, you need to go to the marketplace widely. A great way to avoid blowing up your budget is to use affiliate networks. Affiliates work for free unless they deliver a sale there’s no cost per click there. If somebody buys you pay them a commission if nobody buys you don’t pay them anything for those clicks. So these companies hire an army of affiliates that promote their products, brand and only end up paying a small commission for all of that promotion.
This is a key way to increase sales on commerce websites. The amplification creates so much brand and product awareness that e-companies really grow much faster than they would have otherwise. A case in point: Amazon has deployed affiliate marketing at the early stage of their business and continues to do so now 23 years after the company was started. Why? Because they understand the power behind such a vast network of people who are hungry to collect a small commission on every sale that they help them make, It is incredibly important to do that.
Next, successful brands hire a marketing and sales auditor on quarterly basis. Here’s what I mean by that. Because marketing and sales really drives the revenue and success of the business, it is vitally important to have a third party, not your internal marketing team, not your external marketing team, a third party actually audit what is being done, how well it’s being done and what are the gaps, what opportunities exist that could improve the performance on the dollar spent on growing the business.
It’s very important and only very successful brands do this because this is like a really advanced thing to do. Most smaller teams, even successful smaller teams, do not think about this very strategic and simple tactic. It’s easy to do but it’s easy to just not do it. If you want to grow a very very profitable business that grows very large you have to have that independent auditor look at the results and how they’re being arrived at so that you actually do reach that scale
And the final point: successful brands regularly reach out and talk to their customers. I mean, literally, they pick up the phone and call them or email them and ask them questions. Because it’s the consumer who actually buys the products that can give you the hints on how to get more consumers just like them, how to increase average order value and how to increase how often they actually buy – their customer return rate.
If you ask your customers the right questions once a quarter — say, you select a sample of 20-50 customers to talk to and actually find out what they love, what they hate, how you can improve — you will learn how to grow your business much faster. No consultant will be able to help you as much as your existing customers.
So those are the seven points that you can implement in your business today without blowing up your budget and in a simple fashion. Doing these things will help you grow your business astronomically faster. If you want to learn more about how we operate and how we implement some of these things and help your business grow, click on the Contact Us link or call us and we will walk you through the process.
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Catapult Revenue, ensuring that all client’s revenue goals are met via Catapult’s marketing strategies.
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