The e-commerce industry, especially in developing markets has come a long way in the last couple of years. One reason this can be attributed to is the technological growth and easy internet accessibility to all masses. In fact, as compared to 2014 est. the internet percentage in Brazil (53%), Turkey (47%) and India (19%) has positively doubled to 70%, 83% and 41%, respectively.
If we talk about India specifically, then this particular market has shown a potential for growth in the e-commerce industry. However, it is only possible if we can bridge the gap between the total population and the internet population. Before moving on to understanding how can this gap be bridged, so we can generate more revenue and profit. Let us first have a look at the internet and technological penetration in the following 6 markets.
(June 2019 est.)
Since our focus is India, let us see some more useful stats from India. There are 22 languages spoken in India and over 780 dialects. In the past year, there has been a growth of 18% in terms of the internet population growth with a total of 41% internet penetration and studies suggest will continue to rise in 2019. Apart from this, there are approximately 5.3 million domains registered in the country. Based on this data, it is safe to say the average number of domains/resellers is 132.5
So as seen, the problem is that product sales have NOT grown fast enough, whereas the competition has. The question that arises, are we really working on leveraging our population to these untapped markets to accelerate growth? There is no definite answer to this but as seen everywhere, it always comes down to the ‘Survival of the Fittest’ and so the only survival tactic you can use is, Growth Hacking. Let us see what growth hacking is and how can we leverage it for increasing revenue and making a profit.
What is Growth Hacking?
The term ‘Growth Hacking’ was coined by Sean Ellis, an entrepreneur in 2010. He says, ‘A Growth Hacker is a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth.’
So, Growth Hacking is basically a concept developed for technology startups and is largely a component of the technology available to you. In fact, to grow, it focuses on lean marketing – growth first, budgets later. It includes, but is not restricted to Product Management, User Experience, Partnerships, SEO, Press Releases, Analytics, Behavioral Economics, Landing Page Optimization, Email Marketing and more. All of this leads to a better social & online presence & viral impact.
Most importantly, it does not cost much! It’s been here for a while.
Let’s take a look at examples:
- Hotmail inserted an email signature at the bottom that turned every email sent by one of its users into a pitch for new users – ‘PS: I Love You. Get Your FREE Email at Hotmail’
- Airbnb, integrated with Craigslist – which allowed its hosts to use Craigslist as a sales platform Groupon in the form of ‘Refer 3 Friends, And Get The Deal Free’ offer
Why did these companies do this? Simply put, ‘Humble Beginnings’ – they did not have the money and neither did they have the experience!
Growth Hacking for Designers, Developers & Web Hosts
All businesses, of all shapes and sizes, have 4 important aims:
- Get more traffic
- Get more users converted
- Get existing users to buy more
- Get (make) more revenue & profits!
Growth Hacking is all about moving users from one step to the next, and everything that comes in between! Let us see in detail how you can get more traffic and fulfill our remaining three aims:
- Strategic Partnerships: Look at tie-ups with relevant schools and colleges, other educational or general institutions like medical associations or partnerships with government bodies. Try popular local websites that could pass on web infrastructure requirement enquiries to you. Apart from this, you can even try to get celebrities or popular websites to endorse you to get more traffic.
.CLUB got Virat Kohli to endorse them or consider the free advertising.
Spotify gets on Facebook when it shows you the songs your friends listen to.
- Targeted SEO & Email: Focus on niche keywords that target a specific need or specific segment or generic keywords with lesser competition, thereby getting better rankings and results. You can also focus on discussion topics like support, and ensure that you have good content around it get more traffic.
Example: Resellers are today targeting Spanish keywords around ‘cheap websites’ and pitching a ‘website development outsourcing’ model to deliver a cost-effective way for Spanish SMBs to get their website built.
- Referrals: Incentivize your current base to get more users – refer 3 friends and get a month off on your hosting package or create an illusion of exclusivity by only providing offers or even newer products through referrals. The focus should be on affiliate programs where the model is CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) based to get more traffic.
Example: So many of you have been relying on word-of-mouth marketing, while some others have started incentivizing customers to do that.
- Analytics: Understand where your traffic is coming from, as well as, understand the quality of your traffic and bounce rates to get more traffic.
Example: Apart from Google Analytics, there are a bunch of other great options out there like Statcounter, Mouseflow, etc. Explore those!
- Landing Page Optimization: Make sure that if you’re targeting keywords through SEO and SEM, the landing pages include extremely relevant content. Try to ensure that there is a clear path of action chalked out on the page for the visitor. Keep minimal noise on the page and make sure your User experience is top-notch to get more users converted.
Example: Unbounce is a great and simple tool for A/B testing and how A/B testing proved that adding a third step hindered registrations.
- Onboarding: Provide step-by-step guides on what your users need to do, maintain great documentation with FAQs for users to refer to. Also, make sure that the user is welcomed by top management (via automated emails). You can even use live chat tools for visitors to get the fastest possible answers. Examples: Tools like walk.me deliver happiness to your users. Dropbox simply plays a video and ensures a sign-up.
- Cross-Selling: Take a list of your domains and run them through other TLDs where the same string is available. Apart from this, you can create tools to automatically cross-sell the right TLD to the right user or look at providing alternative portfolio management solutions if the value exists. This will get existing users to buy more.
- Email Campaigns: Build an email campaign around improving renewal rates – showing the importance of maintaining ownership, comparing it to real estate, etc. You can even continue providing offers for value-added products and ensuring that users are picking up more. Another way is to run package deals where greater discounts are given on bundles or more purchases so that this gets existing users to buy more.
So in the end, the core idea is to make more revenue & profit from your online business with the right set of tools and techniques. However, the most important thing is to tap into the potential of untapped markets so that there is more meaningful growth in terms of monetary gains, as well as, knowledge transfer, eventually paving the way for a more evolved audience.
(Originally published in 2014 as part of a talk.)