Running an ecommerce business is no easy task. Just sustaining your business alone takes a lot of work- but we all know that that isn’t where you want to be. Rather than staying where you are, you want to grow. Scaling your business is difficult, there’s no way around that.
Scaling gets easier when you have a set strategy in place along with clearly defined goals. Where do you want to be at the end of the year? 6 months from now? A year out? We’ve discussed it before, but our favorite framework for goal setting is the SMART framework. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. This infographic does a great job explaining this:
Once you’ve got the right goals in place, it’s time to focus on getting there. What do you do to reach those carefully crafted goals? That’s what today is all about.
Here are 5 ways to scale your ecommerce business that each can help you reach your specific goals. A smart combination of inbound marketing, customer support, automation, product reviews, and CRO will give you the results you are looking for.
1. Nail your Inbound Marketing
This is a big one, and we’re listing it first because it is so important. Without really nailing your inbound marketing, it’ll be hard to scale your business and draw in new customers. A solid inbound strategy can ensure that your brand is regularly being introduced to new potential customers. That could be in the form of blog posts, infographics, videos, influencer campaigns, and more. In fact, check out this list of inbound marketing techniques that we really love.
Infographics (like the one above) are just one of many inbound techniques that do a great job engaging people. In fact, infographics get shared on social media on average 3 times more than other types of content. This is a great way to spread your content to a new audience via your existing one. And it’s not just made for B2B brands! Why not create an infographic detailing all the individual features of a new product you are releasing? Or create a gift guide for the holidays based on your products?
Developing a robust inbound marketing strategy is one of the best ways to ensure major business growth. It is worth the time and resources to make it happen. Add people to your marketing team, find a freelancer, or partner with an influencer. You don’t (and shouldn’t) have to manage this all on your own!
2. Collect and Display Product Reviews
Product reviews can seriously supercharge your ecommerce business. In fact, the owner of ecommerce company IceWraps detailed their ecommerce scaling process and found that adding product reviews nearly doubled their conversion rate. Doubled! While we can’t guarantee that big of a jump, you can be sure to see an increase in conversions once you start displaying product reviews.
Often times, reviews give potential customers that final push they need towards buying a product. It helps make the ecommerce brand seem more trustworthy, and more importantly, gives that ever-important human recommendation element. Users may not inherently trust your marketing message, but they are definitely likely to trust what fellow customers have to say (in fact, 88% trust online reviews).
Glossier (see above) does a great job of utilizing product reviews on product pages. Not only do they display the reviews, they allow users to filter through reviews based on different elements that will help show them reviews that are most relevant based on their situation (say their age or skin type).
Glossier even displays at the top of all reviews the top rated positive and negative review to give you a quick comparison about what people tend to love and not love about a product. It’s a great way to give a fair and balanced look at a product- and it’s something that user’s really appreciate. The negative review may turn a user away from a specific product, but the honesty will help keep them at the brand website in search of another product that will be a better fit.
3. Offer Excellent Customer Support
If you don’t provide quick and easy ways for customers to get answers about your brand, you aren’t likely to grow. Having a well-rounded customer support system ensures that customers can get answers to whatever questions they might have. After all, if they don’t get an answer, do you think they will be likely to shop with you? Would you shop at an ecommerce store that wouldn’t answer your questions?
Having a set area that people can easily find at your website for getting support is majorly important. In terms of scaling, you will find that great support will translate to more dollars for your business. 7 out of 10 consumers report spending more money at businesses that deliver great service.
Take a look above at Wistia’s support page. We’ve actually previously listed Wistia as a top inbound marketing tool, and their easy to use support system makes us appreciate them even more. They have their support broken down into four simple categories that makes it easy for users to navigate to exactly what they need. For users who don’t want to search, they can also easily click to contact the team with a specific question. It’s the best of both worlds.
Depending on your specific ecommerce industry you might lay out your support differently, but the main concept should still apply. Give your customers several ways to get the information they need, including several ways to get in contact with you. Once someone does get in touch, be sure to respond promptly. An overwhelming 90% of consumers say a quick response is important or very important to them. And what do consumers think is quick? 60% say that is 10 minutes or less.
4. Start or Increase Automation Efforts
As you are likely starting to see, it takes a lot of effort to scale your ecommerce business. There is a lot that is involved, and a lot of it simply takes time. However, one of the best ways to really get serious about scaling is to understand which tasks you can automate in order to free up time that needs to be spent on things like developing more marketing content (for example).
Automation will save you time, even as you continue to scale. The key here is determining what can be automated, and how you should go about setting that up. There are plenty of easy to access SaaS tools that can help you either start or increase your automation efforts.
Web push is one of the best ways to get started with automation. It’s a great platform for retargeting abandoned carts, sending drip campaigns, upselling your products, and more. Once these campaigns are set up, they will send automatically once the correct conditions are met (a new user subscribes to your web push notifications, they abandon their cart, look at a particular product without buying, etc.)
Chatbots are another great tool and a perfect solution for automating some of your customer service efforts. As you continue to scale your business, there is likely to be a lot more customer service inquiries. A chatbot can help you respond to common questions your customers are asking without you having to step in. Best of all, they run 24/7, ensuring you’ve always got “someone” at your website helping your customers when questions arise.
5. Optimize and Analyze
Finally, taking the time to analyze your ecommerce business’s performance is another great way to scale. At the end of the day, your specific results are the most valuable resources you have that can help you improve and grow. Check in with your marketing and see how well it is performing, see if your landing page is actually pulling in qualified leads, and even ask for feedback from customers and see if you are lacking in an area that may be costing you sales.
Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, will help you slowly improve your conversion rate over time as you test various elements of your strategy- perhaps a headline, a CTA button, a form, or even your website copy. This can result in an average increased conversion rate of nearly 50%! This does take time and patience, but the results are well worth it.
You can also use a tool like Tagalys to optimize your product pages to increase conversions. It displays trending products by default to increase both the page CTR and conversion rate.
Not only can CRO help you scale, it can also help you determine which of your marketing efforts are working and which aren’t. Are you spending a lot of time developing a strategy for a social media platform that your audience doesn’t really use? Stop using that channel and distribute the time you free up to the channels that are performing well. CRO will help you with your overall efficiency- something that in the long run will absolutely be critical as you continue to scale.
Deciding you want to scale your business doesn’t mean much until you put in some serious work and set some achievable goals. Hopefully these 5 ways to scale your ecommerce business will help you develop your individual strategy that will get you closer to your goals.
From getting more serious about your inbound marketing, to utilizing product reviews, improving your customer service, increasing automation, and regularly checking in with your analytics, you are sure to make a much stronger push towards your goals than you have been able to do in years past.
If automation is on your list and you want to test out web push notifications, you can get started for free with Aimtell, or learn more about web push by reading our Beginner’s Guide.