How to grow your online sales: Case study

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PC Parts Now is a Canadian provider of new and refurbished printer parts that’s been in business for over 20 years.

In early 2016, PC Parts Now had started building an e-commerce store to better serve and reach new and existing customers worldwide. But as many entrepreneurs can attest, the process of properly launching an e-commerce store can be difficult, let alone figuring out a marketing framework that’s effective for the products in your industry.

PC Parts Now decided to take action and committed to a growth journey that transformed their online store into a critical component of their overall operation and increased their online sales revenues by over 2,100% in less than 6 months.

Assess your digital assets and the competition

Completing a detailed audit of PC Parts Now’s digital assets was the first step in growing their e-commerce sales. The audit included the following assets:

  • Analytics tools and existing data
  • AdWords account
  • E-mail marketing assets
  • Social platform accounts
  • E-commerce website

In addition, a detailed audit of their competitors’ online presence was completed.

All of this was done with the goal of identifying opportunities for improvement in the overall user experience, search results and paid media outcomes.

With the first phase complete, we compiled a robust list of optimization tasks, specifying areas to prioritize and complete first. The goals were to improve the overall user experience and get the most out of the capabilities of their newly adopted e-commerce platform.

In between each phase of the project, BDC scheduled routine work sessions to ensure high priority tasks were completed before the launch of campaigns. These campaigns were planned to kick off once the annual marketing strategy and internal marketing framework were established.

“For so many years, we would go and sign up for a developer without any guidance,” says Stuart Tidd, President of PC Parts Now. “Without the guidance of BDC, we would never have been able to get to where we are today. With the structured framework, they really helped us build out a proper e-commerce site that actually drives sales.”

Build an integrated marketing roadmap

Once we understood the ecosystem, we were ready to formulate an overall marketing strategy that PC Parts Now could execute in the months to come. This process began by ensuring we had a good understanding of the customer segments we were targeting. We then formulated a marketing strategy comprised of two key areas:

  • Foundational activities—which included user experience updates, marketing automation and the creation of a measurement framework (i.e. analytics, product page optimization, etc.)
  • Paid media campaigns—which included search campaigns, remarketing campaigns and shopping campaigns on Google AdWords.

By analyzing the data we obtained in our initial assessment, we were able to prioritize key, product-specific paid search campaigns by product line and brand to ensure we maximized efforts and ROI. We also established an experimental budget for Google Shopping campaigns to explore their overall effectiveness.

In addition, we ensured PC Parts Now could track, analyze and optimize their results for continuous improvement. This included assisting with the configuration of their Google Analytics for e-commerce, Google Tag Manager and Hot Jar accounts.

Furthermore, we configured abandoned cart emails to follow up with customers who left after completing parts of an online order. The optimization of product pages was also highlighted as a high-opportunity area for improvement.

“The biggest difference was that BDC brought the strategy,” explains Mr. Tidd. “Very few people understand the importance of the strategy and the strategy is what brings you to the finish line.”

The results

By following this process, PC Parts Now was able to greatly improve the quality and quantity of visitors, as well as the overall user experience, ultimately leading to accelerated growth in sales.

Just how successful was their e-commerce transformation? Their website and campaign data shows the following benefits within six months of completing our project.

Increased traffic

27%

Increase in overall website visits.

860%

Growth in the number of visitors who added a product to a cart. By improving traffic through the conversion funnel, we greatly helped increase the number of sales.

Improved sales

192%

Increase in the total number of visitors who completed a sale.

2,100%

Growth in sales revenues.

128%

Improvement in e-commerce conversion rate. Meanwhile, the average order value grew by over 50% and the number of transactions by 1,400%.

Further, by automatically sending emails after carts were abandoned, we were able to recover 15.04% of abandoned orders, leading to an additional $16K+ in revenue.

Result

Optimize the growth journey

PC Parts Now has been ecstatic with the results of the project so far. “It’s exciting to watch the numbers grow every day. The sky is the limit”, says Mr. Tidd.

The key to the success of this project was that the PC Parts Now team understood that optimization is a never-ending process of continuous improvement.

As such, BDC continued to work with PC Parts Now through bi-weekly meetings aimed at supporting ongoing implementation and optimization work.

This involved reviewing analytics data as well as recommending and implementing optimization opportunities for the website and paid media campaigns.

Many Canadian companies that have explored e-commerce can benefit from a well-structured e-commerce marketing strategy and framework for growth.

How about your business? Did you take any special steps to improve your e-commerce growth and get started on your digital growth journey?

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