- Growth comes from long term plans that sustain profitability.
- Catalog and business model readjustments can provide uplift.
- Automation decreases time and resources better spent on actively pursuing growth.
The ecommerce landscape is cutthroat, full of competitors that sell the same or similar products as you do with prices that could very feasibly be lower than yours are. That is why it is crucial to remain innovative and always be making moves to grow your online store. There are plenty of tricks and tips for quick boosts, but few of them are repeatable and/or set you up for the long term.
If you’re looking for strategies to scale your business, you’ve come to the right place. These are three profitable ways to grow your online store.
Adjust Your Catalog
One way to spur growth in your business is to take a look at your catalog and determine what can be adjusted to increase profits. The first step is to cut low profit products: large or bulky items that are expensive to ship, custom made products, low shelf life items, or items that are too different than the rest of your catalog.
Next, you can increase prices, which instantly provides larger profit margins even if the price point only goes up by a few dollars. Take a look at your market to determine if this is possible and then start testing new pricing. Once you see that your conversion rate will stay more or less steady, you’ll know you’ve found a more profitable pricing strategy. Market research will also likely reveal white spaces that you can fill by offering a niche product: a common item in uncommon materials or for a lower price, for example. This works because you can leverage your differentiated positioning in the market to have more control over your profit margin.
Build Long Term Loyalty
No matter if you’re just starting out or you’re an ecommerce veteran, you can grow your online store by finding a way to build a recurring business. This can either be selling items that need to be replaced regularly (cosmetics, cleaning products, vitamins, etc.) or creating a subscription box style model. When consumers buy again and again, they build loyalty and are less likely to switch to buying from a competitor. More perks of this: they will tolerate price increases, and they are easier to sell to than new prospects.
Additionally, sellers should stop stressing about profit per order and instead focus on the big picture. It may seem counter intuitive, but it is actually better for your bottom line in the long run to lose (small amounts of) money in order to save the customer relationship. After all, social proof is a priceless asset that only satisfied customers can provide. A few dollars saved is not worth a negative review that the whole world can see on a marketplace or on social media.
An example of this: A longtime customer has received a broken item and has reached out to complain. In many instances, it is worth the price of a replacement to keep that person happy, and a positive experience will be passed along by word of mouth. The referrals will more than make up for the lost money on the replacement item, and the experience will also grow your total customer pool.
Automate Where You Can
From business operations to marketing to the customer experience, so many aspects of your business can be automated, which gives you the time to spend on actively pursuing growth.
If it’s time you’re looking to save, it’s a good idea to take stock of how long you’re spending each month on manual data entry into your ecommerce bookkeeping software. This may not be a significant number for small businesses that are just starting out, but it is important to think about how things will change over the course of your operations. As your business scales, manual data entry becomes unsustainable. That’s where automation can help.
With an ecommerce accounting automation software, you can take back control of your time and free up your schedule. It is as simple as “set and forget.” As your sales channels accumulate transactions, such as sales and fees, all the data is automatically posted into QuickBooks or NetSuite. Your inventory levels get updated as well. The result is an up-to-date snapshot of your business’s financial health.
Time is your most valuable asset. Automate accordingly.