Boost ROI of E-Commerce Funnel with 5 Unconventional Growth Hacks

Pauline Volovik
7 min readMar 20, 2024


Imagine there is a set of seemingly simple strategies that will allow you to optimize your funnel conversion and increase your company’s profit from online channels. A McKinsey study showed that effective application of various growth hacks can increase online sales by 20% and profit from them by 30%. In addition, a Forrester study emphasizes that more than 60% of business owners recognize the importance of constant optimization of the sales funnel for success.

By carefully implementing strategies to optimize your funnel conversion, you will be able to better allocate efforts, reduce advertising costs, increase customer retention rates, establish expert trust signals, and more.

Today, I will share some of the less template-like growth hacks that can help you ensure the sustainable growth of your eCommerce project.

1. Start by reducing advertising costs on Facebook

Many e-commerce entrepreneurs are frustrated by high costs of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, including on Facebook. One unconventional growth hack is paying more to pay less. By bidding higher than your competitors, you signal to Facebook’s algorithms that your ad is more attractive. While this strategy is controversial and doesn’t always work, it can sometimes yield results, especially if you’ve been running ads for a while and have hit a plateau in your cost-per-acquisition (CPA).

In some cases, when your bid is higher than the market rate, Facebook promotes your ad to a wider audience, eventually reducing your cost-per-click (CPC). However, this is risky and only works with precise targeting.

Facebook has resource quality indicators, which is basically a system that optimizes ad delivery based on user preferences and engagement. If you manually set bids by multiplying them by three and ignore Facebook’s recommendations, the system recognizes this as a sign of relevance and quality. Your ads will be categorized as high-quality and have a better chance of reaching a broader audience.

After a week of impressions, switch your payment method from engagements to website conversions — recommended bids will decrease due to the increased quality and engagement of your ads.

Keep in mind that in addition to the cost per click, the Facebook ad auction takes into account many other factors: relevance, ad quality, expected engagement. Therefore, targeting incorrectly will not lower your CPC!

To avoid excessive risk, it’s important to balance bid levels with your budget, campaign goals, and understanding of your target audience. Consider the overall strategy and campaign goals to increase the visibility and reach of your ads, rather than just draining your budget.

2. Now, let’s increase customer retention rates

High retention rates can often be more valuable for an online store than conversion rates because they ensure long-term customer satisfaction and repeat purchases. Instead of focusing solely on high-converting products, emphasize products with high retention rates, such as subscription products, regularly used items, or products that imply repeat purchases. This can form the basis for building long-term relationships with customers. Place such products in featured sections or at the top of your site for increased visibility.

Consider the lifetime value of the customer when selecting such items. Often, acquiring new customers costs more than the profit from their first purchases.

Products with high retention rates increase the lifetime value of a customer through additional purchases. This strategy can help structure your business for sustainable long-term success instead of chasing short-term gains and spending on attracting non-loyal customers.

3. Use behavioral pitching for email campaigns

According to a Campaign Monitor study, personalized email messages are opened 26% more often and can increase transaction rates by 6 times. A McKinsey study showed that 71% of customers expect personalized communication from brands, and 76% are disappointed when they don’t receive it, while companies offering personalization generate 40% more revenue.

Analyze the actions and interests of your target audience and use this data to provide customers with more personalized relevant content.

Regular email campaigns provide the same content to the entire subscriber base. Behavioral campaigns segment subscribers and adapt content based on tracking their actions on the site.

  • For example, you can set up targeted emails to users who have added a product to their favorites/wishlist or simply viewed it, offering them a “personalized” discount on that item. This approach will make users feel that you are considering their interests and also help remind them of an unfinished purchase.
  • If a user has added a product to their cart but hasn’t completed the purchase, or even just spent time on a specific product page, send them an email with a description of its benefits, reviews from other buyers, or better yet, with a limited “personal” discount offer for that item.
  • For customers who purchase certain categories of products, you can send offers for similar items or accessories that go well with them, increasing repeat and additional purchases.

Of course, no successful email campaign is complete without automation.

Automate the sending of personalized emails by setting rules and triggers based on user behavior. Offer additional incentives to complete a purchase to those who abandon their carts. Adjust your strategy based on click-through rates, open rates, conversions, and other metrics.

This approach increases the likelihood of each subsequent step in your funnel.

Online tools to help you set up automation:

  • Omnisend. Deep segmentation and personalization of email campaigns for e-commerce. Tools for automating marketing campaigns, audience segmentation, customer contact data management, creating personalized messages, and analyzing results.
  • HubSpot. CRM and email marketing integration for more personalized campaigns. Helps generate leads, make sales, manage customer relationships, analyze and optimize marketing and sales strategies.
  • Klaviyo. Powerful and flexible e-commerce automation. Helps create personalized email and SMS campaigns, manage customer databases and segment audiences, analyze results, and optimize marketing strategies.
  • ActiveCampaign. Complex automated email chains based on user behavior. Tools for creating personalized email campaigns, audience segmentation, marketing process automation, customer behavior tracking, result analysis, and more. Good integration capabilities.

There are many tools with similar functionality, and I recommend choosing them based on the specific tasks you plan to solve.

4. Implement a reverse risk strategy in your return policy

A Narvar study showed that 96% of customers are willing to buy again from companies that provide a simple and easy return policy. According to the Baymard Institute, 29% of users consider the return function one of the most important reasons for logging into their account on an online store website.

However, 54% of sites have serious user experience issues with returns, so it’s important not only to have an effective return policy but also to ensure transparency, clarity, and a decent level of communication.

The next growth hack is aimed at expanding your return policy in such a way as to change the consumer’s perception of risk and reduce their concerns. The standard case is a 30-day money-back guarantee, but often such a policy leads to an increase in deferred purchases due to fear of returns.

To increase the sense of security and speed up the purchase decision, you can eliminate time-related restrictions by extending the return period to 90 days.

This way, you will increase the likelihood of conversion and impact the volume of sales.

Additionally, you should create additional trust signals throughout the buyer’s journey. You can post customer reviews and product reviews on your website.

This will work as social proof, which will address objections and create an atmosphere of trust and confidence in future purchases.

Demonstrating a positive customer experience will increase conversion and loyalty.

5. Finally, let’s create even more trust signals

I have previously mentioned the trend of influencer marketing, which can produce more effective results in e-commerce than traditional marketing. Trust and authority are crucial in this industry, and support from influential individuals or platforms greatly influences purchasing decisions.

Collaborating with influencers not only leverages their authority for your business but also grants you access to their audience, while placing content on authoritative platforms strengthens your brand image. According to HubSpot, in 2024, up to 84% of marketers plan to increase investments in influencer marketing due to its high effectiveness in e-commerce.

Create expert content and place backlinks to strengthen user trust, enhance authority, and increase your company’s visibility.

The foundation of quality content marketing is focusing on benefits. Create detailed and useful materials aimed at solving user problems. Start with less competitive keywords, and over time, as you gain authority in your field, target more competitive ones, gradually increasing your ranking potential.

Order backlinks from authoritative and high-quality sources to strengthen your expertise and position yourself as a reliable and valuable source of information.


In e-commerce, it is often the case that those growth hacks that seem small and insignificant end up working much more effectively than large, cumbersome, and multistep strategies. A large number of small and quick-to-implement hacks often work stunningly for growth. That is why it is so important not to be afraid to experiment.

To unleash the full potential of your business, you often have to think unconventionally, not relying at every step on the usual common approaches in marketing or the successful strategies of competitors.

Keep an eye on trends and innovations, make use of every opportunity and any growth hacks relevant to you — but be careful and think with your own head to achieve sustainable business growth.