6 Growth Hacking Ideas for Ecommerce Startups


Growth hacking is the new buzzword in the business world. As the floodgates opened for small startups to emerge and grow, many entrepreneurs realized that since they did not have huge marketing budgets, or VC funding to back expensive executives to run the show, they needed to think out-of-the-box and come up with innovative strategies and new approaches to develop solid and loyal customer bases.

What if there was a way for you to automatically acquire customers long after your subscription to the channel was used up? What if you could put in time and money into building certain systems that could work like magic for your business every single time, without the need to redo them over and over again?

Well, my friends, such wonderful things are possible. In fact, many people have already reaped the benefits – including some of the biggest names in the market today – and you can too!

Increase conversions by increasing site speed

Your customers will flee in droves if your site’s page loads are slow. This kind of mistake can be very heavy on your wallet. In fact, a one second delay in site speed can reduce conversions by up to 10 percent.

It’s even more likely that your site speed is not just one second slow, it’s much slower than that. Think about what this could mean to your profits right this minute! While we love to add all the small details, applications and content to our websites, the thing that visitors care most about is loading time.

Did you know that page load time is also becoming an important factor for search engine rankings? Yep, that’s right. Ideally, your website should load in less than two seconds. Here’s an article to help you with some easy to implement tactics to increase your site speed.

Social proof is a must

Your website needs to be all about the social proof. Lars Lofgren, KISSmetrics Marketing Analyst, wrote: “Your website should OOZE social proof.”

This is the one element of your website that is an absolute must. Social proof could come in many forms. You could add the logos of all the big media outlets that have mentioned your brand, or place the names and logos of your top clients where visitors can see them at a glance.

Here’s how Neil Patel does it.

neil patel

Even the number of followers that you have on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or those who share your content with their peers on various other social media platforms show social proof. Here’s an example from Mashable:

social proof mashable

Testimonials are another form of social proof. It is highly recommended that you encourage your customers to leave reviews about how they felt when they used your products or services, or how using your services helped them achieve their goals, both personal and professional.

Below is a great example of social proof through testimonials, taken from Marie Forleo’s website – a diva who really knows how to market herself!

marie forleo

But how do I get social proof like Marie? There are applications available in the market that can automate some of the social proofing process for you (adnd at the same time short cut the amount of time this takes). GetFeedback and UserVoice are two of the many apps out there that can help you streamline the process.


In order to grasp why social proof is so important for businesses, you need to understand this unique aspect of human psychology. Whenever we are stuck at something and need guidance, we look towards those around us and see what we can learn from them to move forward.

Similarly, social proof on your website does exactly that. It assures people who are on the fence. When a potential customer is unsure about using your product or service, testimonials, comments, likes, logos – all nudge him to give your brand a shot.

Use a barebones homepage

I’m not sure if you have noticed, but all the great websites today use barebones homepages that capture the eye (and the mind).

Let’s cut to the chase. You’ve got only one chance to make a sale when a customer visits your website. And, while you consider this, don’t forget that people are generally risk averse. They are looking for a reason to say no and walk out the door.

By creating a homepage, which is a mess of random links, videos, articles and multiple calls to action, you are definitely not helping. Keep clear call to actions and cut down everything else.

Here’s how Tobi does it.


Proactively initiate chats via analytics

If you can already view people’s activity on your website in real-time, then you need to utilize that to your advantage by proactively initiating chats with potential customers.

If a customer is trying to look for a certain size, color or any other specification that is not easily visible, initiate the chat and offer to help. Waiting to be heard or to be put on hold for long periods of time is the worst thing, and can certainly push customers away.

However, using the chat proactively could do wonders for your business, and create happy customers who are willing to come back and buy from you again. But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s a few stats that will back it up.

live char stats

If you don’t already have live chat, you should probably go subscribe to one … like now!

Make it rewarding to tell a friend

What do you think happens if you reward every person with a small present or free premium service who refers your service or product to friends? And what if you also rewarded the person being referred – as an incentive to try your service/ product?

It would bring in more leads and potential customers for your business, that’s what.

Userlike, a live chat provider, applied this to their own service and it worked like a charm.


They offered premium two-month, free service to users who were being referred and tada! It was a win-win for both the customers and the website.

Who would liketo go back to their old basic service or watered down software once they’ve tried and tested the best features that this software had to offer? Instant upsell!

Use innovative approaches to reach users

My final tip is, use innovative approaches as you plan to expand your business, connect with clients and develop relationships.

Instead of gearing your (limited) time and resources towards building products and services that no one else is offering ( oh and it’s very likely that no one is interested in buying them which is why no one is already selling them .. I’m just saying.), focus instead on using innovative approaches to building a community around your business.

Let’s look at the example of Airbnb. The site – which has grown into a multi-billion dollar business that has surpassed Hilton Hotels in revenues – helps people find vacation rentals.

What took Airbnb from a fledgling startup to a billion dollar success story was the awesome growth hack they implemented. They recognized that Craigslist, that had a huge user base, was the site their target audience opened when they wanted to search for rental properties for temporary stays.

They decided to tap into that market by allowing everyone who posted an ad on Airbnb to get a chance to put the same on Craigslist too, although the latter had not sanctioned any such thing at the time. The rest, as they say, is history. This is Airbnb’s story.



By applying the above-mentioned growth hacks consistently, you’ll be able to produce the kind of results you’re looking for that will grow your business exponentially.

Remember, that there is no one way of doing something right. If there is an interesting idea that is keeping you awake at night, or if your analytics are giving you cues – test them to see what works best for your business.

We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!  What’s your favorite growth hack?

Moosa Hemani

Moosa is a seasoned online marketing professional with a strong interest in SEO, E-Commerce and what makes users flow from visitor to customer. Moosa is responsible for all content on the Awesome Commerce website.

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