Modern technologies are fast-growing and there is no question that everything dependent on modern technologies needs to keep pace when it comes to growth. eCommerce is no exception.
The eCommerce landscape in 2020 looks challenging, to say the least:
Amazon has captured 47% of the total online retail in the US; DNVBs are growing nearly 3x faster than the average e-commerce retailer; Browsers adding more tracking protection mechanisms against cookies and online advertising costs are higher than ever.
To help marketers up their game in 2020, we’ve joined forces with 62 internationally renowned experts in fields like positioning, conversion optimization, advertising, eCommerce management, entrepreneurship, and many more.
The experts were all asked the question:
“What are your top growth ideas for 2020?”
AND HERE ARE THEIR ANSWERS! (…well a few of them at least, for the rest you can download the eBook)
Founder at GrowthHackers
Entrepreneurship is romanticized
And so it should be, in the sense that entrepreneurs who navigate through all the challenges that they encounter are really special human beings.
What people underestimate is the implications of being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship means not working for someone, but working for a million bosses: your employees, your employees’ families, and your customers.
CEO at BlitzMetrics
Create authentic ad content
Content is king. Proper targeting is great, but ad personalization is what makes the real difference. However, it’s not just any kind of content that can bring in leads. Authentic content should not be vague, and it should face the challenge of telling the users’ own stories. Use your data wisely and ‘interview’ your users through your ads.
Bestselling author and blogger at NirAndFar.com
Find the root cause of your distraction
Distraction relates to the moments when you feel pain, when you feel lonely, stressed, anxious, or fatigued, and you reach out for something to take your mind off the problem. If you can break out of that and ask yourself “What am I escaping from here?”, you should get to the root cause of the problem. It’s the fact that you don’t have a method, a technique, or a tool to deal with that discomfort in a healthier manner.
That’s why time management is pain management.
Founder of Ambient Strategy
Start with market positioning
Market positioning determines to a large extent what customers perceive as being offered to them in terms of actual value, as well as added value. Effective positioning ensures that marketing messages resonate with target consumers and compel them to take any type of action that involves the product.
Founder and Vice President of Innovation, Seer Intereactive
Growth ideas are an investment
Invest in your growth ideas. The worst thing is when you have an idea and a hypothesis for which you can’t get the budget. If ways can be found to save you money, based on things that were never going to convert for you anyway, then you now have the money for testing more of your growth ideas.
CEO of Omniconvert
First things, first. Fix the management’s mentality
There are four forces in online retail: > Traffic > Product > Price > Customer
According to Forrester, we’re transitioning from the information age to the age of the customer. In effect, customers are becoming the most vital force to be considered.
DTC brands are the living example that this trend is now accelerating. However, shifting the whole of an established company towards becoming customer-centric means changing the main factor that decides the internal balance between those four forces: management mentality.
Strangely enough, that is the hardest thing to change, since these people are usually accomplished individuals with a solid track record, and their tried-and-tested ways of managing a company are what has brought these companies to where they are today.
As a result, an update in their senior-level decision-making systems becomes a prerequisite for companies that want to survive and thrive. How do we do this? Internal politics. Workshops. Data hygiene. Proper insights. Persistence!
Founder of iconiContent
eCommerce growth strategies (plural) have to be rooted in an eCommerce business strategy (singular)
Far too many medium-to-large enterprise online retailers focus on the former without ever formulating a clear blueprint for the latter. This is especially crucial given the increasingly crowded and competitive landscape among DTC brands.
When strategies come before business, the chief symptoms are (1) single-account ROAS goals divided by channel and (2) a myopic focus on new customers. Profitability and ‘lifetime’ value’ — meaning 60, 90, or 180-day payback windows (depending on a product’s lifecycle to reorder) — are either hidden beneath initial conversion rates and topline revenue or are ignored completely.
The best overarching formulation Aaron has seen is a combination of visitors (V), conversion rate (CR), lifetime value (LTV), and variable costs (VC). He didn’t invent it, he points out; it’s what the brilliant folks at Common Thread Collective call the eCommerce business growth equation:
(V x CR x LTV) – VC = Profit
Naturally, behind each of those variables is a world of opportunities (and data). By rolling everything up, however, into a single view — mathematically oriented to profitability — growth strategies (plural) are forced to serve the business strategy (singular). What’s more, this type of big-picture orientation simplifies growth, a topic that is otherwise muddied by complexity.
There are only four variables that can grow an online business profitably. Know them, adhere to them, and make them serve you.
Founder and CEO of CXL
Machine learning and AI – the new wave of optimization
Both ML and AI can bring about a new way of drawing conclusions based on your data. Predictive analytics and crunching datasets through deep learning show insights in minutes, compared to human analysis that can take hours or even months. In business, deep learning can help us understand which are the similarities between people who have bought something (the size of the company, the amount of revenue), and which variables predict purchasing (e.g. job title). It then lets us know the probability of those people buying something in the future, and what they might actually buy.
Director of Product & Marketing Technology at Shopify
Become a humble leader
For company leaders, it’s important to remain humble and thankful for the amazing opportunity of creating something special.
In time, conversations and observations are replaced by reports, numbers and statuses, and dividing business matters from relationships in an almost surgical way will only create distance from the core purpose and values that actually gave birth to the business.
Keeping grounded and close to the coalface will always make understanding the problems so much easier, and will have a ripple effect across the company that will keep everyone hyper-engaged. No-one should be ‘too good’ or too high-up in the company. No-one should be avoiding the problems, and no-one should be trying to avoid turning over stones and being honest.
Marketing author and keynote speaker
The final thing, and this is really the premise of my book, ‘Friction’, is that making it super easy to do whatever you want that customer to do, is much, much cheaper for you than trying to motivate them more into doing it. If I’m an eCommerce site, I guarantee that I can increase my conversion rate if I throw in a bonus product or if I offer free shipping when I don’t normally do so. That will work every time, but it does cost money. Often, we are just removing some of the little blockers to conversion, when there is so much more of importance.
This is why Amazon is so successful: they made it so simple and easy to shop with them. They patented one-click ordering back in 1998, almost 20 years ago, and they defended their patent because they knew it provided them with a major competitive advantage.
Apple licensed that patent because they didn’t want to mess around fighting with them in court. They wanted it for their music store, and said: “Hey, we’ll pay! We want to use it!” Steve Jobs knew something about user experience, among other things.
Frustration packaging is another example. For years, when you bought a product by mail-order company or from an eCommerce company, it came in the same retail packaging that stores put it in. This was a clear plastic thing you had to use some kind of knife or a chainsaw to open up, and you risked injuring yourself on these sharp plastic edges. all because they were very good for retail. It made it hard to steal and it gave you good product visibility.
Amazon changed this with the simple cardboard boxes that were easy to open, with no risk of injuring yourself in the process.
What they found was that not only did people like the packaging, but the negative comments about those products went down by 73%. So, the ease of opening translated into liking the product itself better. As a result, their focus has been on eliminating friction throughout. I think that any e-commerce company can follow that as a lesson, and while you may not be able to catch up with Amazon, you can certainly do better than your competitors.
Founder & Principal Consultant of KS Digital
Take advantage of the tools you already have
There’s so much more you can probably do with the tools that you already have. Take full advantage of those before you continue to grow your toolset because it can get big and unwieldy and not all of these platforms work very well together. So, take advantage of what you’ve got.
Download the free eBook now and gain access to the rest of the 50+ Marketing and Digital Influencers and Authors insights and learn more about how you can become a valid player in the eCommerce landscape in 2020.