What are the foundational first-principles of DTC ecommerce growth?

I’m working on a hypothesis exploring the foundational first-principles of DTC ecommerce growth—and I’d love some feedback.

If you run an ecommerce brand, there is a neverending to-do list of things you can tweak, optimize, and improve.

But, if you don’t get the fundamental, foundational elements right, you’ll be tweaking and fiddling (and pouring money into) your online store until you eventually burn out or shut down the business—or both. (Or, maybe you’ll raise another round, but, eventually, that will run out, too.)

I’m not talking about the 1-in-a-million, influencer-fueled, explosive growth. I’m talking about sustainable, in-it-for-the-long-haul, doing-something-because-it-matters, believing-in-your-products growth.

In no particular order, these are the ten fundamentals that I believe you need a deep understanding of to truly succeed in ecommerce:

  1. Your products
  2. Marketing audiences and high-quality traffic
  3. Customer service, acquisition, and retention
  4. Your mission and purpose
  5. Your costs—acquisitions, goods, operations, etc.
  6. Your people—strengths, weaknesses, gaps
  7. Metrics and data
  8. Imagery, storytelling, and voice
  9. Website experience and user behavior
  10. Design and emotion

What have I missed? Could some of these be combined? Could some be distilled down further?

Share your thoughts on LinkedIn.

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