Thinking about selling your eCommerce business? While most eCommerce business owners will focus on the timing of their sale, many will overlook the fact that they could be adding value while waiting for the day they sell.
eCommerce is changing by the day, which means if your business doesn’t already have a buyer — you need to be consistently managing its value. Even though it can be difficult to put time into a business you already know you want to sell, it’s possible to get a much higher price with the right online strategy.
To help get you on the right track, we’re here with 5 simple tips on how to get the best possible price for your eCommerce business, without overextending yourself.
Implement strong branding
A strong brand image is a key component of just how valuable your eCommerce business is. Especially online, image is everything and without a brand image that signifies good reliability and great customer service — the price you get for your business might disappoint you.
If your branding has developed over time, it’s always good to revisit it with fresh eyes. Some good ways to ensure your current brand image is offering value include:
- Conducting a fresh SWOT analysis
- Examining your messaging (this includes getting outside feedback)
- Revisiting your company values and mission
- Evaluating if your visual branding needs to be updated
- Conducting fresh market research
Once you’re confident that your branding is on point, crafting brand guidelines to maintain this image can be helpful. Also known as a brand style guide, brand guidelines can be considered as an additional asset for potential buyers if approached correctly.
Potential buyers will be interested in everything from the customer personas you’re targeting to the tone of voice that works best for you. Therefore, having clear documents in place with this type of information can be highly valuable.
If you employ staff, your business’s new owner will also need to manage this staff effectively. Brand guidelines can also help create a clearer path for new owners to better understand the role of marketing departments and other in-house teams.
Taking over an established business can seem stressful — so use this as an opportunity to make it seem as easy as possible. For some potential buyers, a straightforward changeover could be priceless.
Note: If you’re looking for a quick sale, changing elements of your brand at the last minute can confuse potential buyers. If you don’t have enough time to build up your brand image over a more extended period, consider a small refresh instead.
Invest in a good website
This one might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many eCommerce business owners only view their website’s income as being significant. In fact, there’s several things about your website that potential buyers will take into account.
For example, what eCommerce platform is your website currently using? Platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento (now Adobe Commerce) have already made a great name for themselves, but the same can’t be said for all eCommerce platforms. Be aware that if a buyer sees a need to switch platforms due to unreliable performance, they’ll likely see your business as a headache rather than an opportunity.
Other areas of your website to consider before setting your price includes:
- Can the performance of your website be improved?
- What level of traffic is your website attracting? (Buyers will want to see insights)
- Who is currently managing your website/ are backups available?
- Is your website up-to-date? (Don’t make it seem like you’ve already checked out)
- What tools have you already invested in/ are they the right ones?
Increase social media engagement
Your overall digital strategy will be of huge importance to a potential buyer. This is why being able to highlight its success wherever possible will instantly make your business seem like a more attractive purchase.
A large volume of traffic for eCommerce websites comes through social media. This is why building up your social media channels and stockpiling analytics at every opportunity is essential.
In particular, potential buyers will want to see analytics that includes social media engagement and how paid ads work for your business. If you already have a strong brand image (as we’ve already discussed), you might already be in a good position.
If your social media channels could be doing better, a potential buyer will likely do some deep-diving to find out why. This is why it’s also important to avoid the temptation to buy followers for your channels before a sale — trust us, buyers will know the difference!
Evaluate your brand through social listening
Following on from the previous point, it’s important to be aware that potential buyers for your eCommerce business will be looking to uncover as much as they can about your business. This will include discovering exactly what people are saying about you and where they’re saying it.
This is where social listening comes in. As a business, you need to be able to go to where your customers are and make a note of both good and bad feedback about your business. This way, you can avoid any issues that might compromise your value.
To leverage social listening even further:
- Pinpoint key individuals who could be potential advocates for your business
- Use it as an excuse to also find out what people are also saying about your competition
- Repurpose testimonials to showcase positive feedback about your business
- Identify key areas of your business people struggle with and focus on finding solutions
Build up relationships with suppliers
Building up strategic partnerships with those within your industry is incredibly important. It can validate the position of your eCommerce business, while also giving buyers a sense of the reputation you’ve established. That said, it’s often your relationships with suppliers that buyers will be most interested in.
Buyers want to know that the business they’re taking over is as stable as possible. They’ll also want as little disruption as possible during changeover. If you already have suppliers that you’ve built up good relationships with, buyers will feel more secure in the risk they’re taking.
In some cases, potential buyers might want to meet suppliers before finalising a purchase — making good rapport with suppliers even more critical.
Some tips for maintaining good relationships with suppliers:
- Pay on time (potential buyers will also be interested in any outstanding bills!)
- Be fair whenever there’s issues – sometimes your suppliers’ hands really are tied
- Maintain regular communication
- Conduct yourself in a professional manner
- Once your business is for sale, assure suppliers that they’ll be recommended to your new buyer
How Ireland Website Design can help
As a full-service web design agency, we offer digital solutions to help your eCommerce business stand out in a crowded market. As well as elevating your business through high-performance web design and development, we also support your online business with services that include:
- Digital marketing
- Software development
- Consulting & strategy
- And much more!
With all the latest knowledge of eCommerce platforms, integrations, and tools for efficiency — we help you connect your business to the right audience and grow your business at every level.
If you want the best price for your eCommerce business, Ireland Website Design is a great place to start. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you!