A common trap that ecommerce business owners find themselves falling into is trying to scale their companies by doing more – always more. Trying to achieve as much as possible in the shortest amount of time sounds ideal, but more often that not can lead to a lack of focus and direction. By embracing a ‘less is more’ business culture, you’ll find that you’re able to grow faster, and what’s more, actually sustain that growth long-term.
The only way to make it as a digital business is through specialization; demonstrating your expertise with a clear, unified marketing message. It’s impossible to please everyone, no matter how much you want to. In the following six points, we’ll cover the various ways you make less is more part of your ecommerce business strategy.
Keep your site design simple
Did you know that simpler websites get higher conversions? According to a Google study carried out in 2012, visually simple websites are considered ‘more beautiful’, and make it easy for visitors to navigate and figure out the next step. With a simple website, the eye is naturally drawn to the most important area of the screen – your CTA.
Consider using a flat design for your website – the perfect embodiment of the ‘less is more’ mantra. With flat design, the focus is all on content and usability – clean design with lots of white space and 2D images. Minimal certainly doesn’t have to mean boring.
Focus on the purpose of each page – to encourage visitors further down the sales funnel. That means having clear CTAs and nothing that distracts from the next step. Don’t make shopping online harder than it needs to be.
Use pop ups strategically
Pop ups can be intrusive and should be used delicately. Done right, they can bring you more leads and improve your conversion rate. Done wrong, they will send visitors running for the hills. It certainly isn’t a case of the more, the better. The following pop up variations can be used for more deliberate, successful results.
- Event-triggered pop ups – this type of pop up only appears when a visitor goes to leave your website, with the intention of trying to persuade them back. These pop ups can also be activated by other events, such as time spent on page.
- Click-triggered pop ups – these are activated by the user themselves and are designed to be non-intrusive. Mostly they’re used to collect email addresses where the user has made their interest clear.
- Polite pop ups – these pop ups are very small, and usually appear from the side or corner of the screen so as not to obscure the view. The user has the option to click on the pop up at any time, but it doesn’t distract from what they’re doing.
Find out more about Advanced Email Popup Strategies here.
Kick the menial tasks
If you’re a business bootstrapper, you probably did almost everything yourself when it came to setting up your online store – creating the website, choosing products, writing the descriptions, etc. This is a valid approach, and one that probably saved you money, but at what cost? Your time, most likely.
Spend less time on menial tasks to get more out of your business. How? By automating as much as possible and leaving the tasks that aren’t really necessary. Honestly, just leave them! Spending three or four hours honing and perfecting your logo might feel like work – and your logo is important – but it’s not the best use of your time.
In bootstrapping, we often hear the phrase MVP being kicked around – minimal viable product. That means doing what is sufficient, rather than obsessing over reaching perfection.
Stay focused on your niche
Hey, we all wish we could be Jeff Bezos. But as a small ecommerce business, you’re much more likely to succeed if you have a clear focus and a definitive niche. The beauty of operating within a specific niche is that, generally speaking, the competition is much lower – and the rewards much greater.
For example, it’s far less competitive to have a store selling electric violins than to try and cater to everyone with a general music store. Better to be number one for electric violins, than number 10,000 for musical instruments. Staying focused on your niche also makes it easier to define your target audience and write optimized content that will rank for your primary keywords.
Nichepursuits has some great content and online training on how to nail your niche marketing — it’s worth getting granular with your keyword and Amazon research in order to get your targeting right.
Quality over quantity
Let’s talk a little about email marketing. When it comes to your email campaigns, quality most certainly trumps quantity. The best results always come from sending small, personalized batches with high-quality content that your audience actually cares about – not from shooting out useless newsletters left, right and center. Volume is nothing if no-one cares what you have to say.
Today’s email marketing platforms make it deliriously easy to create cost-effective campaigns in a short amount of time, so it’s easy to go overboard. Likewise, if you’ve yet to build up a robust list of subscribers, you may feel tempted to start purchasing email lists. The problem with so many of these lists is that they’ve already been sold time and again – in all likelihood, the recipients will automatically allocate your message to spam.
Taking the time to split test various elements of your email campaigns, such as your content selection and subject line, can help you to pinpoint what’s getting the best results. Then you’ll be able to focus on what’s working, and give less time to what isn’t.
It’s no secret that efficiency is key to running any successful business. As an ecommerce business, you should always look out for ways to optimize processes, from your day-to-day tasks to the speed of your website. In particular, pay attention to the customer experience.
Are customers leaving your website due to its complicated checkout procedure? How easy is it for them to seek help if they have questions about your products? Take stock of your website’s usability and aim to make each step of the process clear and simple. Consider implementing a live chat system to make it easy for visitors to get the information they’re looking for.
But it’s also important to look beyond your web presence to things like inventory and order management. They are 100% NOT incidental to the success of your business, so you need to rely on an all-informed and integrated business system that can manage online and offline locations and tasks with ease.
Luckily, it’s not hard to find integrated tools that can help you streamline your business — it’s just about investing in the right ones. Shopify gets it right with how easy it makes integrating your online store with your offline retail presence — keeping everything under the same user account and dashboard for efficiency. And, if you need an easier way to manage your inventory, try Sortly — it will take your logistics to the next level with its intuitive stock management.
The ecommerce landscape really isn’t short of automation tools to help maintain efficiency as you grow — so invest time and effort into picking and choosing the right ones that will help you streamline EVERYTHING.
In short, when it comes to embracing a culture of less is more with your ecommerce business, streamlined, multichannel, ROI-focused tactics will always win. Got questions about anything that’s been covered here? Let us know in the comments.