Entry to ecommerce has become a lot easier today. Free and low-cost turnkey platforms allow merchants to create their own digital presence and conduct business quickly. However, the lower barrier to entry also comes with increased competition among merchants. For your ecommerce startup to thrive, you have to carefully manage your effort and strike while the iron is hot. Take advantage of opportunities and scale up quickly when possible.
Here are 4 ways you can quickly scale up your ecommerce efforts.
1 – Go cross-border
What better way to scale up than opening your business to new markets? If your products or services have universal appeal, consider going cross-border. A quick way to check interest is to implement SEO and analytics and look through your site’s traffic data for visitors that come from outside your country. Often, this means that people interested in what you offer. Seek these visitors out and consider servicing their territories.
Thanks to improvements in shipping and fulfillment, it’s now easy do cross-border commerce. Know which payment methods your target markets prefer. Each region would have their own preference and you can’t assume that cards are the only way to go. For example, parts of Europe especially in Scandinavia and Southwest Europe prefer to use their bank accounts for payments while developing countries in Asia demand cash-on-delivery options. Knowing this is crucial since the unavailability of their preferred payment method is a major reason why shoppers abandon their carts.
According to Oscar Berglund, the CEO of Stockholm-based fintech company Trustly “Many shoppers are likely to abandon their carts if their preferred payment method is not available. Merchants that don’t allow the consumer to pay in the way he/she likes are losing out on revenue.”
In a recent interview, Berglund said that digitalization is making banking faster.
“Traditional bank payments will become faster, safer and more convenient. This advancement will be driven mainly by better and more user-friendly methods of digital authentication.”
Trustly currently operates in 29 European countries to enable merchants to accept bank transfer payments.
Partner with a payments service to process these payments for you. Getting a payments provider is also more convenient since you also don’t have to worry about navigating the regulations of each target country you’d like to engage business in.
In addition, look for trustworthy shipping service that provides timely deliveries to your target territory.
2 – Get and keep more customers
Aside from going cross border, you can focus on growing your customer base from your current market. This means ramping up your marketing efforts. Ecommerce is rarely “build it and they will come.” Successful ventures always reach out to customers and encourage them to do business.
There are several engagement campaigns that you could readily start. You can curate and share content through your social media pages. You can start a newsletter and send prospects helpful content about things related to your product line or industry. You can even send out or post promo codes to encourage them to purchase.
However, doing this manually can take some effort so consider implementing marketing automation. You can even create targeted event-based campaigns such as prompting modals to visitors as they exit your store. You can even send out reminder emails to users who abandon their carts. You can grow your customer base by keeping conversion high.
3 – Improve your supply chain
Another thing to prepare for when scaling up is improving your supply chain. Often, startups often get frazzled trying to keep up with demand when business unexpectedly picks up. This can be prevented if you have a good handle of your processes.
One way to anticipate demand is through analytics. You can monitor which products get browsed and bought. You can also analyze your customer’s behavior on your site. Such insights can even help you optimize your catalog and inventory. You can get rid of poorly performing products and stock up on your best sellers. You can even consider overhauling your catalog and focus on more upscale products if the numbers point to such trend.
Knowing the ebb and flow of your stocks also helps make sure that you can both readily deliver to your customers by having stocks on hand and avoid tying up your resources with extra units held in your stockroom.
4 – Improve customer experience
What is ultimately key to success in ecommerce is providing a hassle-free experience to your customers. This has become all the more crucial especially now that ecommerce has shifted to mobile. BI Intelligence forecasts that mobile commerce will account for 45 percent of ecommerce come 2020 so you would do well optimizing your site for mobile.
Aside from making a mobile-friendly site, consider creating a dedicated mobile app as it provides a quicker experience for your users. Apply the best practices in designing your user experience. Make your search bar visible. Create easy to use sorting filters to help your users browse through the search results.
Another important thing to consider is localizing your experience for your markets. You can provide translations of your product descriptions, currency conversion for prices, and even be upfront about added fees such as taxes and shipping costs which may vary depending on their location.
Minimize the number of steps customers need to go through to complete the transaction. A Baymard Institute study on cart abandonment also cites checkout issues as top reasons why customers leave so by working on your interfaces you could the eliminate points of friction that customers hate.
A superior experience would make your ecommerce presence stand out and win you more customers.