If you created your own product brand to sell online, you naturally want it to reach as many people as possible and make a positive impact.
And you want to make sure you grow profitably and not tank under soon.
How to tackle the whole ecommerce marketing then? How can you make sure you build your brand and grow at a healthy pace?
We present you The Growth Engine for online brands.
It is a concept of turning your site and marketing activities into a complete integrated system that works towards healthy ecommerce sales growth, not just random sales.
The Engine is everything you do and have built in your website that drives repeat orders and customer loyalty. It is all that has to happen if people are happy with your products. It includes post-purchase, referral and retention activities.
And if the Engine works properly, you amplify every customer’s positive effect on your business and move forward to better ROI and profit.
We’ll explain how the engine works in this article.
Before the wheels of the engine turn, you need to put customers in there.
So your acquisition efforts and money come before it.
Drive traffic -> 1st touch -> awareness/ consideration -> 1st order
That’s what needs to happen before the Engine kicks in. Driving traffic and conversion optimization are not parts of the Engine because they don’t lead to ecommerce growth directly.
If you put more and more money on traffic, you’ll get more traffic, obviously. But that doesn’t mean higher conversion rate so you’ll get some orders on top but that’s a one-off thing as long as you keep the increased traffic.
No-one can guarantee that increased traffic today means more revenue in the future.
The same goes for conversion rates. Even if you could convert 100% of traffic, you need to keep growing in traffic all the time to grow effectively. And for how long can you keep growing in traffic?
So those two very common goals, traffic and CRO, for ecommerce stores are not enough for you, the product entrepreneur whose goal is not just to push some product today but to become the Warby Parker of X industry.
Your growth needs to be sustainable and healthy in financial terms. Traffic and new customer acquisition are not long-term strategies.
If you’re still stuck here, try CRO tactics and analyzing your sales funnels to plug leaks.
One order is not our goal, though, and if you want more than 1 order per customer, let’s move on to the Engine. It’s everything you do after the first purchase to keep customers, build relationships, stimulate loyalty and grow your brand.
Your site, social media, community
Delivery and unboxing experience
Content on site, blog and other platforms like YouTube
Any other reactivation activities
To let you grow your brand in a financially healthy way.
In order to make the right growth investments, you need to know what’s going on in the Engine.
Brand loyalty and healthy growth. Because only if you grow healthily, your brand will make the impact you want.
As we said, it’s everything you do for customers after the 1st purchase. To measure if it works for growth, look at the following metrics to take a current status of loyalty towards your brand:
Business performance metrics: Orders/ customer, retention rate, share of repeat customers vs one-timers, customer lifetime value (CLTV)
Customer experience metrics: overall sentiment, positive product reviews, referrals, word-of-mouth
Problems with any of those can be slowing your growth.
On the other hand, when working, the Engine makes your cost of acquisition (CAC) worth it by stimulating high CLTV and quick ROI.
CACs down – by selling more to repeat customers, you offset the initial cost of selling, making a better margin on each customer.
CLTV up – directly reflects people’s liking of the brand. Successful brands have a solid fan base.
A good formula to use here is
AOV x Orders per customer = CLTV
Quick ROI – you get returns on the money invested soon after, which bring down your financial risk.
How much do I have to invest to generate X in revenue?
How many clients should I be aiming for to grow to Y in revenue?
When will I break even?
What’s the optimal pace of growth I can afford?
When you know how’s the Engine performing, you’ll be able to make financially sound decisions.
Metrilo’s mission is to help you build your ecommerce brand and win your place in the customer’s heart. We share what we learn from our daily work with product innovators and founders here. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the freshest lessons and conquer your niche.