UX design, interacting with followers, quality content, landing pages that convert, we hear these words constantly in relation to building a successful online business and increasing website traffic.
It is impossible to escape these buzzwords when you talk about growing an online business because they are powerful ways to increase your website traffic and build a successful business.
However, as the saying goes: a picture speaks a thousand words. Hearing about building traffic is one thing, but it is always much better to hear from businesses that have managed to develop successful growth strategies for online businesses.
There is nothing better than learning from someone who has been there, done it and has the evidence to prove it. If it worked for their business- it can work for yours.
As Richard Branson advises: ‘Going for it alone is an admirable but foolhardy and highly flawed approach to taking on the world.’ ‘Someone, somewhere, has already been through what you are convinced nobody else has ever confronted!’
I’ve collected some really interesting approaches that successful online businesses are applying to standard ways that everyone uses to grow their website traffic. By being innovative, original and user-led, these companies have managed to secure astounding business growth.
Let’s start by taking a look at the company that everyone is talking about: Farfetch.
According to Forbes.com Farfetch is a ‘digital fashion marketplace founded by José Neves that offers selections from nearly 900 fashion worldwide’. Identified as one of the fastest growing businesses in the world they were recently ‘acquired by Richemont in a reported €2.7 billion deal’ and are now heading ‘toward a US IPO’ with a ‘$6b valuation’.
What are they doing to create such successful growth?
Forbes suggests that their strategy creates ‘mutually rewarding partnerships’ with ‘a wide range of fashion retailers, large and small’. By combining the timeless technique of sticking to what they know and the current focus on providing something extra for the user and utilising search, they have managed to average ‘2.6 million U.S. visitors’ every month and a ‘23% increase in traffic’.
They don’t hold any stock or do any distribution, they describe themselves as a ‘tech business not retail’.. ‘that supports’…’ retail and brings business to their door’. Forbes identifies Farfetch’s canny ‘investment in fashion-branded keywords with a more youthful appeal and related to menswear and niche brands like Off-white, Raf Simons and Yeezy’s as a key factor in their growth.
By allowing themselves to rank for other keywords, the user gets a ’happy surprise’ when they come across them by accident, in this way, they get ‘more traffic for search terms that don’t include’ their ‘name’.
The brand’s message speaks of altruism and supporting independent retailers, appealing to the users’ emotions, concerns and philosophies; in the words of their founder ‘we are not a retailer, we are here to help brands and retailers’.
Who can argue with that? The user, supplier, brand, politics- happy.
Another winner in the growth stakes is Deliveroo, with a monthly growth rate of around 20 – 30%’ that shows ‘no signs of slowing down’ . After looking at Farfetch’s growth strategy brilliance, it is easy to see where Deliveroo are getting it right.
Like Farfetch, they utilise search and add an element of a ‘happy surprise’, when the user discovers them by accident during search and they can deliver – perfect!
They understand their user completely and have tapped into a neglected area of the food industry and a daily inconvenience for their user – the work lunch, the daily hassle to find something nice to eat when you are really busy at work.
Boosted by an ‘office-humour’ style marketing campaign and frequent mentions from industry influencers, their brand strategy has proved a recipe for success.
For the suppliers, again Deliveroo, like Farfetch, are bringing the traffic to the door of the previously customer-starved independents. Again- it’s a win-win, that is also good for the supplier and the local and global community. Job done and profits secured!
According to brandwatch.com, in ‘2015 18-19 year olds spent less time watching T.V. while time on Youtube went up 74%’. Talk to anyone under 25 and they are more likely to talk about what they watched on Youtube than on any other viewing platform.
With Youtube tipped to be one of the next best social media channels for your business and an offer that appeals to any age (but particularly meets the entertainment needs of the under 25s), their audience numbers are guaranteed to rise.
Socialmediaexplorer suggests that: ‘a successful social media platform is a thriving ecosystem where brands, content creators, and users all benefit from leveraging the platform.’
Thus again, we see that growth is rooted in a ‘what’s in it for me’ that benefits suppliers (in this case creators), users, the brand and a wider global community issue, here we find the same benefits making an appearance: altruism, consumer choice, entrepreneurism, self-improvement, aspiration, supporting the independent business etc.
Youtube sticks to what it knows and provides the gateway – YouTubers benefit financially, users get more choice and find great product content through the ‘happy accident’ etc. It is easy to see how this works.
The trends across each of these examples as well as companies like Spotify and Skyscanner are easy to see. They have employed innovative strategies based around SEO, UX, knowing their target audience, understanding the current state of their industry and a flawless brand strategy.
Finely attuned to their target audience, they all offer something different, whilst remaining in their area of expertise. A service that leads with the user, supplier and current economic concerns, in mind. With a brand strategy based on altruism, convenience and being completely modern, they answer every objection in one go.
And who can argue with that?
Do you agree? Are these the key strategies to drive business? Have you seen any other stand-out examples of increased growth online? Share them with us, we’d love to know!