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  • Writer's pictureAmy Zwagerman

11 Best Practices for Driving E-commerce Growth

Updated: Apr 28

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Hi. I'm Amy, the Founder and Chief Marketing Person here at the Launch Box. My mission is to help entrepreneurs and small business owners achieve their dreams by learning how to think more like a marketer.

We are almost to the mid-point of 2023 (I honestly can’t believe it!), so it’s time to check in on the goals I set for my business at the beginning of the year and see how things are stacking up. I honestly don’t have to look because I keep a close tab on my corporate to do / wish list and my numbers (and the reality is I’ve got a bit more catching up to do than I’d like), but I know that not everyone has a good system in place to keep track of their key metrics. If that’s you, don’t worry, it’s never too late to start thinking about which data points mean the most for your business. In fact, here’s a link to the E-commerce performance tracker I use with my clients to get you started -- you can download it from my google drive here. (The answer to your questions is yes, I’m both a marketing nerd and an excel nerd).

No matter when you see this post, the best advice I can give you is to grab the spreadsheet I shared above and make it your own by adding whatever data you can find inside your service provider dashboards. You’ll get the hang of it after a couple of weeks and start to see what metrics are actually meaningful to your bottom line – and then you can start trying to optimize them.

In addition to my pro tip – which is to start tracking your performance so you can both make SMART goals and see if you are achieving them, I asked other experts in the field to share their recommendations for driving e-commerce growth in 2023.

From the tried-and-true e-commerce best practice of split testing everything to making returns easy peasy, here are 11 answers to the question, “What best practices do you recommend for e-commerce retailers to drive growth this year?” Enjoy!

E-commerce Growth Best Practices:

  • Implement A/B Testing

  • Strive for Customer Loyalty

  • Hone Your Social Media Initiative

  • Build an Email List

  • Create an Immersive Product Experience

  • Focus on Customer Experience

  • Optimize an Omnichannel Approach

  • Expand to Foreign Markets

  • Invest in the After-Sales Phase

  • Gather High-Quality Backlinks

  • Make Returns Easy and Free

Implement A/B Testing

With any marketing initiative, A/B testing is a great way to gain insight into the best strategies. So, with your e-commerce platform, you could run an A/B test with the checkout experience. For example, if your checkout experience includes three steps, you could try a version with five steps. Then, by examining your analytics data, you can determine which checkout experience leads to the most purchases.

Maegan Griffin, Founder, CEO, & Nurse Practitioner, Skin Pharm

Strive for Customer Loyalty

It's easier to retain existing customers than to win new ones, so be sure to nurture the customer relationships you already have in place. We make it our continual mission to add value to the lives of our customers in ways they can't find anywhere else.

We always want our product to be top-of-mind for them so that we'll be the last expense cut if the economy takes a turn for the worse. Our messaging is always strategically crafted through the lens of, "How can we make this customer be in this with us for the long-term?

Hone Your Social Media Initiative

Having strong social media strategies. For example, we take advantage of user-generated content; we build partnerships with influencers that our customer base relates to, and we engage with our audiences and frequently ask them what they would like to see more of. These types of social media strategies build connections between our brand and our customers and establish our brand as personable and tangible to our target audience.

Build an Email List

Put a strategic effort toward building an email list for your e-commerce business. Emails help you stand out from your competition and match sales and products directed toward your unique consumer. This method is effective because of the overwhelming noise on social media. People might be quicker to unfollow a brand on social media; however, at work, receiving an email might be a welcomed distraction.

Create an Immersive Product Experience

Move beyond static images and give customers a more immersive product experience. This helps customers engage fully with the products, imagine themselves using them, and make a more informed purchase decision.

We can do this through interactive 3D product visualization, video demos, and virtual or augmented reality experiences. By providing such an immersive product inspection experience, you can create a loyal customer base, increase customer satisfaction, and drive higher conversion rates.

Focus on Customer Experience

One best practice for e-commerce retailers looking to drive growth in the new year is to focus on customer experience. This can include improving the website's navigation and design, offering excellent customer service, and providing a seamless and efficient checkout process.

Additionally, retailers can consider implementing personalization and targeting strategies to offer a more personalized shopping experience for their customers. In the last few months, we spent a lot of time redesigning the flow of our website so customers could have a better experience.

Optimize an Omnichannel Approach

One best practice would be to create an optimized omnichannel for e-commerce. The approach in the new year will drive growth because it gives customers a variety of platform options to choose from to begin their purchasing journey. Customers are more likely to complete a sale if the channel is optimized to its full potential.

For instance, if a person wants to shop on their phone or their computer, the experience is formatted for the specific channels to function appropriately to fulfill the needs of the client.

Chris Coote, Founder & CEO, California Honey Vapes

Expand to Foreign Markets

One of the best practices e-commerce retailers can adopt to drive growth involves expanding beyond current markets and boosting their presence in foreign countries. This requires careful consideration because of having to tailor content and communication efforts based on cultural preferences and customs, but it boasts potential for long-term success.

For instance, Amazon has recently launched a Hindi-language version of its website that is customized especially for users in India, which is a highly unusual move in the competitive online retail space. This unexpected step shows Amazon's adaptive nature and willingness to invest independently outside of popular trading blocs such as Europe or North America. As other e-commerce businesses explore similar strategies, they stand to reap rewards from novel opportunities waiting abroad.

Kate Duske, Editor-in-Chief, Escape Room Data

Invest in the After-Sales Phase

My top recommendation for increasing e-commerce growth in 2023 is to really focus on the post-purchase phase of your buying cycle and invest time and resources into strategies that will turn one-time customers into loyal repeat buyers. Some of the most effective ways to do this include creating automated email sequences, building SMS marketing lists, and using direct mail campaigns sent to existing customers.

These strategies will become more and more valuable over time as advertising costs continue to increase, and brands see most of their profits coming from the second and third purchases, rather than the initial customer acquisition campaigns which are often run at close to break-even in competitive markets.

Gather High-Quality Backlinks

If you're looking to drive growth for your e-commerce business, focus on increasing your number of backlinks to rank high on SERP. This can be done by using white hat techniques like answering HARO, doing guest posts, and others.

Ranking high on SERP will make your website more popular. It will also increase your traffic tenfold. And once you consistently get people to view your website, it becomes easier to convince people to buy your products and services. But this should always be done. Just because you're already on page one in Google searches doesn't mean you can stop. You can easily get bumped off from page one. Consistency is vital for maintaining your ranking for a long time.

Make Returns Easy and Free

Did you know that about 30% of all orders purchased online are ultimately sent back to retailers? The most common reasons include:

  • damaged item received

  • apparel that doesn't fit

  • an item that differs significantly from what they advertised online

Also, 80% of consumers expect returns to be hassle-free with no fees. Offering no-questions-asked returns is the backbone of today's most successful online brands. Making returns hard, by comparison, just drives potential customers to your competitors.


About  Me 

Hi, I'm Amy! I'm the founder and CMO of the Launch Box, a boutique marketing services firm where I serve as an advisor, mentor and Fractional CMO to entrepreneurs at every stage of the startup journey. My primary mission is to help founders like you achieve their dreams by learning how to think more like a marketer. 😘 During my time off, you will either find me lounging with Zoey (my canine partner in crime) or engaging in a never-ending quest to make the perfect pizza. (SRSLY, if you want to talk about startup marketing 👩🏻‍💻, my 🐕 or 🍕, DM me anytime.

  - Amy & Zoey

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