One of the most common challenges entrepreneurs face all over the world is learning how to scale their businesses. As your ecommerce business grows, you will need to scale your operations. Scaling your business will involve leveraging people, technology and systems which can help your business grow. And timing is very important when it comes to scaling your business. If you scale too soon, you might find your costs exceeding your revenue. On the other hand, scaling too late will result in missed opportunities.
Here are some guidelines for scaling your ecommerce business:
Automating your ecommerce business means using computer software to run your operations, thus ensuring greater reliability and efficiency. Software allows you to run your business more automatically and thus, eliminates human error. Automating your ecommerce business could involve printing shipping labels, maintaining logs, creating inventory lists and connecting to online payment systems. This will greatly reduce the time it takes to carry out these tasks manually, which will allow you to spend more time on your business.
2. Focus on fulfillment
As your ecommerce business grows, you should ensure that you are prepared to fulfil current and future orders. Poor fulfillment of orders can result in damaged goods or incorrectly shipped packages that can end up putting off your customers. Therefore, you need to find ways of improving your order fulfillment. For instance, you might realize that that you are having a slow order turnaround because you don’t get notifications fast enough. To resolve this, you could consider using a shopping cart that has better notification functionality. If you find your products going out of stock unexpectedly, you might need to invest in a more efficient inventory management and barcoding solution. However, as you invest in technology, you might also need to employ more staff to ensure a smooth flow of order fulfillment. Alternatively, you could consider outsourcing fulfillment to third parties.
3. Improve your website
Every ecommerce business sells goods and services via a website. Ecommerce websites have features such as shopping carts, product catalogs, online payment systems and navigation tools. As the business grows, you need to find ways of enhancing the functionality of your site. You might find that you need to upgrade your site to improve its ability to handle peak traffic, for example.
4. Automate your customer service
If you want to succeed in ecommerce, customer service should be your number one priority. Being able to respond promptly to inquiries from customers will go a long way in enhancing their trust in your business. One of the best ways to improve your customer service is by automating follow-up emails. You can setup autoresponse emails using services such as AWeber, Campyn or Campaign Monitor. In addition, it would be advisable to gather customer information at the point of purchase. This will help you serve them better in future. You could collect details such as the customer’s name and email address, as well as the details of their order. Finally, you should consider integrating your ecommerce site with customer support services such as Sirportly, ZenDesk and UserVoice.
Have you used any other strategies to scale your ecommerce business? Share with us in the comments section below.