The Purchase Funnel Blueprint for Ecommerce Brands

an ecommerce customer goes through a purchase funnel

Are you an ecommerce brand that wants to convert more website visitors into paying customers? Who doesn’t! With attention spans shorter than ever these days, it’s getting tougher to guide potential buyers seamlessly through the purchase funnel.  

But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the ecommerce purchase funnel and talk about strategies to optimize each stage. From awareness to conversion (and even retention!), you’ll learn how to turn window shoppers into raving fans. So grab your notebook—it’s time to blueprint your way to ecommerce success.

The Ecom Purchase Funnel Explained

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s quickly define what an ecommerce purchase funnel actually is.

Essentially, it’s the journey a potential customer goes through when discovering, evaluating, and ultimately deciding to purchase a product from your online store. This funnel is typically broken down into four main stages:

1. Awareness: When a prospect first becomes aware of your brand or product offering.

2. Interest: The stage where they start researching and evaluating if your solution is a good fit.

3. Desire: If hooked, they enter the desire phase, seriously considering making a purchase. 

4. Action: Finally, the prospect reaches the bottom of the funnel and takes action by buying from you.

Now that we’re all on the same page funnel-wise, let’s dive into optimizing each stage for maximum conversions.

Stage 1: Generating Awareness 

It all starts with awareness. If prospects don’t even know you exist, they’ll never make it into your funnel.

Some top awareness driving tactics include:

• SEO: Optimizing for relevant keywords can attract organic search traffic on autopilot.

• Social media marketing: Strategic use of organic and paid social posts/ads.

• Influencer outreach: Partnering with relevant influencers to tap into their audience.

• PR/Link building: Press coverage and authoritative backlinks from respected sites.  

The key here is to go where your target audience is hanging out online and insert your brand into their world through content, ads, influencer recommendations, and more. Mix up your channels and messaging to maximize reach and visibility.

Stage 2: Building Interest

Once aware, your goal is to engage prospects by piquing their interest in your products or brand story. This stage is all about providing useful, compelling info that compels them to keep evaluating you as a potential solution.

Some killer interest-building tactics:

• Content marketing: Blogs, videos, guides and more that address their pain points.

• Email marketing: Automated nurture sequences delivering value over time. 

• Reviews/UGC: Leverage the power of social proof with reviews and user-generated content.

• Retargeting ads: Stay top-of-mind with tailored ads as they continue evaluating options.

The more engaged and educated you can get a prospect on why your product is the ideal fit, the smoother their journey will be to entering the desire phase.

Stage 3: Creating Desire

This is the make-it-or-break-it stage where a prospect is seriously considering purchasing from you but needs that final nudge of encouragement. Urgency and scarcity tactics can be incredibly effective here when used carefully.

Some top desire-inducing strategies:

• Limited-time offers/sales: Who doesn’t love feeling like they’re getting a great deal?

• Product bundling: Make your offer even more irresistible by packaging products.

• Countdown timers: Simulated urgency and scarcity motivates people to act quickly.

• Personalization: Customize your funnel touchpoints to make it feel bespoke.

• Social proof: Flaunt all those glowing reviews and customer success stories.

The idea is to fan those burning embers of desire into a full-fledged craving for your product by making them feel like they’re missing out on an insane bargain.

the ecommerce conversion funnel

Stage 4: Prompting Action

You’ve relentlessly guided prospects through awareness, interest, and desire…now it’s time to go for the grand finale and close that sale! 

Some power-move conversion clinchers include:  

• Foolproof UX: Streamlined, intuitive checkout process to reduce abandoned carts.

• Up-sells/Cross-sells: Maximize order values by suggesting complementary products.

• Exit intent popups: Recover abandoning visitors with can’t-resist offers and messaging.

• Retargeting ads: Hit them with juicy product imagery and promos one last time.

• A/B testing: Continuously optimize all assets and touchpoints through testing.

Remember, making the purchase experience as frictionless and compelling as possible is key to converting that final chunk of the funnel into loyal customers.

The Retention Bonus

Wait, we’re not done just yet! Too many ecommerce brands focus solely on acquiring new customers while neglecting their existing ones. 

Repeat buyers are the lifeblood of long-term growth and profitability, which is why you must prioritize customer delight with retention tactics like:

Loyalty/Rewards programs: Incentivize continuing to purchase from you.  

• Surprise delight moments: Thoughtful freebies or gestures to strengthen that bond.

• Retention email flows: Educational content, special offers, and more delivered over time.

• Customer advocacy: Make it easy for fans to refer new buyers through an affiliate system.

The purchase funnel is never just a one-and-done transaction for ecommerce brands – it’s an ongoing cycle of attracting, converting, and delighting perpetual customers.

Wrapping Up

To quickly summarize our key blueprint for funnel success:

1. Go where your audience is and generate awareness of your solution through SEO, social media, influencers, PR/links, and more.  

2. Nurture that initial interest and engagement with attention-grabbing content, reviews, retargeting ads, and compelling email sequences.

3. Once a prospect is seriously evaluating you, spark an irresistible sense of desire through limited-time offers, bundles, urgency tactics, and personalization.

4. Smooth the final path to purchase with conversion optimization like airtight UX, checkout process enhancements, and up-sells/cross-sells.

5. Retain happy customers by delighting them with rewards programs, exclusive surprises, ongoing value, and advocacy opportunities.

6. Continuously improve and optimize each stage of the funnel through extensive testing and data analysis.

This comprehensive approach to attracting, converting, and retaining customers through a hyper-optimized funnel is what separates ordinary ecommerce brands from industry leaders.

If you take nothing else away, remember this: constantly evaluate your ecommerce funnel! Even tiny tweaks and iterations to messaging, UX, offers, and automations can yield massive results when compounded over time.

Ready to upgrade the customer purchase funnel for your ecommerce store? Schedule a consultation and let’s discuss how we can support your business growth!

The Top 5 Ways E-commerce Brands Are Using AI

AI optimized images

Artificial intelligence (known as AI) is completely changing the e-commerce industry. From generating product descriptions to analyzing customers, AI can help ecommerce owners work smarter and faster. If you’re a brand that fails to adopt AI, you risk falling behind the competition. 

In our post, we’ll explore the top 5 ways leading e-commerce brands are using AI. Whether you sell products online or just want to learn about the impact of AI, read on for practical tips and examples of AI in action.

1. AI-Powered Product Descriptions

High-quality product descriptions are essential for any e-commerce business. But writing unique, engaging copy for sometimes hundreds or even thousands of products is time consuming. Smart retailers turn to AI-powered tools to automate product description writing.

AI-powered writing tools such as Rytr leverages natural language generation technology to turn product specs and attributes into readable descriptions. The AI examines factors like product features, target audience, and length requirements to produce human-like copy.

Brands can then edit the AI-generated descriptions as needed. The result? Unique, compelling product detail pages that take far less time than producing manually.

2. AI-Enhanced Product Images

Eye-catching product photography is another e-commerce essential. But editing and retouching product images is complex and time-intensive. AI visual platforms streamline this process for online retailers.

For example, businesses can use AI photo editing tools like Meero to automatically remove image backgrounds, apply color corrections, or upscale image resolution. This creates visually appealing product images at scale.

AI can also generate new product photos by varying attributes like color, lighting, and orientation. Brands use this technique to create multiple high-quality images for each product without costly photo shoots. 

In addition, AI can identify ideal image cropping and help human editors focus their retouching efforts on areas that matter most. 

Overall, AI visual platforms enhance product images exponentially faster than manual editing. This translates into higher-converting product detail pages.

3. Predictive Site Search

On-site search is crucial for helping customers find relevant products easily. But up to 50% of e-commerce searches return no results. AI-powered predictive search tools can help.

Predictive search uses data like past search queries, browsing history, and purchase data to recommend products as the user types. This creates a highly personalized search experience.

For example, brands can use predictive search technology like Nosto for Shopify. As shoppers type into the search bar, the ecommerce website can display suggested products the user is likely seeking. 

Predictive search reduces zero result searches, keeps customers on-site longer, and boosts conversion rates. AI enables retailers to turn product discovery into an intelligent, personalized experience.

AI text generator for product descriptions

4. AI-Optimized Marketing Content

Creating targeted, effective marketing content takes significant time and effort. AI content tools help e-commerce brands scale content production and optimize performance.

AI writing technology from Phrasee can be used to generate Facebook and Instagram ad copy. Email marketing is another area where AI can assist. Tools like Persado can analyze audience data to generate subject lines and email copy optimized for open and click-through rates. 

AI can also write blog posts and other website content that targets buyer keywords and answers customer questions. This attracts organic traffic from search engines.

Brands shouldn’t rely fully on AI-generated marketing content. But AI can be a tool to help  scale targeted, high-performing campaigns that drive sales.

5. Customer Analysis

Understanding your customers is invaluable. But sifting through reviews, social posts, and surveys is hugely time-intensive. AI sentiment analysis automates this process.

For example, the AI platform Affinio can help retailers gain insights from customer social media content. Affinio analyzes data such as Instagram comments to identify positive and negative customer experiences.

Seeing feedback trends and patterns in one dashboard allows brands to quickly address issues, showcase successes, and make data-driven decisions. AI reveals insights that would be impossible to detect manually.

The Bottom Line

The examples above demonstrate how forward-thinking e-commerce brands use AI to drive efficiency, boost sales, and improve customer experience. The possibilities are truly endless.

Here are key takeaways on leveraging AI as an e-commerce brand:

  • Use AI writing tools to automate and optimize product descriptions, marketing content, and other copy. This helps you create consistent brand voice at scale.
  • Employ AI-powered photo editing platforms to edit, transform, and scale product images faster than humanly possible.
  • Implement predictive search to provide customers with hyper-personalized product recommendations as they browse and search.
  • Analyze user-generated content with AI sentiment tools to identify customer feedback trends and patterns. 
  • Combine AI with human creativity and strategy. The best results come from AI and people working together.

Adopting AI can take your e-commerce brand to the next level. Utilize AI now, and you will have a competitive advantage in the years to come.

Want to learn about AI in ecommerce, email marketing, product descriptions and more? Subscribe to Taco Tuesday for insights to support your business growth!

How to Run Compliant SMS Campaigns for Ecommerce

someone holds a phone with an SMS marketing campaign

SMS marketing has blown up lately for ecomm businesses, and for good reason – it’s an effective way to connect with customers and drive sales. But be aware – you’ve got to make sure you’re following the rules. Non-compliant campaigns can land you with nasty fines or penalties.

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know to keep your SMS game strong AND compliant. Let’s do this!

Why SMS Marketing Works for E-Commerce

Let’s start with a quick overview of why SMS marketing works so well for ecommerce businesses. Here are some of the main benefits:

  • High open rates – According to current studies, 98% of all text messages are opened.
  • Fast delivery – SMS messages reach recipients instantly, allowing for timely promotions and engagement.
  • Personalized – Texting has an intimate, personal feel that email lacks. Your customers will feel more connected to your brand.
  • Many uses – You can use SMS to send coupons, shipping updates, cart abandonment reminders, and more via SMS. The opportunities are nearly endless.
  • Easy tracking – Most SMS providers offer robust analytics so you can easily track opens, clicks, and conversions to optimize your efforts. 
  • Low cost – Sending SMS can cost just pennies per message, making it very budget friendly. Plus, the ROI potential is extremely high.

Is SMS Marketing Legal?

Many businesses have questions around the legality of sending promotional or transactional SMS messages. Is it legal to text customers without explicit consent? What about existing customers who have provided their number?

Here are the regulations you need to be aware of:

  • TCPA – The Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulates marketing via auto-dialers and prerecorded messages. It requires prior express written consent. But SMS sent manually does not require opt-in consent.
  • CAN-SPAM Act – This act is for your customers who reside in Canada. It covers email marketing but does NOT apply to SMS. However, it’s still smart to provide an opt-in option.
  • CTIA Guidelines – These best practices recommend sending only transactional messages to existing customers or those who have opted in to receive alerts. For promotional messages, explicit opt-in consent is recommended.

The bottom line is you can legally text both promotional and transactional messages to customers who’ve given you their number and reasonably expect to hear from you. Just make sure to follow any time restrictions on when you can contact them – and only send offers when it makes sense.

For new subscribers who have not purchased from you, it’s safest to get explicit opt-in consent confirming they agree to receive SMS messages. Let’s look at some best practices for compliant opt-in procedures.

SMS marketing campaign stats

Compliant Opt-In Procedures

If you want to build an SMS list starting from scratch, you need compliant opt-in procedures to ensure subscribers have granted permission. Here are some tips:

  • Disclose – Be up front that you will send promotional messages to the number provided. Disclose your intended frequency of messages.
  • Document consent – Save subscriber data including phone number and consent date to prove they opted in intentionally.
  • Honor opt-outs – Immediately stop messaging anyone who texts STOP or unsubscribes. Maintain do-not-contact lists.
  • Use compliant language – Say “message and data rates may apply.” Don’t use “free offer” or other misleading phrases.
  • Send a confirmation – After opting in, send a welcome message confirming subscription.
  • Limit frequency – Only send a reasonable number of texts to avoid irritating subscribers.

Following these simple procedures ensures subscribers know what they signed up for and provides you documentation of consent should any issues arise. 

SMS Campaign Ideas

Now that we’ve covered the key regulations and list management best practices, let’s look at some effective SMS campaign ideas you can implement today:

  • Abandoned cart reminders
  • Back-in-stock alerts 
  • Order delivery updates 
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Exclusive promos
  • Product launch updates
  • Loyalty rewards 
  • Event reminders 
  • Contact requests 

Each of these campaign types provides value to subscribers while giving your business an opportunity to generate sales.

Wrapping Up

SMS marketing offers too many benefits for ecommerce businesses to ignore. Following these compliance guidelines and campaign ideas will set you up for SMS success while avoiding any penalties. Remember to always provide value to subscribers, honor opt-out requests, and maintain stringent list hygiene practices.

With a thoughtful SMS strategy and the right tools, you can engage customers in a personal, exciting way. Start connecting with customers over text message today!

Want to try out or optimize SMS campaigns for your ecommerce store? Schedule a consultation and let’s discuss how we can support your business growth!

Email Frequency Best Practices for Ecommerce

a man looks at his ecommerce email campaign metrics

Email marketing remains one of the most effective digital marketing channels for ecommerce brands. By building an engaged subscriber list and sending relevant, timely messages, email allows you to promote new products, run targeted promotions, and re-engage past customers – all with impressive returns.

However, determining the right email frequency can be tricky. Send too little and you might risk hurting sales and engagement. Send too often and subscribers may unsubscribe to avoid spam, negating the work you’ve put into list growth. With inboxes more crowded than ever, the optimal email cadence is a moving target that requires testing and adaptation over time.

In this post, we’ll explore factors to consider when setting your email frequency. We’ll look at benchmarks from top retailers, analyze the relationship between frequency and key metrics, and provide recommendations on testing different approaches. By the end, you’ll have a solid understanding of maximizing open rates, click-throughs and revenue without annoying your subscribers.

Email Frequency Factors to Consider

When determining how often to send emails, the following variables should guide your decision:

  1. Product Category – Frequency needs vary significantly by industry. Grocery/consumables may warrant weekly emails while fashion could space messages every 2-3 weeks.
  1. Subscriber Preferences – Conduct surveys to understand how engaged subscribers prefer to receive communications – daily, weekly or less often. Their feedback should shape your strategy.
  1. Competitor Benchmarks – Analyze top competitors in your category to see typical cadences. Matching or slightly exceeding industry standards helps emails feel timely versus intrusive.
  1. List Maturity – New lists may need weekly nurturing to build trust/familiarity. Mature lists of loyal customers can likely tolerate less frequent, targeted messages.
  1. Campaign Goals – Promotional emails could go out weekly/bi-weekly while informative content suits a monthly schedule. Match cadence to objective.
  1. Open/Click Rates – Frequent testing is needed as open rates tend to decline with additional sends. Track this metric closely to avoid over-communicating.
  1. Unsubscribe Rates – Spikes here indicate the frequency may be too high. Too many unsubscribes at once may damage lists, so avoid overwhelming your subscribers.
  1. Revenue Lift – Ultimately, frequency should maximize sales. Test schedules that produce the best ROI through increased cart/checkout activity.

By considering these factors unique to your business needs, you can establish a cadence optimized for engagement and results. Let’s explore some benchmarks.

Email Frequency Benchmarks

To get a sense of typical email schedules, we analyzed top retailers across various categories:

  • Grocery/Consumables: eg. Amazon Subscribe & Save, Walmart Groceries – Weekly emails.
  • Home Goods: eg. Wayfair, Home Depot – Bi-weekly to monthly emails focused on new items.
  • Clothing: eg. Nike, American Eagle – 1-2 emails per week with deals and new collections.
  • Consumer Electronics: eg. Best Buy, Newegg – Weekly deal emails plus monthly newsletters.
  • Office Supplies: eg. Staples, Office Depot – Weekly emails highlighting top products.
  • Beauty/Skincare: eg. Sephora, Ulta – 1-2 emails per week showcasing new items.
  • Books/Media: eg. Amazon, Barnes & Noble – 2-3 emails per week promoting new releases.

As you can see, weekly appears to be the sweet spot for most retailers, especially those selling consumables or perishable goods. Frequency then tapers for less time-sensitive categories. These benchmarks provide a useful starting point for testing.

Testing Different Email Frequencies

To truly optimize your email campaigns, split testing is essential. Continually testing different variables like frequency, content, customization and promotions will reveal the optimal strategy over time. A/B split tests should run for 6-8 weeks minimum before analyzing results.

email campaign frequency metrics for ecommerce

Analyzing Test Results

When evaluating frequency test outcomes, focus on these key metrics:

  • Open Rates – Higher is better, but declines may indicate over-communication.
  • Click-Through Rates – Engagement should remain consistent or improve.
  • Unsubscribe Rates – Watch for spikes, which could suggest emails are too frequent.
  • Revenue per Subscriber – Frequency that boosts cart/purchase rates wins.
  • Repeat Purchase Rates – Engaged subscribers should purchase more often.

Look for statistically significant improvements rather than marginal gains. Well-performing groups that see higher engagement, fewer unsubscribes, and increased revenue should inform your strategy.

Be sure to test frequency changes for several months before making permanent adjustments. Ongoing A/B testing ensures you continuously optimize this critical marketing channel over time.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, determining the optimal email frequency takes ongoing testing and adaptation over time. Factors like your subscriber preferences, list maturity, campaign goals, and industry standards all provide a useful starting point. But ultimately, the schedule that maximizes engagement metrics like open rates and click-throughs, while minimizing unsubscribes and boosting revenue, is what should guide your strategy. Data-driven optimization through split testing will uncover the best practices uniquely suited to your brand over the long run.


Ready to get started with a customized email marketing strategy for your brand? Schedule a consultation today!

Abandoned Cart Recovery Strategies That Actually Work

Man adds credit card to ecommerce order to avoid abandoned cart

Have you noticed your shoppers enthusiastically add items to their online carts, only to never complete their purchase? It’s estimated that over $18 billion is lost annually by eCommerce brands from abandoned carts. As an eCommerce business owner, losing potential sales in this way can be incredibly frustrating. But don’t lose hope – with the right strategies, you can recover many of those abandoned carts and turn casual browsers into loyal, repeat customers.

We want to share several simple yet highly effective techniques that eCommerce businesses are using to successfully reconnect with past customers and get them to finish what they started. We’ll look at best practices for communication and incentives that motivate action. By the end, you’ll walk away empowered with practical knowledge to significantly boost your sales without a major increase in effort.

Let’s dive in!

Understanding Why Carts Get Abandoned

Before jumping into solutions, it’s important to recognize why shoppers might leave items sitting unpurchased in their online carts. The top three reasons are:

  1. They got distracted or busy – An online shopping cart doesn’t physically lock up items like an in-store one does. It’s very easy for customers to get pulled away to something else before completing checkout.
  2. Shipping costs are too high – Unexpected fees at checkout can completely ruin the experience for shoppers. Customers might not have budgeted for a high shipping cost.
  3. They found a better price elsewhere – With a quick online search always just a click away, it’s easy for shoppers to compare prices at the last minute. 
  4. Product questions went unanswered – Things like sizing details, delivery dates, or compatibility issues left them unsure if it was the right choice.

With awareness of these common barriers, you can craft targeted recovery strategies to directly overcome each specific objection point.

Send a Timely Reminder

One of the simplest yet most impactful tactics is following up with customers who abandoned their carts within 2 hours and another in 24 hours. Sending a friendly email thanking them for their interest and gently reminding them of what’s still waiting in their cart has been shown to increase purchase completion rates by 15-30%.

The key is keeping the reminder friendly and non-pushy. For example, you could say “Just wanted to let you know those items are still here if you decide to checkout today. Let me know if you have any other questions!” This light touch helps shoppers feel they haven’t been forgotten without any pressure to buy.

Offer a Discount to Seal the Deal

Giving people an incentive or reason to act immediately can be highly persuasive for fence-sitters. Sending abandoned cart customers a limited-time discount code is proven to get more of them over the line.

The discount acknowledges their previous interest while also creating a sense of urgency since the promotional code will expire within a set timeframe. Be sure to clearly state the expiration date right in the email subject line, such as “5% off today only for these items!”.

Address Their Specific Concerns Directly

When possible, try to directly address the exact reason a shopper didn’t previously complete their purchase. For example, if their abandoned cart included higher than expected shipping costs, you could offer free shipping on orders over $50 or provide local pickup options to eliminate fees.

If their items were available cheaper elsewhere last time, match or beat the competitor’s price on those products to remove any concerns about value. This shows customers you understand their unique situation and are willing to solve their specific problem, which builds trust in the process.

Flowium abandoned cart statistics
Image Credit: Flowium

Offer Low-Risk Trial Periods

For product-based businesses, introducing a risk-reversal tactic can help indecisive shoppers feel more comfortable taking the plunge. Options like free returns within 14 days or a money-back guarantee if not 100% satisfied are very reassuring, as they acknowledge the natural hesitation people feel buying something expensive or important online without trying or testing it first.

Free and easy returns have become an expectation for many online shoppers thanks to Amazon Prime. In fact, research shows that 79% of customers won’t purchase from an ecommerce site that charges return shipping fees.

Offering free return shipping may not align with every business’ profit margins. However, providing this perk could lead to a substantial boost in sales that offsets the associated costs. We recommend calculating the numbers to determine just how many additional orders may be needed to reach the break-even point for covering free return shipping.

Provide Helpful Educational Resources

For products or industries that require explanation, providing educational resources can help indecisive shoppers feel more informed to make their choice with confidence. This could include blog posts, eBooks, video tutorials, or live online workshops related to common questions around your offerings.

The goal is to reduce any knowledge gaps holding customers back from committing to buy. As an example, an e-commerce store selling computer accessories targeted towards seniors could share a helpful guide on “Top 5 Tips for Navigating Windows 10.”

Follow Up Periodically Over Time

Don’t just make a single attempt immediately after an abandoned cart – keep the lines of communication open by following up occasionally over weeks and months. Sending gentle reminders about abandoned items every few weeks keeps your business top of mind as customers’ needs, budgets, and situations change over time.

Lightly inquire if their situation may have changed or if they have any other questions. The goal is to nurture them as a potential repeat, long-term customer – not just make a single sale. 

Summing things Up

With some creativity and testing different approaches, there are many ways eCommerce businesses can successfully recover lost revenue from abandoned online shopping carts. The most important things are timely follow up communication, directly addressing concerns, providing value, and nurturing customers as long-term relationships – not just one-time transactions.

If you implement a few of our tailored strategies for your specific audience and products, we’re confident you’ll see meaningful increases in completed purchases over time. And remember – don’t get discouraged if some tactics don’t work immediately. Testing, optimizing, and continually improving is an ongoing process that leads to success.


Ready to build an abandoned cart strategy for your eCommerce business? Schedule a consultation and let’s discuss how we can help recover your lost revenue!

Competitor Analysis in eCommerce: Learn from Others to Improve Your Strategy

a man writes a competitor analysis for an ecommerce website

As an eCommerce business owner, monitoring your competitors will help you thrive long-term. Studying what they’re doing right (and wrong) can provide valuable insights to improve your own marketing strategies. In this post, we’ll explore practical tips and techniques for conducting an effective competitor analysis.

Know Your Competitors Inside and Out

Start by making a list of your 3-5 main competitors. Spend time on their websites analyzing everything from product offerings to pricing, marketing campaigns, and customer experience. Pay attention to details like:

  • Popular product categories and bestsellers
  • Pricing strategies (are they undercutting you?)
  • User experience and site navigation flows
  • Marketing channels used (email, social media, ads)
  • Customer reviews and ratings
  • Shipping and return policies

Go beyond just their websites. Check review sites like Trustpilot, search for competitors on social media, and look at analytics tools like SimilarWeb to understand traffic sources. The more you understand about their strengths and weaknesses, the better positioned you’ll be.

Analyze Winning and Failing Tactics

Take notes on campaigns that seem to be driving sales. Are they running frequent promotions? Sending targeted emails? Running Facebook ads? Look for patterns in what messaging and creative resonates most with customers. You can then test adapting similar strategies for your own business.

Learn from Competitor Mistakes

Just as important as emulating success is learning from the failures of others. Analyze what competitors do well and where gaps exist. Look for underserved customer segments or product categories being overlooked. One leader may own the high-end space but ignore budget options.

Customer feedback and reviews also reveal unmet needs. Is poor service or a weak mobile experience leaving room for you to outshine others?

Track Competitor Activity Over Time

Doing a one-time analysis only shows a snapshot in time. Set up Google Alerts for competitor brand and product names so you stay on top of new developments. Periodically revisit their sites to spot any changes, like new landing pages or abandoned strategies.

This ongoing monitoring allows you to quickly adapt if a competitor discovers a new marketing channel or product category that takes off. It also prevents you from wasting efforts duplicating strategies they’ve since abandoned.

google alerts

Use Competitor Insights to Test New Ideas

Once you’ve gathered intel, it’s time to start testing ways to one-up the competition. For example, if competitors charge $5 flat rate shipping, try free shipping over $50 instead. Or if they rely on Facebook ads, try Snapchat or TikTok.

Give new tactics a few weeks to gain traction before evaluating success. And be willing to pivot if they don’t work as hoped. The goal is continuous testing and improvement based on what you’ve learned from your competitors.

For ecommerce sites built on platforms like Shopify, is especially useful. It can show which apps and plugins a Shopify store is using. This allows other Shopify merchants to get ideas for apps to enhance their own sites. Plus, it helps identify common capabilities that apps provide. If you want to see how another Shopify site implemented a certain feature, checking their BuiltWith profile is a quick way to discover the app behind it.

BuiltWith has become a go-to tool for developers, marketers and store owners to transparently analyze websites and gather intelligence on their technical stack and capabilities. It offers a clever way to gain insights from the online success of others.

Wrapping Up

The ecommerce landscape changes constantly, so staying on top of competitors is crucial for long-term survival and growth. Don’t be afraid to emulate strategies that have been proven to work. Constantly test new tactics based on weaknesses you uncover. Competitor analysis is an ongoing process, but it provides invaluable insights for boosting your strategy and results.


Are you ready to take your ecommerce strategy to the next level? Get started with a competitor analysis today. 

Holiday Season Marketing for Ecommerce in 2023

a woman holds an ecommerce holiday present

The holiday season is a special time of year as an eCommerce business owner. We get to connect with our customers in a meaningful way and, of course, sell our products. The festive marketing strategies you decide to use leading up to the holidays can make all the difference. In this article, we’ll dive into why holiday marketing is a big deal for businesses and how to create marketing campaigns that shine. We’ll even chat about how to measure the success of your efforts and sneak a peek into upcoming holiday marketing trends.

Why your Holiday Season Marketing Strategy is Important

In 2022, holiday spending in the US reached $178 billion, with 60% of consumers preferring to shop online. During the holiday season, people are in a more generous and joyful state of mind. They’re on the hunt for gifts and experiences that’ll bring a smile to their loved ones’ faces. This creates a golden opportunity for your eCommerce business to connect with your customers on an emotional level. 

There’s also a sense of urgency that comes with the holidays. People want to snag those limited-time offers before they disappear. This urgency can really give your sales a boost and build excitement around your brand.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the psychology of holiday shoppers. The holidays have a way of tugging at our heartstrings and stirring up nostalgic feelings. When it comes to holiday traditions like exchanging gifts, decorating the house, and preparing special meals, people are willing to purchase products and services related to these traditions.

Getting Started with your Holiday Season Offer

When it comes to holiday marketing, it’s more than just deals and discounts. It’s about tapping into those warm and fuzzy holiday emotions, creating a sense of urgency, and ultimately, boosting your sales and brand loyalty. Holiday season sales can make up a significant chunk of your business’s annual revenue, so giving it your all in holiday marketing can set you up for long-term success. 

The first step in creating offers that’ll make your customers hit that checkout button is getting to know them like the back of your hand. What do they want? What drives their decisions? This knowledge will be your secret weapon. 

During the holidays, your customers are bombarded with offers. To really stand out, you need to understand them really, really well. Understanding your audience’s quirks and behaviors during the holidays is key to creating offers that truly hit the mark. If your audience is full of busy parents, for example, your offers could highlight time-saving benefits or hassle-free solutions to make their holiday season smoother. Emphasize how your products or services can make their holidays extra special. Offer exclusive discounts, bundle deals, and limited-time promotions to create a sense of urgency. 

a man browses a holiday ecommerce website

Building Your Holiday Marketing Campaign

Crafting your enticing offers is just one part of the equation. You also need to build effective campaigns that reach your target audience through the right channels at the right time. 

Start by choosing the right marketing channels that align best with your audience and business objectives. Email marketing is a popular option, allowing you to directly reach your customers’ inboxes with personalized offers and promotions. Social media advertising is another effective channel, as it allows you to target specific demographics and engage with potential customers in a more interactive way. 

Remember, timing is everything. Start your campaign planning early so you can launch your campaigns with enough lead time to reach your audience. Creating a content calendar can also help you stay on track. Plus, keep an eye on those key shopping dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Offering exclusive discounts or early access can stir up excitement before the big day.

Wrapping Up 🎁 (Pun Intended)

In conclusion, the holiday season is a magical time for ecommerce businesses to reach new customers and engage previous buyers. Building an effective holiday marketing strategy isn’t just about choosing channels and timing. It’s about understanding the psychology of holiday shoppers. By making the right choices and telling captivating stories, you can create campaigns that leave an impression and resonate with your audience, even after the holiday season has come and gone.

There’s still time! Ready to build your personalized holiday marketing strategy? Schedule a consultation with us to get started.

Cross-Selling and Upselling Techniques for eCommerce Growth

upselling and cross-selling in ecommerce

Ecommerce businesses are constantly seeking new strategies to drive growth and increase their revenue. Two powerful techniques that work today are cross-selling and upselling. By implementing these techniques, your eCommerce business can boost sales and enhance your customers’ satisfaction. In this article, explore upselling and cross-selling in eCommerce, provide practical tips and insights on optimization, and address common challenges that you may face when implementing these techniques.

Understanding Cross-Selling and Upselling

Before we get into the correct way to use cross-selling and upselling, let’s first gain a clear understanding of these concepts. Cross-selling involves recommending additional products or services that complement the item the customer is already purchasing. This can be done by analyzing your customers’ browsing history and purchasing patterns to offer them relevant and personalized suggestions. Using these insights, you can successfully cross-sell products that align with your customer’s preferences.

On the other hand, upselling is used to suggest higher-priced alternatives or upgrades to your customer’s initial choices. This technique aims to encourage customers to consider premium options that provide additional features, enhanced performance, or superior quality. By highlighting the value proposition of these higher-priced alternatives, businesses can persuade customers to upgrade their purchase, ultimately increasing the average order value and maximizing revenue.

Both cross-selling and upselling techniques can not only boost sales but also enhance the overall customer experience by offering relevant and valuable recommendations.

Why is Cross-Selling Important in eCommerce?

Cross-selling plays a crucial role in driving growth and increasing revenue for eCommerce businesses. By suggesting relevant add-on products, you can enhance your customers’ overall shopping experience. If used correctly, cross-selling can increase customer loyalty by demonstrating that you understand their needs and desires.

A key benefit of cross-selling is that you can showcase your products and gain visibility on less popular items. When recommending complementary products, you introduce your customers to new and exciting options that they may not have considered otherwise. This expands your customer’s choices, which drives growth and increases sales.

Moreover, cross-selling can help with customer retention and increasing lifetime value. By consistently offering relevant  recommendations, you can create a personalized shopping experience. This can lead to repeat purchases and a higher likelihood of your customers becoming brand advocates, spreading positive word-of-mouth and attracting new customers.

a customer purchases a cross-selling ecommerce product

Identifying Potential Cross-Sell Opportunities

A crucial element of successful cross-selling lies in identifying the right opportunities. This involves analyzing customer behavior, purchase history, and product compatibility. 

As an example, a customer who previously purchased a camera could logically be recommended camera accessories like  lenses or memory cards. Understanding your customer’s needs will allow you to offer complementary products that enhance the functionality and enjoyment of the original purchase.

Ecommerce businesses should also consider using collaborative filtering techniques, where recommendations are based on the purchasing behavior of similar customers. This approach can help identify cross-sell opportunities that may not be immediately apparent, but are likely to resonate.

Creating Effective Cross-Sell Offers

When crafting cross-sell offers, it is important to provide detailed information about the recommended products. This may include highlighting key features and benefits that align with your customers’ needs. Clear and concise communication of the cross-sell offer will ensure that its value is communicated.

Visual assets also play a role in capturing the customer’s attention. High-quality product images, videos, and interactive elements can create an immersive shopping experience, making the cross-sell offer more enticing. Additionally, you should leverage customer reviews and ratings to build trust and credibility, further enhancing the appeal of the recommended products.

Furthermore, cross-sell offers can be made more appealing by offering discounts and free shipping. A discount encourages the customer to make an additional purchase by offering additional savings.

The Role of Upselling in eCommerce Growth

While cross-selling focuses on complementing a customer’s purchase, upselling takes a slightly different approach. By suggesting higher-priced alternatives (or upgrades), you can increase their average order value while showcasing the value and benefits of your premium products. This strategy can boost revenue, enhance your brand image and ultimately position your company as a provider of high-quality products.

One of the key drivers of successful upselling is effective product positioning. Highlighting the unique features, superior performance, or exclusive benefits of higher-priced alternatives can create a compelling value proposition that convinces customers to upgrade their purchase. This can be done through persuasive product descriptions, customer testimonials, or comparison charts that showcase the added value of the premium options.

A successful upselling strategy can contribute to customer loyalty and advocacy. When value is perceived in your premium products, your customers are more likely to become repeat buyers and recommend your products to others. This free “word-of-mouth” marketing can increase the growth of your eCommerce business by attracting new customers and expanding your customer base.

cross-selling and upselling in an ecommerce website

Determining Suitable Upsell Items

To excel in upselling, you must carefully analyze your product offerings and identify suitable items that can be upsold. These items should not only complement your customer’s initial choice but also align with their needs and desires. By understanding your customer preferences and considering their budget, you can suggest upsell products that are highly relevant and appealing. 

For example, if a customer is purchasing a smartphone, a suitable upsell item could be a protective case or a wireless charger. These items not only enhance the functionality of the smartphone but also provide convenience and protection.

Crafting Compelling Upsell Offers

Once suitable upsell items have been identified, it is essential to craft compelling upsell offers that resonate with customers. A well-crafted upsell proposal can significantly influence the customer’s decision and increase the likelihood of them accepting the offer. One effective way to create a compelling upsell proposal is by highlighting the benefits and features of the upsell item. By clearly communicating how the additional product or service can enhance the customer’s experience or solve a problem, you can create a strong desire for the upsell. 

Furthermore, showcasing testimonials and providing social proof can further strengthen the upsell proposal. When customers see positive feedback from other satisfied buyers, they are more likely to trust the upsell offer and perceive it as valuable. 

Creating a sense of urgency is another powerful technique in upselling. By offering exclusive deals or limited-time promotions you create a fear of missing out (FOMO) effect, encouraging your customers to take immediate action and opt for the upsell. 

In conclusion, mastering upselling strategies requires careful analysis of product offerings, identification of suitable upsell items, and crafting compelling upsell offers. By implementing these strategies effectively, your eCommerce business can not only increase your revenue but also provide enhanced value to your customers.

a customer purchases an ecommerce upsell product

Balancing Cross-Selling and Upselling for Maximum Impact

While both cross-selling and upselling are valuable techniques, finding the right balance is essential. Bombarding customers with excessive or irrelevant recommendations can be counterproductive and potentially harm the customer experience. Striking the perfect balance involves understanding the customer’s journey, aligning recommendations with their needs, and respecting their preferences. By doing so, businesses can create a seamless and personalized shopping experience that drives growth while fostering customer trust and loyalty.

By adopting these cross-selling and upselling techniques and addressing the associated challenges, your eCommerce business can unlock untapped potential, drive growth, and maximize customer satisfaction. The key lies in deeply understanding your customer, offering tailored solutions, and continuously refining your strategies. 

Ready to build a customized upselling and cross-selling strategy? Schedule a consultation with us and let’s discuss how we can support your business growth!

Enhancing the Customer Experience on your eCommerce Website

A customer experiences an ecommerce website on a tablet

Today’s consumers have countless options at their fingertips. This means that if you can provide a seamless and enjoyable shopping journey, it will help you stand out from your competition. In this article, we will discuss ways to measure your current customer experience, strategies for improvement, and the role technology plays in increasing customer satisfaction. Let’s get into it!

Understanding Customer Experience in Ecommerce

Let’s talk about why customer experience matters in eCommerce. Your goal shouldn’t be to just sell your products; it should be about creating a positive and memorable journey for your customers. When you prioritize their experience, you foster loyalty, drive higher conversion rates, and ultimately fuel business growth. 

One way to create a positive customer experience is a website that’s easy to use and navigate. When your customers can find what they’re looking for without any hassle, it’s a game-changer. Implementing intuitive search functions, clear product categories, and simple checkout processes can make a significant difference and decrease bounce rates.

Another powerful way to improve customer experience is personalized communication. Personalized communication goes beyond just delivering the right message or recommending the right products. It’s about making your customers feel valued and understood. Address them by name in your emails, acknowledge their loyalty, and send them exclusive offers tailored to their preferences. Show them that you appreciate their business and genuinely care about their needs. These small gestures can go a long way in building strong customer relationships.

Why Ecommerce Stores Shouldn’t Ignore Customer Experience

Paying close attention to customer experience not only brings new customers, but also helps to retain existing ones. Positive customer experiences can generate glowing online reviews and testimonials, which enhances your brand’s image. Satisfied customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and become loyal advocates for your brand. By investing in customer experience, you’re investing in the long-term success and credibility of your brand.

What’s more is customer experience plays a significant role in reducing cart abandonment rates. A complicated or time-consuming checkout process can push customers away. Simplify the checkout process to make it as user-friendly as possible. Minimize the number of steps required, eliminate unnecessary form fields, and provide clear progress indicators. Offer a guest checkout option for those who prefer a quick and hassle-free experience. The goal is to make the checkout process a breeze, reducing friction and encouraging customers to complete their purchase.

A customer shops on an ecommerce website

Assessing Your Current Customer Experience

To improve customer experience, you first need to know where you currently stand. Start by measuring key metrics that reflect customer satisfaction and engagement. Dive into analytics to uncover valuable insights such as average time spent on the website, bounce rates, and conversion rates. Customer feedback and reviews are also gold mines of information.

Tools for Measuring Customer Experience on Your Website

Various free tools exist to help you track metrics such as bounce rate, time on site, and conversion rates. Google Analytics is a popular choice to give you an inside look into visitor behavior. This powerful tool provides detailed reports on user demographics, traffic sources, and user journey analysis.

In addition to Google Analytics, heat mapping tools like Hotjar can provide invaluable information about where users are clicking, scrolling, or getting stuck on your website. By visualizing user behavior, you can identify pain points and areas for improvement. Heatmaps can reveal which sections of your website receive the most attention and which ones are being overlooked. Use this data to guide the process of optimizing your website’s layout and content.

Google analytics 4

Strategies for Enhancing Customer Experience

Now that you have a clear understanding of your current customer experience, it’s time to implement strategies that will elevate it to new heights. Let’s explore some effective tactics that can make a significant difference.

Improving Website Navigation and Usability

A cluttered and confusing website interface can quickly frustrate your visitors. Optimizing your website’s navigation and ensuring a seamless user experience is vital for enhancing customer satisfaction. Make sure your menus are intuitive, your search functionality is robust, and your pages load quickly. Clear and visually appealing product categories and filters can help customers find what they’re looking for effortlessly. Remember, simplicity is key.

Personalizing the Shopping Experience

Customers appreciate a personalized touch. Tailoring the shopping experience to individual preferences can boost customer engagement and loyalty. Implementing features like personalized recommendations based on past purchases or browsing history can go a long way in making customers feel valued and understood. Additionally, personalized email marketing campaigns and targeted promotions can create a sense of exclusivity and further enhance customer experience.

Streamlining the Checkout Process

The checkout process is a critical juncture where many potential customers abandon their carts. Lengthy and complicated checkout procedures can result in frustration and lost sales. Streamlining the process by minimizing the number of steps, offering guest checkout options, and providing multiple secure payment options can significantly increase conversion rates. Additionally, clear and transparent shipping and return policies can instill confidence in customers and reduce purchase hesitations.

Leveraging Technology to Boost Customer Experience

With the rapid advancements in technology, we have more opportunities than ever to elevate the way your customers interact with your business. Let’s explore some of the ways you can leverage technology to leave a lasting impression.

Mobile Optimization and Customer Experience

With 77% of US adults owning a smartphone and up to 43% of ecommerce sales being made on a smartphone, mobile optimization is non-negotiable. A good first step is to ensure your website is mobile-friendly and optimized for different screen sizes. You can implement responsive design principles and mobile-specific features, such as one-click payment options or swipeable image galleries, to improve conversion rates.

A man uses an AI chat bot on an ecommerce website

How AI and Chatbots Can Enhance Customer Interaction

AI and chatbots are revolutionizing customer interactions. Integrating AI-powered chatbots on your website can provide instant and personalized support, answering customer inquiries and guiding them throughout their shopping journey. Chatbots can assist with product recommendations, real-time customer service, and even offer proactive assistance by analyzing customer behavior. By harnessing the power of AI, you can improve response times and enhance overall customer satisfaction.

Seamless Omnichannel Experience

Embrace an omnichannel approach by integrating your website, mobile app, social media platforms, and physical stores (if applicable) into a cohesive ecosystem. Ensure consistent branding, a unified customer database, and synchronized inventory management. This way, customers can seamlessly switch between channels, pick up where they left off, and enjoy a frictionless experience no matter how they choose to engage with your brand.

Wrapping Up

We believe enhancing the customer experience is an ongoing process. Keep an eye on industry trends, gather customer feedback, and regularly test and optimize your website. By adopting a mindset of continuous improvement, you’ll ensure that your eCommerce website evolves alongside your customers’ needs and expectations. Take a step back and make the experience on your ecommerce website a top priority. Your customers—and your bottom line—will thank you.

Curious how your customers are experiencing your eCommerce website? Schedule a consultation with us for a user experience audit.

Improving Customer Lifetime Value with Ecommerce Loyalty Programs: A Guide for Success + Tools

a man holds up a loyalty card for an ecommerce store

Building a loyal customer base can increase the success of any ecommerce business. Implementing a well-designed loyalty program can help drive repeat purchases for your business, and also increase your customer’s lifetime values (CLV). In this article, you will learn the process of improving CLV with an ecommerce loyalty program and the tools you need for success.

Understanding CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)

Before we get to the good stuff, let’s talk about what CLV is and what it means to you as an ecommerce store owner. CLV is a way to predict the total amount of money a customer is likely to spend on your business during their lifetime. This includes purchases they have already made, but also the potential for future purchases. Increasing CLV can boost your shop’s revenue and profitability.

But remember, each customer interacts with your business in different ways. A customer who makes frequent purchases has a higher CLV than a customer who makes infrequent purchases. Understanding this can help you tailor your marketing and sales strategies. 

The Importance of CLV in Ecommerce

In ecommerce, CLV is especially crucial. With increasing competition, bringing in new customers can be expensive. By focusing on increasing CLV, businesses can drive revenue growth without needing to constantly acquire new customers.

One way to increase CLV is to focus on customer retention. When you make an effort to keep your customers engaged and satisfied, they are more likely to make repeat purchases and refer their friends.

a man looks at an ecommerce loyalty program on his phone

How to Calculate CLV

Calculating CLV can be a complex process because it requires analyzing a variety of factors such as:

  • purchase history
  • frequency of purchases, and 
  • customer lifetime

Here are some basic formulas to help you calculate CLV:

  1. To calculate average purchase value: Total revenue ÷ Number of purchases
  2. To calculate purchase frequency rate: Total number of purchases ÷ Number of unique customers
  3. To calculate customer value: Average purchase value x Purchase frequency
  4. To calculate CLV: Customer value x Average customer lifespan

As a reminder, this formula provides a general estimate of CLV. You may need to adjust it based on your specific industry and customer base. Make sure to regularly monitor your CLV and update as customer behavior and business strategies evolve.

Types of Loyalty Programs for Ecommerce

There are many types of ecommerce loyalty programs out there. 

The most common ones are:

  • Points programs: Customers can earn points for purchases, which can be redeemed for rewards. This program is popular because it provides a clear incentive for customers to keep buying.
  • Tiered programs: Customers are grouped into different tiers based on their purchase behavior, with each tier receiving increasing rewards. This type of program is effective because it provides customers with a sense of achievement.
  • Paid programs: Customers pay a fee to join the loyalty program, and receive exclusive rewards and benefits as a result. This type of program is effective for businesses that offer high-end products or services because it creates exclusivity and attracts customers who will pay for value.

Regardless of the type of loyalty program you choose to implement, it is important it provides clear benefits for your customers. By doing so, it will help you build a loyal customer base and drive long-term revenue growth.

Designing a Successful Ecommerce Loyalty Program

Now that we understand the benefits and types of loyalty programs, let’s explore how to design a successful program.

Setting Clear Goals and Objectives

Before designing your loyalty program, it’s important to set clear goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase revenue, boost customer retention, or drive repeat purchases? 

When setting goals, make sure you consider the current state of your business. If your business is new, your primary goal may be to increase customer acquisition. But if your business is established, your goal may be to retain your current customers and increase their lifetime value.

an ecommerce marketer looks at a loyalty program report

Identifying Your Target Audience

The next step is to identify your target audience. Who are your most loyal customers? What motivates them to shop with you? When you deeply understand your audience, you can design a loyalty program that resonates with them.

Look at your customer demographics, purchase history, and behavior on your website. This information can help you create customer segments and design a loyalty program that is tailored to each segment.

Choosing the Right Rewards and Incentives

The rewards and incentives offered through your loyalty program are a key factor in its success. Choose rewards that are valuable to customers. Rewards can include discounts, free products, early access to sales, or exclusive content.

When choosing the rewards you will offer, always consider the cost to your business. You want to offer rewards that are valuable to customers, but also cost-effective for your business. One way to do this is to offer rewards that are exclusive to the loyalty program, such as early access or exclusive content.

Thoughts on User Experience

The user experience of your loyalty program is important. Make it easy for your customers to sign up, earn rewards, and redeem them. Your program should be integrated with your ecommerce platform so tracking progress is effortless.

To enhance their experience, consider using gamification. By adding elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards, you can make the loyalty program more engaging and encourage customers to participate.

Best Practices for Ecommerce Loyalty Programs

Now that we have covered how to design a successful loyalty program, let’s explore some best practices to maximize effectiveness.

Personalization and Customization

Personalization is the key to building a strong emotional connection between your customers and your brand. Giving your customers the ability to choose between different reward options can also enhance their experience.

Regular Communication and Engagement

Regular communication is important to keep customers engaged with the loyalty program. Consider sending personalized emails or push notifications to update customers on their reward progress or offer exclusive deals.

Tracking and Analyzing Customer Data

Tracking and analyzing customer behavior and purchase history can provide valuable insights to optimize your program to better drive CLV.

Continuous Improvement and Adaptation

Finally, it is important to continually improve and adapt your loyalty program. Staying up to date with industry trends and listening to customer feedback will ensure your program remains effective over time.

smile loyalty and rewards shopify app

Tools for Ecommerce Loyalty Programs

Implementing an ecommerce loyalty program might seem like a lot of work, but luckily there are many tools available to make the process easier. 

A few tools to consider:

  • Loyalty program applications to design, implement, and manage your loyalty program (such as for shopify).
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software to track customer data and behavior so you can personalize rewards and communication.
  • Email marketing tools to send personalized emails to customers on their reward progress and exclusive deals.

With the tools and the knowledge gained from this guide, you can design and implement a successful ecommerce loyalty program that drives CLV and boosts revenue for your business.

Ready to build a customized loyalty program for your ecommerce store? Schedule a consultation and let’s discuss how we can support your business growth!