Profit-boosting tactics you need to know.
As an eCommerce business owner, you’re probably familiar with the terms top line and bottom line.
While both your top line and bottom line are integral to the ongoing success of your business, it’s the latter that will ensure that you continue to scale over time.
In this guide, we’ll delve into seven valuable ways to boost your online store’s bottom line and make your business a sustainable, profit-generating success.
But first, here is the definition of the terms “top line” and “bottom line”, so they’re fresh in your mind as you explore this guide:
Top line: In business, this term refers to a company’s gross, such as sales or revenue. It’s called the top line as it’s a figure that’s usually featured at the top of a company’s income statement.
Bottom line: In business, this term refers to a company’s net earnings, net profit, net income, or earnings per share (EPS). As you may have guessed, this figure is usually featured at the very bottom of the income statement. The bottom line also refers to any activities that may increase or decrease net earnings as well as a business’s overall profit. This is the concept we’re going to talk about below.
Measure the right metrics
“Without big data, you are blind and deaf and in the middle of a freeway.”— Geoffrey Moore
In our digitally transformed world, we are (almost) literally swimming in data. Based on current figures, experts estimate that it would take someone around 181 million years to download all of the data from the World Wide Web.
By leveraging your store’s data and tracking the right metrics, you’ll be able to make your online store more efficient across the board while boosting your overall return on investment (ROI). In turn, this should boost your bottom line each financial year.
It’s likely that you’re currently using data to measure your success in certain areas of the business, but here are three metrics that will help you gain the level of insight you need to boost your bottom line over time:
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Your CAC is integral to your bottom line as it will help you measure and refine your overall sales & marketing costs. Essentially, CAC is calculated by adding up every element of your sales & marketing spend and dividing it by the number of new customers acquired in the same time frame. If you track your CAC and see that it’s rising, you’ll be able to drill down into your processes, taking measures to drive it down, boosting your bottom line in the process.
- Social Media Reach: Keeping on top of your social media marketing efforts is integral to your ongoing success. This particular metric, Social Media Reach, plays a pivotal part in boosting your bottom line as it help you understand how far your content is traveling across platforms. Moreover, by tracking your Social Media Reach, you’ll gain a panoramic snapshot of the content that resonates with your audience and the times of day or night people are most engaged. Social media is an invaluable means of fostering long lasting bonds with prospects and driving conversions – so focusing on this metric is essential.
- Share of Voice: A ‘soft metric’, it’s not possible to measure your Share of Voice with a dedicated dashboard metric or KPI – but, tracking your various branding activities will help you boost your bottom line, significantly. At its core, your Share of Voice refers to your overall brand awareness and the success, in terms of engagement and publicity, of your various campaigns or initiatives. There are a host of ways to measure this metric, including keyword tracking tools to analyze reach & rankings, hashtag analysis to check brand mentions on social and the Impression Share to measure the success of your PPC activities.
Want to know which consumer-based metrics to track? This guide to consumer metrics & insights will steer you in the right direction.
Know your customers
“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.”—Henry Winkler
Your top line and your bottom line aren’t mutually exclusive. In eCommerce, driving traffic, revenue, and sales is the aim of the game—but the more effectively you do so, the better off your business will be.
Getting under your customers’ skin will help you connect with them on a deeper, more personal level. Do this, and you’ll be able to offer the right deals, offers, or marketing communications to the right people at the right time, boosting your sales while wasting less money on failed promotional activities.
One of the best ways to understand your customers is by creating customer profiles to buyer personas. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating effective buyer personas for your business.
Focus on attracting long-term customer relationships
“The customer’s perception is your reality.” —Kate Zabriskie
Once you’ve conducted your research and developed your buyer personas, you’ll be in the perfect position to start growing your customer base. That means marketing your products or services to your target audience.
To increase your top line while simultaneously boosting your bottom line, you’ll need to execute your promotional strategies efficiently, aiming for quality over quantity.
The best way to turn a prospect into a repeat customer and brand advocate is with an inspiring, engaging marketing campaign that will showcase your value.
By being active across every one of your channels or touchpoints and reaching out to your customers on a personal level with content, news, and product offerings that align with their specific needs and preferences, you’ll drive loyalty and as a result, advocacy.
Remember, reaching out to your prospects on a deep, personal level is the key to building long-term relationships. That said, to help you with your efforts, here’s a hand-picked selection of resources that will inspire your online store’s digital marketing efforts:
- An eCommerce Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing
- Amazing Examples of Viral Marketing
- A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Facebook Advertising
- How to Produce Product Pages That Get Real Results
- Classic Examples of How Not to Market Your Brand
Create a loyalty scheme
“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”—Henry Ford
Expanding on the previous point: if long-term customer relationships equate to real business value, a customer loyalty scheme is an excellent way to boost your business’s bottom line.
Customer loyalty schemes aren’t exactly a new concept, but in the mobile age, there’s more scope than ever for creating cost-effective apps or programs that will help you grow your business.
Considering that 80% of your future profits will come from a mere 20% of your existing customers, mobile-based loyalty schemes are worth the investment.
With a simple app or online portal, you can create a points-earning scheme, incentivizing your existing customers to continue buying from your online store or carrying out actions like sharing content or referring friends to earn exclusive discounts or credits. This is free peer-to-peer marketing and guaranteed repeat custom in one package—a real bottom line-boosting win-win.
Here are the key elements to creating a successful customer loyalty scheme:
- Make sure that it’s seamless for your customers to sign up and access your loyalty portal. The less steps, the better.
- Ensure your scheme is exclusive to existing customers. Exclusivity is critical to providing value and fostering loyalty.
- Give your loyalty scheme members access to exclusive content (news, behind-the-scenes reports, videos, whitepapers, etc.) that they can access directly through the portal.
- Create incentives and processes that are repeatable – this is important as this is the difference between a loyalty scheme and a one-time offer.
- Develop your portal to be ‘on brand’ (consistent with your other touchpoints) and make sure that your customers are able to share their thoughts, feelings, and opinions through the scheme. Reciprocity is important is you want to maintain trust and loyalty.
And, to make sure you remain on the “portable pulse,” here is a guide to mobile marketing trends that you should read.
Refine your pricing strategies
“You can determine the strength of a business over time by the amount of agony they go through in raising prices.”—Warren Buffett
As an online store, your prices are paramount to your success, and even the slightest tweak can make a monumental difference.
There are several subtle yet effective pricing strategies worth exploring that can change your margins or drive extra revenue.
Our definitive guide to eCommerce pricing strategies offers a practical insight into reworking your product pricing in a way that offers value to you and your customers.
Embrace email marketing automation
“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.”—David Newman
Contrary to the belief of some business owners, email marketing is alive, well, and remains one of the world’s most potent eCommerce marketing strategies.
Customers who buy products through email spend 138% more than those who don’t receive email discounts, deals, or offers. It’s safe to say that email marketing is worth your time and effort.
To really boost that bottom line, you should invest in email automation. While paying for an email automation platform or service comes at an initial cost, your ROI is likely to be incredibly fruitful. As this will save you untold amounts of time, you’ll be able to focus on other critical areas of the business while connecting with your customers.
This hand-picked tutorial will help you get your marketing automation initiatives off to the ebst possible start:
The right email marketing campaign coupled with a solid automation tool will help you drive more sales efficiently and economically, raising your bottom line as a result.
Once you’ve set up your marketing automation infrastructure, our eCommerce guide to driving revenue through email will help you squeeze every last drop of value from your automated marketing campaigns.
Invest in the right tools
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”—Steve Jobs
Concerning your bottom line—that all-important figure located at the end of your income statement—making your business more economical and streamlined while driving more revenue should be your main goal.
If you’re driving enormous levels of traffic to your site but failing to convert, or you’re having an award-winning sales month but have made unnecessary investments, your bottom line will suffer. Striking the perfect balance is essential if you want to succeed and scale over time.
From marketing and sales, through inventory management, to customer loyalty schemes and beyond, choosing the right tools for the job will form the foundations of everything you do concerning your store’s everyday activity as well as ongoing strategies.
To ensure you choose the right tools for your business’s bottom line-boosting initiatives, you should gather your team, working together to establish your core business goals, your strengths, your weaknesses, and where investment is required.
Armed with this newfound knowledge, you should choose proven eCommerce solutions that are affordable, align with your business goals, and will ultimately make your business more productive, more efficient, and more profitable.
At Agiliron, we offer a range of cutting-edge solutions to suit the growing needs of eCommerce business owners across industries.
Intuitive platforms that will help you rebuild and optimize your online store to increase conversions; retail point of sale technology to help you manage your orders; inventory management interfaces to streamline your fulfillment processes — we have everything you need to make your life easier, leaving you more time to focus on the strategies and activities that will make your business bigger, better, and more amazing than ever before.