We believe there are 4 macro principles – or pillars as they are sometimes referenced – in e-commerce.

Like anything macro, there is a micro, but for now let’s talk about macro.

It’s quite easy to approach an e-commerce project or strategy with an impressive level of depth and complexity, which is important in some scenarios, but as practitioners of ‘Lean’, we like to keep referencing things to macro principles so we don’t lose focus.

The reason why we have a ‘b’ of e-commerce is to demonstrate how the 4 principles work, and we will cover each subject in more detail in subsequent posts.

The following is an introduction to the 4 principles.


The first stage to address in an e-commerce website (or any website for that matter) is driving traffic. Getting visitors to the website. This can be through paid search (Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Instagram/Facebook Advertising), organic search, engagement (social media, email marketing) and word of mouth.


Once a visitor is on the website, it’s important to get them to navigate the website with ease and intuition, and add products to the cart. 3 to 4 clicks to checkout (golden rule). This has to be the goal of this stage, as we want to keep the bounce rate as low as possible and the probability of adding products to the cart as high as possible.

3 to 4 clicks to checkout (golden rule).


The third principle – getting customers to convert.  A sale is not a sale until the money is in the bank – or the PayPal account ;o) – and so whilst a website can have a great design and relevant products, getting someone to checkout is a hurdle that must be kept as simple and fluid as possible.


The final principle is retention. How do you get customers to come back and buy from the website again and again. Whilst this can be affected by the LTV of a customer, is there a way you can have low LTV yet get customers to come back?

Then principles 2, 3 and 4 come into effect again…and again…and again.


As you can see, the flow creates this never-ending ‘b’ which should be used to evaluate how effectively a website meets the 4 macro principles of e-commerce.

We will go into more detail on each principle in the next few weeks, and if you have any questions, ideas, or even want to challenge the 4 principles, let us know.

“And if you’re wondering why it’s a ‘b’ rather than a ‘d’ is that we voted on it in the office. Simple.”

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by Calashock