How to Achieve Healthy Growth for Your Ecommerce Business
Everyone wants fast growth. But what we all need is healthy growth.
Why, you may ask? This may not be what you want to hear, but the path to success is never the most exciting one—in fact, it’s chock-full of the boring stuff that no one ever talks about. Success requires the road less traveled, or at least the road less glamorous.
No matter what you hear, growth hacks are never sustainable. Think of it in terms of your physical health: how many times has a fad diet helped you achieve your health goals? The true road to health is simply eating healthy and exercising consistently.
The need for “healthy growth” over “fast growth” is a guiding principle for every area of life, but it is especially true for ecommerce businesses. If you’re in ecommerce, you’re constantly hearing anecdotes about “viral growth” and being bombarded by the latest growth hacks.
Don’t be fooled or get lost in these get-rich-quick approaches. Healthy growth is how you build long-term, successful, valuable businesses that produce profits consistently. It’s also how you withstand changing trends and disruptions.
Maybe you’re a young brand and chasing growth feels like riding a rollercoaster. Or maybe you’re an established brand, but you’re chasing after the latest hacks or silver bullets taught by YouTube gurus to hit your growth goals.
If either of those scenarios sounds familiar, it’s time to start taking steps toward reliable, consistent growth. Achieving healthy growth for your business is actually remarkably simple—it’s just rarely talked about.
Over the years, we’ve worked with some of the most well-known brands in the world, and we’ve developed our own formula for helping any ecommerce business achieve healthy growth. In this post, we’ll walk you through it, step-by-step.
In this article, we’re going to show you our simple and effective formula for driving healthy growth, no matter how big your current business is.
Healthy Growth vs Unhealthy Growth
Understanding the difference between growth hacking and growth strategy is key to success in ecommerce. This is because the things that actually make you successful as a business are often not the hacks you read about… some might say they’re the boring things, not the shiny objects.
We’ve seen it time and time again: Ecommerce businesses that pursue “viral” growth end up seeing no growth. And the few that do achieve massive “status” end up seeing zero profits at the end of the year.
The fundamentals—like consistency, discipline, focus, good leadership, paying attention to the details—are what drive true, long-term, stable success. Balance that with a healthy amount of forward thinking and you have a winning formula. In the below post, we’ve outlined a better way to approach growth for your ecommerce business.
Ready to become a calculated machine that creates profit instead of leaking it? Let’s get started.
The Healthy Growth Framework for Ecommerce Businesses
Over the years, we’ve stepped into the worlds of hundreds of brands (like Gibson, Dockers, Old Spice, Dr. Axe, Groove Life, as well as tons of brands you may have never heard of) to help diagnose the problems, identify the opportunities, and create a plan for moving forward to growth that lasts.
In order to help our clients effectively (and quickly) regardless of their industry, we created a framework for systematically improving any ecommerce business. We like to call it our “Healthy Growth Framework.”
This framework is focused on improving key leverage points in your business and refining your most valuable systems and processes. There are 3 parts to the Healthy Growth Framework. Let’s start with the basics…
The Healthy Growth Framework
Part 1: The 3 Core Systems of Any Ecommerce Business
If you want long-term ecommerce success, there are three core systems you have to get right:
Think of these three systems as engines that keep your business running. Every ecommerce business has all three (even if you’ve only made one sale), but most are not healthy or stable in all three of them.
The way you improve your business is by systematically improving each of these three engines. That’s the “secret”!
Great brands do all three really well—they have systems and processes in place to drive traffic to their website, convert site traffic into customers, and turn those customers into lifelong fans. Meanwhile, struggling brands inevitably have a problem with one or more of these systems.
If you’re wondering how to improve these three engines as strategically as possible, hang tight… that’s where Part 2 of the Healthy Growth Framework comes in!
Part 2: The 3 Ways to Improve Each System
If you want to get your Acquisition, Conversion, and Maximization engines running optimally, you have three stages of “health” to walk through:
- Stage 1—Stabilize: Take steps to create security for your business by removing the duct tape and fixing the essentials.
- Stage 2—Optimize: Take steps to create efficiency for your business by removing the waste and finding quick wins.
- Stage 3—Strengthen: Take steps to achieve resilience for your business by diversifying and doubling down on the future.
At this point, you may be thinking to yourself, “Well, this is all well and good, but where do I even begin?”
And if we’re being honest, the answer to that question is more than we can address in this post alone. That’s why we created the 90 Day Healthy Growth Challenge to walk you through these 3 stages, step-by-step. We’ve identified 12 key actions that you should prioritize, and we’ve organized them into weekly tips that are delivered right to your inbox each week.
Here’s what the 90 Day Healthy Growth Challenge looks like:
- In Month 1, we provide action items to STABILIZE each system. We give actions around the core fundamentals of acquisition, conversion, and maximization.
- In Month 2, we offer suggestions to OPTIMIZE each system. These include ways to work out inefficiencies and find quick wins when it comes to acquisition, conversion, and maximization.
- In Month 3, we give directions to STRENGTHEN each system. These will be actions for diversifying each system and investing in the future so that you’re not reliant on any one method to produce revenue.
Part 3: The X Factors
Here’s the thing: You can do each of these systems really well and still be a lackluster brand. That’s why the third part of our Healthy Growth Framework focuses on the “X Factors” that will set you apart.
There are 4 “X Factors” that define great brands:
- The Boring Stuff: The not-so-glamorous systems and processes that are key to success.
- Your Brand: And no, we’re not just talking about your logo or your product. We’re talking about the story you tell and the relationship you create with your customers as a result.
- Fan Creation: The secret to all great businesses lies here!
- Leadership: None of this really works long-term without a unique leader.
These tips are the fuel that will make your 3 engines (Acquisition, Conversion, and Maximization) work even better, helping you become a brand that lasts. We dive deeper into these throughout the 90 Day Healthy Growth Challenge.
Are You Ready?
No matter what stage your business is in, it’s never too late to roll up your sleeves and start taking steps toward healthy growth. Your future self will thank you.
The hardest part of pursuing healthy growth is getting started, so we’re making it easy. Sign up for the 90 Day Healthy Growth Challenge and in just twelve weeks, we’ll walk you through our roadmap for long-term success.
By the end of the challenge, we’ll have covered everything from promotional planning and diversifying your marketing to investing in R&D and increasing the lifetime value of your customers. You can follow along weekly or complete the challenges at your own pace.