Backstory: The last audit idea resonated with a lot of readers of this newsletter and I think it's one of the most valuable ideas recently sent. Audits are a great way for freelancers and agencies to land clients as well as productizing a service that you're already performing.
I run a small boutique e-commerce agency, recently I've seen a few product companies fall really short on their marketing. Most of these have caught stride in small niches or had a following on social media to earn their first ~$1M in revenue. All of these fall short whenever they expand into different markets or try paid media.
There are some basic fundamentals that all e-commerce companies need to follow before expanding their reach:
1. Big Idea - What great problem are you solving? Who is your target customer and why should they pick you? This needs to be a combination of your hero image, headline and sub-headline. Example: https://kittypooclub.com/
2. Irresistible sticky offer - 5% off is not exciting. This offer should stick with the customer as they scroll: https://www.thefarmersdog.com/
3. Social Proof - I haven't heard of your company. Who has blogged, linked or talked about your company? Example: both https://kittypooclub.com/ and https://www.thefarmersdog.com/
4. Testimonials - These are crucial and should be fun, https://www.thefarmersdog.com/ again - their marketing is stellar
5. What you get - Detailed picture of what you get in the product and how awesome it is. Example: https://www.huntakiller.com/ - also great for some of the above points
There are some habits these companies need to stop doing:
1. Stop using your name in headlines. I've clicked on a link or directly typed in your url, I know who you are. At the time of writing, I can read their company name 5 times: https://bokusuperfood.com/ - love the rest of their site but stop with the company name.
2. Page speed - run a simple google page speed insights, most pages take more than 3 seconds to load, this is a huge red flag. People will bounce. Check your site ;) https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
3. Sliders in the hero - Ug. This one is almost the worst. 5 Images scrolling by... you have no idea which one customer's are seeing, every screen talks to a different customer type and the images may not all have loaded. Keep it simple, single image, one message and find your perfect customer. This goes for video's too, stop the madness.
Our agency audit is a lot more in-depth, we compare client's sites section by section with competitors that are spending paid media to learn from their wins while mixing in our client's own branding and style. It's fully detailed here if you're interested. I tried to list only the items that could be automated above.
The Idea: E-commerce product audit.
Deep Dive: I listed a few of the key points in our audit that I think could be automated. You would build a website parser to try and automate the above points. Having done this a few times, you could give an estimated revenue increase, churn reduction and reduced bounce rate.
Offering this as a free service could help land new leads or you could charge a small amount, providing detailed examples of how customers can implement a few of these to provide immediate value.
Validation: We do this for clients manually and their results are stellar ;) We grow our client revenue to a place where they're able to hire an in-house team to transition away from an agency.
Monetization: You would either use this as a lead magnet or pay per audit.
Steps to Launch: I would start with a few simple items such as page speed, removing the name from the page and sticky offer. These are fairly easy to automate and can provide immediate value.