When you start an online shop, you begin with an idea, develop it, launch your store, and work to make it profitable. Over time, you’ll start growing the venture and see money flow in.
However, you’ll hit a stage where you need to concentrate on how to scale your business, so you achieve more sales and profitability without having to invest more and more resources.
With the enormous opportunities available in the eCommerce industry these days, it’s wise to consider early on how you might effectively scale your store.
Spend Time Planning
Planning is vital to scalability success. To prepare for growth, set realistic goals, and determine what types of resources or features you’ll need to build your store. Develop a plan of attack that looks at factors such as your website and, where appropriate, other eCommerce platforms, shipping and fulfillment operations, the team around you (both in-house and external support), and international sales options.
Plan out what you want to achieve and how to ensure you don’t miss essential elements or steps. In turn, this will help you save time and money as you scale your business.
Examine What’s Working
You also need to stop and figure out what currently does and doesn’t work well within your organization. In particular, pay attention to your sales platform. It helps to use trusted website heatmap software to understand how shoppers browse and buy on your site. What pages do they look at, where do they spend the most time, where are they when they click away?
Learn as much as you can about which parts of your site seem to satisfy and wow consumers and where the layout, navigation, content, graphics, and other factors might be letting you down. You won’t be able to scale up effectively if you don’t have an optimized eCommerce offering. People are busy and impatient and know they have plenty of shopping options. As soon as they become frustrated, they click away to the next site, so you must look for ways to satisfy more requirements and keep people perusing for longer.
To get a good idea of what is and isn’t working, also examine the frequently asked questions you get from shoppers, any complaints you receive, the positive reviews and testimonials that come in, and various metrics. For instance, watch numbers related to conversions, referrals, loyalty, growth, and inventory turnover, plus customer acquisition costs, average transaction values, and more. These details will give you insights into what you can scale up and what needs to change before expanding further.
Focus on Inbound Marketing
If you want to scale your operation, focus on inbound marketing. Today, eCommerce spans various devices and platforms and is more accessible to consumers than ever. People have high expectations, too, so for successful scaling, you need to find ways to create exceptional experiences for shoppers across all channels and touchpoints.
Inbound marketing, where you draw in customers via marketing strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media, content (e.g., blogs, newsletters, gift guides), digital events, influencer campaigns, and the like, can help you make this happen. Use such tactics to engage with and pull in consumers through multiple channels.
Compelling inbound marketing will help you scale your business because it keeps your brand front of mind for your target audience without having to outlay massive amounts of money on advertising. It focuses on customer retention more than traditional marketing, which revolves around customer acquisition. Inbound marketing is about converting and delighting people so they’re more likely to buy from you again and rave about your online store to others.
Utilize Tech Tools to Automate and Streamline Processes
Business growth hits a wall when you, your team, and other resources hit a wall, and you can’t break past the limits of time, energy, and money. To scale, you must work smarter and look for ways to grow your venture without continually putting in more effort. For example, use tech tools to automate and streamline processes. Technology will help you optimize resources and free up time for other more critical tasks.
Consider installing chatbots on your site to automate some customer service. Set up automated email drip campaigns to follow up when people make inquiries, abandon their cart, make a purchase, and engage in other activities. Use order management software to take away much of the time-consuming data entry involved with purchasing stock and preparing customer orders. Plus, use software for generating reports, managing and analyzing data, and handling finance, accounting, and payroll tasks.
To scale your eCommerce store, also focus on developing customer retention strategies and outsource tasks like picking, packing, and shipping goods. Each of these elements will help you grow your business in a sustainable way for long-term success.