Making Your E-commerce Business More Scalable
Growing your e-commerce business won’t happen all by itself. Making your business scalable requires some planning and the implementation of some smart strategies. Here are nine tips to help you make your business more scalable which, in turn, will improve your bottom line.
1. Implement Systems that Increase Efficiency
You should know what the best practices are within your business for all your major operational areas. Basing your business decisions on wishful thinking or wild guesses makes no sense. Collecting hard data and understanding what it means, does. Measure what’s working and what isn’t. Take a close look at everything that happens in your business – from handling customer support to order fulfillment to supplier negotiations and warehouse management – and analyze what’s going on.
2. Document What Works Best
Once you thoroughly understand the best way to get each job done, create an operations manual that clearly describes exactly what the process is to accomplish each task most efficiently. It’s surprising how much company knowledge is stored only in the heads of a few long-term employees. There are a couple of obvious problems with not having a comprehensive operations manual. First, what happens when you lose an employee or, if that warehouse of knowledge is you, when you need to take a well-deserved vacation? And second, without proper documentation, it’s hard to make sure new hires consistently have the resources they need to do their jobs well.
3. Establish What You Can Do Better
A record of what you have been doing is not a static document. It’s just the first step in making changes to help you do more and better. Which areas of your operations could be automated? Are there areas where you could change providers or platforms to increase functionality at a better price? Can you change the way you handle shipping to save costs per unit? Methodically assessing each business area and looking for ways to increase profitability can have a substantial cumulative impact on the bottom line.
4. Collect Better Customer Data
Selling online provides a great opportunity to collect all kinds of data on your customers. Use that data to improve your product offerings, target your prime customers, and improve the online shopping experience for your customers. Understanding what your customers want can help you target up-sell offers like automatically prompting a shopper to buy spare ink cartridges when they purchase a new printer.
5. Engage With Your Customers
Customers love shopping online because it’s so convenient. For many, online shopping blends seamlessly into their everyday online experiences. Being able to engage directly with a business is one of the benefits of online shopping. Contests, social media engagement, sharing your content, and leaving reviews are all ways buyers become allies when it comes to connecting with other customers. Brands that effectively engage on social media drive targeted traffic to their websites, which can have a dramatic impact on their bottom line.
6. Collect Feedback Consistently
Customers love to know what other people think of a product. That’s why feedback is so important. There is a direct correlation between how many reviews you have and how well your products will sell. Using tools like Yotpo can make it easy to add customer reviews, ratings and other customer-generated content to your website.
7. Focus on Great Content
These days you can’t get away with terrible content and lousy photos. Customers visit websites and expect good information and good quality images. Great content will also help your SEO and make sure that customers who are searching for what you have to offer will be able to find you. To keep your content fresh and relevant, create a content calendar and plan out several month’s worth of content at a time. If you aren’t a great writer yourself, delegate this task to someone on your staff or contract the work out.
Speaking of delegation, if you are serious about growing your business, recognize you can’t do everything yourself all of the time. Hire good people and then let them do their jobs. Not only will this allow your company to grow more quickly, you will be able to take much needed breaks knowing your company is in good hands. When you are at the office, you’ll be that much more effective and can concentrate on big-picture planning as your company moves forward.
9. Sell Across Multiple Platforms
If you’ve already created a great online store and have all your order fulfillment, customer service, returns, and inventory pieces up and running smoothly, it’s time to expand your online reach by selling across multiple channels. It only makes sense to leverage the power of online retail giants like Amazon and eBay when you are ready to take your business to the next level. It doesn’t have to be horrendously complicated to coordinate sales and inventory levels across platforms. Services like Listing Mirror can help make everything work smoothly by providing you with listing software that takes your current product listings and copies them to the extra sales channels you’d like to add. Listings are customized to each target market and the whole process is surprisingly easy. Get in touch and let us talk you through the options. Then be prepared to watch those sales figures start to climb.
Sell More. Work Less.
Erin is the Co-Founder of Listing Mirror.