After years of rapid growth, e-commerce has become a crowded market in nearly every sector.
To stand out, you have to be willing to bet on yourself.
And nothing empowers you more than having the cash on hand to capitalize on unexpected opportunities as and when they arise.
From optimizing your operations for optimal ROI to getting ahead of the curve with marketing and advertising, there are ways to use e-commerce funding to take you wherever you want to go in your business.
Today we’ll cover 17 ways to use e-commerce funding to achieve significant and sustainable growth for your business, beyond financing your inventory or bridging short-term cashflow gaps. If you’re ready to hit the next level, you’re in the right place.
Powerful Ways to Use E-commerce Funding
- Strengthen your inventory acquisition with data
- Launch your brand in a new territory
- Power up your advertising to increase conversions
- Test profitable new marketing tactics
- Invest in experts for SEO, social media, and more
- Get ahead with first-party data
- Optimize your website with A/B testing
- Double down on content marketing
- Launch a loyalty rewards program
- Invest in your own logistics
- Optimize your sales with new technologies
- Get more out of Amazon
- Research new products to launch
- Launch new products
- Offer new payment options
- Expand into a new audience segment or customer channel
- Acquire another brand (or optimize yours to sell)
1. Strengthen Your Inventory Acquisition with Data
Financing inventory may be a given in e-commerce, but a truly data-driven approach can be the differentiator you need to get (and stay) ahead of the competition.
- Data-driven inventory management helps you pinpoint when and how much inventory to reorder, keeping you free from costly stockouts and overstocks.
- By keeping your finger on the pulse of product demand you can move quickly to replenish inventory on your bestsellers.
- With real-time insights into your supplier network, you can stay a step ahead of supply chain disruptions to protect your margins and keep the right products in stock.
With access to flexible e-commerce working capital, you can act on inventory data in real time, rapidly replenishing your inventory and keeping your sales momentum strong without having to wait for your accounts receivables to catch up.
While your competitors grapple with increased storage fees and tight cash flow due to excess inventory, you’ll keep moving right along, winning more new and repeat purchases by consistently stocking the right products at the right time.
2. Launch Your Brand in a New Territory
Consumers are more comfortable than ever with purchasing products from anywhere in the world. PayPal reports that nearly half of all shoppers around the globe make international purchases, and data from McKinsey predicts that the total value of cross-border e-commerce merchandise will more than triple its current value to reach $1B by 2030.
Ambitious merchants can use e-commerce funding to:
- Branch out into new global marketplaces — for example, from Amazon.uk to Amazon.com or offering Buy with Prime as a DTC brand.
- Launch a completely new storefront optimized for the language and culture in new territories.
- Establish relationships and favorable terms with local suppliers.
- Secure expert tax, legal, and accounting advice for a smooth and profitable expansion.
Cross-border expansion doesn’t have to slow your growth. Flexible funding can help you make the leap into a new market, even when you have other initiatives underway. And it’s how brands like sustainably-sourced Icelandic Glacial Water expanded into thirteen new markets around the globe during a major capital funding raise.
3. Power Up Your Advertising to Increase Conversions
Today’s consumers are savvy — they expect more than overt “hard sell” tactics. Buyers want authenticity. 69% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalized experiences.
Some of the most impactful ways to use e-commerce funding to elevate your advertising include:
- Testing new ad strategies like TikTok Spark Ads, streaming ads, podcast sponsorships, and cutting-edge personalization technologies.
- Elevating your strategy to a 360 approach with unified promotions across several advertising channels simultaneously.
- Optimizing your ROI on existing ad channels by bringing on new tools and platforms that provide deep analytics to help increase your conversion rates.
Services like those from Google Ads-to-Amazon solution Ampd can help sellers create guided paths from display ads to purchases using high-intent keyword research. Tools like Perpetua can help brands take a more data-driven approach to advertising by centralizing buyer behavior data across platforms for more holistic and meaningful insights.
The opportunities are endless. Whether your approach is to try out some of the powerful new platforms available, level up your current approaches, or do both at the same time — the right e-commerce funding can help you create a smoother and more immersive path to purchase.
4. Test Profitable New Marketing Tactics
One of the great and terrible things about e-commerce is that there are always new marketing strategies to explore.
With the rise of social commerce and live shopping experiences such as Amazon Live, modern merchants now have the opportunity to turn shopping into entertainment programming, while engaging directly with customers.
The growth opportunity here can’t be ignored — Forbes reports that live shopping experiences have 10X higher conversion rates than traditional marketing.
But how do you know which new tactics will be most effective for increasing your sales?
Here are some of the latest approaches to consider:
- Elevate your influencer marketing strategy to take an increasingly active role in driving online purchases by posting product-centric content and linking items in places like Amazon Storefronts and Like to Know lists.
- Partner with influencers or other brands for live shopping collaborations on Amazon Live or other channels.
- Get creative with product marketing via curated bundles to increase average order value or subscription boxes for consistent revenue and deeper customer data.
With cash on hand, you can test profitable new marketing tactics and reap the benefits of being an early adopter, without sacrificing your existing operations.
5. Invest in Experts for SEO, Social Media, and More
In the beginning, it can make sense to take on all the things yourself. But as the business grows, the resources required to maintain a strong brand presence can become too much for one person.
Research by leading content marketing and SEO platform Semrush found these to be the very reasons companies outsource their marketing activities as they grow. Lack of expertise topped their list, followed by not enough resources and the need to scale.
When your best efforts aren’t yielding the results you need, it’s time to turn to the experts. With e-commerce funding, you can keep your operations running while you:
- Hire a pro photographer to elevate your product imagery.
- Partner with specialized e-commerce agencies to improve your branding and customer experience.
- Link arms with an expert SEO who can boost your rankings on key product pages for increased traffic and conversions.
With competition on the rise, it’s critical to keep your brand as sharp as possible as you scale.
Whether it’s elevating your platform, social media presence, or product branding, chances are high that there’s an expert out there who can bring you greater ROI with a lot less effort.
6. Get Ahead with First-party Data
The impending cookiepocolypse may have serious implications for retailers. Forbes reports that 85% of marketers in the US consider first-party data a high priority and 75% feel the same in Western Europe.
In a cookieless future, you’ll need to look for new ways to collect first-party data for insights that help shorten the path to purchase for online shoppers.
Here are some of the ways e-commerce funding can help you get ahead with first-party data:
- Invest in lead generation to increase registrations from new and potential customers.
- Offer a warranty or product registration to new customers.
- Improve your customer feedback and reviews process.
- Create custom questions via surveys and polls.
By building stronger connections with your fans and customers, you can stay in the driver’s seat with customer data, transforming shopper behavioral insights into increased sales no matter what happens next with privacy laws.
7. Optimize Your Website with A/B Testing
The shopper experience is a key competitive differentiator for growing brands and a major determiner of success in e-commerce. But when was the last time you audited that experience?
A/B testing is a tried-and-true way to optimize your site for peak shopper experience and the increased conversions that come with it.
Those that do it effectively can reduce friction along the buyer journey and achieve important revenue-driving benefits such as higher return on ad spend, reduced customer acquisition cost, increased conversions, lower cart abandonment rate, and ultimately more sales.
E-commerce funding can help you keep your sales on track while optimizing your website as you’ll have the working capital needed to:
- Partner with an external expert or agency with a proven track record in high-conversion site optimization.
- Switch to a more robust e-commerce platform.
- Invest in headless technologies to offer a more immersive experience for shoppers.
- Upgrade your web copy and product images.
At some stage, it’s inevitable that you’ll outgrow the site or platform that you started with.
But A/B testing can take time and resources. Flexible e-commerce funding can help keep your business moving while you work through those improvements.
8. Double Down on Content Marketing
Customers love content. The average buyer interacts with 3-5 pieces of content before they make a purchase decision.
Many brands have even reached the $1M mark (and above) based solely on the power of organic content. Content marketing has even been proven to generate 6X higher conversion rates on average for about 60% of the cost of display ads or TV and radio spots.
But the content landscape is fiercely competitive. To stand out, you’ll need the right experts and resources.
To make the most of your brand’s content marketing efforts, you can tap into the power of e-commerce funding to help you:
- Hire an expert e-commerce content marketing agency with a proven track record of success.
- Assemble a team of expert freelancers, such as SEO specialists, content writers, video editors, and social media experts to execute your strategy
- Launch a user-generated content campaign to secure eye-catching creative assets to use in future content.
- Optimize your existing content with better messaging and product imagery to increase your conversions.
By setting aside time and budget to double down on high-quality content, you’ll be able to increase conversions and customer loyalty despite increased competition.
9. Launch a Loyalty Rewards Program or Customer Appreciation Event
Customer loyalty is more fleeting than ever.
McKinsey reports that 77% of consumers have tried out new channels, stores, and brands since the pandemic.
Even household names like Sephora, Starbucks, and The North Face are actively prioritizing loyalty programs to drive repeat sales. If you’ve been thinking of launching a loyalty program, now is a great time to make your move.
E-commerce funding can help by providing the extra resources you need to:
- Create a competitive customer rewards program.
- Launch a customer appreciation campaign or event.
- Offer exclusive discounts and rewards for loyal VIP customers.
As the world of commerce becomes increasingly digital, brands can no longer assume customer loyalty.
Whether you’re planning a points-based, tiered, or fee-based rewards program, the results of these initiatives can have a positive impact on your bottom line.
10. Invest in Your Own Logistics
If you’ve been anywhere near the world of e-commerce in the past few years, you know how challenging inventory and supply chain management can be.
With pressure to deliver faster, merchants who have the ability to take control of their logistics will almost certainly come out ahead.
Bringing your logistics in-house not only gives you complete control over your end-to-end buyer experience but also allows you to see and resolve issues in the last mile of your supply chain without the delay of going through a third party.
With the right e-commerce funding strategy, there are plenty of ways to invest in your own logistics — for example, you could:
- Purchase your own warehouse.
- Invest in localized warehouse locations.
- Partner with a co-op of sellers to secure cost-effective storage and logistical systems.
- Expand your supplier base.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good your PPC, ranking, or influencer marketing strategy is — if you don’t have the product in stock, you’ve lost the sale.
Major retail brands like Article and Lulus are actively reducing shipping times and boosting customer satisfaction by bringing logistics in-house — and with the right funding strategy, you can too.
11. Optimize Your Sales with New Technologies
The e-commerce industry has long been ahead in the race to run technology-driven companies and there’s no sign of stopping.
But the playing field is getting fiercer as automation, data analytics, AI and Web3 become table stakes for running a business. To reach the next level, e-commerce brands need to continually invest in new technologies that power advanced capabilities.
With the right e-commerce funding behind you, you’ll be able to futureproof your business by investing in the following:
- Headless commerce capabilities for an elevated customer experience
- Increased SEO optimization and A/B testing for better conversions across channels
- Omnichannel tools to increase your sales and total market share
- Inventory and ad automation tools for better inventory/sales alignment
And that’s just the beginning. Companies willing to take the leap and become early adopters are best positioned to stand out in crowded markets. For example, UK lifestyle, home, and fashion retailer Cath Kidston recognized this imperative at the start of the pandemic, leveraging flexible financing options to digitally transform their business and turn over 85% in global sales.
12. Get More Out of Amazon
From filed claims, requested refunds, tracked inventory reports, and more, Amazon provides its sellers with mountains of feedback. But are you making the most of that information?
To grow your brand and enhance your Amazon profitability, you need to invest in the right tools and strategies.
A well-planned e-commercing funding strategy can help you:
- Make sense of your Amazon data by investing in tools that automatically generate insights and even file FBA reimbursements on your behalf.
- Save time wrangling manual reports and processes so you can focus on strategic priorities (like product development and marketing).
- Automate your backend sales management processes allowing you to focus on the front-end buyer experience to increase sales and revenue.
Platforms like GETIDA can instantly analyze your data, reconcile your inventory, and file claims to earn maximum FBA reimbursements on your behalf. Tracking these documents and processes manually is both challenging and time-consuming. Investing in tools that do this for you automatically saves you money and widens your margins. Bookmark the SellersFi Amazon Resources Hub for quick reference to answers and info about all things Amazon.
13. Research New Products to Launch
Product development strategies based on guesswork are much more likely to miss the mark.
When it comes to finding out what customers really want, it’s critical to go straight to the source. One of the best ways to do it is with consumer focus groups — a session (typically 1-2 hours in length) during which you ask customers questions about what they want from your brand.
With the right e-commerce funding, you’ll have the time and resources needed to get the most out of your focus groups. Here are a few tips to help you do that:
- Keep your groups small — 8-12 people is the ideal range.
- Stay on topic — Know your goals for the session and don’t let the discussion veer off track.
- Be open to new ideas — Customers may have great product ideas you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of.
- Collect feedback formally — Use surveys to collect data during your focus group that you can analyze and use later to make decisions.
Your customers are undeniably your best source for profitable product expansion ideas. Taking a professional approach to product research puts you one step ahead of the brands that spend too much time reinventing the wheel and not enough time asking shoppers what they want to see from your brand.
14. Launch New Products
There is a multitude of benefits to launching new products for your e-commerce brand, including the ability to expand into new markets, increase revenue opportunities, reach higher sales volume, secure greater market share, and more.
But new product development is often a heavy lift.
Strategic sellers are using e-commerce funding to finance their new product launches and create new revenue opportunities without impacting their existing momentum.
With the right funding strategy for your new product launches, you can:
- Effectively promote your new product without reducing your ad budget on existing bestsellers.
- Tap into the power of product bundles and/or subscription boxes (a market expected to grow by a staggering 68% by 2025).
- Enlist an army of influencers to boost your pre-launch sales and guarantee new product success.
Anyone who’s been in the game long enough can tell you that the success of any new product launch is directly proportional to the amount of time and resources invested during the research and planning stages. The right e-commerce funding helps increase your odds of success without cutting corners on your existing growth strategies.
15. Offer New Payment Options
Did you know that simply adding PayPal as a payment option can result in 2.8X higher conversions and a 19% increase in unplanned additional purchases?
There are dozens of online payment options available and preferred options vary by geographic area and age group (among other factors). For example, SEPA, a popular payment method in Europe, was found to boost conversion rates by a whopping 30%.
With a thoughtful approach to offering the right payment options, you can use e-commerce funding to optimize your store in several ways:
- Offer multiple purchase options such as Venmo, PayPal, Buy with Prime, or even cryptocurrency payments.
- Increase your conversion rates and AOV by offering buy now, pay later options like Affirm or Klarna.
- Optimize your store for one-click checkout to increase your conversions.
To drive growth now and in the future, merchants must stay in tune with the latest payment options shoppers crave. And the results for your business can be greater than you imagine.
For example, when lump sum payments became a sales barrier for Diamond Whites Aligners, the team turned to SellersFi’s flexible working capital to help them offer new customer payment options and keep the sales flowing. Since then, the dental care brand has experienced a staggering 110% growth rate.
16. Expand into a New Audience Segment or Customer Channel
Expanding your audience is one of the surest ways to grow your e-commerce brand.
Start by identifying who your new potential audiences are. This could be an emerging demographic group you see represented in your sales data or a brand new audience for a brand new product.
No matter how you approach your audience expansion strategy, there is a single rule of thumb to follow — meet your customers where they are.
Here are some of the ways flexible e-commerce funding can help you connect with shoppers in a new audience segment or sales channel:
- Use data-driven technologies to pinpoint emerging audience segments and capitalize on early momentum.
- Pinpoint the sales channels they’re already using and design a strategy to reach them there.
- Launch targeted campaigns to build brand awareness in the right shopper communities and channels.
With the right insights and funding, you’ll be ready to execute a plan for growing your brand across multiple new channels.
This could even mean taking your digitally native brand into the world of brick-and-mortar.
For example, SellersFi customer CROSSNET obtained enough capital to fulfill the largest wholesale order in the brand’s history. This meant that their popular volleyball-meets-foursquare game would now be available in Sam’s Club stores across the US.
They partnered with SellersFi to set up invoice factoring, manufacture the upfront inventory needed, and expand their business to include large B2B orders.
17. Acquire Another Brand (or Optimize Yours to Sell)
Acquiring a new brand can be a smart way for growing merchants to rapidly expand into new markets and customer segments, securing additional revenue streams without the massive time and resource commitment.
Here are some of the ways e-commerce funding can help you acquire a high-growth brand or optimize your own to sell:
- Maintain your existing operations while you pinpoint and negotiate the right acquisition for your brand.
- Fine-tune your product portfolio to optimize sales on your best-sellers to make your brand more attractive to potential buyers and brand aggregators.
- Amplify your marketing to boost your revenue growth rate and increase your valuation.
Companies like Fortunet can help you identify high-potential brands worth buying, or secure the highest aggregator bid for the business you’re selling. To make sure you’re well-positioned to grow, you’ll also need a healthy amount of working capital to rely on while you process your acquisition.
Smart Ways to Use E-Commerce Funding: Integrated Financial Solutions to Help You Grow
Investing in e-commerce has proven time and time again to be a smart move. But if you’re like most sellers, you’ve already waited far too long for traditional lenders to get the memo.
At SellersFi, we’re changing the way brands scale by providing fast, flexible e-commerce funding solutions purpose-built for every growth scenario. Whether you’re looking for a quick capital injection to help you stay in stock or strategically using your store’s data to optimize for peak sales and profits, we can help.
Unlike traditional loans, our Working Capital solution provides credit limits of up to $10 million in 48 hours or less. You only pay interest on the amount you use.
When it comes to growth, we want to keep DTC brands, B2B sellers, and marketplace merchants in the driver’s seat. With us, you keep 100% of your equity with no impact on your credit score.
The only question left is — where will you take your business next?
Register today with no commitment and learn more about how our funding options can help you scale your way.