It’s a new year, with new strategies and you’re in charge of growing your company’s revenue in 2014. But where will your increased sales come from and what activities will you focus on to move the needle?
Look around and smell the roses, most likely your new source of customers and revenue will come from eCommerce – there is no doubt that eCommerce sales continue to grow and that brands are making the shift to online first activities.
But what are those activities? How are companies executing on behalf of these? I had the chance to speak with a handful of differerent eCommerce businesses to see where their focuses lie in 2014, but also find out what tools they use to help them with their day-to-day execution.
These were my top two questions for them:
What specific online activities are you focusing on in 2014 to increase online revenue or user acquisition?
What are some of the tools or software you’re using on a day-to-day basis to help with this?
Director of eCommerce & Marketing, EVO
“At Evo, we are looking at what loyalty and rewards look like for our customer, how to continue to grow our understanding of our customer through A/B testing and usability studies as well as how to continue maximizing and growing SEO. We will also be increasing our knowledge base about local SEO tactics as we look forward to opening our next store in Portland in Fall of 2014.”
Director of Strategy, Indochino
“To increase online revenue and user acquisition in 2014, we’re focusing more than anything on being nimble and responsive. That includes channel attribution, giving credit to the impacting marketing channels; optimizing up and down the funnel to improve current channels, and responding quickly to channels yet unknown (for example: Facebook custom audiences launching last year.)”
Measuring marketing ROI - Convertro
“When we launched our new website in January, we started using Mixpanel to better track our conversion funnel. In the past, we primarily used Google Analytics, but Mixpanel gives us so much more insight into the actions ours users take during the lifetime of their accounts. Our discoveries have been eye opening and we have been able to test and make drastic improvements to each step of the funnel. For example, if we can increase the likelihood a user finishes creating their card on their first visit, this will greatly increase the chance of a purchase during the lifetime of their account.”
Analytics - Mixpanel
“In 2014, we plan on greatly expanding our measuring and experimentation. Of particular interest to us are liquid retargeting ads for abandoned carts, incentives for return customers, evangelization of users via enhanced social integrations and design competitions, and an expansion into mobile optimized experiences. Some of the tools we’ll be using include: Olark for online chat, Delightful for custom surveys, Optimizely for A/B testing, Mixpanel for user & event tracking, Google Analytics for general traffic and campaign conversions. We also plan to build out our own internal dashboards to gain a better understanding of the current state of the business.“
Live Chat - Olark
Customer Surverys - Delighted
A/B testing - Optimizely
Founder & CEO, Duxter
“In 2014, we’re focusing very heavily on influencer marketing. We partner with top online personalities who have major influence with our target audience. These folks are everything from YouTube personalities to folks with extremely large twitter followings. We partner with these influencers to help spread our message to our potential customers.”
Finding influencers - Followerwonk
Social Media Manager, Liftopia
“We’ve been trying to think more creatively about how we can develop relationships with our current and potential customers. Through social promotions and on-site email collection, we allow customers to opt-in to receive lift ticket deals targeted to the regions they’re most interested in skiing or riding. We’ve also been focusing more on segmentation so we’re able to deliver the right deals to the right people at the right time.”
Social promotions - Offerpop
“We are continuing to invest heavily into our existing and prospective customers in the digital/viral arena by way of our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook platforms. We employ a staff member who spends a large portion of their 40+ hour work week conversing with customers online, following social media trends and popping into digital ‘chat rooms’ to engage with and educate our current and prospective customers. All the while, they are fielding their questions and concerns and guiding them through the entire sticker buying process. We will continue to be present and current in the digital/viral environments but we are also highly motivated in getting back to the old school way of conducting business this year, by simply picking up the phone and talking with and educating our customers, in person.“
Online chat - Hipchat
”First, we’re using our platform of brand advocates to help promote our business through word-of-mouth, the same way it helps our customers. Second, we’re going to be doing more content marketing around tips on how to better use the platform and other helpful industry resources. This content marketing exercise is also a great opportunity to provide a better experience for our customers by training them how to effectively use the site. When they know how to use the site, they become more confident with our service and build a better affinity with the platform and they will likely see better campaign results. Lastly, we’re using Facebook ads to directly target social media consultants and managers whom are most likely to utilize our platform. Social ads provide us a cost effective way to laser target the (almost) exact audience we’re looking to connect with.“
Advertising - Facebook Ads
Landing page development - Unbounce
Investing more in the current customer and tracking on site goals and conversions looks to be where some eCommerce brands are focusing their efforts in 2014. The digital landscape is constantly changing so it’s always interesting to hear what different businesses are doing to increase user acquisition or revenue each year.
What are you and your team focusing on in 2014 & what tools are you using to help with execution? Comment below and let’s discuss!
About the author
Nick has been on the Seattle consulting team for two years now - driving web marketing strategies and digital projects for large eCommerce and enterprise SAAS clients. Before joining Distilled Nick spent a year with