9 Year Journey: 3 Lessons

I’ve spent the last 2 months reflecting on everything I’ve thought about buyer psychology as it applies to ecommerce.

There is just too much information out there. Too many shiny items to chase down.

Too little time to do things.

Fortunately, there are a few principles that immediately come to mind.

So if you simply don’t have the time to test and experiment with every new idea don’t be disheartened.

We’ll distill the 3 big ideas that will help you see 20% growth. New bonus idea at bottom.

Strategy 1: Focus on Mobile

There is one secular trend I’ve seen over the last 5 years that applies to the 40+ completely different ecommerce sites I’ve studied. And that’s this: the percentage of overall mobile traffic is growing (whether you like or not) every quarter. And it’s going to continue rising. But mobile revenue as a percentage of overall revenue is still garbage.

Mobile Traffic:

Graph showing mobile traffic vs desktop traffic

Mobile Conversion Rates:

Graph showing mobile conversion rates vs desktop conversion rates

We used to believe mobile visitors were in research mode. They did research on their phone and then completed a purchase on their desktop/laptop. That’s not true anymore. It was true for a long time but not any more. Shoppers take a long time to change their behavior, but once the spark is lit it spreads like wild fire.

Simple trick to know if you are thinking mobile first? In the last 30 days how many times did you see the mobile version of your site versus the desktop version?

To maximize conversions you need to see what your visitors see. Walk in their shoes. It will unlock amazing growth opportunities.

Strategy 2: Focus on First Time Buyers

Stop looking at monthly revenue numbers, they hide the truth. Instead, focus on first time purchases. Here are some questions worth thinking about:

— How much time are new users spending on the site? Is it going up or down?

— How many pages are new users seeing?

— Am I getting new orders for cities we’ve never shipped to? Is there an opportunity here?

— How many chat/calls are we getting from new users? Up or down? What could it mean?

— How many product reviews are we getting from first time buyers? Up or down? What could this mean?

— What’s the #1 reason why new users are exiting without buying?

First-time buyers are a crystal ball through which you can see the future of your business. Obsess over them.

Strategy 3: Leverage Your Strengths, Exploit Competitor Weaknesses

My favorite image:

Every disadvantage has a hidden advantage. Exploit that.

Some examples:

— You are a really small etailer. Your competitor is 10x the size. Let first-time buyers know how much harder you work. Learn from Avis’ genius marketing:

— If you are the leader of the space with the largest supplier base and warehouse talk about the number of customers you’ve served all over the country.

— If you don’t have a deep product line your messaging should be focused on your specialized focus on a narrow product line.

— If you are brand new talk about your vision to challenge the old guard.

— If you are a 2 person company focus on your origin story. What motivated you to start this business? Let me know why you decided to stay small (to keep the service personal).

— If your product is a low cost leader talk about how your goal is creating a product that’s accessible by all.

— If your product is 30% more expensive than alternatives talk about your singular focus on quality and craftsmanship.

That’s it. Focus on these 3 things and your marketing calendar is set for the next 12 months.

If you have thoughts/questions on the 3 strategies leave a comment. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

What? You’ve mastered these 3 strategies? Ok, then enjoy this bonus idea.


Like this idea?



2 comment

2 Replies to “9 Year Journey: 3 Lessons”

  1. GREAT article Rishi – excellent insights, thank you. Will get in touch soon. We have Swiss HQ visitors this week.

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