In today’s world of ecommerce, there are dozens of ways to scale. While some businesses focus on high ticket items, others focus on dominating hyper-specific product categories, and neither way is necessarily right or wrong. I spoke to 14 ecommerce entrepreneurs to find their best answers. Here are their tips, which can help revolutionize your ecommerce strategy.
1. Think like a customer.
Katie Melissa is an ecommerce expert who focuses on product categories like watches and sunglasses. She dropships many of her products and has an eye for good design.
Melissa says you need to train yourself to think like a consumer because it doesn’t matter what you like -- it matters what the customer will like. She adds that you should build your inventory around what is selling, so you don’t end up with a backlog of unfulfilled orders.
Melissa recommends utilizing Hurrify, a Shopify plugin that creates a sense of urgency.
2. Intertwine your email and social.
Frank Hatchett is the man behind Online Dimes, an incredible resource for entrepreneurs looking to understand key ecommerce growth strategies. He also runs a huge 20,000+ person Facebook group, Online Samurais, which explores all facets of online marketing -- including how people make money by giving away free products.
His go-to tip for ecommerce entrepreneurs is cross-targeting through Facebook and email. When you can intertwine both email and social, you are often capable of having a higher conversion rate. As an example, when you’re targeting cold traffic on Facebook, you need to have a retargeting option set up so people can familiarize themselves with your company.
He suggests using Connectio, which lets you automate and optimize your Facebook advertising.
3. Learn through doing.
Richard Lazazzera is a former member of the Growth team at Shopify and now runs A Better Lemonade Stand, one of the most popular resources for ecommerce entrepreneurs today. He also teaches entrepreneurs through his program, Build Launch Grow.
He focuses on learning through doing. Many first-time entrepreneurs think too much before they actually start. Failure creates the opportunity to learn, and every failure is a step forward.
Richard recommended using Sourcify, a platform that makes manufacturing easy.
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4. Maximize email to convert customers.
Susan Bradley is a seasoned ecommerce entrepreneur who learned scalability through her store, Wee Squeak. She also runs The Social Sales Girls, a program that teaches ecommerce.
Bradley advocates for utilizing email to convert customers. Lead generation is a crucial part of email strategy, and to boost your email list, it's often good to use lead magnets.
She recommends using Infusionsoft, a key automation tool for small businesses looking to grow.
5. Use (and maximize) a funnel approach.
Terry Arsenault runs a few ecommerce stores (like Leafwood) while leading a digital marketing agency, Shopidd. He also started the Shopify Ecommerce Group on Facebook, which has over 10,000 members.
Dan Dasilva is an ecommerce entrepreneur who runs Ecom Dudes, one of the best ecommerce resources online today. He has run multiple stores of his own and now coaches over 4,000 students through his programs.
Arsenault and Dasilva both say it's important for ecommerce entrepreneurs to take a funnel approach, meaning you need to know who your customer avatar is, map out your funnel, and move up your value ladder towards making a sale. Very few customers will make a purchase off the first interaction with your brand.
Arsenault recommends using was Shoelace, a Shopify plugin that focuses on retargeting ads. Dasilva suggests using TriFunnels, which makes mapping out and creating funnels easy.
6. Find a backend system that can grow with you.
John Hutchison runs Ecom Convert as well as a few Shopify apps like Trackify. His expertise lies in funnel creation and conversion optimization.
Hutchison recommends entrepreneurs find a backend system that can grow with them. You also need to focus on conversions. Once you’ve got a customer, figure out how you can make more money from that customer.
Hutchison suggests using Klavyio, an email marketing platform.
7. Detail the profit margins of a product.
Chris Record teaches entrepreneurs how to grow through his Tecademics program, which focuses on all sorts of internet marketing strategies.
Record recommends recording the profit margins of a product. When Record started selling on Ebay as a 13-year-old back in the day, his main thought was net margin. Since then, he has evolved, because his search for great deals often resulted in ordering products that would show up late or defective.
He recommends Skugrid, an inventory management software.
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8. Map out a customer's journey.
Catherine Howell runs one of the top funnel creation agencies, Eight Loop Social, while she also runs an amazing Facebook Ad Hack group.
Howell says you should map out a customer’s journey from the first time they see your product to the email they get after they complete a purchase. Knowing the touch points of your brand will be essential to success.
She recommends using Shoelace, a Shopify app that makes retargeting across Facebook and Instagram easy.
9. Sell in a unique way.
Ashley Wright is an ecommerce entrepreneur who runs a few stores while managing a thriving Facebook group, Facebook Ads & Shopify Strategies.
Wright says you should explore the angle you use to sell your products. Try to sell in a unique way by finding a unique audience for that product. This can enable you to lower advertisement costs on Facebook.
He recommends trying Wicked Reports, a marketing intelligence platform.
10. Find the right product/market fit.
Dave Hermansen is one of the founders of Store Coach, a program that helps people start their own online stores. He has grown several ecommerce stores himself, selling one of over $200,000 via Flippa. He also runs the Store Coach group on Facebook.
The advice that Store Coach gives many of its students revolves around finding a winning niche. This means you need to find a product and market fit that converts well. They also emphasis the sale of higher ticket items, as it’s harder to make volume sales. If you sell a few higher ticket items a month, you don’t always need to sell as much.
Hermansen recommends using SEMrush, a tool for understand the SEO landscape of your keywords.
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11. Always stay up to date.
Sebastian Gomez is one of the world’s leading ecommerce experts who focuses on dropshipping.
His main tip? Always stay up to date. You can’t just set an advertisement and not optimize it. Sebastian checks his ads throughout the day and optimizes ones that aren’t performing. This enables him to scale quickly.
He recommended using TrustMSG, a tool that messages people that comment on your Facebook advertisements.
12. Use video ads on Facebook.
Lawrence Aponte has an incredible story, which helps him inspire others through his own coaching program.
Lawrence focuses on how video ads are taking over and ensures all his students utilize video ads on Facebook. He then recommends that ecommerce entrepreneurs retarget people who have interacted with these video ads via unique product images.
He suggests people use the Shopified App when dropshipping to ease order management and product integration.
13. Test ads that compel people to purchase.
Anthony Mastellone is an ecommerce entrepreneur who focuses on creating software tools that make a store owner’s life easier. He coaches people on Shopify through his Facebook group.
His main tip for aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs is to test ads that compel people to make a purchase. That could mean creating urgency with an advertisement or partnership with an influencer that pushes your product forward. He also says a customer relationship never ends, which is why you should be upselling and cross-selling your existing customers.
He recommends having a tool that enables a one-click upsell like Zipify.