Getting Ready To Grow From $200k/Year to $1MM+/Year

Your ecommerce store started out small, but has gained some serious momentum. You’ve reached a point of fairly predictable monthly revenue and feel primed to expand your business and try to make it something bigger – but from a marketing perspective how do you fuel that growth? Is it even achievable? Ignoring product and vertical factors, we’re going to explore the marketing components required to hit your next revenue milestones. These include 1) making sure your ecommerce platform is the right one, 2) conversion rate optimization, 3) organic growth opportunities and 4) scaling advertising.

Is Your Ecommerce Platform Able To Scale?

Out of all the areas we highlighted above, this one might be the biggest mystery, unless you’ve had a sense for some time that your ecommerce store might not be right for you. The warning signs are easy to miss. Here’s how a southern comic would help you figure it out:

If you’re constantly having to find work-arounds to get things done through unreliable plugins, integrations, or some other means then you’re probably in the wrong platform. 

If your ecommerce platform doesn’t have a direct integration to your email platform to a) gather leads/newsletter signups AND b) sync sales/add-to-cart data to your email list then you’re probably in the wrong platform.

If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I can’t figure out what products we need to focus on, this reporting in (insert platform here) is worthless”, you’re probably in the wrong platform.

Get the gist? When you’re trying to seriously make a run at increasing the revenue your store brings in you simply cannot afford to ignore all the smaller issues that have bothered you along the way. It’s time to attack them, because you’re about to have new (and bigger) issues to tackle as you try to scale. Being in the wrong ecommerce platform isn’t the end of your plans, talk to us about how to get you into the right ecommerce platform to be able to scale your business effectively.

Conversion Rate Optimization

What’s the only thing better than bringing visitors to your ecommerce store? Getting them to buy while they’re there. If you are going to grow your revenue the focus on conversion rate optimization, or CRO, has to be a priority. This means:

  • Placing focus on the color, placement and text of calls-to-action (CTAs) on your site.
  • Optimizing your shopping cart for conversion.
  • Introducing landing pages and experimenting with different thank you pages in your lead flow.
  • Adopting an A/B testing tool such as VWO or asking a partner like Gruen to help in your A/B testing & CRO efforts.

Would you like way too much information on the subject of CRO in 2019, so much that you could likely never finish reading it? VWO has assembled an ultimate guide to CRO in 2019 here for your reading pleasure. If you are serious about your store’s growth, this is a topic you can’t avoid.

Creating Organic Growth Opportunities

With platform and conversion optimization in-progress, we can start evaluating how we bring users to the site. You’re going to need to rely increasingly on your existing customers to generate business for you by becoming brand advocates. Start being more creative in your organic (non-paid) marketing efforts and create shareable (“viral”) content that sends your message beyond your reach. That last one is very important, for a deeper dive into creating spreadable content take a look at our blog post on the subject here.

By building out a content strategy on your site and in social media that creates shareable content you create increased opportunities for revenue generation at no extra expense. That’s the kind of momentum you have to build. Shareable content is part of turning customers into brand advocates, but the process of creating brand advocates is a large and complex one. Social proof is VERY important with an unfamiliar brand, and according to a recent study customers are 4x more likely to buy a product that a friend vouches for personally. Focus on customer feedback you have received, create great spreadable content, implement a referral program to incentivize customers to refer business to you and create/foster a community of your customers. Smile.io is a referral platform you could consider, they’ve written an article on creating brand advocates that you can read for more info!

Scaling Advertising

This next sentence will probably not be what you want to hear, but it’s important.

What worked when you spent $5,000 a month in advertising is almost guaranteed not to work when you’re spending $50,000 a month. 

This applies to campaigns that you’ve run, ads within those campaigns, audiences you’ve used and even platforms you’ve marketed within. The simple truth about platforms like Google and Facebook Ads Manager is that the audience that you reach with efficiency at a certain level of advertising spend is limited, and as advertising spend increases to reach those unfamiliar with you (or at different stages of the funnel than you’ve been reaching before) – you will see increasingly diminished returns with the same input. How do you address this? Focus on building out a more complete marketing funnel that engages customers, educates them, brings them back, and gives them a reason to buy. Your advertising should benefit from increased focus on organic growth and brand advocacy as well as improvements to your store’s conversion rates. See? It’s not just one thing. Your store needs a holistic approach to growth to be successful in this endeavor. Small steps you can take on your own include creating new ad content at each funnel point and aligning it with the content you drive clicks to. Try focusing on video content, testing promotions, and experiment with segmented retargeting.

Don’t be overwhelmed by this – you’re faced with a great opportunity to accelerate your business, and you have a partner you can lean on in Gruen. Reach out if you are ready to get help with scaling your ecommerce store.