So you’re thinking about expanding your online business? Congratulations! That means you’re doing well enough to consider tackling new challenges and opportunities in the mall. At the same time, you need to make well-informed strategic decisions before you take such a big step.
Consider these questions:
- What’s my current stress deliverable level? Expanding an online store requires extraordinary focus and often draws a store owner’s attention away from daily operations and toward future concerns.
- Do I have access to expansion capital? You may need funds to cover your inventory efforts, hire additional employees should you start making incredible sales on the mall platform.
- Will I need to purchase personal laptops for my employees to enable them monitor and accept new orders and monitor available quantities? You may need to plan for a comprehensive upgrade such as this to expand your business processes as your store becomes successful on the online platform.
If you think your business can address these challenges, here are some proven expansion strategies to consider.
- Add a new store to support another growing category. Build on the knowledge you’ve acquired about your unique customers — their needs and buying preferences. If your competitors aren’t serving your prospective customers well or a competitor store does not have a rich variety of products, this may be the ideal new strategy for your online business to expand.
- Before taking any concrete sales expanding action, do some in-depth market research. You need to thoroughly understand the potential obstacles that your online store may face. For example, is there a significant pool of fake products in the category you hope to sell from? What about your product sourcing methods? Are your wholesale partners or manufactures reliable?
- Develop a new sales plan. Your goal in expanding your online business is obviously to grow sales, which is fine as long as your inventory and fulfilment strategy can support it. Is your existing sales process through the mall flexible enough to accommodate a sharp increase in order growth? Can your offline team (suppliers and sourcing partners) adequately cover a whole new demand, or do you need to take on additional workers or source for more manufactures/wholesale partners? Are you connected to a reliable network so you are up-to-date and technologically responsive to new orders and inventory monitoring?
- Grow your range of offerings on the online platform. As an online seller, you should avoid the “trap” of providing only one product. You have to be dynamic and ask yourself questions like: what new and different ways can you serve your prospective customers? Are there logical extensions of what you currently offer that can be redefined, designed and produced?
- Explore new markets as your online business may have great awareness in the mall, but what’s involved in expanding that awareness to a much larger market especially when you start placing ads on the mall’s homepage and social platform? Can you handle the sales growth? Before moving ahead, assess how much overlap there is between the customers you serve now and those you’d like to serve in the future.
As an online seller, you should know that when your business has reached a certain level of growth, expansion is the logical next step. Opportunities for future growth on the Konga Mall are plentiful, so long as you plan ahead in a practical, rational and knowledgeable way.
Another key element in your online sales strategy is the existing structure for your goods or services. An anticipated jump in sales due to this growth should prompt a re-examination of your prices (refer to our earlier training tutorial regarding price increase. Also, never undervalue your products), as well as your purchasing arrangements with suppliers (more business from you might present an opportunity to negotiate lower rates with them).