Scaling E-Commerce Channels, Part 1
E-commerce is a continuously growing industry with global revenue from "e-retail" sales expected to reach US$4.48 trillion by 2021. At the same time, the number of companies entering the e-commerce space is growing exponentially with more than 3 million businesses worldwide, excluding China. With the rapid growth of the industry, companies face a myriad of challenges in scaling their e-commerce channels. Each mistake was identified as one of the top mistakes of e-commerce businesses on several articles and blogs (core dna, Magento, Liquid web, Forbes, Medium).
Mistake 1 : Poor platform choice
- When companies move into the e-commerce space, one of the first and most important choices is which platform to use. The wrong platform that doesn't meet your company's needs in terms of control and customization can be costly in the long run, especially if re-platforming becomes necessary. While the choice of platform is made at the beginning of an e-commerce venture, plans for growth and scaling should be considered at this point to prevent any backpedaling.
- In order to avoid choosing the wrong platform, the following factors should be thoroughly considered: your products offered, intended customer experience, future business growth model, company budget, level of customization.
Mistake 2: Poor customer research
- When scaling any business, understanding customers and specifically your target audience are imperative for success. A study found that a customer’s 6th purchase was an average of 40% higher than their first, and the 8th purchase was an average of 80% more. If companies do not spend time to look into how to connect with consumers via social media and customer content on the website, scaling could be expensive without the expected profits.
- In order to successfully scale an e-commerce business, the company should define its target audience by considering how to communicate to the customers whether via blog posts, videos or detailed product descriptions and an appropriate marketing strategy that reaches the audience directly.
Mistake 3: Poor site design
- Another mistake that companies make when planning to scale an e-commerce channel for their business is not using the appropriate technology to manage increased volume and not redesigning the website to address existing issues. One of the most prevalent issues in e-commerce is shopping cart abandonment which results from a complicated checkout process and lack of trust verification before purchase.
- Shopping cart abandonment can be reduced through a number of strategies such as providing a checkout progress indicator, offering multiple payment options and including proof of transaction safety.