Ecommerce businesses have been increasing in number since the internet came into being. The quick access to information and products, lower overheads, and high margins are just some benefits that eCommerce business owners experience. However, these benefits also come with challenges that require you to expand your operations quickly if you want them to succeed.
When trying to scale your e-commerce business, it is essential to remember that the worst thing you can do is put your head in the sand and ignore problems. In any business environment, there will be some obstacles – not all of them will go away on their own without a considerable amount of work on your part. But, if you try your best to anticipate possible problems, you will move past them more easily.
Here are some tips for scaling your e-commerce business.
Hire extra staff
One of the most common issues that cause scaling problems is not employing enough people to keep up with demand. Sometimes it can happen fairly quickly – you might have started with one person filling online orders. Still, after your customer base starts to grow, you find it impossible to keep up with demand without bringing another person on board.
Since you’re in eCommerce, exercising extra caution when hiring new employees would be helpful. It is wise to do background checks to ensure they are trustworthy. If possible, hire them under a contract rather than as an employee (this will allow you to cut ties with them without any legal consequences should it become necessary).
Hire staff with the right skills
If your business needs technical orders filled, then make sure that you hire someone skilled enough to fulfill those. The last thing you want is to have an excellent service only to have your customers complain because of delays in product delivery.
Inventory management is a common problem
This can mean that you have too much or too little stock at any one time, which, as you can imagine, causes all kinds of problems. For example, if you don’t have enough inventory to fill orders, your business model fails because there will be no point in customers shopping with you. However, if you have too much stock, that isn’t good. You’re wasting money buying and storing products that cannot be sold.
There are a few ways around this issue, such as overbuying slightly so that your inventory is always well-stocked but not overflowing to the point where it becomes challenging to find the products you want. Another way to cope with inventory management issues is to consider a one-in, one-out policy for your warehouse.
This means that if a product has not been sold within a certain period, it will have to be removed from the store. While this may cause some problems in terms of stock levels being out of sync, it also gives you the chance to sell these products through other channels (such as eBay or Amazon) and turn them into a profit.
Widen your product range
Consider adding more products if you already have all the most popular items in your store but still struggle to keep up with demand. You can be even more proactive and consider widening your product range by adding products that might not be as popular but could still be a good fit for the store.
This is an excellent way to expand your business because sometimes you can sell more items without taking on any extra work. Some of these products might already have an established customer base, which means that if you get them into your store, these customers will buy from you instead of taking their business elsewhere.
It may also be worth considering adding non-perishable items such as food or drink to your online shop so that it becomes a one-stop shop for buying everything in the category. This works well because people do not have to go to multiple websites to find what they are looking for.
Approaching trends with caution
When you start, it’s easy to get caught up in current trends because your business may not feel like it has the luxury of time – you want to do whatever you can to increase customer numbers, and growing your e-commerce store is one of the most effective ways of doing this.
Don’t lose sight of the customer
The last piece of advice is to never underestimate your online customers because they are what makes or breaks an eCommerce store. While everything else may change over time, this fact remains the same even when your business expands.
Once you have gained a loyal customer base, you can build on your reputation and find new ways to expand your business, but never lose sight of who the customer is because focusing on them will always be a good thing.
As you can see, even a small e-commerce business can become something more if it works hard and does everything to keep customers happy.
By following these tips, you can expand your small business and become something even more extensive than you ever thought possible.