As an ecommerce business owner, you have decided to grow your business. But if you don’t know how to scale your ecommerce business, you risk falling behind.
But successfully scaling it has numerous benefits.
Imagine being able to offer excellent customer service to both new and existing customers, design a user friendly and fast website, engage with your target customer and understand their needs and experience the overall business growth.
This is what ecommerce scalability will do for you. It allows you to run your ecommerce business efficiently irrespective of how high or low the traffic to your site is.
Your online business will develop and make revenue without being hindered by its structure or insufficient resources.
Below are key strategies that will help you understand how to scale your ecommerce business efficiently and make it successful.
Importance of Scaling Your Ecommerce Business
Ecommerce scalability is the ability of ecommerce businesses to scale to satisfy their company’s online development requirements.
A new survey shows that 1 in 2 online customers will click away from their cart if the website takes a long time to load.
Image via Digital
And so your ecommerce website should readily scale to go with your web business’s increasing traffic.
And what would happen if it doesn’t?
In 2013, Amazon’s site collapsed for thirty minutes, hindering customers from opening the website. As a result, theoretically, Amazon suffered a loss of $66,240 per minute mainly because of the outage during Prime Day.
Scaling vs. Growing Your Online Business
When you grow your business, your revenue, market size, and the number of employees increases. Your outgoings also rise—all at once.
Let’s say you have 3,000 customers, which increases to 6,000. That shows you will have to hire additional customer care and delivery employees, among other things, to help you cater to the needs of your new customers.
Therefore, as your ecommerce business expands, the expense of operating it will go up.
When scaling, in contrast, your revenue, market size and the number of employees increases; however, your outgoings remain constant or rise slightly.
In that case, you will cater to your new customers without experiencing a rise in your expenses. Also, you will only have to hire a few customer care or delivery teams since your business operations will be automated.
A rise in revenue is attractive for ecommerce business owners, so knowing how to scale your ecommerce business should be your aim.
7 Ways to Scale Your Ecommerce Business
You have undeniably invested a lot of time and resources into creating a successful ecommerce business. Nonetheless, you will have to put more effort to take it to a greater level.
And that’s where ecommerce scaling strategies come into the picture. With them, you can quickly scale your site.
Here are seven fundamental techniques you can employ.
1. Identify Your Customer’s Needs
Any social media platform can act as a sales funnel for your ecommerce business based on the products or services you sell.
One similar mistake that you can make here is believing that your prospective customers are identical on all social media platforms.
How customers purchase and behave varies for every social media site, and each has unique needs. Competition between brands on social media platforms is stiff, so if you fail to meet your target audience’s needs, you’ll fail to scale.
A recent study showed that a majority of 18-29-year-olds spend most of their time on Instagram and Snapchat, and nearly 50% of them also use TikTok.
On the contrary, very few people above the age of 65 use these platforms. That said, this difference isn’t very profound for platforms like Facebook and Twitter. So, make sure you consider these differences well while choosing your platforms and crafting your messaging.
Image via PEW Research Center
2. Have an Excellent Customer Service Strategy
Customer service is a significant factor when you intend to scale your ecommerce business. A study done by Salesforce determined that 89% of consumers will frequently buy from your business if you offer exceptional customer service.
What does this mean for you?
If your customers receive exceptional customer service, they will refer their friends and family to you, forgive a past mistake and have confidence in your ecommerce brand. All these factors mean you can get more sales without increasing your acquisition costs and scale your ecommerce business.
Image via Salesforce
Customer service is the direct connection between your customers and your ecommerce business. Bad customer service will make your business lose customers, and as an ecommerce business owner, you should focus more on retention. Else, your acquisition costs will shoot up.
How can you enhance your customer service? Here are five guidelines:
- Provide live chat support
- Have phone support (24 hours)
- Respond on time
- Resolve all issues at the earliest
- Communicate with your customers on social media
- Empathize with your customers
3. Implement Automation
Scaling your business increases the complications, demands, and repetitive tasks. Therefore, it is important to consider automation to ensure optimum utilization of resources, which can help you get more free time for essential roles, such as developing marketing campaigns and product launches.
For instance, you can find different types of push notification services. These services will assist you to retarget abandoned carts, enable drip promotions, and drive sales by suggesting products to your customers.
Similarly, you could use chatbots to automate an aspect of your customer service, such as answering customers’ questions 24/7.
But to keep pace with the automation, you may need a strong technological upgrade as well. As you scale your business to become an enterprise, you'd have to look after more computing devices. Their automation scanning solutions can help detect any vulnerabilities in them and help you manage the devices at an enterprise level and secure customer data etc.
4. Establish a Marketing Strategy
To scale your ecommerce site, you should also create an excellent marketing strategy to ensure more people get to know about your business.
Even though there is no single general strategy to promote your site, there are several methods you can take into consideration to attain success. They are as follows:
When you create your marketing budget, put some money aside for paid promotions. These can be social media ads that increase your visibility on social platforms or Google Ads that can help you increase your reach on search engines.
Paid advertising is an effective technique for attracting new customers quickly as it’s highly targeted and helps you reach a vast audience as long as you’ve got the budget for it. Needless to say, it’s fairly expensive to go down this path.
Here’s an example of Google Ads launched by ecommerce businesses selling t-shirts.
Image via Google
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful inbound marketing method that ecommerce businesses can use to scale. It involves optimizing your site to boost its rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Optimization is done by conducting keyword research and adding the right set of keywords in your content. SEO also involves improving your website speed, building backlinks, and optimizing your website structure, among other things.
The best part about SEO is that it’s relatively affordable and brings in long-term results. However, it can take some time before your website reaches the top of the search results.
Note how Nordstorm, Macy’s, and Amazon have got their SEO right.
Image via Google
An essential aspect of scaling your ecommerce business is appealing to new customers; however, you should also strive to retarget people who know about your site but have to make any purchases.
It can be easier to convince them to buy from you, considering they already know your ecommerce business. This can reduce your acquisition cost and grow your revenue, hence helping you scale your business.
You can launch your retargeting campaigns through Facebook and Google.
5. Improve Your Website
The appearance of your website is vital if you aim to scale your company. After all, a poorly designed website will do anything but win a visitor’s trust.
First impressions matter; therefore, designing an attractive and professional website is critical. You should use professional product pictures and offer all the relevant details that a customer needs to make a purchase confidently.
Your website should be user-friendly, so customers can navigate through it without much trouble and get to the products they want quickly. This means getting your structure right and implementing a powerful search functionality.
It’s equally important to ensure that your website loads quickly.
You can develop an impactful website by leveraging the best ecommerce tools. From website designing to marketing, they can help you with it all.
An example of a well designed ecommerce website is The Horse. It uses outstanding pictures and fewer words to convey the message.
Image via The Horse
6. Take Advantage of Special Days
Email marketing that acknowledges customers’ birthdays or anniversaries is likely to increase engagement of your business with your target customers.
A high engagement level will contribute to excellent open rates, transactions and income for your ecommerce business—all with minimal expenses.
And this works, because customers want it. In fact, 90% of consumers are willing to share their data to receive personalized discounts.
Image via SmarterHQ
It’s not surprising then that in 2023, the worldwide revenue for customer experience personalization and optimization software is estimated to exceed $9 billion.
So capitalize on your customer data and send personalized emails to your customers to get them to buy from you again. You can try various personalization approaches to determine what works best.
An example of a personalized email is below from Puma.
Image via Really Good Emails
7. Collaborate with Influencers
Partnering with influencers is easily one of the best ways to scale your ecommerce business and provide a boost to your marketing efforts. They bring their large and engaged following with them when you collaborate with them and can instantly drive a surge in your reach, engagement, and sales.
And the best part?
You don’t have to spend a fortune to work with them. Nano and micro-influencers who have a few thousand followers will be willing to work with you in exchange for free products.
You could even launch affiliate campaigns with them and pay them a commission only when they drive sales for you.
This makes it easy to scale your business.
Pick an influencer who has an audience similar to yours. Additionally, they should share similar values as your brand for best results.
Here’s an example of a micro-influencer, Erin (@the.girly.geek), promoting Sony’s PlayStation VR.
Image via Instagram
Q1. Is ecommerce scalable?
A. Yes it is possible to scale your ecommerce business by deploying strategies that can increase your revenue without much growth in your expenditure.
Q2. What is ecommerce scaling?
A. It is the ability to scale your ecommerce store to cater to the needs of your company’s online expansion. Ecommerce scaling is also when your revenue rises much more than your expenses.
Q3. What do I need in place prior to scaling my ecommerce business?
A. Even before you learn how to scale your ecommerce business, you should lay out a strong foundation. Some steps here can be establishing an optimized ecommerce site, selling high-quality products, and delivering excellent customer service
Q4. What roles can I automate?
A. Some roles you can automate include customer service, email campaigns, cart abandonment follow-ups, and more.
Q5. Should I have my own website to create a successful ecommerce business?
A. Even though it is not necessary for you to have your own website, as you can rely on marketplaces such as Etsy, we recommend that you design your own.
Start Scaling Today
Even though the prospect of scaling your ecommerce business is daunting, you can attain your goals through planning, perseverance, and dedication. The approaches outlined in this article will help you learn how to scale your ecommerce business efficiently.
When you implement them, identify what is working well, what you should improve and where you can scale. Double down on what works and you’ve got a great cycle of scaling up your ecommerce business in place.