Effective management of your eCommerce business is going to rely on integration and cooperation between multiple different business units, systems, and people.
Throughout this article we highlight five key areas that you must have oversight of, to ensure the ongoing success of your eCommerce business.
The possibilities that are available for eCommerce marketing increase by the hour. Technology, and how it can track online activity, means we have a whole new level of data available to us to think about how our business is operating color and how we are attracting new customers.
Historically it has been quite difficult to track the impact of multiple different campaigns on consumer behavior. But with advanced tracking technology available to us now we can see how these different campaigns interact, and get data on which ones we should do more of, which ones we should do less of, and which one’s needs to be done in partnership for the maximum impact.
Though this data can be overwhelming to the untrained eye, once you have become accustomed to the nature of the information and understand what is telling you, the insights you gain are extremely valuable.
Having oversight of your sales figures enables you to make decisions that will affect your business now and in the long term.
By keeping a close eye on sales, and how those sales compared to previous days, weeks months, and years, you can keep your finger on the pulse of your business and be alerted if you need to react.
Creating database reports consisting of sales figures, as well as sales costs, and how advertising costs are impacting those figures is extremely valuable.
Effectively managing your eCommerce business inventory, is an art as much as it is a science. The amount of data we now have available to us for analyzing, monitoring, and managing inventory, is very useful.
The automation tools that we have available to us these days make it orders-of-magnitude easier to effectively capture ongoing inventory levels than it ever has been. What is more common the things we can do with that inventor in knowledge, are mind-blowing.
The solution provided by synchronize.com makes it easy to track different levels of inventory, of the same products across multiple sales channels (Amazon, Shopify, Facebook, etc), without having to leave Google Sheets.
If stock levels of a certain product are getting low there is a lot that you can do with the information. On the product page itself, you can have a message that is configured when inventory gets to a certain level. This information can create a sense of fear of missing out, that if they wish to come back and purchase this product at a later date, it may be sold out and not available.
It also sends a message to a potential purchaser that the product is popular, and people are buying it. This subtle social proof can be a great motivator to encourage purchases as well.
If and when the stock for products does completely run out, your shopping cart can be configured to automatically stop taking orders for that product and have a sold-out notice listed.
Or if you prefer, you can continue taking orders, but with a message stating that is currently out of stock, but it will be back in stock shortly and will be shipped as soon as it comes available.
Regardless of how you prefer to manage a low or out-of-stock product, modern shopping carts make all of this available to you.
This same information about low stock and out-of-stock products can also be used to prompt notifications to inventory managers for them to consider ordering more stock. Rather than having to manually keep their eye on thousands of different products and the different stock levels, they can configure alerts, at a product level, that let them know when a certain product is low on stock for them to decide whether they wish to order some more.
If you have the appropriate data connections with your suppliers, you could even use this information to automatically place new orders for that stock. If the product runs out or gets to a certain threshold, an automatic order can be sent to the supplier and you will have new stock arriving at your warehouse before you even knew that the product was low on stock. This is a very advanced tactic, and not suitable for all products, but in certain situations, it can improve your eCommerce store efficiency and ensure you don’t run out of a popular product.
The way your eCommerce store will interact with couriers and shipping services varies greatly depending on your location and the type of products that you sell. Regardless of your particular niche or industry, modern eCommerce technology has transformed the way product shipping is done.
Manual processes take a lot of time, and effort by humans, and the more that humans are involved the greater the chance of manual error. The more automated and streamlined you can make your shipping process, the quicker and more reliably your product will get out to the customers that ordered them.
Also, by knowing the dimensions, and weight, of all your products and having that information available in an API data feed, you can give accurate and precise shipping quotations to customers as they browse your product.
Various platforms that assist with this process can also manage oversight of the dispatch process, and send electronic updates back to your shopping cart so that both the customer who has purchased the product, and any staff who need to manage the product to help it get out the door get all the information they need, and all the updates they need in real-time as things progress.
There is nothing more important to an eCommerce store’s success than customer support. This does not necessarily mean you have to have a phone line, available 24/7 to answer any questions that your customers and potential customers may have, but that may be a very appropriate move for your business.
Customer support comes in many shapes and sizes, both passive and active.
Passive forms of customer support include resources and information on your website, that may answer questions that customer has, regarding a product they have bought, or a product that I think it’s fine. Doing the hard work to document, and put a lot of your organization’s knowledge into a knowledge-base, that both customers and staff can access, can dramatically reduce the number of active customer report requests you receive, making for a quick and speedy resolution of the customer inquiry.
But if the customer does want some active support there are multiple ways you can provide this. Though a phone line can be very appropriate in some situations, modern website communication technology including chat facilities, and email ticketing systems are sometimes preferred by customers over having to ring and have a conversation.
Looking after these five areas of your eCommerce business will ensure that your customers are happy, and your business is successful over the long term. There may be certain seasons where you need to focus on one more than the other, but ensure that over time each of the different areas gets adequate attention. The technology supporting e-commerce, and what customers expect of their online experience with your brand, is evolving rapidly, so you must stay up-to-date with these practices and ensure your business is meeting and exceeding those expectations.