This article originally appeared on The Next Web
Meghan Cast is the VP of Marketing at Threadflip.
The phrase, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” was coined in 1977 by Bert Lance; however a little shy of 30 years later, we are in a digital age where technology and innovation make change a necessity for continued success and relevance.
Today, harnessing creativity that changes consumer behavior can cut a deep path to success. This type of success comes from being both extremely creative and analytical. Successful entrepreneurs see an opportunity and seize it. They take control and never stop innovating.
Below are a few guidelines we’ve developed and follow to consistently raise our own bar for success.
Focus on the future
Consumer expectations of the e-commerce experience are higher than ever. It is crucial to continuously re-evaluate the user experience so that the front end of your business stays relevant to existing customers while attracting new ones.
Building innovation into the DNA of your business is essential for long-term success. However, innovation does not happen in a bubble. The architects of a brand experience need to feel inspired to constantly and creatively optimize the customer perspective.
These cross-functional collaborators must be curious about what is working and be open to investigating different ways to captivate the consumer to increase loyalty.
The initial Threadflip user experience was built with a focus on a peer-to-peer community and the platform worked well to connect that community. As we evaluated the long term potential of the business, we conducted consumer research and realized the need to reduce friction in the selling experience.
Do your research
Learning what inspires motivates your customers will help you lay a roadmap for growth. Invest in these insights to ensure your growth strategy is well informed.
Be aware, however, that consumer’s relationship to your brand has an emotional component and they cannot always express or show exactly what resonates with them. Conducting both qualitative and quantitative research as well as usability studies is critical in analyzing customer behavior and preferences. These learnings can help spot challenges to the long-term growth expectations and ensures innovative ideas are sought.
Innovation does not come without risks. When new products or features are opened up to the consumer there are bound to be pitfalls. Tweaks are inevitable. The company must be ready to analyze the audience reaction, learn from the feedback and make changes- seamlessly.
Shoppers have become increasingly savvy and, therefore, retail has become more discount driven. With modern technology, it is easier than ever for our customers to evaluate price on smartphones and bargain hunt different sites for the items they are seeking.
Discounting is a tough game to play. Today, even non-discount brands must offer promotions to survive.
E-commerce brands are forced to figure out ways of expressing value without participating in a race to the bottom through price cuts or discounts. Creating value through smart pricing, creative storytelling and other consumer benefits like free shipping or free returns is vital.
One way Threadflip is tackling the discounting war is by getting creative with our merchandising strategy. We have begun showing our loyal customers great value through bounce-back incentives. These incentives reward loyal customers by allowing them to qualify for future discounts by achieving a certain spend within a predetermined time period.
Understand what success looks like
It is hard to achieve success in a fast moving industry if you cannot define it. Digital business growth ultimately means e-commerce companies must clearly identify areas of friction and be laser focused on developing innovative ways to remove them.
Digital business leaders are constantly looking for innovative ways to grow their businesses, increase the lifetime value of their customers and stay relevant through new products and services.
In the end, all of these digital growth strategies should be rooted in consumer and market insights and should seek to provide an incredible experience that engages users longer, increases their average order size and drives loyalty.