As an entrepreneur in the ecommerce industry, you should already be very familiar with the digital domain and all the opportunities it offers. After all, you chose not to run a brick and mortar company for a reason, right? Operating in an online world, you save yourself the overhead cost of a storefront, spare labor expenses, manage your inventory online, minimize risk around cash transactions at the point of sale (POS), and can service a larger number of customers that span huge geographical distances.
As lucrative as this type of business may seem, it’s important to note that there are wheels behind the machine—real, human wheels—that make the organization run… assuming, of course, they themselves are organized. Backend operations seem to be the defining downfall of many ecommerce sites that were promising from their inception but buckled under the disorganized chaos of pressure.
Sure, anyone can open a Shopify account with a great business idea, but without efficient procedures in place, pretty soon out of stock (OOS) items might go unaccounted for and make their way into purchase orders. Items go unfulfilled. There aren’t enough bodies on the backend to answer phone calls. Customer service emails go unanswered. Your rating tanks, and your sales along with it.
These are just a few of the problems we constantly hear about that plague ecommerce sites—and reasons why you need to make sure everything on your backend is smoothly streamlined for your best shot at success. Not sure where or how you can tighten the belt and smooth out the kinks? Take a look at these 19 areas of business and consider the following tips:
Hiring And Onboarding
You might start off like the Wizard of Oz, a one-man shop behind the curtain, but once your business starts to take off, you’ll need people in place who can help fulfill orders, stay on top of your customer service, and pitch in with the bookkeeping records.
Don’t wait until you’re inundated with sales to start thinking about your hiring policy. Use the free time (while you still have it) to streamline hiring and onboarding by:
- Writing descriptive job posts with rich detail about the role and its duties.
- Establishing clear expectations and requirements for the position.
- Running a criminal background check on anyone you consider for the job.
- Sending your new employee all onboarding documentation to be completed and submitted before orientation.
- Providing a detailed employee handbook for reference.
Refine Your Selling Strategy
Now that you have the man (or woman) power to take on more orders, increase online sales by refining your selling strategy. Here are a few suggestions:
- Upsell & cross-sell
- Use personalized recommendations
- Highlight social proof with product reviews and sales notifications
- Run affiliate marketing campaigns
Automated Marketing Campaigns
Affiliate marketing with influencers in your niche industry is just one of many marketing strategies you should pursue, but with so much on your plate, your time and attention are certainly limited. That’s why you should adopt advanced marketing automation campaigns that give you the ability to show the right products to the right customers at the right time—without requiring any thought or effort on your end. Here are different workflows you can use to guide your automation:
- Personalized exit – when a user makes a move to leave the site
- Content-based – catered to your customers interests and interaction with the site
- Repurchase reminder – effective for shops who sell consumables
- Birthday notification – contacts customer with a promotion on their birthday or purchase anniversary
Implement Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
You have a steady stream of sales pouring in thanks to your re-strategised selling and marketing efforts—don’t let those customers fall to the wayside. Implement a CRM platform specifically designed with ecommerce sites in mind in order to stay in touch with your customers and keep your company at the top of their mind. Ecommerce CRM is packed with a number of features that will take your business to new success including:
- Behavior-based automations
- Automatic revenue attribution
- Workflow split testing
- Deep segmentation
- Personalized content, custom fields, tags
- Third-party integrations with SMS, email, direct mail, Facebook, Instagram
Ultimately, you can drive high profit margins with a carefully run ecommerce store; make sure to consider these technologies in your business plan to save yourself time one every task you execute.