What is your top tip for growing an eCommerce business in 2021? Our eCommerce Experts discuss (episode 313)

Chloe is joined by a host of eCommerce experts to answer the question What is your top tip for growing an eCommerce business in 2021? And there’s a lot! Covering LOADS including new customer acquistion, customer retention, live chat, SMS, capitalising on the new consumer trends and whole lot more. The answers will help you work out your plans for 2021.

There’s so much in this episode you’re going to listen more than once!

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Lucy Bloomfield from 10,000 Customers

Our decision making horizons have changed — launching months in advance is no longer a luxury we can take for granted. Use the lessons of 2020 to be more adaptable. 

  • Covid has taught us that life and business is not predictable. 
  • Grow your business—but also consider what happens if things don’t go the way you think they will.
  • Do your risk mitigation. Consider how to inject high profit offerings like information products into your business.

Matt Edmundson

The fundamentals have stayed the same.

  •  Focus on the product. You must have a product people want to buy. The fundamental need for having a great, high converting product hasn’t changed and likely won’t. 
  • When you have the right product, create great copy, great content and build as usual. 

Rand Fishkin from SparkToro

Find a marketing channel for your business at the intersection of these three things

  1. Find a channel that you care about and are passionate about and focus on that channel.
  2. Somewhere you can contribute UNIQUE value.
  3. Do this marketing in a place where your audience already pays attention. Don’t try and be somewhere you customers are not.

Rytis Lauris from Omnisend

Crisis will not go away in 2021 and the impact of Covid will not be over. Customers will be buying from brands they trust. 

  • Focus on your existing customers. 
  • Retaining customers is more important now than ever. Send emails, SMS and notifications to your existing customers to strengthen that base. 

Sue Monhait from Gift Biz Unwrapped Podcast

2020 was different — eCommerce became the primary way of conducting business. Moving into 2021, we need to be careful not to go backward. 

  • Remember the importance of being online, communicating with your customers and growing your digital presence.
  • Stretching out of your comfort zone is good for you long term. Keep it up! 
  • Don’t let go of what you learned in the challenging environment of 2021. Use it to move forward stronger than ever. 

Ben Woodward from SmartFreight

Get shipping and delivery right. 

  • Partner with great transport providers who can deliver your goods to the regions you are selling to. 
  • Make sure their offerings and prices are good for you now and will grow with you in the future.
  • Make sure you have a great integrated shipping platform to keep everything running smoothly. 

Chris Dawson from Tamebay

Take advantage of the situation we found ourselves in. Last year in March, everyone went into lockdown and had to shop online and no-one was ready for it.

Large shops and small businesses alike weren’t ready for the deluge of orders. The good news was that many people found small business offerings they might not have seen before.

  • People have become conditioned to buying online so be prepared to get visible online. Get active on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram. 
  • Don’t forget Google Shopping is free in many places. Don’t rely on any one thing or any one channel—people are discovering products all over the internet. 
  • Make sure you attract business from everywhere your customers are, which means a lot more platforms than you’ve used in the past. 

Corinne Watson from Postscript.io

Focus more on retention. Too many brands focus too much on getting new customers only, but optimizing for retention is a great opportunity for 2021. 

  • Split your time 60/40 between retaining existing and resourcing new. 
  • Use UGC and natural marketing as much as possible. 
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of channel marketing. SMS was something people were really nervous about, but has really worked for some businesses. 

Derric Haynie from eCommerce Tech

Use live chat properly. If you’re at the right stage of business, live chat is gold. Chatting with customers in real time is an opportunity to help people. 

  • Look for opportunities to be helpful.
  • Chat with customers right before they purchase increases AOV, lifetime value and conversion rate. 
  • Properly done, it will not bloat customer service, but will drive conversion and make happy customers. 

Jessica Totillo Coster from eCommerce Badassery

It’s going to be so important to dig deep to really understand your customers and be quick to make changes as needed. The status quo isn’t going to cut it—listen to your customers and respond in kind. Things will continue to shift and change, albeit not as quickly in 2020.

  • Do a post-mortem on your 2020 experience. Get as many perspectives from your company.
  • Put your customer first—make the customer experience better however you can.
  • Be Nimble. 

Kunle Campbell from 2x eCommerce

You have to understand that your business hinges on an engaged audience, not just on your products. The stories you tell, the content you put out into the world determines the amount of attention you get. 

  • When you get attention grab assets like email and pixel data. 
  • Build on the assets you get—create relationships with campaigns and transactions. 
  • Ask, how are we going to build out content that’s magnetic enough to attract attention?  
  • Consider less typical types of content like video. Create micro content like 60 second videos for Instagram reels.

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Full Transcript of the episode