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Learn how to prepare your business to effectively bring in and retain customers.
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In our previous article, 3-Step Business Transformation Strategy (Part 2): Upgrade Your Ecommerce Systems to Scale, we discussed the second step in our sequence for strategically implementing digital business transformation and preparing your business for growth.
The third and final step of that sequence is scaling up your marketing efforts, which should follow refining your user experience (the first step) and elevating your back-end systems (the above-mentioned second step). Following these steps in order creates a solid foundation for you to invest in your marketing and bring in more visitors without overloading an insufficient website or back-end.
In this article, we go into more detail about scaling up your marketing efforts and preparing your business to effectively bring in AND retain customers.
Scaling your marketing means you’re increasing your resources while maintaining a sustainable return on investment. To ensure the success of your scaled marketing efforts, you need to have a solid website. Even if you increase your marketing spend and get more people to your site, a bad website experience will cause frustrated customers to drop off, leading to revenue loss and missed opportunities. To effectively scale your marketing, you need the customer-facing side of your site to engage visitors and get them to convert, and your back-end systems to seamlessly manage orders and process demand.
Sustainable ecommerce growth involves creating healthy customer relationships throughout the buyer journey. Invest in your website first, demand. Having these prerequisites completed will allow you to get more purchase-ready users and visitors to your business.
After refining the user experience and back-end processes, you can expand your marketing engine. A solid acquisition strategy opens the floodgates to interest and activity and leads visitors down the path to purchase, resulting in sales.
Media like display ads, retargeting, SEO, social media, and influencer marketing are key to reaching relevant shoppers and converting them into customers over time. Look into your marketing channels and identify where you can create buildable, long-term processes for sparking customer interest. Your business could test different audience targeting, create unique and compelling content for each audience, and optimize each visitor touchpoint to build a continuous flow of traffic and convert high-quality visitors.
Another way to scale your customer acquisition is to use technology to automate and optimize your campaigns. Consider investing in new tools, integrations, and software to send personalized recommendations, collect customer data, analyze user behavior, and intelligently retarget users. This will allow you to save time, generate more results, and level up your acquisition strategy.
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork for bringing in and converting new customers, it’s time to keep all those visitors coming back. If your marketing funnel is leaky—causing friction for the customer or creating exit points—you will only attract only one-time customers or lose out on all the visitors you’ve worked hard to acquire.
This is where your retention strategy comes in. At this stage, you should be deliberate about your retention efforts to reactivate customers and increase lifetime value. Reward customers with a loyalty program, nurture customers with email marketing, generate repeat business with a subscription program, encourage word-of-mouth with referral strategies, and build loyalty with a solid post-purchase experience. Retention marketing allows you to engage customers at a regular cadence to keep your brand store top of mind. In today’s ecommerce landscape where customer loyalty is in flux, enticing visitors to return to your business will be key to growing and thriving.
Retention marketing requires a deep understanding of all customer touchpoints. A customer might start their journey after hearing about your brand from an influencer, exploring your website, or from researching brands on a search engine. Gather insight into your visitors’ activity and preferences on each touchpoint, and use this to inform the kind of content you need to retain customers.
Scaling your marketing is the last (but certainly not least) step in your growth plan alongside improving the front-end and back-end experience. Scaled marketing efforts allow you to bring in customers and to foster loyalty with a standout online experience.
Ultimately, you want to invest in your systems in such a way that you’re able to build meaningful customer relationships and generate returns. This is the key to a successful business transformation and long-term ecommerce growth.
Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.