The eCommerce market has exploded over the past decade, and the pandemic has only propelled it further at a record rate. Globally, the industry will approach $5 trillion this year, as the online retail sector is overtaking traditional retail at the hands of buzzing digital shoppers. For those looking to compete in the industry, there has never been a better time.
If you’ve successfully set up your store and now want to expand your online presence, there are several ways to go about it. Granted, scaling your business is hard, and it does take considerable effort, but the benefits and profits will ultimately make it worthwhile.
While there are numerous ways to grow a business quickly, only several core strategies will make a real impact on your bottom line. Below we will look at some of those strategies to explore the best ways you can expand your eCommerce store.
Tap Into New Territories
Sometimes, a new opportunity for expansion lies in a new market. If you’ve done the research and identified potential buyers in other countries, you can adapt your approach to those local markets.
One of the best ways to dip your toes in the water is to find an established eCommerce platform and use its expert knowledge to develop a suitable strategy. The booming world of Asian eCommerce has given rise to platforms like Rakuten that have over 100 million active users - and they offer guidance for new retailers joining the platform. You can look over the Rakuten seller fees and conditions, and set up an informational chat to explore the opportunity.
Target New Customer Markets
Alternatively, you can target these countries by offering them your products directly from your website. This is not as simple as arranging international shipping. It will require a more active marketing strategy, localization of your website, and the shopping experience. Since you’ll be catering to a completely new persona, you will need to speak their language, both literally and figuratively, to convert them into customers.
Diversify Your Offering
If you’ve built a solid customer base, the next step for you might be diversifying your offers. You can do this by identifying which additional products and services your customers want and how you can offer these at an optimal price.
Executing this is undeniably challenging, so you should conduct thorough market research before dedicating your resources to the expansion. You can survey your customers, look at what your competitors are doing, and dive into market demand to identify new opportunities in your niche. Ultimately, you should find out how you can create additional value in your exchange.
Sell More Products to Your Existing Customers
If you think you can extract more value from the interactions with your current customers, you may not want to focus on diversification. Instead, you can penetrate deeper into your customer base. You can start by doing a market segmentation analysis to identify customer segments that have a higher probability to buy so you can focus your sales and marketing efforts on them.
Another effective strategy is upselling. If you collect data about the services or products your customers love, you should double down your promotion efforts and try selling related items and accessories. Or, you can motivate more purchases by offering discounts, coupons, or loyalty rewards. Not only will your customers get more attractive deals, but they will also likely be more attracted to your products in the long run.
Partnerships or Acquisitions
Strategic partnerships with the right companies can help you swiftly reach a large number of customers and so expand your presence much more easily. This is one of the easiest and most affordable strategies for expanding your business. Identifying these potential partnerships may not be as easy in practice, but you should look at companies with offerings complementary to yours and contact them to explore the opportunity.
Sometimes, a better course of action might be acquiring these businesses as a way to grow your own. If you come across competitors or businesses in other industries that complement yours, you can use their platforms to scale quickly.
Expansion of your eCommerce business is a time-consuming but worthwhile investment. To formulate an expansion strategy, it’s crucial to understand who your customers are, what they want, and explore the opportunities that can bring value to them.
Some of the approaches you can take include exploiting new opportunities, either through international platforms or by targeting new customer markets, diversifying your offerings, selling more products to your existing customers, and turning to partnerships or acquisitions.
If you focus on building sincere value for your current and future customers, you will likely realize long-term benefits.