If it has been a while since you managed to get your ecommerce business up and running and you feel that you have a modest customer base and a satisfactory knowledge of the ecommerce operations flow, but you’re wondering how to take the next step from here and scale up your business then, well, this article was written for you.
Scaling up an online business is no task, but rather a quite complex equation that might take a few years until you feel that you have reached a level that you are happy with. But then technology begins to transform again, customer behaviors change, innovation rises and you have to start studying and strategizing how to meet your goals all over again. However one simple concept will always add up in the end: in order to make more, you need to spend a few – be it time or resources, you have to invest.
Most businesses that don’t succeed when trying to scale up tend to fail in more than one aspect. Such as poor strategic planning, insufficient business management or failing on the commercial side of the business, just to name a few. But the one issue that is set to bring any ecommerce business down and further away from their goals is business owners and managers that want to get better results by doing the same things that they have always done.
In this article we will explore five crucial ecommerce strategies to master in order to scale up your business successfully.
3 Strategies to grow your ecommerce business
Plan a kick ass ecommerce marketing campaign and widen your reach
There was a time when companies used to view marketing as an obsolete asset that was taken over by someone from the administrative area. But, just by the fact that you can’t even remember that this was once a reality, only reinforces that marketing has been a crucial asset for business growth for a very long time and the area needs its own professionals given the numerous opportunites for marketing to help drive business growth.
Since we’re talking about ecommerce business let’s put it this way: without spending time – and maybe a little money – on marketing, your business won’t exist for long. And without having a kick ass marketing strategy, your business won’t scale either.
Any marketing strategy for ecommerce business has to include a social media strategy and e-mail marketing campaigns. While a social media strategy for business makes it possible for your brand to become noticed by potential customers, email marketing campaigns have a median return on investment four times higher than other online marketing formats, including social media and paid searches.
Another excellent tool to boost your e-commerce’s reach and increase your conversion rate lies in affiliate marketing, which requires little on your part in exchange for a percentage of sales. This will take up your time on setting up an easy to use affiliate program and finding the right affiliates for you, but the result on sales and traffic will pay off.
Get other people to take over those time-consuming jobs so you can focus on growing your business
As we said at the very beginning of this article, in order to grow you need to invest. Once you start investing money on the areas that will save you time, you will be able to dedicate your time on what will effectively generate sales growth. This is why you’re better advised to delegate and outsource as much as possible when trying to scale up your online business.
One of the things that you can outsource without losing control or quality is getting someone else to do the fulfillment for you. Surely you’d prefer to keep managing your stock from your spare bedroom and hold yourself responsible for the picking, packaging and shipment of your customer’s good to ensure quality and reduce operational costs. But this is only manageable when you have about 50 orders a day coming in. Once you start scaling up, spending that much time on preparing order shipments won’t be the best use of your valuable time.
By outsourcing with the right company for your type of business, you are able to keep your quality standards of packaging, reduce shipment costs, and stop driving to the post office which will definitely be a better use of your time.
Another thing that can be taken off your shoulder is e-mail marketing, including post-purchase automation, and other marketing tasks. According to Techopedia, marketing automation can be defined as the use of online resources to "execute, manage and automate marketing tasks and processes."
If it’s already hard to connect with 100 customers, imagine connecting to one thousand, or five thousand customers. Once you start automating your marketing tasks, such as e-mail marketing, you no longer need to spend time on sending specific e-mails to each customer, as the automation will do this for you – including the segmentation.
Excel on customer service by taking care of your current customers and acquiring new ones
It also can't be stressed enough to discuss the importance of having five star customer service when your goal is to scale up your ecommerce business. A great customer service strategy will widen your current reach, acquire new customers and keep your current ones coming back.
Having excellent customer service means communicating with your customers in every point of contact they establish with your business. Which means going beyond a SAC e-mail address, but also adding live chat to your website, 24h customer care, a quick reply policy and connecting with your customers through social media.
It also means that you pay attention to your site’s analytics at all times and develop metrics to understand your customer’s satisfaction. This will allow you to know when and when you are acquiring and losing customers, and the possible reasons for this success and also complication.
Apart from increasing your current revenue, great customer service will also become a competitive advantage to your business.
Timing is very important when deciding to scale up your business. You can’t start spending too soon, depending on your financial situation, but it is also important that you don’t lose the right timing and start investing on your ecommerce growth once everyone else is far ahead of you.
Make sure you understand when the right time to start scaling up your business is. Plan ahead what you will be outsourcing and how you will be managing your time and resources. The end result needs to be increasing your revenue and growing your buying audience, while reducing your cost of customer acquisition. This will lead to successful business growth, with the math being that simple.