In the American start-up scene, no-one speaks anymore of the classical “marketing mix”, now they simply talk about growth hacking. What is it all about? It is actually only the use of the most creative methods possible for acquiring new customers and retaining them through a great product experience. It is also well distanced from the usual marketing disciplines which cost a lot of money.

Finding the most effective growth hacks for an e-commerce website is, however, not so easy as the individual disciplines, e-mail marketing, SEA, SEO, social media analytics, conversion optimisation, etc. remain the same for growth hacking.

1. Ask the visitors

You can study for hours and discuss with colleagues as to why visitors still did not buy anything. The right answer, however, can only be provided by the visitors themselves. This is why you should try to ask them just before they leave the website. You can for example conduct a mini survey via the Exit Intent Popup technology: “What didn’t you like about the website?” In this way, you receive genuine feedback and can make adjustments exactly where necessary. Another possibility, using the same technology, is to try to convince the visitors before they leave the website by offering them a voucher code.

2. Use order confirmation mails

In every online shop, the confirmation mail is a fixed component of the customer journey after the purchase. Online shoppers expect to receive this mail and they pay particular attention to it to ensure that everything has actually worked out correctly. This attention span should be exploited either by encouraging a future purchase in your online shop by showing a voucher, or by asking them to provide a customer review. You can of course also ask the customer to become a newsletter subscriber or a Facebook fan.

3. Check the internal product search

With a web tracking tool, such as Google Analytics, it is imperative that you check the search entries of the internal shop search. What has been entered most often? These key words appear to be particularly important to the shop visitors. Subsequently, simply enter exactly these top keywords into the search function of your own shop and look at what your own product search throws up. There is always an optimisation potential. Unfortunately, search results pages with “Product not found”, “Product is no longer available” or the presentation of unsuitable products are not uncommon and should be improved. If a suitable product page is found, then these top keywords can be used to optimise the product page to exactly match these keywords. Ultimately, that is what the users are looking for – and they will most likely also do the same in Google.

4. Social proof

“Social proof” has established itself as a proven way to boost sales figures on e-commerce websites. The visitor thinks: “When others are already convinced about a particular product or of the quality of the online shop, then it really must be good.” In TV spots, Silvester Stallone can be seen delivering bread for Warburtons or Ringo Starr can be seen eating a Pizza Hut pizza.

However, since hiring real celebrities to promote your products is extremely expensive, you can simply show “Our customer reviews” instead. The more genuine customer reviews are available, the more credible and professional the online shop appears. There are countless possibilities for the collection and display of customer reviews. In this situation, it is advisable to use a provider who focuses on the authenticity of the customer reviews, otherwise, trust in the online shop may be lost soon.


Hendrik Lennarz

Hendrik Lennarz


Executive Director Product & Technology at Trusted Shops.