So you’ve successfully set up your own e-commerce business. Everything is going steady, but how can you earn more and keep up with your customers? Now it’s time for the next step; scaling your business to reach greater heights.
Before you start scaling up, though, you need to ask yourself, does my business have the capacity to expand? Can my order to cash process and team keep up with the growth?
Instead of focussing on growth at all costs, you should be thinking of strategic scaling. Increasing your revenue by adding more resources with a corresponding increase in costs isn’t worth the financial gain. Your business won’t go anywhere with that kind of plan.
What you need to do is add revenue while adding only minimally to your expenditure. Simply put, the best scaling increases revenue while affecting costs as little as possible. It involves processes that are done with utmost efficiency.
The problem is there’s no sure-fire way to successful scaling. If there was, then all businesses would scale up much faster. Scaling definitely isn’t easy. That’s why you have to put a lot of thought into it before you start. If something doesn’t go the way you expect, you still have a solid foundation to fall back on. Massive growth is good, but it is sustainable growth that will keep your business alive.
To help you plan for your next big step, we’re going to talk you through some of the fundamental things you need to consider for a successful scale-up.
It’s important to understand that superior SEO doesn’t happen overnight. It usually takes 6-12 months for your SEO to deliver concrete results. On the bright side, 87% of organic search clicks come from the first five results. Patience is indeed a virtue!
That’s why SEO must be the foundation of your marketing if you want to scale. What you need to do first is perform an SEO audit. This reveals the strengths and weaknesses of your website. The audit’s purpose is to give you a better idea of what else you need for implementing SEO.
It is not enough to build your website’s content around relevant keywords. What’s more important is creating high-quality and engaging content. It is still a good idea, however, to conduct keyword research. You need to find the search terms most appropriate to your business.
Adding internal and external links to your content will make your site more powerful. Internal links let visitors stay engaged in your website longer. That can influence them to become customers. These links make your site more intuitive to navigate. It makes it less likely that visitors will give up on your site because they can’t find what they want. In turn, this increases the authority of your entire website.
The anchor texts for your internal links must be specific keywords to help the search engine understand your web page. Those links help the search engine bot detect other web pages on your site. When a page is indexed correctly, it is added to a search engine’s web pages to make your website discoverable.
As for external links, you might think that will just drive your customers away from your site. That isn’t the case at all. Links to high-quality and reputable sources help improve the credibility of your website instead. An external link is more relevant if it links to highly ranked content related to your business or niche.
When linking to another site, that site will notice you’re linking to them. Sometimes, the site will return the favor by doing the same thing for its content as well. That also improves your site’s credibility and proves that your content is reliable. External links help build relationships with other websites, and it’s just a great way of getting your content out there. That’s how you can generate free traffic for your website, which is a significant part of Google’s search algorithm.
Make sure that all links come from trustworthy and informative sites. Inserting poor-quality or spammy links will just hurt your website. In case you are still struggling with your website, there are loads of e-commerce website builders out there that can help you. To choose the best platform, think about your product, your values, and your goals. Your website is a big part of the customer experience, so it has to leave a good impression.
As mentioned above, SEO doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why it is important to start now. Get a strong SEO strategy in place and you’re well on the way to scaling your overall marketing and your brand.
When you get your e-commerce business up and running, initially, all you want to do is sell. That’s a natural response, but you need to also take other things into account. Besides your products pages, people also want content to help them learn more about the products and your brand.
A study showed that 80% appreciated learning about products through the content on the brand’s website. People value high-quality, relevant, and engaging content. The secret is applying the Pareto Principle, which says that content should be 80% informative, 20% promotional.
Any marketing campaign needs high-quality content to attract customers. You need to add something appealing and relatable to attract more visitors to your website.
Content marketing is believed to boost conversion rates six-fold. So if there is one thing you should invest in for your e-commerce store, it’s content marketing. Alongside SEO – to which it’s closely linked – content marketing is vital to the scaling process.
When scaling your e-commerce business, you need to outsource the time-consuming tasks. There are mundane jobs that can take up a lot of staff-hours. An automation system, meanwhile, can do the same jobs for you in a fraction of the time. No more copying and pasting emails!
You can find a lot of platforms on the internet that you can use for automation. From instant emails to inventory management, there are many ways to automate your business.
Automation enables efficiency and saves money. As a result, you and your team have more time to focus on other critical areas. You can devote more of your time to mastering Facebook ads, providing real time advanced shipping notice or writing content to improve your SEO. Plus, there’s increased availability of data when automating your marketing efforts. Analyzing that data can help you convert more leads.
For instance, making use of automation software allows you to view each step of a customer’s journey. Doing this shows you what’s working in your campaigns or on your site. You can also identify the points where leads tend to drop off. Those kinds of insights will help you to make impactful changes to your overall marketing strategy.
A simple endorsement can go a long way. Choosing influencers in your industry, such as social media personalities, can help scale your business.
Promoting a product starts with demand. If I follow a celebrity on instagram, and she tells me to buy this product, I’d be more interested and more likely to buy. It’s that simple. For most people, their influencer’s feedback matters a lot. Take advantage of that.
Plus, influencers can improve your SEO too. Promoting your products gives you a lot of mentions online. Some of these mentions may include a link to your website or at least your brand’s name. Do you know what that means? Quality backlinks boost your rankings. Social media mentions, too, can impact your position in the SERPS – even without being a direct ranking factor. Hence, your website’s performance in organic search is better and you’ll have more organic visitors.
So set aside a portion of your budget for influencers to post about your products. Then just sit back and watch that demand kick in.
Hiring the Right People
You’re not in this alone. Success for your e-commerce business won’t be possible if you don’t work with the right team. It’s about people having the correct skill sets to match their roles and your brand’s values.
It is imperative to hire people who can help you scale in the long run. And by long run, I mean hiring someone ahead of your needs. If you’re just starting up, maybe it’s better to hire someone who already has experience working in a medium-sized company. Make sure you work with a team that you can trust and firmly believes in your mission and vision.
You must also remember that teams may change over time. When your company scales, it is possible that it will outgrow some of your early employees. Changes to your team could also be due to the rapid scaling of your company’s inventory, so this needs to be taken into account. Understanding how to navigate the landed cost formula for your compans’ scaling requirements is one of the many considerations when it comes to examining how to grow for both your company’s goods and team.
Choose a team that can keep up with new complexities and operations as your company takes in new levels of management.
Keep in mind that these aren’t the only things needed when scaling your marketing and your business. They are merely some of the most important. Consistency is vital to generate more and more sales.
Needless to say, things may go wrong at some point. Don’t be demotivated. Mistakes are inevitable, but you have to keep the momentum going. Focus on the bigger picture.
These strategies are tried and tested, so they can help you scale your business if you also apply yourself and stay motivated.
Nick Shaw has been Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) of Brightpearl, the number one retail-focused digital operations platform which encompasses sales and inventory management software, accounting, logistics, CRM and more, since July 2019 and is responsible for EMEA Sales, Global Marketing and Alliances. Before joining Brightpearl, Nick was GM… View full profile ›
This content was originally published here.