I have been running www.la-gent.com for last couple of years and we have seen great growth and press coverage. I still have another source of income consulting 3.5 days a week so all profits are re-invested in the business.
The question I have is about scaling up. We still have quite low traffic. 2k-3k visitors a month although sales is growing strongly and should be on course to almost hit a six figure sum in 2017. At the moment I can't see a clear way to scale up quicker beyond the usual process of buying more stock, spending a bit more on PPC and incremental improvements ( we are currently re-designing the website) however this is very time intensive and means it can't support staff as every spare dollar goes back into the business.
In my mind, we need to be 15X the visitors we have, 10X the SKU's but the only way of getting there quicker is capital. Traditional investors are out of the question as they are so herd minded, chasing the same flavour of the month. Also while I would like it to be as big as possible, I think the ceiling for a business like this in the long run is a mid sized company: £10-£50M p.a. All VC's are interested in are billion dollar disruptors!! Banks are so conservative and I am not sure a company like ours supports crowd funding.
Does anyone have any advice? I would love to hear from someone who 'has been there, done that'
Great post! Thanks for sharing.
My $0.02 is, Shopify is the best out of the box platform to get set up and running with a legitimate ecommerce store. Even if you're not tech savvy. But they also have good infrastructure to scale. They have an amazing partnership integration so you can get partners to help you execute tasks directly in their wheelhouse, i.e., advanced subscription options. We just attended Unite 2018 and got the skinny on some of their new features. Be pumped!
Anyway we blogged more about this here if you're interested: https://bit.ly/2y8tPcc
Hope that helps! Good luck.
Awesome discussion. It’s a question our clients ask us all the time. How can small retail companies scale without getting caught in the trap of fulfillment?
You might try running a test to take an indication of interest
If you are uncertain how popular your product will be, or you just want to get an idea of how popular it will be so that you can plan ahead your inventory, a simple solution is to create an MVP landing page to presell your items.
This is similar to the concept of preordering, where customers get a chance to be on the list ahead of everyone else, before an item goes on sale to the generic public. This tactic gives you an accurate picture of how much inventory you need to have in preparation, not just for those who preordered, but also for future potential sales based on popularity.
Find a way to make your offering extra special for the customers, like exclusive early bird prices on a time limit to encourage your customers to make that purchase. What’s more, try creating an email marketing campaign specifically for those customers, not only to notify them that their products are on their way, but also for future campaigns too.
BOTTOM LINE: If you can’t test it, you can’t measure it; and if you can’t measure it, you can’t optimize it.
We blogged about this earlier today, and if you want to read more, enjoy: https://bit.ly/2OhF0Do
Good luck and happy selling!
To convert a visitor into a customer, it is important to retain and attract them for maximum time which requires a healthy sales funnel. Make sure your business has engaging visuals for your product and killer product descriptions. Catalog management for your site also works which not only boosts sales of your products, but also offers a better shopping experience to your customers. I partnered with Springbord for my ecommerce buisness, their experts were of great support in improving my sales. You could check them out- https://www.springbord.com/industry/e-commerce/