How to Become a Profitable eCommerce and Digital Brand
According to Statistica, 58% of the global internet users made a purchase on an eCommerce brand’s website in 2016. The total number of online shoppers and internet users are both set to grow in the coming years. In this article, we cover eight recommended tips to help you build the profitable brand you’ve always dreamed of.
The internet becomes more widely saturated around the world every day. This causes people to increase their online shopping because it allows for an easier customer experience. Along with that, changing trends and consumer preferences are changing the scope of consumer eCommerce. As time progresses, buyers have busier and busier schedules and are in need of convenient shopping.
More Than What Meets The Eye!
That’s not all when it comes to changing patterns for eCommerce. Wireless and mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, can be taken anywhere and accessed at any time. And as they become more popular, consumers are using them to shop online since it is more convenient for them.
The eCommerce boom is upon us. If you’re still not convinced, here are some statistics from a 2016 Forrester Research that prove this point. By 2020, it has been predicted that overall consumer spending will increase to $523 billion. eCommerce sales are expected to rise each year at an average rate of 9%. Lastly, the overall number of browsers and shoppers using mobile devices, along with others, will rise.
With that said, investing in the eCommerce market may be of interest to you. Although, launching a brand and creating a website is just one step of a long process. Unless you put in some strategies across the brand to make it profitable, you won’t reap the benefits.
Plus, the global marketplace for eCommerce brands is highly competitive. Based on this fact, it’s easy to say that differentiating your brand and making it lucrative is difficult. However, you don’t have to be stuck in this situation.
If you want to become a profitable eCommerce or digital brand, you can by implementing a couple of things:
- A well-thought-out marketing strategies
- Increase the efficiency of internal operations in your company.
So what does this involve?
First of all, making any business profitable, whether it’s digital or not, is a continuous process. It needs constant strategic interference and close monitoring to continue earning profitable revenues. This helps you stay competitive in the marketplace.
Besides products and/or services that address the consumers’ pain points and solve a problem, you need a combination of strong financial planning and comprehensive branding and marketing tactics to become profitable.
To help you out in your venture, we have gathered some easy tips that will enable you to create an eCommerce or digital brand that earns you the deserved revenue.
Position your Brand the Right Way
The only way your brand will earn its share of revenue is by making sure they know your offering exists in the market. Along with that, you need to take a unique strategy to take a stance and solve a relevant problem your audience faces. If your offering fails to do so, your brand will become irrelevant.
This is why marketing experts from every industry will tell you to conduct a thorough analysis of your target audience and then find ways to position your brand. For instance, if your eCommerce store sells stationery, consumers might have a brick and mortar store nearby they could go to.
You need to differentiate and connect with the audience to compel them to choose your brand over any other. You need to craft a brand story that gets the core message of who you are as a brand across to the consumers. When consumers are able to relate to the brand, they’re more likely to go forth and give it a try.
For example, the reason many people trust and value Amazon, the largest digital brand, is that they solve a unique problem for their target market. Similarly, Emily Weiss of the brand Glossier used consumer perspective and grew her brand from a blog to a respectable name in the beauty industry.
Conduct an In-depth Audit of your Entire Business
Internal business audits are necessary to make sure all SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and other business processes are followed through and in control. In-depth audits done internally don’t just involve going over your financial records. These internal audits are essentially objective consulting activities that are used to evaluate and improve a number of business processes.
These audits go over revenues, purchase and expenditure records, payroll, inventory, treasury, liabilities, and fixed assets. They analyze the data from these sources to identify control breakdowns and losses.
You can find patterns that lead to loss of money. For instance, you might be spending money to advertise on platforms that don’t drive any traffic for your brand. Or you might not be earning more due to insufficient maintenance of your website. An internal audit will bring these concerns to your attention.
This helps to plug these points of losses and ensuring that all SOPs are under control. This consequently helps increase the profitability of the organization.
Effectively Manage Your Cash Flow
Cash flow is one of the most crucial pieces of financial information your company has. You can consider it the lifeblood of your digital or eCommerce brand. Cash flows entail the details of where you earn and spend money each month. Regardless of the kind of business you run, you need cash to cover expenditures.
Managing your cash effectively might not have a direct impact on your profitability but it will impact other areas of business that can make the difference. For instances, you will be able to pay liabilities and expenses.
Furthermore, cash flow management allows brands to limit their dependence or reliance on external sources when they’re looking into expansion. It allows brands to control their expenses and ensure they have enough resources available when they need it.
When it comes to earning more profit, it doesn’t just happen overnight. You need a contrived plan and roadmap to help guide you where you set out in the beginning. You can create the most strategically sound marketing plan and create an exceptional customer service strategy, but if you don’t have the budget to bring them to life, you will be out of business in no time.
Without a budget, your company will lack guidance on which direction you need to turn to make your brand profitable. From payroll to marketing expenses and product innovation, different business processes require resources. If you have a budget at hand, you will know what adjustments you need to make to avoid incurring losses.
As an additional bonus, sharing components of the budget with your team allows them to set goals for their tasks. Knowing their limitations, it will become easier for them to create actionable plans.
Business Growth Planning
Unlike business plans, growth plans are short-term and focus on smaller aspects of revenue growth. Having a business growth plan in place enables businesses to keep track of their organic revenue growth.
Business growth planning allows you to have a closer look at problem areas and the strategies required to mitigate the risk of losses. Having a clear view of where you stand, you can implement immediate changes and allocate resources to stay profitable.
Growth plans come to aid especially when there’s a certain event that disrupts the industry. For example, when there was a sudden rise of mobile shoppers, many eCommerce brands that did not have websites optimized for mobile devices suffered.
Growth plans focus on such customer-centric drivers of revenue generation and lay out agile strategies that allow businesses to adapt to incoming changes without going off the profitable track.
This article is not just targeted at brands that don’t earn any profit. We recognize there are brands that might be earning profit already but it is nowhere near the potential they have. The solution to this problem comes down to how you use the time to earn profits.
There are only 24 hours in a day, which means that maximizing your brand’s profitability depends on choosing activities and strategies that earn the most profit within that time. Regardless of whether you sell products or services, if you invest time in low-profit earning activities, you will miss out on possible untapped opportunities.
You need to consider whether there are any suppliers, costs or business process that might be interfering with your ability to generate the most amount of profits. This also included cutting off or limiting clients that are not profitable.
It’s understandable that a client might value your service for their money. However, you need to focus on clients that are worth your time and don’t have requirements that hurt your profitability.
While maximizing profitability, you also need to consider the short and term. In most circumstances, short-term revenue is easier to earn and hence, tempting. This is why you need to implement strategies that address both.
Charging the Right Price
In many instances when eCommerce or digital brands lack business experience, the company ends up losing money in the beginning. One of the main reasons for this is the use of an unprofitable price structure.
Besides the direct costs of material and labor, companies don’t factor in indirect costs that impact the profitability of the finished product. You need to factor in both material and time to come up with a price that truly represents the worth of the product/service.
If you charge too much, you lose the chance of getting more customers. On the contrary, if you charge too little, you end up losing money rather than earning it. In these situations, there are a few things you can do.
Firstly, you can try to bring the breakeven point down. This is where an in-depth audit and re-evaluation of the production cycle comes in handy. Secondly, you can raise your prices. Depending on the industry and kind of product/service you offer, a 5% to 10% increase in price can improve profitability.
In the end, ensure the price you set isn’t just market competitive but earns you a profit to keep your brand running.
You will hear the word benchmarking used quite frequently among the leadership of organizations and marketing experts. This is because it is a process that can benefit a company in many ways.
If you were not aware, the process of benchmarking is essentially comparing your organization with similar companies that perform better. The whole purpose of this is to find areas and opportunities for improvement within your company to increase your profitability.
While there are various metrics that companies consider while benchmarking, but Gross Margin, Days Sales Outstanding, and Capital Expenditures are the most important ones. You can use these or other key performance measures to compare with industrial benchmarks.
Comparison with other company’s standards is not necessary as you can compare recent results with ones collected during a time of high-profitability. This way, you can figure out what worked in your favor and whether it’ll work in the present and improve your profitability.
In conclusion, these tips are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to increasing your profitability. Being an eCommerce or digital brand, there is a whole world of marketing initiatives, production improvement, distribution channels, and much more that can help you earn more revenue.
You can start here by pondering the above-mentioned tips then make your way through to grab more profit-increasing opportunities. Just remember to take your time, avoid taking short-cuts, and staying consistent with your efforts.