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    July 19, 2021
    6 minute read

    Drew Lewis of SMNutrition: How We Quickly Scaled Our Ecommerce Program and Doubled Our Gross Revenue

    by: Drew Lewis

    When I first came to SMNutrition in 2019, the company was run by a very small team. We had 35 products, and most of the ecommerce platforms we were working on did not even have our full SKU count.

    But what we had going for us was that we were agile — and we were generating a lot of revenue. At the time, we faced a big question: Did we want to continue riding this wave, or did we want to see how big we could grow the brand?

    As a group, we decided that we wanted to grow. But it quickly became apparent that if we continued working as we had been — with no set processes and no centralized source of data — then we wouldn’t be able to scale.

    My name is Drew Lewis, and I’m the COO at SMNutrition. When looking for a solution to help us grow, my research showed that Salsify was easily the top-shelf option.

    We considered a less expensive software that would satisfy our most basic needs, but the more we thought through the issue, the more we realized we would not be able to scale without a solution like Salsify.

    We were ultimately proven right, and after adopting Salsify, we’ve been able to scale to an extent we hadn’t previously thought possible.

    Building Workflows To Scale

    In the early days of the company, there just weren't any systems and processes. Everything was done on a manual, ad-hoc basis. This approach resulted in inefficient collaboration, no single source of truth for product information, or any way to track changes to past content.

    We have a very talented team. But regardless of how talented your team is, if you don't work within a system, you won't be able to fully maximize those talents. Salsify lets us build a system that helps the team's talents shine.

    For a time, we tried a piecemeal approach where we used different systems alongside Salsify. Our creative team initially used Trello alongside Salsify, but they quickly realized that this approach had limitations.

    When we brought everything under one roof, our efficiency skyrocketed.

    Now our workflows and processes are very well-defined. The commerce experience management (CommerceXM) platform enhances collaboration and efficiency and allows us to do our job the best that we can.

    Having the ability to define tasks in the order that they need to happen, have the tasks go through multiple reviews — and have that all maintained in one system — has allowed us to build truly efficient workflows that make scaling possible.

    Added Ecommerce Growth Without Added Work

    Initially, we had just 35 products, and our own website didn’t even have all 35 products listed. Only Amazon did. I was brought on to manage the ecommerce platforms, but the expectation was that I would spend all day manually checking and updating individual listings. We quickly realized that we wouldn’t be able to scale with this approach.

    We wanted to add additional products to our catalog and launch in additional marketplaces. However, if we’d done this with our existing methods, we would have needed a whole team to manage it across platforms. Salsify plugged right in and allowed us to supplement this manual process using workflows and syndication. It accomplishes what otherwise would have required a lot of time and additional support to accomplish.

    Salsify has also enabled us to be more flexible with our content. We’ve gone through many internal audits to ensure we’re compliant with the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission. We are also continually reviewing and revising content to ensure we mitigate risk.

    Without Salsify, we would have had to weigh each compliance project against the time it would take to update all listings across every platform manually. Salsify takes that hurdle away and helps us tackle these large-scale projects.

    Weighing the ROI of Ecommerce Platforms

    The advice I’d give other companies looking for a solution to scale with is to measure the return on investment (ROI) continuously. You don’t want to overinvest, so if you can scale at the same rate with two different solutions, you obviously go with the cheaper solution.

    But if you cannot scale at the same rate with both, then you really have to weigh if the additional cost of Salsify is worth the expected growth. That’s ultimately what made the decision for us. We asked ourselves if we could grow as quickly as we wanted to with a cheaper option — and the answer was no. So we decided to make the investment, and Salsify has paid extreme dividends for us.

    More Growth To Come

    With the help of Salsify, we’ve now grown to over 70 products. We’re currently selling on Amazon U.S., Canada, and U.K. — as well as Walmart, eBay, and our own website. And we’ll soon be launching on Amazon in Germany, Italy, France, and Spain.

    We’re launching four products every month, so we’ll have more than tripled our SKU count by the end of the year. And since implementing Salsify, we’ve more than doubled our gross revenue.

    Without Salsify, it would have been difficult to launch products at scale, and our ceiling would have been capped. Salsify gets rid of those limitations and allows us to scale as quickly as we want.

    Learn more about building a successful ecommerce team, and download our helpful job description templates to launch your search.

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