As online sellers of goods and services, the internet has literally opened up a world of opportunities for us. But it also means that to stay competitive, we need to keep our eyes on the prize: scaling.
As an e-commerce company or seller, there are many things you can do to make sure your business is well-positioned for 2021 and beyond. Here are 10 ways you can start scaling your e-commerce today!
1. Invest in a multi-channel business strategy
When you sell more than one product on your e-commerce site, it's referred to as a "multi-channel" business. This means that instead of selling products from only one website or marketplace, you're selling the same products on different platforms using different brand names and designs. While it may sound like work to create this kind of business, in the end, it will save you from losing sales and allow you to maximise your profits.
For example, if one marketplace has higher commission fees or doesn't sell products as fast, you can scale by adding a new brand name for the slower-selling items instead of transferring your entire product line over to that site.
2. Measure, then test
Maybe you're thinking of moving to a new platform like Shopify or Amazon but aren't sure if it's really going to help your business. The best way to determine if your business will benefit from a new marketplace is by measuring what's already working and what's not. Then, you can test out the new site by selling a small number of your products.
This will allow you to get a good idea of whether or not it's worth spending more time and energy on this marketplace or platform.
3. Use social media
In 2021, if you're not using one or more social media platforms to sell your product, you might as well be flipping burgers at McDonald's! Social media is how people communicate online. Like it or not, if you want to scale in 2021, then you need to be active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – at least! Social media allows you to share information about each sale with interested customers following your social accounts. Not only does this increase sales, but social media also allows you to build up trust and credibility.
4. Create a blog
This is one of the most powerful ways to increase your traffic, engagement and sales in any marketplace! A blog helps you build authority on a certain niche or topic because it allows people reading your content to get to know you as an expert in that area.
It's not necessarily about how many articles you have, but what kind of value each article provides to the reader. Posting regularly can help you establish thought leadership around specific topics, which will help your business stand out from other companies or brands selling similar products on these same marketplaces. However, to be truly successful with a blog, make sure you're writing engaging content – not simply product reviews or how-to guides.
5. Offer customer support
While answering questions from customers may not seem like a scalable business, when it comes to maximizing your sales and customer loyalty, this is one of the fastest ways to do it! By offering high-quality customer support, you can save yourself a lot of time and money per transaction on refunds or returns. Also, if you manage to get customers who love your products, they'll definitely be more likely to buy from you again! It's a smart business that will make your customers happy in the end.
6. Use social selling
Using a tool like Sales Navigator for Facebook allows e-commerce sellers to monitor conversations about their competitors' products on media platforms like Facebook. The best thing about this tool is that it allows you to do all of the customer research in one place without having to search for and then analyze each social media platform separately.
Sales Navigator not only shows what keywords people are using to look for your competitor's products but also the sentiment of those posts (i.e., "love," "like," "hate"), which can give you an idea as to whether or not you should go ahead with selling a specific product on a certain marketplace.
7. Always reinvest
Reinvesting in your business is critical if you want to scale successfully in 2021! Although there are already many tools, apps and services available now that make scaling easier than ever before, keep in mind that time, energy and hard work are still required on your part if you want to grow quickly. Be sure to reinvest in the things that have proven successful for you in the past and then continue exploring other ways to get more customers coming through your door – or better yet, buying from your website!
8. Offer free shipping
The advertising efforts you make for free shipping are completely worth it: According to research done by Bronto Software, offering free shipping more than doubles your average order value! You don't necessarily have to offer a percentage off of the total cost or give away your profit as many popular e-commerce platforms do, but offering free shipping will help bring in new customers who will buy from you again – maybe even more often! This can be important for any business that relies on ongoing sales as opposed to one-time purchases.
9. Use retargeting ads
eMarketer highlights how retargeting ads are the most effective online tactic for brand awareness and consideration – not conversion. The ad networks we used for our site, like Google Ads, Facebook and Twitter, all give you the ability to retarget your potential customers by using their browsing habits. For instance, if someone visits your site and then leaves without purchasing that visit or even for days after, they can be targeted with a specific message to get them back into the buying cycle (and hopefully turn into a customer this time!)
10. Hire a digital marketing agency
If you've already tried some of the above tips on scaling e-commerce businesses, but they're just not working for you, it might be because you need help developing an effective strategy. In this case, hiring a digital marketing agency may be what you need! Digital agencies like Touchstone Innovations can evaluate your current site setup and traffic levels and offer suggestions about changing, improving, and growing.
In the end, it doesn't matter how large your business is or where you started. Successful companies can be built on word-of-mouth, organic Facebook posts, tweets and Google+ updates, as well as advertising campaigns with multimillion-dollar budgets. With some hard work (and maybe a little luck), an e-commerce business can grow quickly in 2021!