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How to scale your e-commerce business

(Source: Supplied.)

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

At EIZ, we know a thing or two about e-commerce. 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 e-commerce businesses like you – and dozens of solutions partners, over many years.

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. 

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. 

In this article, we briefly discuss the top three things that your e-commerce business needs to do to ensure you are able to scale. 

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 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 and warehouse management system is designed to scale, from day one.

Staying agile

Point three. If your business is geared to adopt the newest crazes, 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. 

Oftentimes, core functionality of order, shipping, inventory and warehouse management systems will be bundled and hardcoded, making them difficult to pair or sync with other systems. Addons or applications tailored to e-commerce that allow access to added functionality may be a godsend in these situations, and you need to ensure that these systems can talk to each other. 

Putting it all together

Scaling is the ability for you to manage your business as it grows. In order to scale efficiently, e-commerce 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. We hope these tips help you to understand what scaling your business requires.

To learn how EIZ can help you scale your e-commerce business, reach out to us today at enquiry@eiz.com.au.