5 Tools to Help Scale Your E-Commerce Business
As e-commerce sales continue to increase annually, so do expansion opportunities for existing businesses. While increased sales are always welcome, they place extra demands upon your original infrastructure. If you do not have the required systems in place, the increased popularity of your business could prove an unwanted blessing and leave years of hard work undone.
Tools are available to help e-commerce businesses like yours scale up, and they can help you on many levels, from outsourcing, shipping, design, email marketing, and customer services – all designed to help you expand while maintaining your current standards and ensuring your scale-up is successful.
1. Mailchimp, more than just an email marketing tool
Reaching a wider audience within your target market can help scale your business, and a proven way of connecting with existing and potential customers is by using email marketing, this marketing channel offers an affordable strategy for businesses to expand their list clients and prospects.
To run a successful email marketing campaign, you need a tool that automates your emails and integrates with the most commonly used e-commerce platforms. If you are using Ozcart or WooCommerce then Mailchimp is an excellent option.
It’s designed to assist with your email marketing campaigns in a number of ways. Creating campaigns and automation are just two of them.
It has other features too that elevate it compared to similar tools, such as the ability to create Facebook and Instagram ads that directly target your audience, tag subscribers, Google Remarketing ads that direct shoppers back to your website from other websites, product recommendations to help increase sales, order notifications, automated abandoned cart emails, and the ability to customize your delivery times so that you can cater for time zones.
If you’re using WordPress and would love to manage and send newsletters directly from WordPress, consider our excellent Tribulant Newsletter plugin.
2. For outsourcing – Upwork
As you scale your e-commerce business, the necessity to hire more staff to meet demand can come into play, and this can affect your scaling abilities due to the cost and complications of hiring people in-house. An alternative approach is to consider outsourcing.
Outsourcing has many benefits, it can help you stay focused on the core needs of your business, reduces your capital investment in infrastructure, increases productivity, accelerates innovation due to professional advice and perspectives, and reduces your overall risk.
A tool that can help you with outsourcing is Upwork and it’s free to use. It connects you directly to freelance contractors who work within the IT sector where you can hire them part-time, full-time, or for a one-off project.
Some cover pretty much everything you might need for your e-commerce expansion, from web development, graphic design, content writing, legal, etc. Payment is made by electronic transfer and you can download invoices directly, ensuring that your records are kept in good order.
3. For Logo design and branding – Tailor brands
Bringing your e-commerce business to the next level requires forward-thinking and often the updating of original infrastructures, one that deserves due consideration, is how your company presents itself to your prospective audience. Think about three top major brands and their logos – have they changed as those businesses evolved? I’m pretty sure the answer is yes, and there’s no reason why yours shouldn’t too.
So, when upscaling, consider taking the opportunity to also upgrade your logo, so it supports and reflects where your business is heading, and a logo generating tool that can help inspire you is Tailor Brands.
Tailor Brands was created to enable businesses design easily identifiable branding. The process for the customer has been simplified to a point where you do not have to be technically-minded to use it, and it’s extremely cost-effective.
They do this by using machine learning technology, which can upgrade your company’s brand identity within a matter of minutes. Aside from their AI-based logo builder, they also provide AI-driven website design, social media marketing tools, and print work.
4. For branded shipping solutions – Packhelp
Speaking from personal experience, having a reliable system in place is an important piece of the upgrading puzzle. There’s no point in upgrading your platforms, running email marketing campaigns, and paying for new branding if you can’t deliver on time.
For customers to love your company and products you have to deliver upon your promise, because if you don’t they will quickly fall out of love with you, leave a bad review and shop elsewhere, (most likely Amazon), undoing everything you put in place to make the sale in the first place.
Speaking of Amazon, one shipping approach they took from the very beginning, which set it apart from the competition, was that they branded their boxes. Amazon knew the importance of this very simple step, and who can argue with the results! You, however, can do this too, by using a shipping company that will brand your boxes for you.
A tool that can provide you with this customized service is Packhelp who are also known for their great customer service. And, by shipping your product in a box with your name on it, they help increase your brand awareness. By offering this personalized service, PackHelp supports your business in two ways at the same time and leaves your customers with the correct impression that they bought directly from you. And, couple this with a very efficient dropshipping solution, or a reliable 3pl service, and you’ll be onto a winner.
5. For customer care- GrooveHQ
Customer care is as important as any part of your e-commerce marketing strategy, and by providing an excellent during and after-sales service, you are far more likely to turn a one-time customer into a return customer. Think about it, for all the effort it took, steering a potential customer through your sales funnel and to the buy button, creating a return customer is or should be, a piece of cake.
A tool to help you do this is GrooveHQ.
The GrooveHQ platform has a ticketing system that provides personalized service to your customers. It works by assigning each customer a separate ticket which enables you to connect them with an agent that they spoke to previously. Also, all past conversations are tracked, so if the original agent is unavailable, the new agent has access to the customer’s records; they can pick up where the last agent left off and provide the relevant support.
This makes this experience for your customers an almost pleasant one, because let us face it, not many like calling customer service, but if you can make it as personalized and pain-free as possible, your customer will remember you for it.
Another handy feature is the ability to integrate the GrooveHG platform with other platforms, like Facebook, Mailchimp, HipChat, and others. This way, you can receive notifications regarding emails, messages, and comments that can then be attended to immediately, helping improve your customer service and ratings. Also, live chat service is available, allowing you to solve problems in real-time – bonus!