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The 3 Pillars of Business Growth: More Customers, Higher Order Value, Repeat Sales

Kiril Avramov, May 14, 2023

This isn't a secret formula, but rather three simple, yet powerful, strategies that form the backbone of any thriving business. Whether you're a startup looking to make your mark or an established business aiming to reach new heights, these growth hacks will be your guiding stars.

We're talking about increasing the number of customers, boosting the average order value (AOV), and escalating the frequency of purchase. Each is a pillar in its own right, contributing significantly to your bottom line. But when combined, they can truly catapult your business growth to unimaginable levels.

1. Increasing the Number of Customers

The lifeblood of any business, customers are the key players in your success story. More customers equate to more sales, and attracting them requires a mix of marketing finesse, advertising strategies, and a strong digital presence.

Today, we'll delve into this crucial growth lever and unravel how to increase the number of customers to boost your e-commerce success.

Here are the best ways to scale your brand in 2023:

Command Attention with Paid Ads

Paid advertising platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google, TikTok, and Pinterest are your allies in attracting a wider audience.

The trick here lies in understanding your customer persona and tailoring your ads to their interests, needs, and browsing habits.

The beauty of these platforms is their massive reach and their advanced targeting options, allowing you to home in on your ideal customer with laser precision.

Now...Despite a plethora of options and plenty of criticism, for me personally, one platform continues to hold a special place in my heart: good old Facebook Ads.

Why do I still vouch for Facebook Ads? It's simple.

When your account is structured correctly, and you've got a product that resonates with people, Facebook Ads is still hard to beat in 2023.

Master the Art of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Your website is your digital storefront. How it entices and guides visitors directly impacts your customer conversion rate.

A key factor in increasing your customer base is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), the practice of tweaking your website to maximize the percentage of visitors who convert into customers.

For instance, if your e-commerce store has a monthly traffic of 100,000 visitors, a conversion rate increase from 1.5% to 2.5% can mean a significant boost in sales.

That's an extra 1000 customers! Over time and at scale, these numbers translate into significant revenue.

Leverage Instagram Influencers

Influencer marketing offers a unique, highly effective way to tap into pre-existing trust networks and captivate potential customers.

Think of Instagram influencers as your brand's ambassadors, your authentic connection to diverse, engaged audiences.

But here's the twist — it's not all about the 'big names'. Sure, the allure of vast follower counts is tempting, but don't overlook the dynamite that is micro-influencers.

These individuals, often with a follower count in the thousands to tens of thousands, possess a tight-knit community of followers who are deeply engaged.

The rapport is real, the interaction is tangible, and their endorsements carry weight.

Aligning with these influencers can offer a surprisingly high ROI, as their followers are often more likely to trust their recommendations and take action.

On the other side of the spectrum, macro-influencers - those with hundreds of thousands to millions of followers - offer the undeniable advantage of massive reach.

These influencers can skyrocket your brand awareness and put you on the map. While engagement rates can be lower, the sheer volume of exposure might be just what your brand needs to increase its customer base.

Whichever route you take, remember to ensure that your chosen influencers are a fit for your brand and resonate with your values.

Their audience should be your target demographic, and their content style should align with your brand aesthetics.

A well-matched partnership can yield incredible results, driving customer growth and propelling your brand forward in the competitive eCommerce realm.

Invest in SEO

SEO is a strategic long-term investment that, when executed correctly, can propel your e-commerce store to the front page of search results, driving a steady stream of organic traffic your way.

Optimizing your e-commerce store for SEO involves several facets:

Keyword Research: This is the bedrock of any successful SEO strategy.

By understanding the terms and phrases your potential customers are using to search for products or services like yours, you can tailor your website's content to meet their needs.

Tools like Google's Keyword Planner or SEMRush can provide valuable insights into search trends and volume.

On-Page SEO: This involves optimizing individual web pages on your site, including product descriptions, blog posts, and meta tags.

Each page should target a specific keyword or phrase, and that keyword should be incorporated naturally into the content, the page's URL, the meta description, and the alt tags of any images.

Technical SEO: This aspect focuses on improving the technical elements of your website to increase its visibility in search results.

Elements like page load speed, mobile-friendliness, site architecture, and secure connections (HTTPS) play crucial roles in how search engines evaluate and rank your site.

Link Building: This is a strategy to acquire hyperlinks from other websites to your own.

Search engines use these links as indicators of your website's credibility and authority.

Guest posting on reputable industry blogs, getting featured in press releases, or partnering with influencers can help boost your backlink profile.

Content Creation: Regularly updating your site with fresh, valuable content is vital to SEO.

This could be in the form of product updates, blog posts, tutorials, or user-generated content.

High-quality content that provides value to your audience can help improve your search rankings and keep visitors on your site longer.

Foster Strategic Partnerships

Partnering with non-competitor businesses that share your customer demographic can create a win-win situation.

For instance, if you sell high-end coffee machines, consider partnering with a gourmet coffee bean supplier.

Their customers might be interested in your products, and vice versa.

Explore Major Marketplaces

Listing your products on major marketplaces like Amazon or eBay (or Etsy) can significantly extend your reach.

These platforms have millions of daily visitors, providing an excellent opportunity to attract new customers.

Engage in Offline Initiatives

While the digital world offers vast opportunities, don't overlook offline initiatives.

Attending industry events, trade shows, or local meetups can be great ways to network and attract new customers.

Implement Referral Programs

Happy customers are your best brand ambassadors. Implementing a referral program can incentivize your existing customers to spread the word about your brand, attracting new customers in the process.

Casper, a company that sells mattresses, has a cool plan to get more people to buy their stuff. Here's how it works: if you've bought something from Casper before, they give you a special link.

You can then share this link with your friends and family. If someone uses your link to buy a mattress, they get a 25% discount, and you get a $75 gift card from Casper.

Plus, Casper makes it really easy for you to do this. All you need to do is give them your email address and they'll send you the special link.

They even have a second offer on the same page. This lets you earn $10 if someone uses your link to buy a different product. So you have even more chances to earn rewards!

In the grand scheme of e-commerce success, boosting the number of customers is a pivotal piece of the puzzle.

By leveraging these strategies, you're well on your way to driving your e-commerce business to new heights.

2. Increasing the Average Order Value (AOV)

The second key to unlocking explosive growth for your e-commerce business: increasing your Average Order Value (AOV).

AOV, the average amount spent each time a customer places an order, is a vital metric in the e-commerce world.

By boosting your AOV, you're effectively leveraging your existing customer base to drive higher revenue. So, how can we achieve this? Let's dive in!

Upselling: Encourage Higher-Value Purchases

Upselling is an art. It's about nudging your customers to consider a higher-end alternative to their current choice.

For instance, Apple does this masterfully. Consider how they present different iPhone models with varied storage capacities.

The upgrade cost seems minimal compared to the benefit of more storage, making customers more likely to opt for a pricier version.

Post-Purchase Upsells

Imagine your customer just bought a slick, new smartphone from your online store. They're super excited about their purchase, and that's when you swoop in with the perfect upsell—an exclusive, protective phone case, or a pair of premium wireless earbuds.

This is exactly what Apple does. You buy an iPhone, and you're instantly offered Apple Care+ or an AirPods Pro, making it hard to resist adding them to your order.

Just like that, you've not only enhanced your customer's experience, but you've also successfully increased your Average Order Value (AOV).

Order Bumps

Now let's talk about order bumps—those little add-ons that customers can easily toss into their virtual shopping cart without a second thought.

You know when you're standing in the grocery checkout line, and you grab that last-minute candy bar?

That's an order bump in the physical world. In the e-commerce world, it's like when you're purchasing a novel on Amazon and you see a small checkbox offering you a discounted bookmark.

It's such a small addition, but it doesn't require much thought and doesn't significantly affect your total spending, so you think, "Why not?"
And voila! Amazon just bumped up their AOV with a simple checkbox. Now that's smart commerce!

Cross-Selling: Bundle Products for Mutual Benefit

Cross-selling involves recommending complementary products that enhance the primary product's value.

A great example is Amazon's "Customers who bought this also bought..." feature.

By suggesting additional, relevant items, you encourage customers to add more to their carts, increasing the total order value.

Volume Discounts: More for Less

Offering discounts on bulk purchases is a classic way to increase AOV. For instance, fashion retailers like Torrid often provide "Buy 3, Get 2 Free" deals, incentivizing customers to buy more items per order.

Free Shipping Threshold: A Little More for a Lot Less

Offering free shipping for orders over a certain amount can encourage customers to add more items to their cart. It's a win-win scenario: customers feel they're getting a deal, and your AOV rises. Many e-commerce giants, like ASOS, employ this strategy effectively.

Limited-Time Offers: Create Urgency

Flash sales and limited-time discounts can create a sense of urgency, prompting customers to spend more., for example, uses this strategy by highlighting "Limited-time" deals to encourage higher-value bookings.

3. Increasing the Frequency of Purchase: Turning Customers into Repeat Buyers

We've journeyed through increasing the number of customers and elevating the average order value.

Now, we arrive at our third and final key to turbocharging your e-commerce business: boosting the frequency of purchases.

This strategy hinges on transforming your one-time buyers into loyal, repeat customers. Let's dive into some proven tactics!

Email Marketing: Nurturing a Long-Term Relationship

Email marketing remains a potent tool for e-commerce businesses. It's personal, cost-effective, and offers an excellent return on investment.

Newsletters and Campaigns

Regular newsletters keep your brand fresh in the minds of your customers. Share new product launches, seasonal collections, or special discounts. 

Automated Email Flows

Automated email flows are sequences triggered by specific customer actions. For instance, a 'welcome' email series for new subscribers or a 'cart abandonment' series for shoppers who left items in their carts.

I love email marketing! It accounts for 25-30% of overall store revenue generated for many of our consulting and agency clients.

Here's one example for an apparel brand:

SMS Marketing: Engaging Customers on the Go

As mobile shopping continues to grow, SMS marketing has become a powerful tool for increasing purchase frequency. An SMS, like an email, can inform customers about flash sales, limited-time offers, or exclusive discounts.

Loyalty Programs: Rewarding Repeat Business

The vast majority of businesses - over 90%, in fact - harness the power of customer loyalty programs. These programs have consistently demonstrated their effectiveness in boosting revenue and fostering customer loyalty.

In fact, a whopping 84% of consumers admit they're likely to stay loyal to a brand that rewards them. What's more, about two-thirds of consumers confess that earning rewards motivates them to adjust their spending habits.

You can read more about loyalty programs in this Shopify blog post.

Subscription Models: Regular Purchases Made Easy

Subscription models work well for products that customers need regularly, like cosmetics, food items, or household goods.

Dollar Shave Club
is a prime example of this strategy. They provide regular deliveries of razors and grooming products, ensuring ongoing revenue and repeat business.

By increasing the frequency of purchases, you not only boost your revenue but also cultivate a loyal customer base that's the lifeblood of any thriving e-commerce business. 

And remember, it's not just about making more sales; it's about creating meaningful relationships with your customers, making them feel valued, and becoming their go-to choice for their needs.

Wrapping Up: The Three Pillars of Business Growth

Navigating the fast-paced eCommerce landscape requires a firm grip on the three pillars of business growth — drawing in more customers, boosting average order value, and fostering repeat sales. These strategies might appear challenging initially, but when you understand and execute them effectively, they become powerful weapons in your business growth arsenal.

Yet, moving from comprehension to successful execution isn't typically a solo journey. You often need a seasoned guide familiar with the ins and outs of eCommerce growth strategies. This is where my expertise comes into play.

I bring years of experience as an eCommerce growth specialist, crafting and refining tactics that optimize these three pillars for enduring business expansion.

Are you eager to accelerate your business growth? I welcome you to schedule a call with me. We can work together to maximize your eCommerce business potential, transforming it into a dynamic, growth-oriented powerhouse. Don't let uncertainty or overwhelm block your path to the success you deserve. The road to extraordinary growth is merely a phone call away.

Are you prepared to craft your own eCommerce success story? Let's begin the conversation.