The idea that growth hacking is fructuous has a long history and holds a kernel of truth. In accordance with the success of growth hacking techniques adopted by twitter, Airbnb, Pinterest and other reputed organizations, the representation of ‘growth-hacking’ as an omnipotent medium through which customers become psychologically oriented and morally committed to a particular brand has raised many an eyebrow amongst the elite and esoteric entrepreneurs. In the epoch of e-commerce business and in the higher realms of social shopping, the emergence of ‘growth hacking’ is an inevitable outcome of propitious and contemporary trends. In this article, I will give my best on “Social growth hacking techniques for a social shopping script.” Before that, let me define growth hacking for you.
Understanding Growth Hacking
Growth hacking is a state-of-the-art strategy of getting more potential customers and active clients by using absolutely innovative and clever ways. It is all about achieving sustainable growth by banking on data, analytics and analysis. Product engineering and quality customer service give an impetus to growth hacking in general and social growth hacking in particular.
20 Growth Hacking techniques for a social shopping script
A perfect landing page:
There is never a second chance to make the first and the best impression. To drive your audiences crazy, it is recommended to have a hybrid landing page. A hybrid landing page is an ideal blend of text and video elements. According to Conversion XL, it takes only 1/20th of a second to make the first impression. It all boils down to zeroing on a choice- lead generation landing page or a click-through landing page.
A perfect landing page should contain call to action elements and elements that solicit the data of marketplace viewers such as email, contact address, newsletter subscription etc. Above all, it should have a catchy tagline that conveys the essence of the venture. In exchange for their data, it is suggested to give some freebies such as e-books, coupons etc.
This completely depends on your niche. If you are running a digital marketplace, you may attach e-books on ‘Latest trends in online retailing’. As an alternative action, you may attach recently published white papers on emerging trends in ecommerce authored by your subject matter experts. Ecommercemix.com has the perfect landing page.
If you want to get some inspiration for your landing page – check out Landing folio – it has got a list of landing pages that helps you to decide the most important elements for a landing page.
Speed of the marketplace script:
This is the simplest yet most efficient growth hack. It is estimated that the percentage of conversions increases by 15-20 if the loading time of the social shopping marketplace is less than two seconds. Here is an established truth- Reputed search engines such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Yahoo etc. rank websites on the basis of loading time. Lower the loading time, better is the rank.
If your social shopping site is not SEO optimized, in all likelihood, customers flock to your competitor’s site. Here are some of the website speed test tools. I highly recommend the one from Google’s developer tools – Page speed
Apart from Google’s page speed, you can use Pingdom speed test tool too.
Content is king:
Be it social shopping or m-commerce, scholarly content can inspire target audiences. To keep in touch with your customer base, publishing content regularly sans any break will work wonders. Remember, the idea is not only about selling products but also about sharing. Higher the number of shares on social networking platforms, higher is the reach. Higher the reach, higher are the sales. Higher the sales, higher is the sustenance of the ecommerce marketplace business.
To create your own mark amongst your audiences, come up with intriguing videos. This can be elucidated with an example- Dollar Shave Club, a company that sells men’s grooming products came up with an amazing risible video. Following the same train of thoughts, you may embed a 1-minute video to explain the purpose and gist of your social shopping site.
What do you think is the best way to inform your customers about latest discounts on social shopping script, marketplace script, deep discounts on iOS app marketplaces, B2C ecommerce marketplace scripts? It is undoubtedly through email marketing campaigns and newsletter subscriptions.
What is the growth hack here? It is about placing sign-up boxes on the web pages that receive maximum traffic. If a buyer has abandoned his social shopping cart in the middle of their purchase, send them a reminder in the form of an electronic mail. Find out the reasons for shopping cart abandonment and do the needful to address his/her concerns. As a thoughtful initiative, you may offer a small discount if customers sign-up for your newsletters and subscription plans.
Our Admire mCommerce app allows you to send Push Notifications to your customers on the latest discounts and deals. Check out Admire mCommerce platform white label turnkey mobile app for eCommerce platform.
Rave reviews of your products by your customers, visual testaments such as logos of your popular clients, influencer recommendations, social media followers etc. improve conversion rates and enhance HTTP traffic. Ecommercemix.com has customer reviews and detailed case studies. In addition, each and every product is rated by customers.
These ratings are visible on the official site – ecommercemix.com. Its team of growth hackers has come up with an out-of-the-box strategy of displaying the followers count right on the top of each and every website page. Driven by technical expertise and business acumen, the technical team is banking on social plug-ins to display the followers count. Social testaments can be used for brand evangelization and product promotion.
Before selling products on your social shopping marketplace, it behooves on you to establish a strong rapport with your customers. It is important to gain the trust of your clients. It is thus recommended to use certain ‘trust signals’ on most of the pages of the website where people generally purchase products. Some of the trust signals are:
- Track your order
- Free and easy returns
- Online cancellation
- Free coupons
- Free shipping
- Money back guarantee schemes
To make it convenient and easy for your customers, it is advised to place these trust signals adjacent to “Add to cart” button. Whenever an item or a product is added to the shopping cart, the trust signals are enabled.
Trust icons create awesome experiences to your customers. Place logos of the clients who have vouched for your quality service. If you do not have any clients, place the logos of the companies whose products you are currently using for various purposes such as customer service, marketplace script cloud hosting etc.
As an ecommerce strategy consultant, I call this growth hack as ‘The customer comprehension questions.’ The customer comprehension questions can be broadly categorized into the following types:
- General Questions: These are the unpredictable questions. From bizarre to brilliance, questions can be on anything and everything. If the answers furnished to these questions seem satisfactory, customers will flock to your website.
- Pre-conversion questions: Questions will be asked by customers on product specifications, product features, product modules, plug-ins available, official add-ons, rating and billing, discount, available subscription plans, onboarding process questions
- Post-conversion questions: Questions will be asked by customers on product usage, product requirements, product maintenance, product updates etc.
Ecommercemix has a separate and a dedicated section called Knowledge Base. All the frequently asked questions are posted with-in this section. Customers can get their queries answered with-in 24hrs. All active posts can be viewed. Apart from that, customers can discover who is online?
Constructive Customer Insights:
Let us all remember with a sagacious bent of mind that all the great brands are built on customer insights. A growth hacker always takes the feedback constructively. Be it positive or negative feedback, a growth hacker always does his best to improve product ratings and reviews. Feedback can be categorized into the following:
- Positive Feedback: These are compliments of praise. It is suggested to maintain a good repository of the positive feedback be it in any form- email letter of appreciation, reviews, ratings, social media channels, discussion forums etc.
- Negative feedback: Pay attention to detail. Consider each and every point of the negative feedback and work accordingly to improve customer service and product quality.
- Neutral references: These are suggestions/requests or neutral comments suggesting features for your products (goods/services.)
Whenever the suggestions are implemented, customer retention is increased. This is an awesome growth hack often underestimated by many people. With an emphatic mindset and a cheerful attitude, I assert that Admire has received umpteen compliments from its users for its outstanding service and quality features.
Spotlight on USP (Unique Selling Proposition):
Every product has some features. What features distinguish your product from that of your competitors’ define the quintessence of the term ‘Unique Selling Proposition.’ There is something challenging yet endearing to Unique Selling Proposition. USP allows you to do away with the trap of pleasing all and sundry. Efforts can be channelized at a targeted group of customers. In other words, it is about ostracizing the non-customers.
Abercrombie and Fitch, the reputed American fashion brand follows this growth hack. Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch said that his target audiences were “cool and good looking people.” He openly refused to include others who do not fall with-in this subgroup. USP is all about cultivating a stellar trait that makes your brand worth remembering.
This is often termed as the “Elixir guaranteed to induce magic.” This ultimate growth hacking strategy can be explained as follows: Consider a scenario in which a customer is content with the customer service and quality of products of a particular company say XYZ. Each happy customer can steer dozens of new ones.
This loop goes on. I mean P spreads the good word to Q, Q spreads the good word to R, S. R and S spread it to A, B, C, D…This chain goes on. This is one of the most credible growth hacks because a person puts his/her reputation on the line every time he/she makes a recommendation and that person has nothing to gain but the appreciation of those who follow the advice.
Consumers may promote brands by viral marketing or WOM (Word Of Mouth) due to social, functional, and emotional determinants. My research shows that the following seventeen characteristics give impetus to viral social growth hacking:
- Age of the brand in the marketplace
- Type of the god
- Complexity of the business
- Knowledge about the brand
- USP (Unique Selling Proposition)- Differentiation
- Relevance of a brand to a broad audience
- Quality of the products
- Esteem given to the brand
- Premium features
- Brand visibility
- Market Penetration
- Market Share
- Customer excitement levels
- Perceived satisfaction
- Perceived risk
- Perceived benefits
My research reveals an intriguing fact- Social and functional parameters are the most important factors for promotion of the products via online channels. When it comes to offline, the emotional factors play a vital cameo.
This growth hack is deemed the ultimate holy-grail due to its no out-of-pocket expenditure. One of the major advantages this growth hacking strategy has over other growth hacks is the inherent power of recommendations.
People are conditioned to trust recommendations from family and friends; they tend to value them anything more highly than anything companies convey through various forms of advertising. Nevertheless, this growth hack runs the risk of bad referrals.
Amazon does this best. Amazon, the amazing electronic commerce and cloud computing company is known for its leverage of experimenting. Ethnography is all about growth hackers looking things from the eyes of a customer. Ethnographic experts observe people and identify their pain points. Then they come up with a viable solution. The recent innovative initiative of Amazon, Amazon Dash is a splendid pageantry of voice recognition and speech recognition technologies. Customers have to just press the voice button and speak.
Customers have to mention the name of the brands they wish to order and Amazon Dash will order the items. As an alternative action, customers can point the Amazon Dash towards the item they wish to order and Amazon Dash scans the item and orders it at the drop of a hat. What thus is the key take-away is people can see through the momentous initiatives. Amazon has been able to drive through conversations because of the purpose it embodies. In today’s age, brands- be it small or large, are owned by customers. That is how growth hacking is evolving!
Philip Kotler, the great marketing guru once said, “Marketing takes a day to learn. Unfortunately, it takes a life-time to master.” And undoubtedly, one of the recent additions to this paradox is the constantly evolving and every day changing growth hacking. In today’s heating economy and rapid shift in customer preferences, it is impossible to include each and every feature that caters to the requirements of each and every customer.
To address this concern, Ecommercemix has come up with an “appreciable asset” called Wish List. Whenever a product that the customers are searching for isn’t available on your marketplace, customers can simply mention the name of the item, category under which the item falls and save it to their wish list.
Owner of the marketplace conveys the message to the sellers and sellers ensure the presence of the item with-in 24hrs. This amazing growth hack from Ecommercemix seemed to be the real crowd puller as the sales of Admire marketplace script grew by 15%.
Personalization growth hack:
Personalization is all about capturing the shopping behavior of customers. This can be explained with an example. Consider a scenario in which a customer shops for products such as perfumes, hair sprays etc. Whenever this customer visits other pages of your marketplace website, banner ads targeting cosmetics and men’s beauty products get displayed. Cookies can be used to track the behavior of the customers.
Targeting customers based on their age is never a good idea. For instance, a 45 year old lady may be social shopping jeans for her 20-year old son. Similarly, a 22-year old girl may be social shopping a lavish tuxedo for her father.
Following this simple train of ideologies, it can be asserted that targeting customers based on their sex is also inadmissible. While facilitating personal user experience, it is suggested to focus on conventions and not on exceptions. This important growth hack pointer can be explained with an example- Consider a scenario in which a customer completed social shopping on your ecommerce marketplace script. Let us suppose that he has completed 1000 US$ transactions.
As a conscious owner of your ecommerce marketplace script, it behooves on you to concentrate on smaller audiences (lesser income) too. Investing time and effort only to grab the attention of higher income audiences and bigwigs will never eventuate success. Do not forget to test the personalization experiences on a platform to analyze the impact of personalization. Sometimes, instilling a sense of urgency on a few targeted customers will work in your favor.
For instance, if you are running a digital marketplace, you can target technocrats and technical evangelists with special offers such as, “Windows 10- Both 32-bit and 62-bit for 500 US $. Offer expires on 8th of November. Hurry to grab your kit!” Incentivization goes hand-in-hand with personalization.
Hack the press:
If I were to categorize growth hacking taking the notion of ‘ethics’ into consideration, I would categorize into the following segments:
- Ethical Growth Hacking
- Unethical Growth Hacking
Ethical Growth Hacking:
It is all about creating an extremely incredible product. When I mean ‘creating’, I mean that the so-called incredible product can be designed, manufactured, developed, customized, configured and is perfectly tangible.
Unethical Growth Hacking:
It is all about creating the hysteria. When I mean ‘creating the hysteria’, it means that you generate false hype so as to draw maximum attention. Unfortunately, ventures do not taste success in the long term if they rely on unethical growth hacking tactics. For example, “a pair of levitating pants” sounds music to ears but in reality, one can never manufacture levitating pants. Gullible customers will be enticed but not the knowledgeable ones.
Either way, it is about creating a product page that is jam-packed with detailed product descriptions. When you do the unethical way, you have to create a fake video with fake reviews. When you do the ethical way, you can do away with the term ‘fake’ and embrace the word ‘genuine.’ Use viral websites such as Buzzfeed. Get your product endorsed by a few influencers. Accost a few writers and ask them to feature your so called ‘incredible’ product in their write-ups.
Product categorization and sub-categorization:
Today, with as many as 3.17 billion (a ballpark figure) people using internet on a global scale, everything and anything you want is just a few clicks away. For the growth hackers of today and entrepreneurs of tomorrow, it has become all the more imperative to know this growth hack in the context of ecommerce marketplace. And who better than an e-commerce consultant can explain this? Let me explain this with a tinge of a personal industry experience.
One of the loyal clients of Ecommercemix purchased Admire digital marketplace. His e-books business seemed satisfactory enough. He sells both premium and free content under various subscription plans. He however accosted me for a game-changing business hack. What all I gave him was a piece of advice that proved to be gem- Categorize your e-books based on the various genres. Subcategorize your genres based on the nationality and native language. Do not forget to add appropriate meta-tags. He categorized his e-books into the following segments:
Further he sub-categorized each and every category into the following sections:
He added a few extra categories such as new releases, trending, popular, domestic and international. This took his social shopping business to the next best level.
Given the fact that both the local and global diaspora have become more quality conscious and socially responsible, there is nothing terribly wrong in relying on third-party official add-ons, plug-ins and products.
To cope up with the ever changing customers’ preferences, one can bank on established social shopping marketplace software. Rather than writing bug-free code from scratch, it is best to use turnkey solutions. This is where ‘product integration’ comes into play. For instance, more than 6000 clients spread across seven continents trust Admire social shopping marketplace.
Admire’s spirit lies in its integration of various features where more than 85% of the code has been written. What all a naïve user has to do is to add the rest 15% of code which is also available in the form of add-ons and plug-ins. This completely depends on the customer’s niche. Admire assures you the best quote in the whole world.
Assume that you have drafted an amazing article. Assume that you have compiled your best works. Assume that your best works have gone live. The next giant step is to promote the content. Here is an outstanding growth hack that lets your content go viral. Search for the posts that resemble your content.
Identify the list of readers who are linked to those posts. You may use Ahrefs, Majestic and Site Explorer to identify the readers. Reach out to these readers and send them intimation that you have an amazing article something similar to what they have liked before. Ask them to have a view of your write-up. Steer fruitful conversations by asking them to comment on your article. Slowly and steadily, request them to share. This is a slow process. Results aren’t immediate but they are rewarding in the long run. Response rates can be as high as 250%-300%.
Free and faster shipping:
‘Free and faster shipping’ may sound too trivial. Lamentably, most of the ecommerce marketplace vendors offer premium shipping services. Upgraded shipping options and trendy shopping options are necessities which cannot be ignored. Do not charge profits on shipping costs. As an industry best practice, it is suggested to do adequate research on your own methods to make shipping more efficient and cheaper. Remember that free shipment is all about extending warm wishes to your customers.
Make some impressive headlines:
Want to create an ever-lasting impact on your customers? Try this hack- Make some impressive headlines that drive the curiosity of the customers. For instance, use “Did you know?” or “Knowledge quotient” headlines. This will definitely make your audiences go gaga over every detail.
Rurban social shopping growth hack:
The term ‘Rurban’ signifies rural population with urban outlook. Tapping the untapped potential of BOP (Bottom of Pyramid) will get reflected in sales- both in terms of revenue and stock prices. You can win the hearts of the rural people by contributing some amount for some noble deeds like apportioning a small fraction of your profits for the welfare of schools, poverty alleviation etc.
This will create a strong emotional bond which never ever breaks. Take a few snapshots/photographs that bespeak your social responsibilities, commitment towards social welfare etc. Make these posts viral by sharing on every social media platform. This growth hacking strategy will be an absolute crowd-puller. Give it a shot!
The Bottom Line
Now that you are well versed with the term ‘growth hacking’ and major strategies of social shopping growth hacking, satiate your hunger and exalt the higher realms of excellence by implementing the aforementioned growth hacks. Happy growth hacking!