Scaling a business requires setting it up for growth from the initial stages. Otherwise, the ecommerce businesses may end up replatforming every time they hit the limit of the current platform’s capabilities — costing them valuable time, resources and potentially customers as their platform struggles to keep up with increasing demand.
Key areas to address when scaling your online business
Almost all ecommerce companies want to keep their investments to a minimum in the initial phase. During this time, they put a lot of work into their business strategies to gain an initial steady sales growth. But what often gets left out of the equation, however, is how to ensure that their ecommerce platforms have the capabilities and the power to support them and enable long-term scalability when that growth spurt hits.
This article discusses the considerations businesses should keep top-of-mind when it comes to scaling a business and how the ecommerce technology can address them. Let’s jump in.
Optimize Site Speed
If your ecommerce business is to scale, you need to be ready to handle more website traffic. This can’t happen if your website is not optimized for seamless user experience. If your website’s loading time is anything more than 3 seconds, it will result in an extremely high bounce rate. If the page load time is above 5 seconds, the probability of a bounce increases by 100%. This is why the site aesthetics of your platform matter just as much as its performance capabilities. Without it, all of the money and resources spent in scaling will go to waste.
One important thing to keep in mind when considering site speed and performance is that your platform must optimize all content (especially images and videos) for both desktop and mobile. Otherwise, you could be leaving a huge chunk of revenue on the table.
Optimize Checkout Flows
If you already have high cart abandonment rates, a scaling plan will only result in a scaled cart abandonment rate. Therefore, it is necessary to minimize your cart abandonment before scaling by ensuring that your customers can buy your product hassle-free. This can be achieved by optimizing your checkout flows, to minimize the effort a customer needs to put in to buy your products.
To do so, ensure that your platform allows you to enable auto-fill information from previous transactions such as credit card details and addresses. Offer backorder/pre order features, secure transactions and multiple payment options. A modern ecommerce checkout flow enables customers to buy quickly and directly from your product page, without any distractions or redirects to other pages.
From a technology point of view, you need to assess if your technology stack is flexible enough to scale at the rate required. This is why so many enterprise and large-scale ecommerce businesses opt for open-source solutions. These platforms allow for you to directly manage how your technology scales to match the growth of your business — meaning you can layer on new features (and phase out old ones) to support traffic growth, incorporate new revenue streams and optimize your site architecture for conversions without having to replatform again and again. This enables businesses to focus on marketing, sales, and customer support across multiple channels.
Scaling an ecommerce website is a crucial decision in the lifecycle of an online business. Even if you already have prepared inventory and a supply chain for scaling, your website itself might not be ready. Before scaling, ensure you have optimized performance, minimized abandonment and opted for a scalable technology stack. The latest technology tools also offer many opportunities for automation that further enhance the efficiency of your business processes.