In an ideal world, growing your eCommerce company is as effortless as opening a new jar of Skippy.
Scaling up your eCommerce business may be difficult, especially if you don’t have the resources to support the quick expansion of your organization.
You need to be aware of the typical challenges of growing your business.
The 5 Most Common Obstacles to Scaling eCommerce Businesses
If you want to scale your eCommerce firm, start with these five typical problems.
1. Preserving cash flow
Contrary to common thought, one of the biggest challenges in scaling an eCommerce business isn’t always a lack of demand. Instead, it’s often a lack of resources and capital to meet demand with enough supply, inventory, and products to sell.
You would need to obtain ample inventory in advance before seeing revenue, which can present working capital challenges.
As an eCommerce seller, getting sufficient capital can be even more challenging when your business grows 10%, 20%, and 30% monthly. Without the necessary funds, you would likely be unable to keep up, causing your business to take a huge hit.
An excellent approach is to adopt a long-term and sustainable funding solution, which can help you maintain cash flow when you need it most to support your efforts to scale.
8fig, an eCommerce growth platform, is one such example. Its solution is designed to help eCommerce sellers map out their supply chain (and its cash flow) based on projections of how it will look in 6, 12, 18, or 24 months, enabling merchants to plan their budgets accordingly.
8fig then provides capital injections in incremental stages according to each business’ custom Growth Plan to support cash flow and optimize growth.
A steady funding solution will help better prepare your eCommerce business for the cash flow obstacles involved in scaling.
2. Staying on top of inventory
Maintaining your inventory can be challenging enough during regular operations, but it can be even more taxing when scaling your eCommerce business.
After all, as your company expands, you’ll need to keep up with more orders. If you constantly run out of stock or shipping takes too long, you’re bound to face order fulfillment delays and thereby lose customers.
Plus, having too much stock can be a big problem if you’re trying to scale down your eCommerce business. You’ll lose money, which impacts your cash flow.
An excellent solution is leveraging reliable inventory management systems to accommodate rising market demands.
Inventory management platforms can help you stay on top of your stock, help manage your current inventory, plan for incoming orders, and alert you when it’s time to order more.
Use inventory management software to view your current stock in real-time, making it easier to track the status of each product across offices and warehouses.
For example, the cloud-based solution Trunk lets you list and manage products across multiple sales channels seamlessly. It allows you to link listings with SKUs automatically, eliminating duplicate entries and streamlining workflows.
The solution also lets you configure settings to display your updated listings and track your inventory levels in one place.
With the right inventory management solution, you can spend less time and resources managing your inventory while ensuring your business is well-stocked, giving you more control and greater support in focusing your efforts on scaling.
3. Finding reliable suppliers
One of the biggest challenges in successfully scaling your eCommerce business is finding reliable suppliers to work with.
After all, a crucial part of successful sales operations hinges on your suppliers’ ability to provide quality items and deliver them on time.
If your suppliers don’t deliver on schedule, your operations will likely be delayed, seriously impacting your cash flow, customer satisfaction, and profits.
The key is finding suppliers that can support and amplify your efforts to scale.
Use eCommerce platforms that let you find and connect with suppliers seamlessly.
For instance, supplier management platform Graphite Connect offers a centralized, secure solution to streamline and simplify your procurement process—from vetting and onboarding to risk management.
Buyers and suppliers can upload documents and contracts in one place for easy management and access.
Suppliers can fill out one questionnaire they can share with buyers across Graphite Connect’s network. You won’t need your compliance and procurement teams to email every supplier to get the necessary details.
The platform automatically validates essential supplier commercial data such as OFAC and TIN checking, speeding up the onboarding process. You’ll reduce risk, time, and friction in vetting and onboarding your suppliers.
Finding reliable suppliers is a key factor in scaling your eCommerce business.
4. Streamlining order fulfillment
Maintaining efficient order fulfillment influences many core aspects of your operations.
If you can’t fulfill your orders seamlessly, your sales will likely suffer and, in turn, hinder your efforts to scale your business.
For example, shipping delays, poor inventory management, warehousing issues, and miscommunications can create bottlenecks in your fulfillment process.
An excellent solution is to streamline your order fulfillment process by working with a reliable third-party logistics (3PL) company.
For instance, Whitebox offers all-in-one logistics services that handle the picking, packing, and shipping for you and allow you to customize and scale your order fulfillment.
The platform can also apply shipping labels, optimize product descriptions, and offer professional product photography, warehousing, inspection, and quality assurance.
You’ll get the same quality service for every order regardless of how quickly your eCommerce business scales up.
Whitebox also integrates easily with popular eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, Walmart, and BigCommerce.
A seamless order fulfillment process can translate to efficient operations and high customer satisfaction, equipping your business to scale and grow.
5. Managing rapid demands for customer care
Good customer service is a key component of growth.
You will need high-quality customer service more as your consumer base grows.
When you have more clients than your company is used to serving, it may be difficult to provide consistent, excellent customer service that is delivered quickly.
Your purchasers’ experience with your firm might be ruined if your eCommerce business can’t keep up with the expanding need for customer service, costing you clients and revenue.
Utilizing eCommerce customer service software with comprehensive functionality to expedite and simplify the provision of client care services is a successful tactic.
If your business has a variety of sales channels, think about adopting customer service platforms like Help Scout. It may collect customer service inquiries from your social network, online chat, and email accounts. It streamlines and centralizes the management of your customer support operations.
Help Your eCommerce platform can simply allow add-ons for additional channels, and Scout can connect with it.
Help By building up processes; you can automate repetitive customer support operations using Scout’s powerful automation tools.
You may meet rising customer service demand by automating key portions of your customer service process, allowing you to concentrate more of your resources on expanding.
Overcome Typical Barriers To Growing Your Business
While expanding your eCommerce company is not easy, you may achieve more if you are aware of the typical difficulties and know how to address them.
Examine your company and the outside influences preventing you from successfully expanding your firm.
Plan and seek dependable platforms to assist you in addressing scaling-related difficulties so your eCommerce firm is better positioned for expansion and success.
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