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Half-Built Bridges Are Killing Your Ecommerce Brand Growth

by Pedro Franca
6 minutes
half built bridges 01

Have you tried to grow your business using various marketing tactics but have not seen a remarkable impact? Without a focused strategy from the onset, your efforts may resemble what we at Harpia like to refer to as half-built bridges. 

What is a half-built bridge?

It takes exceptional engineering, strong anchorage, and sound reinforcement to ensure that a bridge is fit for its purpose. 

So, if you feel that you’re spending a lot of time and energy on pursuing new marketing ideas without getting the expected return on investment (ROI), we’d hazard a guess that you may have a few half-built bridges of your own.   

In business, everyone comes across a gap between where they are now and what they want in the future – the final goal. To truly achieve this, however, you need a strategy. 

Marketing is about building bridges that connect your brand to your target audience. 

Tactics such as Facebook ads, email marketing, trade shows, and blogging will help you to accomplish this — BUT they should be viewed as the building blocks in a carefully designed, overarching plan. 

Half-built bridges in ecommerce marketing

Problems arise when entrepreneurs or marketers stretch their time, budget, and resources initiating different campaigns that don’t quite align, resulting in an incomplete structure. 

Many ecommerce business owners are guilty of using this “try-it-all” method to increase profits. 

It’s great to be proactive, but starting lead-generating initiatives and not following through can hugely damage your brand. 

Yes, you may suffer a financial loss by investing in unfinished marketing projects, but you will also disappoint your customers by, essentially, leading them nowhere. That’s no way to establish authority in your market or extract the full value of your campaigns. 

Let’s take a look at some examples of half-built bridges.

Not optimizing your content.

Let’s say that you’ve got an online shop and decided that Facebook ads would be an excellent idea to draw attention to your product. You’ve spent thousands on a high-quality video and photoshoot; you’ve got captivating visuals and compelling copy on your advert. BUT right after you launched it, the initial results were underwhelming. 

Instead of optimizing, A/B testing, and perfecting what you’ve been working on, some marketing guru entices you with the latest, most effective, high-converting opportunity in paid Google Ads or Pinterest. 

You’d be crazy not to implement this immediately, right?

So you begin to pursue these new avenues and abandon your Facebook Ads campaign. You’ve invested a fair amount of time and money into it but have not followed through by extracting the full potential of the assets you’ve created.

You think you need a new approach to scale faster.

Imagine you’ve followed through with the Facebook ad plan. Your ad is performing really well, getting over 5% CTR (Click-Through-Rate) and all the good stuff. Your direct-offer ROI (Return-on-Investment) is decent but insufficient to scale to your desired level. 

So you decide to try something new.

Since your initial focus was on direct-response Facebook ads, you’ve forgotten about the ecommerce backend strategy. 

Remember the Business Growth Formula? 

You need to finish that bridge! 

Focus on returning abandoned carts, increasing average order value, and convincing leads to follow through with their purchases.

What do these examples teach us?

In short, instead of building new bridges, focus on finishing the ones you already have first. Then, use the profits to make new connections – one at a time.  You can also capitalize on existing clients by inviting them to repurchase or through upselling. By working on all the steps of the customer journey, you’re improving your customer’s experience and employee’s sanity and preventing burnout.

You have many opportunities for growth. 

There are 73 potential bridges that can be built to grow a business. Understandably, ecommerce business owners can get bogged down with the number of available options. 

But business growth isn’t about passively growing your knowledge without taking action. 

Successful ecommerce entrepreneurs know that implementation is the key. It’s about picking one bridge and building it well. 

How can I avoid half-built bridges?

So, you think you might have only half-built your ecommerce bridges. 

What do you do next?

The initial – and most important step — is to identify which bridge needs building first. Start by analyzing your ecommerce journey with the ecommerce Business Growth Formula. This will allow you to find the bottlenecks that are impeding your brand’s growth. This step is crucial because it will enable you to identify the right bridge to start with. If you’re certain of the potential that this one bridge holds, then you’ll have confidence in the fact that it will lead to further success.

When you’ve identified the bridge, the next step is to determine a strategy to build it. Make sure to write it on paper and strategize using project management software, like ClickUp or Monday

Marketing strategy and project management are usually overlooked, but they are the most essential aspect of your business. 

It lets you see the whole picture, create achievable timelines, and have realistic budgeting.

Once you finish a bridge, link it to other existing bridges that you already have. This can also vary from business to business because it depends on what your final goal is. It might be greater numbers of customers, momentum, resources, or revenue. Once you’ve identified the right bridge and built it, you’ll get to bring some of this back to help you make some more.

Our proven formula to detect half-built bridges and effectively complete them to maximize ecommerce growth

Here’s how you avoid half-built bridges. At Harpia, we achieve this by helping you design an ecommerce growth blueprint based on the above principle and many more. 

At first, you must identify where your main successes are coming from. Then, design and implement a plan to build this bridge in its entirety.

Afterward, use that success to reinvest the profit from that bridge into other growth channels.

Step 1: Build ONE strong, full bridge.

We follow the 80/20 rule in business: 

80% of your impact comes from just 20% of your efforts. 

On the other hand, 20% of your results are attained by the additional 80% of your efforts. Therefore, instead of working on the 80% that brings only 20%, we start by focusing on the 20% that is already working and go deeper from there.

This is what I mean by going deeper:

Within that 20% that results in 80%, you can re-apply the rule. 

20% of the best 20% = 4%

80% of the 80% results = 64%

64% of your results come from 4% of your efforts. 


This works for mostly everything. 80% of the world’s wealth is held by 20% of the population. 64% of wealth is held by 4%, and so on…

When you get this rule, you start to work smarter – not harder.

As an example, let’s say 80% of your revenue comes from Instagram. You may want to diversify and advertise on Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, etc. This is probably 20% of your revenue. 

What if, instead of maximizing the outlets, you’ve worked on improving the 20% of your best Instagram efforts? If you didn’t have an email marketing follow-up to achieve re-orders and reviews, we would add that. 

Ultimately, we would work towards improving and optimizing that one strategy first because that’s the one that really moves the needle on your business. 

It’s so easy to get caught up with new opportunities, background color, and wordsmithing that we forget what really matters. Generally, this is called “Shiny Object Syndrome.”

Step 2: Reinvest

Our next step is to use the profits generated by the high-performing, complete bridge to build more. The trick here is to converge those bridges. Back to the Business Growth Formula, you want to only work on one variable at a time – always.

Step 3: Increase conversions

Our third step is to focus on bottlenecks that may be preventing conversions. Fine tweaks, A/B testing, optimizing, etc. This is the type of work that never ends, but it is necessary. 

Only 20% of your efforts should go here.

Say hi, Harpia!

We’re here to help you identify the most valuable bridge to build first, complete the project, and then reinvest the profits from this fully-formed bridge into more revenue-generating marketing projects.

Do you want to discuss this in more detail? Just get in touch. We’d love to help you engineer an effective growth strategy for your business. 

Schedule a call with one of our digital marketing experts today to start creating purpose-built bridges that take your ecommerce business to the next level. 

Pedro Franca headshot

Pedro Franca

Pedro is the founder at Harpia, an ecommerce growth agency focused on scaling inspiring brands through email marketing and advertising. He helped over 50 brands sell $100+ million with the Harpia Method.

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