So you run a store, but you’re hitting a bit of a plateau when it comes to acquiring more customers?
Once you’ve been running your store for a while it’s easy to fall into the trap of going through the motions and not working on growing your store.
Using the same old tactics day in and day out and wondering why it doesn’t change.
If you look around online you’ll find loads of advice out there about hacking your e-commerce growth.
But there are actually very few guides that focus on actual strategies you can implement to acquire more customers for your e-commerce store. It’s mostly fluff written by people who don’t actually own an e-commerce business.
As a store owner, you want actual usable tactics that are going to deliver.
That’s what today’s post is all about. Below we have 4 amazing tactics you can use specifically for acquiring more customers. We have also added dozens of ideas to implement those tactics.
Let’s get stuck in!
1. Referral Programs
Referral programs are great drivers of e-commerce growth but many people don’t know what kind of program to use or how to implement them in their store.
You actually have lots of options when it comes to implementing referral methods in your store.
One of the simplest methods of doing this is to give people an incentive to refer their friends.
This might be via a simple coupon they receive via an automated email to pass on to their friends.
Otherwise, it can be as simple as ensuring you have appropriate sharing facilities available on your site. Sometimes people just want to share with their friends for the bragging rights.
The main point is to recognise and reward people for sharing you with their contacts. The way I see it is the action of sharing is something they’re going out of their way to do and they don’t have to do it.
A more formal arrangement for a referral program is to start an affiliate program.
If you’re not aware of affiliate marketing, the short explanation from the merchant’s point of view is that you share a percentage of your revenue with someone in exchange for referring a sale to your store.
It’s performance-based marketing at it’s best and you only pay when they successfully help you make a sale. How’s that for no-money-down marketing?
You might be shocked to know that thousands of people make their living every year simply by referring people to other stores for the monetary kickbacks. Affiliate marketing is a massive industry and it’s growing every year.
A great tool that is compatible with WooCommerce is the AffiliateWP plugin which lets you set up your own affiliate program in a few minutes. Paying your affiliates can be as simple as sending them the money over PayPal at the end of each month.
Finally – and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it – signing up wholesale customers can open up whole new audiences to your brand.
When a new wholesale customer comes on board with your company they are essentially advocating your product to their own hard-won audience. The larger the wholesaler the bigger the boost in new customers. It’s why wholesale is one of the greatest ways to grow your store.
We have all the tools you need for selling to wholesale customers in WooCommerce right here.
2. Start Or Increase Paid Advertising
If you haven’t tried paid acquisition it’s an interesting way to acquire new customers and even though you’re paying for customers it can still be quite profitable.
Paid advertising might not be a stranger to you though and if it isn’t you have a great way to immediately get more customers – it might be as simple as increasing your budget.
Oftentimes in order to grow your paid campaigns (beyond just increasing budget), you need to consider expanding the scope of the campaign itself.
If you’re using Google Adwords, as so many of us are, then this can be done by adding more keywords, going after different verticals or even getting into display advertising.
There are lots of great ways to continue expanding the scope of your PPC campaign even after most people think they’ve done enough. You can even get a Google Account Manager to call you and talk through your business goals. They can be very helpful in showing you some of the seldom used features in Adwords.
Have you tried Facebook advertising yet?
Similar to Adwords, Facebook’s advertising gives you much more fine-grained control over the targeting of your customers. With Facebook tracking pixels you can also expand into re-marketing.
For an alternative idea, how about you try sponsoring something?
It could be a physical event, like a fete or exhibition, or even something less tangible such as a podcast.
3. Better Social Media Engagement
Social media is something that many e-commerce stores discount, but all of the big stores and brands use it to keep in regular contact with their customers without being too intrusive.
Running a contest is a great way to build buzz around products and quickly increase your follower count on whatever network you are targeting.
Try using a tool like Rafflecopter which lets you set up a widget on your site to accept contest entries. These entries are earned by sharing or following your accounts on social media (among other things) and it can be a great way to explode the growth of your Facebook or Twitter account.
Social media and blogging tend to go hand in hand because to have a really active social account you need content (and a lot of it). By blogging a lot you can ensure that an even spread of your own content is promoted through your social media accounts.
By engaging people around your own (useful) content, you start building up true fans. These are the people that will help you spread the word on social media.
Not sure if you have time for content marketing? Think again.
Here are some other great ways you can mix up the types of content you are posting:
- Tweeting about specials in a consistent way (eg. a weekly social media only special)
- Talking about what is coming up for your store
- Asking for feedback on product choices or ideas
- Post about new products to help build the buzz
- Weekly giveaways
- Selling limited stock items over social media only
The main thing with social media and e-commerce to keep in mind is to make it interesting and mix up the types of content you are posting. This is to ensure that people don’t get bored, but also build in some consistency with when and how you post to make it a systematic action for your business.
4. Adjust Your Position
Something that can cause a huge immediate impact on your business is adjusting your position.
This can mean a lot of things like:
- Adjusting who you market your products to
- Improving your branding
- Adjusting the way you market your business
- Relaunching products
- Refreshing your website
- …and loads more.
Changing the way people view your company or product can mean huge increases in customers in a very short amount of time.
One strategy to try might be a rolling product relaunch or refresh process:
This can be a great way to continually build on the excitement of a product launch and reinvigorate those tired marketing channels. And the best thing is that you can redo the whole process again and again with new line extensions, new product versions, next-generation products and more.
Refreshing your branding or marketing materials can also help re-adjust your positioning for better impact with your potential customers.
Could your logo use a refresh? Brand colours? Blog?
Try to think impartially about how your company’s marketing materials and brand image looks to new customers. Are you invoking the desired emotions and thoughts when someone interacts with your company? If not, it might be time for a more drastic change.
Refreshing your website with a brand new look following one of the latest design trends can put you ahead of the curve. If you’re willing to invest in proper design it can do wonders for your conversion rates as people trust modern, up-to-trend websites more than dated old websites.
You Might Just Need To Get Scrappy
I hope the above tactics have been some of the more actionable tips you’ve read in your search for more customers!
If you want to continue to expand your reach when it comes to acquiring more customers one of the primary tools you need in your chest is attitude.
You need to treat each new attempt to get more customers for what it is: an experiment.
It’s ok if the experiment fails for your site, not all tactics you find online will work for your situation.
But the point is that you’re trialing new ideas all the time and that’s what getting scrappy is all about.
It’s easy to get in a rut and just keep on using the same strategies, but if you want to hack your growth then being a bit scrappy and trying a few things each month might be exactly the shake-up that you need!