Online store merchants experience fierce and pressure from rapidly increasing competition and the trends of a changing world. The change in purchasing behavior brought by the recession and the increase in customer costs have changed the general mindset of some online retailers towards D2C business. Traders are not entirely sure where to focus.
Many merchants may rush to build a store or optimize their current site without a proper plan. To avoid pitfalls, a growth strategy has been planned behind successful choices. To be successful, you need to understand the current state and the lifecycle of your business. Based on this, you can make the right choices about focus areas, tools and procedures. After studying the growth stages of the eCommerce life cycle, we found that growth generally has the same stages and focus areas. Growth life cycles can be divided into three phases:
- Start-up phase
- Stagnant growth stage
- Growth company stage
Before transitioning to actual growth and expansion, Online stores goes through two growth phases. It is typical for the start-up phase that there is more enthusiasm than actually sense. Critical to this growth phase are the customers. Online stores must focus on customer acquisition and increasing the number of customers. Unfortunately, most online retailers may not make it past this stage of the lifecycle.
However, those stores that are able to increase the number of customers and get referrals shows that the concept is scalable. At this point, online retailers also don't want complicated or expensive systems. Merchants need an easy-to-maintain, functional and scalable e-commerce platform, which is why most new merchants choose Shopify as their platform.
However, the continuous increase in the number of customers during a successful start-up phase does not last forever. It is often a sign of the end of the start-up phase. In order to be able to continue growing, online stores must find out the typical obstacles to growth in order to overcome the stagnant growth phase.
This stage of the life cycle is often one of the most important and instructive. After the honeymoon sales leveling can seem oppressive to many. New players and competitors are increasing along with the market demand, in which case winning measures are needed to get the leveled growth to rise again.
Often, the direction of growth stagnation is thought to change quickly just by developing new advertisements, or by changing partners when the answer to growth can be found within them. Changes and guesswork can be expensive, so it's time to focus on the most valuable thing, namely the company's data.
The time has come to look inward and analyze the data and learn from the observations. Based on the collected information, companies receive information that helps them make decisions to support growth. With the right tools active since the beginning of the company's business, the company has collected a lot of valuable information in its data bank, e.g. about customers, sales and behavior. Whether the data is from a month, six months or a year, it contains numerous possibilities.
The biggest challenge in the growth phase is analyzing the data and understanding the observations and mirroring them in the business. Analysis requires a lot of time and skills. There can be several data sources, in which case bringing the data into one complete picture often requires expertise. In any case, all the analyzed data tells and teaches, which help you use the information for optimization and growth.
If at this point you felt a sting in your heart about insufficient data utilization, we will be happy to help you find the right tools for your needs. However, here are some excellent Shopify store tools for data analysis:
The third phase, the phase of growth and scaling, brings a new spark of growth to companies. When the right data sources have collected information and the information has been analyzed correctly, the company can be led with the information to make data-based solutions.
The key at this stage is to boldly experiment and test different optimization solutions. Based on the data, companies carry out various development work for the website, advertisements, communication or other processes to test the effects this has on the overall business and business goals.
With the number of customers and recognition already high in general, your company has a wide variety of customer segments. Some customers hear about your brand for the first time and customers who are your biggest fans and buy your products often because they know how the product works. These different customer segments behave differently on the site and require different customer communication. In this case, too - using data - we are able to build different target groups and use data to communicate to certain segments in the way they require.
With these two applications, you use data to create target audiences and messages effectively for different audiences:
What stage of growth is your organization in?
By identifying the growth phase of your life cycle, you can identify the development targets on which your business should focus. With the help of data, you can identify the bottlenecks of growth as well as the opportunities to get your business to grow again. To be able to grow domestically and scale to international markets, data must become the lifeblood of your company. Utilizing data and learning from it requires more resources than normal and the right personnel who understand the impact of information and changes on growth and profitability.
If you recognize growing pains in your business, let's figure out the obstacles to growth together with the help of data!