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  • How to Scale Your eCommerce Business

    Congratulations! So, you’ve managed to launch a successful eCommerce business. Now what?

    At EIZ, we know a thing or two about eCommerce. And that doesn’t just come from designing and developing technology solutions for the industry. It also comes from the close relationships we’ve built with thousands of customers – successful and growing eCommerce businesses like you – and dozens of solutions partners, over many years. This has given us unique insight into the operations of these businesses, which has allowed us to identify and distil a handful of attributes that we commonly see.

    Our executive team at EIZ also come with an extensive background not only in the warehouse, freight and logistics industry, but our founders are well-established in their own right, having built successful companies in this space. Over the years, we have accumulated a wealth of knowledge when it comes to eCommerce business. And we want to pass that knowledge onto our customers.

    Here, we would like to focus on a key aspect that we feel all too often goes unaddressed. Scaling. What it is. Why it’s important. And what simple steps your business can take to ensure you are properly equipped to handle growth. As you will learn, this becomes vital for any business that takes the initial steps on the road to growth, after they have managed to get up and running.

    Understanding Scaling

    To state it succinctly, scaling is simply the ability for your business, as it grows, to manage that growth, while continuing to meet the demand of your customers. This includes managing the customer expectations and relationships you have built with your vendors and partners. Importantly, your business requires the right platform and technology, one that is capable of managing growth, as your business grows.

    In this article, we briefly discuss the top 5 things that your eCommerce business needs to do to ensure you are able to scale, based on what our “brains trust” at EIZ have to say.

    Omnichannel

    Point one. Your business needs to be ‘omnichannel.’ Sure, when you start out, selling your wares on one or two marketplaces, like eBay and Amazon, may be enough. Likewise, creating a freight account with one or two carriers may be sufficient to meet your shipping needs. But what happens as business increases, and you require greater market exposure and better carrier rates?

    You will find that managing multiple sales channels and freight carriers can be a time-consuming task, and eventually with enough growth, a full-time job in itself. This is where the right software and technology platform becomes critical, capable of seamlessly integrating and processing as many requests, from as many different sales channels, as you require, all from a single interface.

    Volume Management

    Point two. As any business grows, so too does its volume. This will require you to keep track of larger inventory, know where that inventory is in your warehouse, and be able to continually design and execute the most efficient pick runs. What about when you outgrow a single warehouse, and have to manage several separate, physical locations? Upgrading and having to retrain staff can be a time consuming and costly endeavour. So, make sure that your inventory management system and warehouse management are designed to scale, from day one.

    Staying Agile

    Point three. If your business is geared to adopt the next craze, responds quickly to changes in customer sentiment, and can develop immediate workarounds to any market disruptions, then the technology solutions you rely on will also need to be agile enough to be able to handle these changes.

    Often times, the core functionality of order, shipping, inventory and warehouse management systems will be bundled, with hardcoded functionality that is general purpose, and difficult to pair or sync with other systems. Addons or applications tailored for eCommerce businesses that allow access to specific functionality may be a godsend in these situations, and you need to ensure that these systems can talk to each other.

    Customer Service

    Point four. Great customer service is vital, whether your business serves 50 customers or 5,000. In the beginning, replying to a few emails or answering a couple of phone calls may be all your business requires. But consider as you grow, whether your current system will be capable of handling hundreds or thousands of requests, via a host of different communication channels?

    Ensuring your software has all the email, chat and ticketing system functionality integrated, so that your customers are only a click away, means that providing the services your customers have come to know and love will always be possible, no matter your size. Look for solutions that have scaling built in.

    Digital Marketing Strategy

    Point five. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and etc., connect you with your consumers and potential future partners. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Most people are already on and using one or more of these platforms, and they have been designed, by purpose, to support scaling.

    Whether you are promoting a new product, keeping current customers up-to-date with the latest offerings from your business, checking out the competition, or keeping track of what’s “hot”, digital marketing offers a true, tried and tested solution to advertising, promotion and marketing that by definition will scale.

    Putting it together

    Scaling is the ability for you to manage your business as it grows. In order to be able to scale efficiently, eCommerce businesses require true omnichannel platforms for their marketplaces and carriers, from the get-go. Any platform capable of integrating more channels will need to match increased demand with volume management that scales. Staying agile means that you can avoid pitfalls and bottlenecks. Ensuring that your customers receive the same level of personable service when you are an enterprise, as compared to when you were a small business, is vital. Digital marketing is a tried and tested method to help you grow, and has been designed to scale from day one. We hope that these tips have helped you gain some insight into the importance of what scaling your business requires.

     

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