Scaling E-Commerce Channels

Part
01
of two
Part
01

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

  • 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.

Part
02
of two
Part
02

Scaling E-Commerce Channels, Part 2

Implementing weak inbound marketing tactics and creating poor web content are both common mistakes made by large companies when planning to scale an e-commerce channel for their business.

Weak Inbound Marketing Tactics

  • Experts from companies such as ButcherBox and HELM Boots have revealed that one of the most common challenges for companies looking to scale an e-commerce channel is not having a strong strategy when it comes to the inbound marketing tactics that work the best for landing sales.
  • One solution to strengthening these tactics is by paying close attention to the content consumers are showing the most interest in and the ways that the consumers are consuming the content.
  • Mike Filbey, the co-founder of ButcherBox, has shared that maintaining accurate ROI data is an equally important way for companies to ensure that they beat this challenge.

Poor Web Content

  • SEO is something that is commonly overlooked by companies when creating and publishing web content.
  • All content created and published by companies on their website “is an opportunity to attract more traffic and convert customers.”
  • Recognizing the target audience and optimizing content “for search engine traffic” enables companies to draw the attention of consumers by creating and publishing content that is easy-to-find and appeals to them more.
  • SEO professionals are commonly hired to help companies by optimizing web content they create and publish for search engine traffic.

Your Research Team Applied The Following Strategy

Due to the lack of information found publicly available on large companies that generate between $100M and $900M in revenue annually, research expanded criteria to include companies that generate below $100M in revenue annually, and was therefore successful in identifying the implementation of weak inbound marketing tactics and the creation of poor web content as two additional mistakes that companies make when planning to scale an e-commerce channel for their business. Both mistakes were identified as being most common by industry experts, such as ButcherBox co-founder, Mike Filbey, and multiple articles published on sites such as Magento and Business News Daily.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "The numbers tell the story, or at least a very large part of it: According to Statista, in 2017, an estimated 1.66 billion people worldwide purchased goods online; in addition to that astounding statistic, global ‘e-retail sales’ were estimated to have reached $2.3 trillion (US)"
Quotes
  • "Not only does your eCommerce platform determine how you showcase your products and sell to customers, but it also plays a role in how you attract users, and how you scale your business over time."
Quotes
  • "“I see people spend a lot of time and money developing their product, a lot of time and money working on their website...but they don't spend even one-tenth the time and money on figuring out exactly who their audience is. This iscritical,because knowing your audience will help you figure out which images to use for ads, which words to use in descriptions, which social channels to aggressively maintain, and more.""
  • "The last thing you want is to get your site all set up on a given CMS only to realize the platform doesn’t offer a feature that’s vital to your operations. If that happens, you’ll essentially need to invest a ton of time, money, and energy into migrating to a different platform."
Quotes
  • "According to a recent study by Forrester, majority of the ecommerce companies are not happy with their current ecommerce platform and are hence looking to migrate."
Quotes
  • "“Invest in research to understand who your customers are and why they are buying, and why some customers are not returning customers,” Chung advised. “This is key to unlocking the channel and improving your products to stay competitive.”"
Quotes
  • " A Harvard Business School 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."
Quotes
  • "According to a study by Baymard, about 1 in 5 shoppers who abandon the checkout process do so because they don’t feel secure entering their payment information."
From Part 02
Quotes
  • "After chatting with leaders from companies like HELM Boots and ButcherBox, one strategy in particular became crystal clear: strengthen the inbound marketing tactics that work for your company – and ditch the ones that don’t help you land the sale."
  • "When you do have accurate data about ROI, the results can be transformative, says Mike Filbey, the co-founder of ButcherBox."
  • "“There are always things to improve, and when you compound a handful of seemingly-small improvements, the impact can be huge,” he added. “Do that before putting a ton of money into testing new traction channels with an unknown ROI.”"
Quotes
  • "If your eCommerce business relies on organic traffic in order to attract customers, then your website content should be written with both the user and SEO in mind."
Quotes
  • ""If the company doesn't show up on the first page of Google's search results for relevant keywords, then it's unlikely that prospective customers will find them," said Michael Anderson, marketing and SEO specialist at GeoJango Maps. "The best way to overcome this challenge is to invest in SEO. E-commerce companies should conduct keyword research, implement on- page SEO best practices and work on building high-authority links to their website." "
Quotes
  • "Optimizing your website with keywords that achieve higher search engine rankings is crucial. You won’t achieve success if shoppers cannot find your products."