How to grow an ecommerce business

How to grow an ecommerce business

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“Have I paid that vendor yet?” you ask yourself as you sort through the dozens of invoices you’ve received this month. Definitely not the way you wanted to spend your Friday afternoon.

As your small business grows, manually managing accounts payable (AP) processes becomes more challenging, time-consuming and error-prone.

Enter accounts payable software. These platforms can automate processes like invoice management and payment processing while syncing to your accounting software to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

This article offers an overview of the six best accounts payable software solutions for small businesses so you can find just the right platform for your needs. We’ll also give you a list of the features you should look for when choosing a platform, plus tips for how to make your decision.*

Financial admin eating up too much of your time? We can take it off your plate

Automate your accounts payable processes with Juni and free up your day for more impactful work.

Sign up for free

*The information about all the platforms discussed in this article was collected between 9 January 2024 and 11 January 2024. This article was written and approved by Juni and is intended as marketing material.

Accounts payable software comparison: The best solutions available

Sage Intacct
SAP Concur
Automated invoicing/ payments
Accounting andfinancial software integrations
Flexible financing options
Analytics and reporting features

6 features to look for in accounts payable software

Whenever you’re researching software, whether that be an accounts payable solution or inventory management platform, you need to be clear on what functionalities your business needs. So before we get into our list, here are some features you should prioritise when selecting accounts payable software:

  • Invoicing automation features: This includes payment scheduling and auto-fill for payment details so you can spend less time on AP processes.
  • Auto-pull and matching to transactions: You want the platform you use to pull in your invoices and automatically match them to payments to reduce your manual work.
  • Simple international transfers: If you work with international vendors, you want to make sure it’s easy to pay them (and that the transfer fees are low).
  • Integration capabilities: The platform you choose should integrate with whatever accounting tool you use, as well as your storefronts and other software.
  • Financing options: As a small business, cash can get tight, so look for AP software with financing options to ease your cash flow.
  • Mobile app: You may not be at your desk when you want to check the status of an invoice payment, so find a platform with a mobile app that gives you visibility wherever you are.

6 top accounts payable software platforms

Let’s take an in-depth look at our list of software. For each platform, we’ll list its features (as well as its limitations), explain how pricing works and point out what kind of business it’s best fit for.

1. Juni: Accounts payable (and much more) for ecommerce brands

Schedule invoice payments with Juni to make sure you never fall behind.

Juni’s platform for ecommerce entrepreneurs comes with automated accounts payable features that can help you run simpler, tighter and more accurate financial admin. With Juni, it takes just seconds to auto-collect, pay and even finance your invoices.

By collecting and scanning your invoices automatically, then pre-filling all the important payment details, Juni saves you time and reduces the risk of human error. You can also automatically import your receipts and invoices with your dedicated Juni inbox for effortless spend management, plus match receipts to transactions.

What’s more, if you need to reduce pressure on your cash flow cycles, Juni offers financing options for certain types of payments, giving you up to 120 days to pay.*

The platform goes beyond accounts payable features, also offering business accounts and cards, features to optimise cash flow management, powerful accounting automations, fast transfers and storefront integrations.

Most suitable for: Ecommerce entrepreneurs and small businesses

Our user reviews speak for themselves—we offer our customers quick and comprehensive support to help them make the most of Juni.

Key features

  • Invoice automation to auto-collect and pay invoices, as well as schedule payments in advance.
  • Dedicated receipt inbox for automatic imports and matching to transactions.
  • International transfers with low, transparent FX fees (up to 0.5% for accounts payments and 1.5% for credit card payments) and multi-currency accounts.
  • Accounting software integration with platforms like Xero, Netsuite and Fortnox, plus integrations with payment gateways, storefronts and other tools.
  • Flexible financing options to ease your cash flow.
  • ecommerce business solutions like expense management, business accounts and cards and data insights.
  • Mobile app to give you access to the platform wherever you are.
  • 24/7 live chat support.


  • Available to all industries, but built for ecommerce businesses primarily


Juni has two plan options:

  • Scale: 79€/month, a better fit for small business owners and costs
  • Prime: Bespoke pricing, geared toward larger organisations

You can try our Scale plan for free for the first 30 days.

2. Pleo

Like Juni, Pleo also integrates with various accounting software platforms, meaning all your data is connected.

Based in Copenhagen, Pleo is a business spending solution with built-in AP automation software. Pleo’s invoice management features make it easy to capture, process, approve, pay and bookkeep invoices in a central location. With over 50 supported currencies, Pleo users can seamlessly pay vendors across the world.

Most suitable for: Companies that need to pay invoices in several currencies

Key features

  • Automated invoice processing for less manual work and fewer errors.
  • Real-time payment status updates for increased transparency.
  • 50+ supported currencies for international payments.
  • Instant data exports to simplify reporting.
  • Mobile app to give you access to the platform wherever you are.


  • No financing options


Pleo has three plan options:

  • Starter: Free for up to three users
  • Essential: 45€/month when billed monthly, 3 users included and up to 12.50€/month per additional user
  • Advanced: 89€/month when billed monthly, 3 users included and up to 14.50€/month per additional user

3. Spendesk

Spendesk’s accounting software integrations means no more manual data entry.

Spendesk is a spend management platform with accounts payable features like invoice automation and approval workflows, giving you greater control over the invoicing lifecycle and your AP processes. By using Spendesk, you can minimise (or eliminate) manual data entry for your invoicing processes, plus get real-time insights into your spending patterns.

Most suitable for: SaaS, tech and fintech companies

Key features

  • Invoice automation for streamlined processes and time savings.
  • Real-time spending insights for better budget control.
  • Approval workflows to reduce risk and stay ahead of excess spending.
  • Integrations with accounting systems for more efficiency and accuracy.
  • Mobile app to give you access to the platform wherever you are.


  • No financing options


Spendesk doesn’t list its pricing options, so you’ll have to reach out to sales to get a quote

4. Sage Intacct

Use Sage Intacct to automate invoice management, significantly reducing your AP processing time.

Sage Intacct’s cloud-based invoicing software helps small business owners and finance teams automate invoice management with the power of AI. For example, simply upload or email an invoice, and the software will automatically extract details and populate fields for your approval. The platform can also detect duplicate invoices, helping you stay in control of your expenses and avoid costly errors.

Most suitable for: Businesses that need powerful analytics tools

Key features

  • AI-powered AP automation and duplicate invoice detection for increased accuracy.
  • Real-time payment tracking for better cash flow management.
  • Recurring invoices settings so you never miss a payment.
  • Advanced reporting, metrics and analytics features for in-depth financial insights.
  • Mobile app to give you access to the platform wherever you are.


  • Not available in all EU countries (for example, not available in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden)


Sage Intacct has three plans for its accounts payable software. All plans come with three months free:

  • Accounting Start: £14 +VAT/month for a single user
  • Accounting Standard: £28 +VAT/month for unlimited users
  • Accounting Plus: £36 +VAT/month for unlimited users

5. SAP Concur

Automate supplier invoices and get more time back in the day with SAP Concur.

While SAP Concur isn’t specifically designed for small businesses, it’s still a good fit for solopreneurs and SMBs looking to automate their AP processes. The platform automates invoicing processes, meaning you can pay suppliers quickly without constantly having to double-check invoices and complete transactions yourself.

Most suitable for: Businesses with immediate plans to scale

Key features

  • Automated matching functionality to pair invoices with purchase orders and goods received.
  • Streamlined approval workflow to simplify the review process.
  • Accounting software integrations to automatically sync data across your tech stack.
  • Reporting dashboard with spend overviews for better financial insights.
  • Mobile app to give you access to the platform wherever you are.


  • Not available in all EU countries (for example, not available in Austria, Iceland, or Portugal)
  • No financing options


SAP Concur doesn’t list its pricing options, so you’ll have to reach out to sales to get a quote.

6. Visma

Pay invoices instantly with Visma eEkonomi.

Visma is the parent organisation for a number of accounting and invoicing solutions across Europe. It has designated products for 15 different EU countries, such as Visma eKonomi, its designated Swedish accounting platform. Visma eKonomi has basic AP features for paying vendors, but it has a range of other accounting features that can help you streamline your financial admin as a whole.

Key features

  • Centralised supplier invoicing to streamline your AP processes.
  • Recurring and automated customer billing for hands-off financial admin.
  • Integrations with popular banks, payment gateways and storefronts.
  • Access to Visma Spcs company card to sync all your payments to the platform.
  • Mobile app to give you access to the platform wherever you are.

Most suitable for: Small businesses in Sweden


  • No financing options
  • Only available in Sweden (though other Visma products are available across a range of European markets)


Visma platform prices range depending on which country you operate in and the Visma product you select. Visma eEkonomi has three plans that come with supplier invoicing features:

  • Accounting: 169 SEK/month
  • Smart: 249 SEK/month
  • Pro: 399 SEK/month

How to choose an accounts payable software platform in 4 steps

You can have all the software comparison guides in the world available to you, but if you aren’t intentional about your decision, you may end up choosing software that falls short for your needs. Here are a few steps you can take to help you make the right decision when selecting an accounts payable platform for your small business.

  1. Identify your challenges. Do you often make mistakes when transferring invoice data into your accounting software? Find yourself forgetting to pay vendors? The first step in choosing the right AP automation solution is to identify where you need the most help.
  1. List out what features are most important to you. Now it’s time to list out the must-have features you want in a platform. For example, if you know you need to make payments in various currencies, ensure that’s a feature the software you choose offers.
  1. Set a budget. You want your AP automation solution to help you save money, not drain your profits. Set a realistic budget of how much you can spend per month and, whenever possible, try out a platform for free before signing up.
  1. Consider scalability. You’re a small business now, but you might have plans for growth. So take time to investigate whether the software you choose will be able to scale with your business.

Minimise financial admin and focus on growing your business with accounts payable software

By digitising the traditionally paper-intensive process of handling invoices and payments, AP software is not only more efficient than manual processes, but also minimises the possibility of errors, like a missed or incorrect payment. Having more visibility over invoices, due dates and your general spending patterns can help you maintain tighter control over your financial operations.

But to get the most out of a platform, you need to make sure you’re choosing the right one for your needs. For example, if you run an online storefront, you’ll want to choose a solution like Juni that has the specific needs of ecommerce entrepreneurs in mind.

By choosing a software solution that’s a good fit for you, you’ll make your business more agile, resilient and competitive. Meanwhile, you’ll get back more time in the day to focus on what you most love about running your company, whether that’s marketing your product, interacting with customers or finding ways to scale.

Financial admin eating up too much of your time? We can take it off your plate

Automate your accounts payable processes with Juni and free up your day for more impactful work.

Sign up for free

*Juni Invoices is available for EU-based companies only. Media financing is available for companies registered in NL, SE, DE, FR, ES, IT, FI and NO, upon eligibility. Fees and terms and conditions apply. Click here for more details.

Frequently asked questions about accounts payable software

What is accounts payable automation software?

Accounts payable automation software helps businesses manage and track the money they owe to suppliers, vendors and other parties. Essentially, this type of software helps business owners and finance departments handle their payment processes by recording invoices, tracking due dates and organising information.

How do you keep track of accounts payable?

While you can manually manage your accounts payable process, this approach can be time-consuming and error-prone. A better way to keep track of accounts payable is by using specialised accounts payable software that tracks and pays your invoices for you.

Can you automate accounts payable?

You can automate accounts payable processes by using specialised software. These platforms handle a number of tasks, including:

  • Invoice recording
  • Payments and transfers
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Data sharing with accounting platforms

"Only six more to go," you tell yourself as you upload yet another receipt to your accounting software. We all know the pain of searching for receipts across emails and platforms and trying to match them to expenses.

This becomes even more challenging the larger your business becomes and the more vendors you have to pay. You can avoid most of that frustration and wasted time with the right spend management software.

But not all spend management platforms will be a good fit for your business. For example, digital commerce companies need solutions that take into account sector-specific expenses like ad receipts and multiple platform payments, while small businesses need tools that simplify their financial admin, not complicate it.

This article takes a look at the six best spend management software solutions so you can find just the right platform for your needs. We’ll also give you a list of the features you should look for when choosing a platform, plus tips for how to make your decision.*

Spend less time on spend management

With real-time spend overviews, receipt matching automation and powerful integrations, Juni will make you forget what a hassle managing your expenses used to be.

book a demo

*The information about all the platforms discussed in this article was collected between 17 January 2024 and 19 January 2024. This article was written and approved by Juni and is intended as marketing material.

Spend management software comparison: The best platforms available

SAP Concur
Zoho Expense
Quick Books
Spend overviews
Receipt matching
Virtual cards
No, but you can connect your corporate cards to the platform
No, but you can connect your corporate cards to the platform
No, but you can connect your corporate cards to the platform
Multi-currency accounts
Mobile app

6 features to look for in spend management software

Before taking a closer look at the tools on our list, here are six features your spend management software (also known as expense management software) should come with:

  1. Spend overviews: You want whatever solution you choose to pull all your transactions onto one intuitive dashboard.
  2. Receipt management: Having a platform that autocollects, uploads, scans and matches receipts will save you hours on financial admin.
  3. Virtual cards: The ability to create multiple virtual cards means you can have complete control over employee spending and where it takes place.
  4. Multi-currency accounts: If you’re paying vendors across various countries, you’ll want to have access to accounts in different currencies.
  5. Customisable permissions and controls: If you’re not the only person who will have access, make sure the platform you choose lets you control who’s spending what and where.
  6. Integration capabilities: The solution you choose should integrate with whatever accounting tool you use, as well as your storefronts and other software.

Bonus: Look out for spend management platforms that come with built-in accounts payable and invoice automation features, which will help you centralise your financial admin and save time.

6 top spend management software solutions

Now, let's explore the solutions on our list in depth. For each platform, we’ll list its key features (as well as its limitations), explain how pricing works and point out what kind of business it’s best fit for. 

1. Juni: Spend management software for digital commerce brands

Juni spend management software
Juni gives you a clear overview of your monthly spend and allows you to create unique virtual cards for designated expenses. Source

Juni helps businesses in digital commerce manage their cash flow, track their expenses and optimise their profits with features that are specifically designed with ecommerce companies in mind. 

While it’s not specifically expense management software, you can use the platform for your spend management needs. Juni's goal is to give everyone in digital commerce, from the CFO to the accounting team to marketing managers, everything they need to focus on business growth.

Juni’s expense management features are especially valuable for users who have multiple receipts coming from different media buying channels and online transactions. With Meta and Google Ads integrations, plus powerful receipt matching, expense management suddenly becomes easy. On top of that, you can also manage your unpaid invoices and accounts payable processes within Juni, bringing your financial admin under one roof. 

All of this comes with easy access to media and inventory financing for up to 2 million EUR, helping you free up your cash flow and grow your business.*

*Juni Invoices is available for EU-based companies only. Media financing is available for companies registered in NL, SE, DE, FR, ES, IT, FI and NO, upon eligibility. Fees and terms and conditions apply. Click here for more details. 

Most suitable for: SMBs and mid-market companies in digital commerce

Key features 

  • Real-time spend overview that draws from your bank feeds, credit card transactions and other accounts so you can easily keep track of expenses in one place. 
  • Receipt inbox so you can automatically import receipts and invoices, plus match receipts to transactions. 
  • Virtual cards with group and user permissions to help you categorise your company spending and get better control over your expenses. 
  • Flexible business credit lines on cards with interest-free financing. 
  • Multi-currency accounts so you can spend in the currency that makes the most sense while also immediately grouping all transactions in each currency. 
  • A range of integrations with accounting platforms, storefronts, bookkeeping tools, banks and payment gateways. 
  • Mobile app so you can manage your expenses wherever you are. 
  • 24/7 live chat support so you can always make the most of the platform. 


  • Available to all industries, but built for ecommerce businesses primarily


Juni has two plan options: 

  • Scale: 79€/month for up to three users
  • Prime: Bespoke pricing with custom terms for businesses with 3M+ EUR AR

2. SAP Concur

SAP Concur spend management software
Minimise manual financial admin with SAP Concur. Source

SAP Concur helps you streamline processes to deliver efficiency savings, with a focus on eliminating manual data entry, lost receipts and unclaimed VAT refunds. As such, it’s best suited to larger organisations. The platform helps you reduce the risk of human error and compliance issues with automations, plus the software can identify potential mistakes and discrepancies in real-time. 

Most suitable for: Larger and enterprise organisations

Key features 

  • Receipt capture and submission via a native app to eliminate manual entry. 
  • Automated expense rules for business-wide consistency and fewer errors. 
  • Syncs with data feeds from banks, credit cards and some third-party businesses to give you a holistic view of your finances. 
  • Automatic expense review processes for less manual financial admin, freeing up your team to focus on growth. 
  • Smart dashboard with real-time insights so you can track expenses against budgets. 


  • Not available in all EU countries


SAP Concur doesn’t list its pricing options, so you’ll have to reach out to sales to get a quote.

3. Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense spend management software
Get a clear overview of how much you’re spending on the Zoho Expense dashboard. Source

Zoho Expense is the business expense tracking app from the Zoho suite of business tools, which means it integrates with Zoho’s other financial management apps. It’s a reasonably priced platform suited to handling all aspects of expense management and reporting for SMBs. Zoho Expense automatically records expenses from receipts, simplifying and automating the expense reporting process. 

Most suitable for: People already using other Zoho products (namely Zoho Books)

Key features 

  • Receipt scanning via iOS or Android devices to eliminate the need for manual entry.
  • Automated expense reporting with receipt matching to reduce human error and time-consuming processes. 
  • Ability to pull in credit card feeds and automate reconciliation for enhanced accuracy. 
  • Simplified and automated approval processes for a quicker workflow and increased overall efficiency. 
  • Built-in purchase requests for more control over expenses, ensuring employee spend aligns with budget. 


  • While Zoho Expense has a UK-specific version, users in many EU countries must use the generic global version of the software 


Zoho Expense has three plans for its spend management software:

  • Free: £0 for up to three users
  • Standard: £7/month per active user when billed monthly (unlimited users)
  • Premium: £10/month per active user when billed monthly (unlimited users)
  • Enterprise: £12/month per active user when billed monthly (unlimited users)

4. Expensify

Expensify spend management software
Filter your expenses into records of transactions, receipts and documents for a clear view of exactly what your business is spending. Source

Expensify is a spend management solution for keeping track of business expenses on the go. Most of the expense management functionality can be done on your phone, while a series of handy integrations help to automate and streamline processes around uploading and allocating receipts. Plus, it’s easy for employees to create and submit expense reports for quick reimbursement. 

Most suitable for: Small businesses with lots of employee expenses

Key features 

  • Receipt scanner in the native app to reduce manual entry and human error. 
  • Expensify CorporateCard for automated expense tracking, with cash back and custom limits. 
  • Custom approval workflows for expense policies that fit your company’s unique needs. 
  • Integrations with Sage, QuickBooks, Xero and Oracle to simplify taxes and financial admin. 
  • Receipt integrations with Uber, Trainline, The Parking Spot and more so every employee purchase is tracked digitally. 


  • No extended financing options on the Expensify CorporateCard


Expensify has two plans:

  • Collect: £8/month per active user when billed annually 
  • Control: £14/month per active user when billed annually 

5. QuickBooks

QuickBooks spend management software
QuickBooks gives you a clear overview of your cash flow, expenses, profit and loss, invoices and sales. Source

One of the many features of smart accounting software QuickBooks is its built-in expense management tool. There are obvious advantages to expenses being handled via your accounting platform, like how easy it is to claim business expenses for tax purposes. And when you connect your bank to the platform, QuickBooks automatically matches and organises your receipts to transactions. 

Most suitable for: Businesses who want more comprehensive accounting tools built into their spend management software

Key features 

  • Automatic organisation and matching of receipts to transactions for less manual input. 
  • Connect your bank and credit card feeds for greater visibility over your spending. 
  • Instant expense sorting into the correct tax category to simplify your tax processes. 
  • Ability to email photos of your receipts to your QuickBooks account or upload via the mobile app. 
  • In-app collaboration with your accountant with real-time figures, giving you a clearer picture of your expenses. 


  • Does not have a built-in credit card with financing options


Quickbooks has five plans:

  • Self-Employed: £10 +VAT/month for a single user
  • Simple Start: £14 +VAT/month for a single user
  • Essentials: £28 +VAT/month for up to three users
  • Plus: £38 +VAT/month for up to five users
  • Advanced: £90 +VAT/month for up to 25 users

6. Fortnox

Fortnox spend management software
When you use the Fortnox Company card, all purchases and receipts are automatically recorded on the platform. Source

Fortnox is a cloud-based accounting software platform based in Sweden that helps businesses manage their accounting and bookkeeping processes, as well as other financial admin like spend management. Users can take photos of receipts and instantly upload them via a mobile app, and the platform automatically fills in date, amount and VAT.  

Most suitable for: Businesses that operate in Sweden

Key features 

  • Automated receipt handling and matching for fewer manual processes and reduced risk of error. 
  • Fortnox Company card that integrates seamlessly with the software and can be used just about anywhere. 
  • Real-time expense tracking for visibility and forecasting, helping you and your team stay under budget. 
  • Broader accounting and payroll features to consolidate financial admin and keep your processes under one roof. 
  • Mobile app for easy uploads of receipts, plus payment collection and salary features. 


  • No extended financing options
  • Designed primarily for Swedish businesses, so it may not suit companies in other countries


Fortnox has three plans:

  • Fortnox Bas: 199 SEK/month
  • Fortnox Standard: 299 SEK/month
  • Fortnox Plus: 399 SEK/month

How to choose a spend management software

The information in this guide can help you make your decision, but ultimately, you need to factor in considerations about your business and its needs when choosing a platform. Here are three things you can do to ensure you’re choosing an ideal solution. 

Find the right platform for your business size and industry 

As you’ll notice from the list above, different software solutions are more suitable for different business industries and sizes. For example, Juni is spend management software built with the needs of ecommerce companies in mind. So when researching a platform, pay close attention to what type of business (big or small, ecommerce or SaaS) it’s best suited for. 

Do a cost-benefit analysis

While it shouldn’t be the only factor that guides your decision, you can’t ignore pricing when choosing a solution. You need to find a healthy balance between a platform you can afford (and doesn't go over budget) that still gives you all the key features and functionalities you need to run smarter, more efficient financial admin. 

Research how the solution can grow with your business

You may be a small business now, but if you have plans of scaling in the future, you want to make sure your expense management solution can scale with you. Juni, for example, caters to both SMBs as well as mid-market companies, meaning we can provide the solutions you need from the time your business is founder-led to when it has 100+ employees. 

Get better control over your expenses with spend management software

While you can never remove expense management from your to-do list, you can find a platform that does most of the work for you. The best spend management software is one that not only simplifies financial operations but also contributes to strategic decision-making and the long-term financial health of your organisation.

To find a platform that does all that, you need to make sure you’re making your selection with the unique needs of your business in mind. For example, if you operate in digital commerce, you want to choose a solution like Juni that comes with ecommerce-specific capabilities, like features designed specifically for media buying and online transactions. 

So take your time finding the right platform—doing so can lead to significant time savings and valuable insights into spending patterns, helping you improve the overall financial health and success of your business.

Spend less time on spend management

With real-time spend overviews, receipt matching automation and powerful integrations, Juni will make you forget what a hassle managing your expenses used to be.

book a demo

Frequently asked questions about spend management software

What is spend management software? 

Spend management software is a platform or tool that helps businesses manage and control their expenses. This type of solution usually includes features for receipt management, expense reporting and approval workflows. Plus, these platforms often integrate with accounting software, as well as sync with banks and credit cards. 

What are the benefits of spend management software?

There are a number of benefits to using spend management software to control your expenses, including: 

  • Optimised spending for increased savings
  • Greater financial visibility
  • Compliance with budgetary restrictions
  • Time savings
  • Reduced manual errors

How much does expense management software cost?

The price of expense management software varies depending on the size of your business and what industry you operate in, as this will impact which platform you choose. Prices range from as low as £7 per month to almost £100, and some spend management systems also offer free plans to certain users.

Ecommerce is one of the most lucrative business ventures, and it's only going to grow in popularity in the coming years. In 2021 alone, retail ecommerce sales totaled approximately 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide, and it’s forecasted to grow by 50% over the next four years. This means that even though the market is fiercely competitive, there's plenty of room for more successful businesses to join the party.

Whether you're thinking of starting an ecommerce business or if you're in the early stages of your business, there are many methods, including affiliate, influencer, and social media marketing, which can be used for developing and growing your business. Having a strong foundation is crucial in this industry, so for the first part of this article we’ll dive into the fundamentals of starting and growing an ecommerce business. Then, after having covered all the bases, we will look at what the future holds for ecommerce, and how you can scale your business in the years to come.

What is ecommerce?

Ecommerce comprises all of the buying and selling of goods and services that happen over the internet. Since almost anything can be sold and purchased online, ecommerce has completely changed the way most businesses operate. During the global pandemic, it has also helped millions of businesses world wide by allowing them to continue their operations, which resulted in an unprecedented adoption of ecommerce in the day-to-day of both businesses and consumers. Due to the ubiquitous nature of the internet, ecommerce will continue to evolve and grow in the coming years, reaching an estimated global sales total of 7.9 trillion U.S. dollars by 2025.

The internet is empowering anyone to start their own ecommerce business, or evolve their existing business venture. Businesses can directly sell to consumers through ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, which has seen a 57% growth in 2021 alone, as thousands of new users joined their platform. The Business to business market segment also embraced ecommerce, as it allows companies to offer their services and wholesale products to other companies around the world. But it doesn’t stop there. In recent years, consumers have taken an active participation in the ecommerce industry. With consumer to consumer platforms such as Vinted and Etsy, as well as consumer to business marketplaces such as Fiverr, individuals can now sell their products and services online. It is without a doubt that ecommerce is changing business as we know it, and shaping its future.

Most buyers love ecommerce because they can make purchases anytime and from anywhere, making it a convenient option. This convenience is not only extended to consumers, however. The beauty of running an ecommerce business is that, in many cases, it can be done remotely, from anywhere in the world. And with convenience being a key incentive for progress and innovation, the process of operating your ecommerce business is being optimised by the day. It’s one of the reasons we started Juni actually. 

So, in order to get a piece of the ever-growing ecommerce pie, you will have to get started.

How, you ask?

Let us break it down.

Getting started with ecommerce

If you're just getting started with ecommerce, you'll have many factors to consider. You'll first need a good or service to sell. You can create a product or source products through wholesalers.

Before choosing a product, you'll need to do research. You want to make sure there's a thriving market for the product, but not so competitive that you can't be successful. A great way to do this is by identifying your potential customers and asking them about their needs and desires when it comes to a particular product. Take Korean Skincare, for example. The skin care industry is big and profitable, with several big companies dominating the market. Thanks to social media, it has become widely known amongst European and North American consumers that Korea is producing some of the best skin care products in the world. The European and North American big skin care companies, however, are not offering these products, meaning that there is a gap in the market for these niche products. By building an ecommerce business which is specialised in Korean skincare products, you can dominate and find success in a very specific niche.

After sourcing your product, you'll need to figure out how you're going to sell it. Will you go through a third-party platform like Amazon or Etsy or do you want to develop your own website? You'll get a wider reach with a large platform, but you'll get to keep all of your profits if you sell from your own site.

You'll need to build your business on a solid foundation. Your business can crash and burn if you scale before you're ready. Once you've got your business up and running, it's time to come up with an ecommerce growth strategy. You'll spend the majority of time on this step, as you'll always want to keep scaling your ecommerce business.

Scaling and growing your ecommerce business

Scaling and growing your ecommerce business allows it to thrive. Businesses that don't scale and grow will stagnate and may eventually go under. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, we'll look at some of the best ecommerce growth strategies and figure out how you can apply them to your business.

What is ecommerce business growth?

When you grow your ecommerce business, you are adding resources at the same rate as revenue is growing. You may be hiring more employees, increasing your stock and offering more products. Another way to scale is by improving and optimizing your business processes, which can be done via smart tools for fulfillment, customer relationship management, or finance management, to name a few. When done correctly, adding these elements to your business causes revenue growth.

What is scaling in ecommerce?

Scaling, on the other hand, is an accelerated form of growth that doesn't require the added resources needed to generate revenue. The business starts to get an exponentially greater amount of revenue with no or only a few additional resources.  

While growth is vital to a business, new or relatively new ecommerce businesses are often more concerned with scaling their business. The boost in revenue can help their company to get off the ground and they can then focus on growth.

Tips for scaling and growing your ecommerce business

While there is no magic formula that will guarantee you to successfully scale your ecommerce business, there are a number of tips which have been working for a lot of business owners out there. Some trends come and go, but the fundamentals remain the same:

Generate Brand awareness

When you're ready to scale, you can't just think about the products you're selling. You also have to think about your brand as a whole. You want people to know your brand and associate you with your industry.

You can build brand awareness in several ways, such as social media campaigns, generating press about what you sell, or strategic collaborations with other brands that are familiar to your target audience . Whichever way you decide to go for, it is important that you first develop a solid logo, a website and social media accounts.

At Juni we generate brand awareness by communicating about our product in a way which is unique and recognisable. We do this via our website, social media, and Google ads, as well as tailor-made content which delivers value to our community and anyone who might be interested in ecommerce. The very blog you are reading is one of these pieces of content, as sharing our knowledge and experience with people like you is an important part of the Juni brand.

Optimise your website

Customers today expect a lot from ecommerce websites. You need a robust website that can handle a lot of traffic without slowing down. It should be easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing. 

Since the majority of web traffic is now on mobile, it's vital that your site is optimised for mobile. You want customers to easily be able to find what they want, no matter what device they're using.

To make sure that your website ticks all the boxes, you can look into UI and UX design, or hire specialists to help you optimise your company’s online experience.

Finally, you want to make sure your website follows SEO best practises. SEO helps your business show up on Google, thus leading more people to your website.

Unleash the full power of Marketing

You can't scale your ecommerce business without a fierce marketing strategy. You can create a plan of attack on all fronts - social media, email, ads, as well as influencer and affiliate marketing. You'll also want to put most of your focus on one or two areas to begin with. Once you have mastered those, move onto the next. 

Choose to market based on where your target customers spend most of their time online. For example, if you sell sports supplements and you know that the majority of your target customers are frequent Instagram users, then creating an Instagram marketing strategy is the way to go. Start by creating content around things that would give your target audience value, like home-workout routines or smoothie recipes which they can make with your product. Pair this with an Instagram fitness influencer marketing strategy to create brand awareness and drive people to your channels. If people like the way you present your product and the content you produce then they will reward you with engagement, and in some cases, product purchases.

If you’re selling a more practical, generic product such as phone cases, then maybe SEO and inbound marketing is your winning marketing combo. Make sure to optimise your website content based on relevant keywords, so that when people search for ‘Iphone 12 case’ your website will show up as one of the search results. Pair this with long-form blog content which educates people about how to repair their broken phone screens which will drive further traffic to your website. If people like this type of content you can incentivise them to sign up for your email newsletter, which you can then use to market to them in the future.

It's also important to develop a sales funnel, especially if you're selling higher-cost products. Your sales funnel will be made up of a series of steps that consist of various marketing assets, for example, social media campaigns, landing pages and email. You want to market to all levels of your sales funnel so that you're continually driving customers toward a purchase. There are plenty of tools out there that will help you streamline this process and put together a winning funnel. These include Wishpond, Clickfunnels, and Thrive Suite, to name a few.

Social Media - Marketing’s secret weapon

While most ecommerce brands have social media accounts, not all of them use them to their advantage. Social media is a great way to connect with current and new customers. It enables you to engage with your community, build relationships, and create a brand universe around your product or service. Specific features and engagement mechanisms such as Instagram stories, Polls, and Reels can help you put your brand out there in different ways. You can grow your reach, especially if you can get content to go viral. Paid ads can also be effective in reaching a larger target audience, and social media influencer marketing can generate social proof for your brand.

Use social media to interact with customers. You can also run contests and promotions to grow your community, develop brand affinity, and extend your reach. Create content that your target customers will find helpful. You'll be surprised how many people will flock to your ecommerce business because you create content which adds value to their life, whether it’s through entertainment, education, or inspiration. A lot of ecommerce businesses use their social media channels for customer service communications, as it is quick and easy for users to reach out to a brand on their preferred social media platforms. Especially when you are first starting out, leveraging social media is a great way to keep in touch with your customers without having to pay for expensive CRM tools or customer support plugins.

Find out why people love your brand (or don’t)

Your satisfied (and even dissatisfied) customers are a valuable resource. While you can often rely on them for word-of-mouth advertising, you can also get useful feedback. By engaging your customers and requesting feedback, you can discover the best elements and products of your brand. You can also find areas for improvement. At Juni, this is an essential part of our process. We invest a lot of time and energy into creating close relationships with our customers. This is a way for us to help them grow, but also a way for them to help us create the best products and services for them. It’s how we built the beta version of Juni, and what allowed us to create a new, tailor-made financial platform which is now officially out of beta and ready for the market.

You can ask for reviews immediately after a purchase or send an email a few days after. If you give customers a discount on a future purchase or a chance to win a prize, they'll be more likely to comply. Positive reviews can help your revenue to skyrocket. At Juni, we have an entire customer success team dedicated to generating and processing customer feedback. Made up of dedicated account managers and a help desk that is available 24/7, the team has been crucial to the success we’ve been fortunate to have achieved so far.

Email marketing The forgotten art of email marketing

Even though there are plenty of new platforms and marketing trends, Email is still one of the most valuable ways to reach your customers. You can segment them based on their gender, interests, and purchase history, allowing you to send them content and offers which are most relevant to them. That’s why it’s important to collect email addresses from your site, social media and with purchases. You may even offer incentives to get customers to sign up, such as a percent off a purchase.

Be sure to send out newsletters regularly. Use your email newsletter to offer relevant information that your customers will find useful, as this can trigger interest, spark conversations, and generate traffic to your website or blog. You can also activate them to try out a new feature you have just launched on your website or platform, like we just did with our new User Roles and Permissions feature here at Juni. You can also advertise specials and new product launches. Targeted emails can be particularly powerful for customers who've searched your site or added products to their carts.

Let others market your product for you

An affiliate program can offer you some powerful marketing capabilities. Your affiliate marketers will do the hard work - convincing people to buy your product - and you'll only have to pay when they make a sale.

Influencers are also effective marketers. They already have a trusting follower base who are willing to listen to their suggestions. Just be sure to connect with influencers whose followers overlap with your target customers. By combining the two you can scale your marketing efforts without having to do it all yourself. The great thing is that you can negotiate a commission based payment model with both affiliate and influencer marketers, meaning that you only pay when they deliver results. This way you will not need any significant cash investment upfront, but simply pay them with a part of the revenue they generate for you.

Customer service is king

When it comes to customer service, people nowadays expect quick response times, high quality support, clear answers, and efficient and quick solutions. You'll need to train your customer service team to go above and beyond when it comes to helping your customers. Having a dedicated customer service team who can offer efficient, high quality support in the tone of voice of your brand can go a long way in building brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

A/B testing Don’t assume; let data lead the way

A/B testing is essential to almost everything you do, including paid digital marketing campaigns and website redesigns. Use A/B testing to figure out what is working and what isn't. It’s easy to get swept up in subjective feedback and opinion on what looks or works the best, but the only way to know for sure is by testing and letting the data decide. This way you can make the appropriate adjustments and continue to refine your methods. At Juni, we are constantly AB testing for the content we produce and the ad campaigns we run because it’s crucial for us to understand what our customers like so that we can provide the best possible brand experience, and tailor-made content which delivers the most value to them.

Current trends in ecommerce

The ecommerce climate is constantly shifting due to technological innovation and changes in consumer behavior, so it's vital that you stay up-to-date on current trends. By making shifts early and often, you'll be able to stay ahead of the pack and scale your business. The ecommerce boom of the last two years, for example, led to consumers having high expectations when it comes to customer service as well as convenience factors such as same-day delivery. The same goes for technological innovations which hit the market, and the adoption of this tech by consumers. If you can seamlessly integrate and leverage these for your business’ ecommerce shopping experience, you will have a first mover advantage. That, without a doubt, is a good thing.

Voice search and AR

As an increasing number of people have smart speakers and hubs in their homes, voice search is on the rise. This is thanks to big players such as Amazon and Google investing huge amounts of resources into building the infrastructure for their Alexa and Google Home platforms, making user adoption possible at scale. By 2022, voice search has become a frequently used feature of the consumer journey. Your ecommerce brand needs to be optimised for voice search so that people can find you through this channel as well.

Augmented reality (AR) technology allows customers to see their product in the real world. If you sell something like furniture, clothes, accessories, and jewelry, then AR can be a powerful selling tool. It allows you to influence the purchase decision of your customers by providing an innovative, tailor-made online shopping experience.

More ways to order and pay

Thanks to companies like Netflix and Spotify, subscription business models are gaining more and more traction. According to Digitalist Magazine, 53% of all software revenue will be generated by subscription models. The model isn’t only great for software and services, however. If your product is one that customers purchase regularly, such as dishwashing detergent or razors, you may want to consider the subscription model.

Your ecommerce store likely accepts debit and credit card purchases, but you'll also want to consider other payment methods, such as services that offer payment plans. Another thing to consider is the rise of alternative forms of payment and currencies such as crypto. Early adoption of these payment methods will set you apart and open your business to a steadily growing community of crypto enthusiasts.

You'll also want to consider other avenues for selling your products to make the buying process as easy as possible for your customers. For example, if you market products on social media, you can allow customers to purchase directly from the ad instead of going to your site. The same thing goes for the metaverse, which the big social media platforms such as Meta (formerly Facebook) are actively working on. Investing some time and resources into establishing your business within the metaverse could lead to significant first mover advantages in the near future, when consumer adoption scales.

AI for marketing

AI is making it easier for ecommerce businesses to personalise marketing for their customers. Through retargeting campaigns, you can stay in touch with customers who have shown interest in a product via your website or social media channels, and show them other products they may like based on previous purchases and searches. This is an extremely powerful tool as advertising to people to have already shown interest in your brand and product are far more likely to convert. Facebook and Google’s AI algorithm for retargeting are the two most popular, allowing marketers to reconnect with 98% of customers who have left their website without making a purchase. This second (or third) chance can boost conversion rates by up to 150%. Worth a try, don’t you think?

Challenges in ecommerce

One of the biggest challenges ecommerce businesses face is competition from major multinational industry like Amazon. Their pockets are deep, meaning they can be the first movers when it comes to technological innovation, allowing them to keep a constant competitive edge. These businesses will only continue to grow. That being said, businesses of this size tend to go for quantity over quality, leaving you the opportunity to pick your niche and excel at it via some of the tips and tricks outlined above. So don’t get discouraged, because there is plenty of opportunity in the world of ecommerce to go around. 

Continued risks to safety and security are a challenge. Ecommerce businesses have to do a lot to make sure their customers' private information is secure, including the adherence to the ever-evolving GDPR landscape, privacy, data protection, and cookies challenges. As technology improves, this challenge will become both easier and more difficult. The upcoming phase-out of third party cookies from Google is a good example, as it will change the game for ecommerce entrepreneurs, forcing them to adapt their strategy.

Another challenge is generating conversions while constantly improving customer retention. With so many options available online, customers have their pick of ecommerce stores for just about any product. You have to set yourself apart so that they want to buy your product instead of the competition's. A few ways to combat the threat of customer volatility is by providing world-class service, tailor-made features, or establish a community aspect to your brand which will build strong and long lasting relationships with your customers. At Juni, we do this by creating an environment which fosters two-way communication with our customers, making them a vital part of the development process for the services and tools we provide. This makes them feel like the valued stakeholders they are, and keeps them coming back.

Customer retention is also vital. Again, because there are so many options, you'll need to do things like start an email list and stay current on social media so that customers remember you when it's time to make their next purchase. That being said, it’s important to find the right balance between being present and not spamming your customers with too much content. Having a conversation with your customers and asking them a few questions regarding this will help find this balance.

The future of ecommerce

The pandemic caused ecommerce sales to skyrocket, and it’s forecasted to grow by another 50% by 2025 to reach 7.9 trillion U.S. dollars. Even though many brick-and-mortar stores have reopened, online sales have not decreased. Many consumers have embraced the convenience and options offered by ecommerce.

It's easier than ever to start an ecommerce business; you can source products with the click of a button, build a Shopify store for a few bucks a month, and grow an online presence for your brand via the many social media platforms out there. If you want to try out a new marketing trend or ecommerce conversion funnel, then the internet has countless tutorials and resources at your fingertips. The future of ecommerce will see more opportunity than ever for brands, with new platforms such as TikTok gaining significant traction and providing plenty of untapped potential for brands to use it to their advantage. That said, all that opportunity will come with increased competition. Information about new consumer trends, social media apps, and marketing tools available to anyone, so it is up to brands to adapt them in a unique way which resonates with their customers and sets them apart from the competition. Like most things, the success of ecommerce lies in the execution of it, and the most important step on this journey towards success is getting started.

Naturally, the opportunities and potential profitability of the ecommerce sector will see a significant influx in resources being poured into marketing and branding. You gotta spend money to make money, right? As the sector grows, so will the level of quality that consumers are expecting when it comes to branding, marketing communications, and advertising. The name of the game will be narrowing down brand messaging in order to resonate with more specific target audiences, as well as optimizing conversion rates and ROAS as much as possible. In other words, spend time on getting to know your customer as best as you possibly can, and invest in the right digital tools and expertise to stay ahead of the competition when it comes to performance marketing.

Next to growing their customer base, ecommerce businesses will have to work equally as hard on finding ways to maintain them. Whether it’s through long-term lease models for products, subscription services, or loyalty programs which provide unmatched benefits to their customers - brands will have to get (and stay) creative.

Then, of course, there is the increasingly pressing matter of online privacy. As more aspects of consumers lives’ take place online, the more important it is to protect their personal data while still being able to provide them with a personalised shopping experience. As many brands are phasing out third-party cookies, it'll be incumbent upon the brand to collect this data. Brands will walk a fine line between giving customers the personalisation they want without making them uncomfortable. A way to avoid getting caught up in any breach of privacy debacles, regularly check for new laws and regulations on these matters with your local chamber of commerce.

While many ecommerce brands are already embracing the potential of social media for selling, the future will see even more integration between ecommerce and social media. The use of Instagram shopping, for example, has been growing steadily. According to an Instagram for Business survey, 44% of people use Instagram weekly to shop using features like shopping tags and the Shop tag. TikTok is another platform with huge ecommerce potential. By choosing the most relevant platforms for their business and creating the right content, brands will be able to leverage social commerce into major revenue gains.

Final words of wisdom

Arguably the most important step, getting started is also one of the easiest. The big challenge is to grow and scale your business beyond your initial group of first time customers. When doing so, finding and adopting a strategy which is relevant for your business is key. It is also important to be open to do A/B testing and getting feedback from your customer base, as their needs and wants should guide the growth strategy of your ecommerce business. And when the going gets tough, don’t be afraid to ask others for help - us included, as we are always happy to help out fellow ecommerce entrepreneurs like yourself. Especially when it comes to the financial aspect of ecommerce, Juni is your friend. Many of us at Juni have been in your shoes and know the struggle. That’s why, when you're ready to scale your ecommerce business, Juni is here to accompany you on your journey. As your personalised financial platform, we will empower you to optimise your finances, avoid admin hell, and allow you to focus on scaling - the hassle free way.

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