The Single Most Important Piece Of Information To Grow Or Build Your Online Store


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Before I Get Into It

This article is fundamentally about two things:

  1. Providing Value To The Market
  2. Making Sure The Market Knows About Your Offer

There are an infinite number of things you could do, but if you truly understand these two points and spend most of your time working on these your business will be in the best position for success.

Conversely, if these two items are not dialed in, you will always struggle to grow.

Why Should You Listen To Me?

You don’t have to. More or less, what’s to come is my opinion, but it is grounded in quite a bit of experience and research.

I’ve been working, somewhat obsessively, for eCommerce companies for a little over a decade now, some of which put through many millions of dollars in sales per year.

In my downtime, i’ve also worked obsessively on my own eCommerce ventures, some successful, some not so – you learn your best and most painful lessons through unsuccessful ventures by the way.

I’ve also read countless articles, watched 1000’s of hours of YouTube videos, listened to all the major podcasts and left no stone unturned.

So, whilst I am not the owner of a 9 figure online store, i’ve trialled a lot in my time and have gained a pretty good understanding of where the best bang for your buck is – both in terms of time & money.

The Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule)

Roughly 80% of the consequences come from 20% of the causes.

  • The 20% of causes that produce 80% of your result, is basically your offer in market  & how much attention it gets (I will elaborate).
  • The 80% of work that produces 20% of the results is the admin and all the little tips, tricks & “hacks” that you’ve discovered and working on insignificant features of your product / service / offering.
The above could not be more true in my experience, and I (possibly you too) like to spend your time working on the things we enjoy and like doing. But these aren’t always the things that move the needle.

Important Piece 1: Offer Value In The Market

If your offering is trash and no one’s interested then it doesn’t matter what you do with your little hacks and landing pages and optimizations and how much traffic you can drive, how good you are at advertising or how good you are at sales etc, it will always be an uphill battle.

Now, there’s a few things to absorb with that.

I’m not saying that you can’t build a business with a run of the mill product, but it fundamentally comes down to value.

That’s an easy word to throw out there, but in my evaluation it is simply the perceived value of the product by the market vs the price in market.

If you’re the only person in market with this product, and it has perceived value, then you’ve got yourself a blank cheque. Go forth and prosper.

If you’re offering a product/service that is equivocally valuable to everyone else in the market, and you’re offering it at a price that’s slightly above what everyone else is selling it for, then why should we buy it from you? We know your passionate, and that you believe in the product, but if you’re talking about it having a few undervalued offerings that others don’t have, then the market won’t care, and it will be an uphill journey.

If you’re priced at market value and perceptually similar in value in terms of your offering, then you will probably mosey along, not necessarily prospering or suffering, just continuing to get by.

And if you’ve got an equally valuable product at ridiculously lower prices, then you will undoubtedly eat up the market share.

Finally if your offering a product or service that is perceptually extraordinarily more valuable than any other on the market, and you’re putting it to market at the market rate, then guess what? People will choose you.

Sounds simple when I put it like that right?

Conceptually, it is, but in reality, it’s extraordinarily difficult.

Price an equally valuable product well below the market rate and you are either losing money because your costs are the same if not higher than others, or if your competitive advantage is that you can produce an equally valuable product at a lower cost than others than you are in business right?

But when you unpack that, or go into execution, you see the difficulty lies in producing an equally valuable product at a lower price, or an increasingly valuable product, at a similar or lower cost.

So in terms of presenting competitive value to the market, it comes down to being able to either:

  1. Produce an equally valuable product at a lower cost
  2. Creating new value in the market
    1. New product
    2. New Features
    3. New innovations etc etc

So this is a bit of an overview of what I mean by value, can you offer a valuable product in market that stacks up against your competitors?

And one of the big challenges with this is considering what you perceive as the value of your product vs what the market’s perceived value of your product is.

Really let yourself be uncomfortable with this thought, show your friends & family your product, truly take on customer feedback, do market research, analyze number. Get a true understanding of your product / service / offerings value in the market.

If it’s concluded that your  product / service / offering truly is of value in a competitive sense against the market, then you’ve completed the hard part.

Move onto the next section and congratulations!

Important Piece 2: Expose Your Offer To The Market

I think i’ve rambled on enough about value, do not proceed any further until you’ve nailed value.

But if you truly believe that you’ve nailed value, then this would be my second and final part of advice – akin to the age old saying:

If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, did it really fall?

So you’re 100% confident that you’re offer is rock solid, awesome, that’s perfect and extraordinarily difficult to do.

If that’s covered, then you’ve done the hard part.

Now all you need to do is get your product or service to market.

You could have the most incredible offering in the world – infinite money giving away for free, which would obviously have a nearly 100% take up, but if no one knows the offer exists then unfortunately, there will be no customers.

It’s out of the scope of this article, but you need eyeballs on your offer.

In the digital realm, I can more or less over simplify with the following advice / strategies in that regard:

  • Produce content for organic traffic
    • Blogs
    • Social Platform Videos
    • Social Platform Posts
    • Youtube Videos
    • More products / service pages on your website
  • Paid Advertising
    • I won’t list them all off, that should be straight forward, but they are easily scalable. The greater the value you offer to market, the higher your return on ad spend will be. This is a particularly interesting point because this really will tell you how much value you offer to the market. Trust me, i’ve done a tonne of A/B testing for many many organisations. Fundamentally, this is where your value comes into play. You can play around in little tips and tricks and A/B testing and all those little minor hacks, but if your offer is not good then you will not do well in digital advertising. If your offer is exceptional than you will very comfortably do well in digital advertising regardless of how your ad is pitched.
  • Referrals
    • Previous clients / customers will spread the word if your value is undeniable
    • Other websites will organically talk about you if your offer is outstanding
  • Partnerships
    • Set up an affiliate program where there is profit sharing
    • Create deals in synergetic relationships – maybe your offer compliments another organisation and your offers can cross-polinate
    • Pay someone else to promote your product via whatever medium they own / operate

At some stage i’ll write an article about growing traffic / eyeballs and link it in here, but for now this topic is one Google search away.

The Summary:

Business is complicated, there are a lot of moving parts, a lot you could and should do, and when a butterfly flaps it’s wings a typhoon is created, by which I mean a small action in one facet of business could have large and unintended consequences elsewhere, but we’re trying to keep it simple.

So, this is the crux:

  • Be 100% sure that you are providing value in accordance with where the market is at. Your marketing efforts are amplified by the magnitude of the value you present to market.
  • After you’ve completed that, spend your efforts drawing attention to your offer / service / product.
  • Now if both are dialed in, you’re providing value and getting traffic, you ARE getting sales (if no sales then one of these two are not working). Now you can spend time working on the 80% of other things that will provide incremental improvements.

So be very mindful where you spend your time. The point I want to get across is we spend time optimizing automations, changing colours of our UI, optimizing landing pages, and while all these things contribute to the conversion rate and traffic, be very conscious of how far these activities will move the needle.

Some is necessary, delegate it as soon as possible or be conscious not to spend the majority of your time in areas that don’t provide value.

I am super guilty of this, I’m a web developer, and we have a software product for WooCommerce Online Store Owners, and I spend a load of time building out insignificant features that no one would really notice but me.

And that’s all well and good, it adds to the quality of the product, but if you’re looking to move the needle fast, that has always been in my experience time spent in increasing the product’s value in market (in my case adding features that customers actually want) or spending time getting the product into market (blogging and advertising mostly).

The same has been true for the clients that i’ve worked for.

I guess there’s an assumption that there are no bottlenecks, if your checkout is broken and no one can place an order, then obviously fix that, but that’s bare minimum stuff – but the colour of the place order button or the text displayed on that button isn’t going to change your business.

So in my most sincerest sentence in this entire article, provide value to the market, and then make sure the market knows about your offer.

Whenever i’m working on something, I like to do a sense check with myself and consider, for every hour I spend working on this activity, what sort of return am I likely to see?

There are a lot of activities that flow out of the above sentence, but really REALLY spend some time considering this sentence deeply with your current offer & your penetration in market.

If you think you have an incredible offer, but no one’s really seeing it, stop working on your product.  Start working on the amount of attention your product has.

If your product is getting a lot of attention or traffic and no sales, rethink your product / service / offer against where the market is at.

Basically, the greater the value you are providing to the market, the higher the amplification & return of your marketing efforts will be.


I could provide a tonne of resources, but in relation to this article i’ll impart these two resources for you to look into further, they are highly relatable to this article and items which I fundamentally believe in for growth in online sales and business in general.

Both are important aspects of increasing the perceived value of your offer and growing sales.

The 4 P’s of Marketing:

This is just a fundamental marketing principle, read this article for an overview, but it’s more conceptual than anything specific.

  1. Product
  2. Price
  3. Promotion
  4. Placement

The first three points relate to the first portion of this article, do a bit of research on this topic. Those first three points sum together to form the value of your offer in market and the 4th point contributes to my second point in this article, getting your offer out there.

Principles Of Persuasion

Read about the Principles of Persuasion, it’s a book by Dr Robert Cialdini, it’s pretty much sales tactics, but these tactics can increase your perceived value in market.

Perceived value in market is more or less the same as actual value, as your value is just the value that your customer places on you / your product / your offer / your service.

I won’t go into it, but read it.

In my experience, this book has single handedly helped me move the needle, it’s timeless advice that i’ve gone back to time and time again.

Anyway, that’s it from me for this article.

I am not trying to undermine efforts in the infinite areas you could work on with an eCommerce business, but to put things back into perspective, I firmly believe that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts (which in the case of this article are the value of your offer, and your visibility in market).

If you have any questions, would like advice on anything, want to connect, want to chit chat or anything, please leave a comment or email me at, i’m a nerd and love talking and connecting about these things 🙂

Thanks, Chris

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