ecommerce scale

How to Scale an E-Commerce Store (or Reselling Business)

What do you think of when you just scaled your e-commerce store or reselling business to half a million dollars in revenue?

“I’m doing great!”


“I could have done more!”

These represent two different mindsets and many belong to the second group even despite some early success.

Here we hash out some common mistakes as well as ways to improve in order to scale your e-commerce store.

Order more inventory

For an e-commerce or reselling business, if you find your products out of stock then you’re probably sending your customers to your competitors.

The reason for not ordering more inventory is generally related to cash flow management.

Yet, if you don’t get the balancing act right between healthy cash flow and having enough inventory, it will turn out to be a loss of money, because of all the sales you might miss.

Cash flow

In the beginning, all the money you make in e-commerce should be invested back into your business.

There are different ways to have a healthy cash flow:

a) Find a good manufacturing partner that lets you negotiate payment terms.

b) Don’t compete on price. It slams your margins. Instead…

c) Use premium prices by building a premium brand and premium product. Better customer support. Better customer experience.

d) Invest in design. This contributes to giving a premium brand feeling to your customers, as well as building trust and confidence.

A marketing agency won’t solve your acquisition problem

This doesn’t mean agencies do not do a good job.

It means that you can’t completely outsource your customer acquisition and expect to have a great business.

Build an internal marketing department.

Systemize and delegate

If you think you’re the only one that can do a task, it’s going to be tough sledding and there are only so many hours in a day.

Delegate admin stuff to your team members, and spend your time on revenue-driving tasks.

Launch more products

The fisherman with twelve fishing poles will beat the one with two fishing poles.

An easy way to scale is simply by offering more products.

More products means more opportunities to cross-sell and upsell.

As well as more opportunities to tap into more audiences who each have different needs.

Have an effective upsell strategy

Upsells are important to get your AOV higher.

The most aggressive ones show you 3 or even 4 upsell options before you’re able to pay for the product you added to the cart in the beginning.

This “straight-for-the-jugular” approach may work to increase the average order value.

However, it can sometimes add too much friction to the sales process, lowering conversion rates.

There are alternatives, like the system that Athletic Greens follows.

They go for the upsell after you have completed the purchase, and it only shows up in your account.

Here’s a screenshot of how their upsell strategy looks:

upsell strategy

This comes with some benefits:

A smoother experience

Trying to upsell before the checkout is complete adds more friction to the process. And it increases the risk of users abandoning the cart.

You don’t risk being ‘the aggressive salesperson’

Asking for the upsell after the purchase can make the user feel more comfortable with your brand.

Removes the risk for the user to add to the carts’ unwanted items

Should you or should you not try it? It depends.

There are pros and cons to each – we just wanted to make sure you have this idea in your marketing arsenal.

Be careful on overly aggressive upsells

When we’re not working on this newsletter, we’re taking deep dives into some of the world’s most successful brands.

During these deep dives, we often come across strange tactics being used by multi-million dollar brands.

Tactics like this one, which caught our eye six months ago:

Creating overly aggressive upsells.

Look, upsells are good. If there’s another product that goes well with the one your customer’s ordering, you should tell them about it.

But many e-commerce companies cross the line. They bombard the user with so many upsells that it’s difficult to check out with the products they were originally trying to get.

This tactic adds so much friction that users drop the process entirely. Here are three examples we’ve found:

  • LadyBoss: When we tried to make a purchase, we were met with an infomercial-looking upsell page. Only upon scrolling past a big, bright pink button did we find minuscule text reading “no thanks” to continue with the order.
  • Snow: We were hit with 6 individual upsells when we ordered from Snow. In a clever move, they do this after the purchase. But, it’s obnoxious and immediately erodes trust with your new customer.
  • Goli: Similarly to LadyBoss, you can’t complete a Goli order without hunting for tiny, “no thanks” text to avoid a big upsell.

These brands all upsell, which is great. But there’s a big chance they went too aggressive and could find a better balance.

Remember: Most people will drop off if they find your purchase process too difficult. Find that fine line…

How to Get Press for Your E-Commerce Brand

When we dug into interviews with over 180 e-commerce entrepreneurs, we found out that getting press is second place in the most common channels to get customers for e-commerce brands.

So of course, we also distilled the tips to increase your chances of getting press, since this is not a channel where you can just make an account and run ads, like paid social.

Here are some key lessons:

Prepare content for the journalist

This way they have to do as little work as possible to publish a piece about your brand.

You don’t need to be a huge established brand

You need an appealing story or a product that catches people’s attention.

Give the press what their readers want.

Getting writers and journalists to respond to you can be hard, but being persistent pays off

The founder of Clever Travel Companion spent hours reaching out to hundreds of writers and bloggers to get press coverage.

It was a lot of hard work, but 75% of their $50,000 in monthly revenue comes from press reviews.

Going local helps

The founder of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce got success by promoting his entrepreneurial journey to local news networks in Northeast Ohio.

In addition to what we saw, Snow, an oral care brand leverages giveaways and celebrity endorsements to get press coverage.

This gives publications two reasons to write about you: Your brand and the celebrity. Or your brand and the free products readers could get.

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