Ecommerce Growth

Ultimate Checklist for Ecommerce Customer Acquisition Success

Ecommerce Growth

Ultimate Checklist for Ecommerce Customer Acquisition Success

Are you finding it challenging to attract new customers to your online store? Perhaps you struggle to understand how prospective customers discover your brand and what motivates them to buy from you? If that sounds familiar, you're not alone. For many businesses in the ecommerce sphere, mastering ecommerce customer acquisition can feel like trying to solve a complex puzzle with pieces that are ever-evolving.

Customer acquisition involves understanding how potential clients become aware of your brand, enticing them to your online store, and converting them into first-time buyers. It's essentially about filling your online store's funnel and figuring out what turns a visitor into a customer. However, navigating through this process can sometimes seem daunting, with many possible strategies and tools to choose from, and constant changes in market trends can only add to the challenge.

Steve from our team at First Pier says, "Acquisition is like lighting the spark". But to ignite that spark and keep it burning over time, you need an effective customer acquisition strategy, tailored specifically for your business situation. Fortunately, by consistently experimenting with different approaches, you'll equip yourself to optimize your marketing spend, enhance customer lifetime value, and ultimately steer your business growth in the right direction.

For a quick glance at the roadmap for succeeding in ecommerce customer acquisition, consider these key points:

  • Understand your audience: Know who your best customers are and tailor your marketing messaging to them.
  • Use multi-channel approach: Leverage various channels for acquiring customers such as SEO, social media, and paid advertising.
  • Monitor key metrics: Keep track of essential metrics like Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), return on advertising spend, and conversion rate.
  • Constant experimentation: Always be ready to test new channels and strategies.

To facilitate your understanding, we've wrapped these points along with several others in the ensuing infographic.

Ecommerce Customer Acquisition Checklist: Understand Your Audience, Use a Multi-Channel Approach, Monitor Key Metrics, Constant Experimentation - ecommerce customer acquisition infographic roadmap-5-steps

By the end of this guide, you'll be well-equipped with comprehensive, actionable strategies for ecommerce customer acquisition that can help you steadily grow your business. Let's get started.

Understanding Ecommerce Customer Acquisition

Definition of Ecommerce Customer Acquisition

At the heart of a successful online business lies ecommerce customer acquisition. But what exactly does this mean? In simple terms, customer acquisition refers to the process of attracting new customers to your online store. It's the lifeblood of any business, particularly in the realm of ecommerce where competition is intense and ever-growing.

To put it in context, every activity we at First Pier engage in – from creating eye-catching product photos for your store to setting up Google Ads, or even posting updates on social media – all of these are directed towards acquiring new clients for your business.

Importance of Customer Acquisition in Ecommerce

Why does customer acquisition matter so much for ecommerce businesses? Well, it's simple: without a steady influx of new customers, your business can't grow.

But here's the catch: customer acquisition isn't about attracting just any customers – it's about finding the people who will make repeat purchases and become advocates for your brand. It's about identifying individuals who are interested in what you offer, arousing their awareness, and successfully converting them into loyal customers.

A smart customer acquisition process plays a key role in the sustainable, long-term success of any ecommerce business. This is because an effective customer acquisition strategy can lead to increased sales and revenue, build customer loyalty, and allow businesses to measure the success of their marketing efforts.

Moreover, in times of economic downturns or changes in consumer behavior, making smarter decisions around marketing resources aimed at acquiring customers becomes critical for ecommerce success. As we learnt during the OWN IT summit, focusing on profitability while growing a customer base is a crucial balance that needs to be struck.

The importance of an effective customer acquisition strategy cannot be overstated. It helps businesses identify and target audiences most likely to be interested in their products and services, contributing significantly to the overall health of an ecommerce business.

In the following sections, we'll delve deeper into the ecommerce customer acquisition funnel, how to calculate customer acquisition cost (CAC), and effective strategies for reaching your target customers. So, stay tuned!

The Ecommerce Customer Acquisition Funnel

The ecommerce customer acquisition funnel is a roadmap that guides your potential customers from their initial interaction with your brand to the point of making a purchase. It's a visualization of the customer journey, divided into three key stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Purchase. Understanding each stage is critical for effective ecommerce customer acquisition.

Awareness Stage

The awareness stage, often referred to as the top of the funnel (ToFu), is where your brand first captures the attention of potential customers. At this stage, they have heard of your brand, but they haven't taken any steps towards buying yet. To reach potential customers who would genuinely be interested in your products, you could make use of various marketing channels such as social media ads, search engine marketing, and affiliate marketing.

The goal here is not only to reach potential customers but also to provide a compelling "hook" - a reason for them to explore your brand further. This could be an interesting piece of content, a special offer, or a unique product feature. Successful awareness marketing should not only reach potential customers but also provide a compelling "hook" to encourage them to move to the next stage.

Consideration Stage

Once a potential customer takes any step towards buying a product, they enter the consideration stage, also known as the middle of the funnel (MoFu). At this stage, they might be asking themselves questions like, "Do I need this type of product?" "Is this brand the right one for me?" and "Is this set of features and benefits right for me?"

Your job, as an ecommerce business, is to provide all the necessary information to help them make informed decisions. This could involve showcasing outstanding product photos, providing detailed product descriptions, and collecting positive product reviews to build trust. The goal is to answer their questions and address any concerns, making it easier for them to make a purchase decision.

Purchase Stage

The purchase stage, also known as the bottom of the funnel (BoFu), is when the magic happens. At this point, shoppers take the desired action—making a purchase. This stage requires you to focus on removing any friction that may prevent shoppers from placing items in their carts and proceeding to checkout.

Improving your checkout process to reduce cart abandonment rates is a critical task at this stage. Simple adjustments, like being upfront about price and delivery time, or offering first-time purchase discounts, can make all the difference. The goal is to provide a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience that encourages customers to complete their purchase.

Each stage of the ecommerce customer acquisition funnel presents unique opportunities for engaging with potential customers. By understanding the needs and behaviors of your customers at each stage, you can tailor your marketing efforts to guide them smoothly through the funnel, ultimately leading to increased conversions and sales.

Calculating Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) in Ecommerce

As we delve deeper into ecommerce customer acquisition, it's important to understand a key metric that directly impacts your business growth and profitability - the Customer Acquisition Cost or CAC.

Definition of CAC in Ecommerce

In the realm of ecommerce, Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) refers to the total cost you incur to acquire a single new customer. This includes your marketing and advertising expenses, the cost of your sales team, and any other expenses that contribute to getting your product into a customer's hands.

Importance of CAC in Ecommerce

Understanding your CAC is a cornerstone of any successful ecommerce business model. It informs your profitability, indicating how much you need to earn from each customer to maintain a profitable business. Simply put, if you're spending more to acquire customers than they are spending on your products or services, your business model needs a rethink.

Moreover, the CAC helps you gauge the efficiency of your marketing efforts and allows you to adjust your strategies for optimal results. A high CAC can eat into your profits and even jeopardize your business's viability, while a low CAC means you're getting the most out of your marketing dollars.

How to Calculate CAC

Calculating your CAC is not as daunting as it may seem. The formula is quite straightforward: Ecommerce customer acquisition cost (CAC) = marketing spend / new customers Your marketing spend includes funds for brand awareness, paid advertising, quality content creation, and more.

For instance, if your marketing spend for one quarter is $1K and you acquire 50 new customers, your CAC would be $20. This means for every new customer you acquire, you're spending $20.

What is a Good CAC for Ecommerce

Ideally, the CAC should be around 1/3 or 1/4 of the Customer Lifetime Value (LTV). You should aim for an LTV to CAC ratio of 3:1 or 4:1. This ensures that the revenue you generate from a customer exceeds the cost you incurred in acquiring them, leading to profitable customer relationships.

Calculating and optimizing your CAC is a game-changer. It empowers you to ensure your business isn't just surviving, but thriving in the cut-throat world of ecommerce. At First Pier, we help you crack the code of ecommerce customer acquisition by providing practical insights and strategies to master your CAC.

Identifying and Reaching Your Target Customers

Importance of Identifying Your Best Customers

Understanding your audience is the first step in any successful ecommerce customer acquisition strategy. It's not about finding any customer, but about finding your best customers. These are the individuals who are genuinely interested in your products, who engage with your brand regularly, and who provide positive reviews.

Your best customers help define your ideal customer profile. Once you understand who your ideal customers are, you can craft messages that will resonate with them and decide what channels to use to reach them. This provides a focus for your marketing efforts, ensuring that you're reaching the people most likely to convert into customers.

At First Pier, we often say, "Your best customers are your compass. They guide you towards your target audience and help shape your marketing strategies."

Key Channels for Reaching Your Target Customers

Now that you know who your best customers are, it's time to figure out how to reach them. Here's where your marketing channels come into play. Think of these channels as the paths that lead your ideal customers straight to your online store.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a highly effective way to reach your audience. This channel allows you to send out promotional emails, discounts, and other types of content that may pique your audience's interest. We often remind our clients at First Pier, "Never forget social media is for reach but email is for revenue."

Search Engine Optimization

As an ecommerce business, your visibility on search engines is crucial. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. By creating content with relevant keywords, you can rank higher in search engine results and attract more traffic to your site.

Social Media

Social media platforms are another effective way to reach your audience. You can use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to engage with your audience, build your online presence, and drive traffic to your site.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising on platforms like Google and Facebook is a surefire way to reach more of your target audience. These platforms offer extensive measurement tools to help you maximize your budget and optimize your ads.

Referral Programs

Referral programs are a powerful tool for ecommerce customer acquisition. As a Nielsen study highlighted, 84% of respondents trust word-of-mouth referrals, making them one of the most trustworthy forms of advertising.

Content Marketing

Lastly, content marketing can help you build strong relationships with your customers. By creating engaging blog posts or informative articles, you can establish your authority in your industry, build trust with your audience, and promote your products.

The choice of channel should be based on where your audience spends their time online. At First Pier, we help you understand your audience and select the best channels to reach them. This way, you're not just casting a wide net; you're fishing where the fish are.

Effective Ecommerce Customer Acquisition Strategies

Having identified your target customers and the channels to reach them, we at First Pier now guide you through effective ecommerce customer acquisition strategies. These strategies are designed to not only attract customers but also to convert and retain them.

Building Personalized Relationships

Building personalized relationships with customers is key in customer acquisition. We believe that a customer who feels understood and valued is more likely to stay loyal to your brand. One effective approach is creating customer accounts where customers can view their order history, manage subscriptions, and access personalized product recommendations.

Targeting Cart Abandonment

Abandoned carts present an opportunity to reconnect with customers. Implementing an effective abandoned cart recovery strategy can turn these missed opportunities into successful checkouts. For example, sending abandoned cart emails reminding customers about their incomplete purchase can nudge them to complete it.

Running Contests

Running contests is a fun and engaging way to acquire new customers. This strategy helps build engagement with customers and gives your brand a human touch. Be genuine and giving to build a meaningful rapport with your customers.

Utilizing Traditional Advertising

Though digital marketing is the go-to strategy for most ecommerce businesses, traditional advertising still has its place. Depending on your target demographic, traditional advertising can be a highly effective tool for customer acquisition.

Keeping Old Content Fresh

Content is king, but it needs to stay fresh and relevant. By regularly updating your blog content and optimizing it for search, you can attract potential customers to your site, increase your brand's visibility, and position your brand as an authority in your industry.

Utilizing Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is an effective tool for reaching a wider audience. By partnering with influencers relevant to your product, you can tap into their audience and potentially acquire new customers.

Aligning Search Intent with Content Upgrades

Align your blog content with the search intent of your potential customers. Make use of tools like Google Console to understand your top search terms and optimize your content accordingly.

Finding the Right Product-Channel Fit

Not all marketing channels will be effective for your product. It's essential to find the right product-channel fit. Depending on your budget, choose 1-3 channels to start with and then grow more channels accordingly.

Using Both Short-Term and Long-Term Methods

It's important to use both short-term and long-term methods in your ecommerce customer acquisition strategy. As your business grows, make sure to phase out the short-term methods in favor of more scalable and sustainable ones.

Focusing on Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long-term strategy that helps your online store rank higher in search engine results. A well-executed SEO strategy will increase your visibility and attract organic traffic to your store.

Building Engagement with Customers

Engage with your customers through social media, email marketing, and your website. Building engagement with customers creates brand loyalty and increases customer retention.

Educating Consumers About Products

Educate your customers about your products. This can be done through blog posts, how-to guides, or product usage videos. Providing valuable content can increase your brand's visibility and credibility.

Prioritizing Content Marketing

Content marketing is an effective tool for cultivating customer relationships. By creating interesting and relevant content, you can attract potential customers to your site and position your brand as an authority in your industry.

Offering Deals and Discounts

Offering deals and discounts is a great way to attract new customers. Whether it's a discount code for first-time purchases or free shipping for orders above a certain value, these incentives can motivate customers to make a purchase.

Prioritizing Usability in Website Design

The usability of your website is crucial in the customer acquisition process. A user-friendly website design can enhance the user experience, making it easier for customers to find what they're looking for and make a purchase.

Implementing these strategies can significantly boost your ecommerce customer acquisition efforts. However, remember that customer acquisition is just the first step. The next step is to retain those customers you've worked so hard to acquire.

Tools for Ecommerce Customer Acquisition

To make your ecommerce customer acquisition strategies more effective, it's crucial to leverage the right tools. These tools can help automate processes, engage customers, and provide valuable insights. In this section, we will outline six tools that can significantly enhance your ecommerce customer acquisition efforts.


Debutify is an excellent tool for optimizing your Shopify store's appearance and functionality. With over 50 add-ons, it can help increase conversions, drive the average order value, and maximize profits. Whether you need to revamp your store's look or improve its usability, Debutify can be a game-changer for your ecommerce customer acquisition efforts.

Referral Candy

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective customer acquisition strategies. This is where Referral Candy comes into play. It allows you to run a referral program, rewarding customers for referring their friends. This not only helps in acquiring new customers but also turns your existing customers into brand advocates.

Shopify Inbox

Shopify Inbox is a free app that helps you connect with your customers through chat. You can manage customer conversations, send products and discounts directly inside chats, and get insights on how your chat is performing. It integrates with popular messaging platforms like Messenger and Apple Business Chat, making it easier to reach more people in less time.

Shopify Email

Email marketing is a tried-and-true method for customer acquisition. Shopify Email is an email marketing app made for ecommerce stores. It allows you to design emails, manage campaigns, and track metrics such as open and click-through rates. With Shopify Email, you can send personalized, branded emails to your list, without any coding experience required.


Privy is a popular Shopify app that offers tools for conversion and email marketing. With features like pop-ups, cart savers, and automated campaigns, Privy can help grow your subscriber list and boost sales. It also offers a free 15-day trial, allowing you to test its effectiveness before committing to a paid plan.

Booster SEO & Image Optimizer

SEO is crucial for attracting more visitors to your online store. Booster SEO & Image Optimizer is an excellent tool for this purpose. It helps optimize image alt tags, create effective meta tags, and fix SEO issues on autopilot. This app ensures your store is optimized for search engines 24/7, helping you rank higher and attract more customers.

Investing in the right tools can significantly enhance your store's functionality and boost your ecommerce customer acquisition efforts. By choosing the right tools for your needs, you can considerably optimize your ecommerce strategies and take your Shopify store to new heights. The best tool for your store will depend on your specific needs and budget. So, don't hesitate to test out different options to see what works best for your business.


Recap of Ecommerce Customer Acquisition Strategies

In the ever-evolving world of ecommerce, a well-rounded customer acquisition strategy is key to success. From identifying and reaching your target customers to utilizing effective strategies like personalized relationships, contests, SEO, and content marketing, there are numerous ways to attract and convert potential customers. Additionally, leveraging powerful tools like Debutify, Referral Candy, and Shopify Email can significantly boost your ecommerce customer acquisition efforts.

Importance of Continuous Testing and Learning

Yet, it's vital to understand that successful ecommerce customer acquisition is not a one-time endeavor. It's a continuous process of testing, learning, and adaptation. As the ecommerce landscape changes, so too should your strategies. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your approach is crucial. A/B testing is a valuable method for understanding what works and what doesn't, allowing you to refine your strategies over time. As Squareshot highlights, "Otherwise, mistakes take too long to be spotted."

Final Thoughts on Ecommerce Customer Acquisition Success

In conclusion, ecommerce customer acquisition success lies in a well-rounded, adaptive strategy. By understanding your audience, leveraging the right marketing channels, employing effective strategies, and continuously learning and adapting, you set your ecommerce business up for sustainable growth. But remember, acquisition is just the first step. Retaining those customers you've worked so hard to acquire is equally vital.

Here at First Pier, we understand the complexities of ecommerce customer acquisition and are here to help you navigate this journey. We provide a comprehensive range of e-commerce services to help you optimize your store and attract a steady stream of new customers. Whether you need help with strategy planning, SEO, or customer retention, our team of experts is here to support you every step of the way.

As Thomas Edison said, "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration." Your ecommerce success story will echo the same ethos.

For more insights on ecommerce strategies, you can explore our updates on ecommerce retention and acquisition or learn how to increase ecommerce sales. Here's to your ecommerce success!

ecommerce success - ecommerce customer acquisition

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