At a time when tips and tricks for running an online business are so readily available, it should be easy to learn about achieving success. But how can you tell the difference between sound advice and seemingly sound myths?
Here's a list of eight e-commerce myths you need to stop believing in right now.
1. Email automation means 'set it and forget it'
Email automation is great, but the last thing you want to do is to keep sending emails that are not performing well; doing so will have an adverse effect on your email marketing ROI. So, don't follow a set-it-and-forget-it approach. Once you automate an email campaign, you need to monitor the key metrics, including open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, to see how well the campaigns are performing—and make tweaks to the nonperforming ones. And because large percentages of automation campaigns consist of triggered emails, you need to rely on sound data to ensure your trigger rules are still relevant and continue to drive the actions you desire.
2. Popups are annoying
Yes, popups can annoy people, and they can do more harm than good if you don't show the right message to the right person at the right time. But, done right, popups can skyrocket your subscriber count and conversions. (Here are a few tips to make your popups effective.)
3. Acquisition is just as important than retention
Acquisition and growth are two separate things, but marketers can mix up the two. Traditionally, most marketers were focused on top-of-the-funnel activities. But just because you're acquiring new customers doesn't mean you're growing. The problem is, too many businesses are still making the dreaded mistake of not focusing enough on retention, and spending most of their budget on acquisition. Focusing on retention is not a nice-to-have; it's a necessity. Keeping customers is as important as, or more important than, acquiring them.
4. Basic segmentation is enough to improve conversions
Although segmenting by age, gender, location is a step in the right direction, it's simply not enough. You need to go further by diving deeper into segmentation. For example, when sending cart-recovery (AKA cart-abandonment) emails, rather than targeting abandoners by using the same message... you can segment them into different categories, such as first-time abandoners, repeat abandoners, people with high-margin items in the cart, etc. That way, you can make your message more personalized and relevant, and ultimately increase your chances of recovering those lost carts.
5. Writing product descriptions will boost your conversions
Not necessarily. We know that product descriptions play an important part in the conversion process. But, to increase your conversions, just describing your product is not enough. Your product description should not only describe your product features but also give your buyers one or more compelling reasons to make the purchase. To drive consumers' decisions, a good product description should also have emotional components; only then can it boost conversions.
6. Sending a cart-recovery email is enough to recover carts
Well, it's certainly a good way to retrieve lost carts. But there's a lot you can accomplish by having a comprehensive cart-recovery email strategy in place instead of sending a single recovery email.
7. The bigger your email list, the better the chances of conversions
Sending email costs money. If you're sending emails to people who are not interested in receiving them, you're throwing your money away. That said, you shouldn't stop focusing on growing your subscribers base. But you should maintain list hygiene. Letting go of uninterested subscribers or those who've changed their email addresses will not only save your marketing budget but also, ultimately, improve your open rates.
8. Offering discounts to recover carts is always a good idea
If recovering carts is your sole goal, then yes: offering discount can get you good results. However, the bigger picture is important, too. If you always offer discounts to cart abandoners, you may sell more product, but you're essentially training shoppers to abuse the system: Shoppers will abandon their carts every time so they can get a discount. So, instead of offering a discount to every abandoner, use it sparingly—in cases where it will be particularly profitable. For example, you might offer discounts to abandoners with high-margin items in their cart, or to first-time abandoners so that they complete their first purchase with you.
* * *
Unfortunately, those eight myths are costing e-commerce marketers a lot of money. If you're making those mistakes, it's time to get more realistic. As always, invest your time and resources into testing different tactics to see what is actually driving conversions for you.