Scaling Dilemma: Do You Need an eCommerce Agency?

If your eCommerce business is growing fast, scaling becomes quite the dilemma. When your brand is in a rapid growth phase, clients and employees need more and more support, but your time and resources are increasingly limited. 

Filling these gaps and cracks and achieving growth with minimal pain is vital for all brands. So, you might be wondering if it’s worth to hire an eCommerce agency for help scaling. But more concerns to come:

Should I build up my own ability first instead of having an eCommerce agency on board to take care of everything?

Working with an eCommerce agency is an investment in your business. Take it from us. We’ve been in the rapid growth phase before, and yes, we definitely think it’s a good idea. 

Here are the top three reasons you need to work with an eCommerce agency to overcome your scaling dilemma. 

The gap between US eCommerce and top global players

 

First, let’s take a look at some of the most recent global eCommerce statistics.

Because of the internet boom and demographic dividend, Chinese eCommerce has grown rapidly in the past 10 years. By the end of 2020, almost half of all retail sales were eCommerce sales. 

In contrast, the US eCommerce penetration is only 1/3 of this number. 

In terms of the big gap between the US and Chinese eCommerce, at this point, catching up to competitors is the most urgent challenge. 

US brands and sellers shouldn’t just focus on penetration growth but also on category expansion. 

For Amazon Prime Day 2021, the top-selling products were in electronics, health and nutrition, and home and kitchen categories. But, more categories are waiting to be developed and offer a unique opportunity for sellers. 

For example, grocery is a trending business in China. Especially after Covid, the demand for online grocery shopping has surged. As a result, more and more platforms and investors are exploiting this opportunity. 

Since there’s a big gap between Chinese top brands and their US competitors, US sellers can take advantage of being some of the first adopters for new eCommerce niches. 

US brands and sellers who join the game early and learn fast will get the best opportunity to grow. In addition, having a professional eCommerce agency onboard could significantly shorten the learning period and help brands grow and scale quickly.

Brands usually don’t foresee the potential difficulties

During our recent conversations with partners and clients, we’ve uncovered a common problem US brands are facing:

They don’t have enough experience in this game yet to realize what kind of difficulties they’re going to come up against when scaling an eCommerce business. 

When an inexperienced business grows fast, they may find themselves leaking cash all over the place. But they’re unaware it’s happening. 

Simply put, you don’t know what you don’t know. 

But having support from a professional eCommerce agency could save your business hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars when you’re starting to scale. 

Here’s a personal anecdote from one of our clients:

Before Prime Day, the seller suddenly found their Amazon Partnered Carrier service button disabled from their Amazon seller backend. 

Ruh-roh. 

Our client had already packed all the products with labels outside the boxes. However, they didn’t know how to send products to FBA by themselves, and they needed to solve this problem ASAP to get replenishment on time. 

If not, they were gonna have a serious out-of-stock problem on Prime day. 

After getting their panicked message, the Oceanwing team followed the process developed by Anker’s 10-year experience and solved our client’s problem in 12 hours. 

We analyzed the problem first, then designed three solutions that worked in parallel:

  1. Opened a new case with Amazon and asked for help

  2. Found an independent truck service as a backup plan for the delivery

  3. Created a new listing to see if the Amazon Partnered Carrier service button reappeared 

In the end, we connected with the Amazon support team and resumed the Amazon Partnered Carrier service within just 12 hours. The seller successfully replenished their stock on time.

Cost optimization is key to business growth

Getting the best use of your budget and keeping your costs low is vital for any business when scaling. Unfortunately, brands can find increased costs everywhere —from advertisement to logistics, marketing to customer service, and more.

An eCommerce agency can help efficiently manage your costs in a short time. But, more importantly, you can take advantage of this opportunity to learn the cost optimization strategies fast. 

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Advertisement costs on Amazon have increased 50 percent after Covid-19 — compared to early 2020.

Managing ads in an experienced, strategic way isn’t easy. Often, the total cost to build an in-house team dedicated to ads is much higher than outsourcing it to a professional eCommerce agency. 

Logistics

Logistics is also a complicated matter for sellers. Since it’s a long process, from packaging to delivery, you have to manage it strategically. You also have to make sure you get replenishment on time to meet your Amazon sales. 

For example, we helped a client take care of their logistics. 

After carefully calculating their FBA management, we helped them get hundreds of thousands of dollars in reimbursement from Amazon per month through appropriate logistics planning.

The role of an eCommerce Agency: The big picture

The 4A big advertising agencies have excellent track records of helping clients spread their brand messages. These legacy agencies are highly experienced and act as the bridge between brands and customers. 

Along with the fast growth of online retail, the eCommerce agency industry has become another essential component of the agency industry overall. As a result, more and more players have joined the game. The services range from software, consulting, advertisement, logistics, operation, full-cycle management, and more. 

What’s the primary role of an eCommerce agency?

We believe both platforms and brands aren’t well prepared to adapt to the new normal. Unlike traditional big legacy brands like Walmart or Costco, who’ve already established a winning process to pick the best products that customers love — the new eCommerce platforms like Amazon and Shopify are still forming their own rules of the game. 

Meanwhile, smaller brands are trying to catch up to new trends and transition from offline business to online. But there’s still a long way to go to work out all the kinks and details. 

An eCommerce agency acts as the lubricant connecting platforms, brands, and customers and filling the gap between them.

 

The eCommerce agency of the future

There are hundreds of eCommerce agencies out there. However, partnering with one that’s a good fit for your brand can be challenging. 

Based on Anker’s success experiences, we believe that the full-cycle management and an operational-based eCommerce agency is the one that can truly help brands. Only when you fully understand the business can you plan for the long-term and scale successfully. 

Ready to scale your business? Reach out to us today, and let’s make pain-free growth happen for you

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