E-Commerce Startups: 5 Ways to Acquire More Customers

E-Commerce Startups: 5 Ways to Acquire More Customers

March 15, 2016

It’s the infancy phase where e-commerce startups are most vulnerable, especially for the entrepreneurs with budget and expertise constraints. However, there are several simple measures that any entrepreneur could follow to strengthen their online presence as well as a customer base.

If you are a newbie in the ecommerce world and believe that light SEO, social media pages, and ad campaigns will be enough to have overnight success, then you are hugely mistaken.

Although these paths are the right ones to work your way through, without involving deep into the marketing, you won’t be able to get the valuable traction to your e-commerce store.

I am here to help propel your e-commerce startup through troubled waters with this simple yet mandatory checklist aimed at broadening the much-needed customer base for you, getting you recognized globally.

1. Amazon listing

Amazon is the most successful acquisition channel for e-commerce businesses. It has about 270M active customer accounts with about 40M Prime customers. Ecommerce entrepreneurs need to utilize this channel in order to target a larger base.

The best advice for the newbie entrepreneurs is to sell the product through Amazon, where you will get ready-to-buy and eager customers across the globe. However, in order to grab the attention of these customers, you still require putting in some efforts. For starters, enhance your product’s listing on the site.

The basic factor affecting the product listing is the purchase rate, which portrays the product demand among the customers. More the demand, more money Amazon will make, which will lead your rankings to boost up. Reviews, on the other hand, make the ratings more credible. The higher the credibility is, the more the traction will be.

For speeding up the purchase rate, Amazon provides the opportunity of promotion for product sellers. It leads to a higher number of sales in a smaller time period.

One other beneficial hack of getting reviews is to give away your product for free or at a minimal price on a platform like HonestSociety. As a payment, the reviewers give honest comments on the Amazon site about their experience with your product.

2. Strong online presence

In order to get early traction, the best way is to be in touch with as many of the potential customers as possible – whose interest actually aligns with yours.

A mere attractive and user-friendly e-store is not quite enough for this purpose, you need to develop and strengthen your presence on social media sites including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

Despite the availability of all channels for your promotion, choose only the media sites where your product is relevant. The right web-content and properly maintained social media sites can boost any start-up to any length of success by attracting and engaging the prospective customers.

Proper managing and monitoring of such sites is a must. Just a couple of posts on media sites and a couple of online advertisement campaigns are not quite the plausible way of promotion. In order to influence in the global e-community significantly, you need to create repetitive electronic vibrations.

Reach out to the cross-marketing associates, have featured posts, videos, place your product on the front shelves of recognized stores (for instance Amazon, eBay), request the industry specialists for the guest posts, pull a stunt for the attention of the press, and so forth.

The basic purpose of such activities is the e-commerce world getting acquainted of your presence, so as to strengthen your existence on the social networks.

3. Search engine optimization – SEO

Usually, for startups, SEO is not on top of the priority list. However, it has turned out to be the most important and critical factor in reaching out to a large target audience. Proper SEO is considered as the ultimate determinant of success.

If you are a budding e-commerce entrepreneur, hire professional SEO personnel for the job rather than handing the task over to any of your acquaintances claiming to have the expertise.

Don’t underestimate the value of SEO. Not only the web content and blog needs proper SEO, but also the content you add in the social networks.

In order to make your site SEO friendly, you have to structure it neatly. Ensure that the products and their categories are well-represented. Use the right keywords for description. The keywords act as the bridge between your product and the Google searches. Use the most related and commonly used keywords. Supplement your efforts by cross-checking software.

4. Affiliate marketing

In order to generate traffic on your newly established e-store, affiliate marketing is one other preeminent way. It helps in capturing the attention of potential customers through the affiliates.

‘Affiliates’ refer to third party websites that can help you with traffic generation for some small cut. Their specific way of generating traffic involves Pay per Click – PPC, featured advertisements, etc.

Such diverted traffic that comes your way gets ‘tagged’. If that particular traffic makes purchases, you will get to pay the particular site-owner a pre-agreed percentage of the sale/act. The affiliates are usually motivated by the percentage of the referral fee and your average order value.

The process of affiliate marketing involves the development of the data feeds from the e-store database, which in turn automate the product, images and links formation on the affiliate websites.

You might use Magento extensions, which are developed specifically for the purpose. Analyze the affiliate traffic through Google Analytics. It will enable you to see the sales, although the functionality of Google Analytics goes way beyond just analyzing the affiliate marketing.

Exploit affiliate marketing to it’s optimum and once a customer gets to your store, it’s your job then to retain him/her through various incentives and perks.

5. Measure outcome

Last but not least, measure your marketing outcomes. Monitor the traffic – identify the region with maximum potential and outcome, or the traction you get from each marketing campaign.

The best way to do that is to create monthly KPI reports. Use spreadsheets to populate the data you get from Google Analytics. Evaluate the results and use them to plan your future marketing moves.


In order to be a successful e-commerce entrepreneur, it is vital to follow marketing trends using the best available tools and professional assistance. Use the renowned sites to expose your product to potential customers. Strengthen your online existence on the relevant social websites. Do proper SEO in order to make your products’ links appear in Google searches. And lastly, measure the results of all the efforts you put in through KPI reports. These reports will tell you the right places where you have to invest in the upcoming promotional campaigns.

We would love to hear your personal experiences and opinions on this in the comment section below. Don’t hesitate; you might inspire others with your success stories and insights.


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