Are you looking to streamline your e-commerce processes? Do you want to know how to speed up your checkout page, day-to-day business tasks, even paperwork and inventory management? We know running an e-commerce business is nowhere as easy as the already successful shops may indicate. But that’s only true until you don’t know how to make your operations smooth and streamlined. With effective systems and the ability to stay organized, your business can quickly get from chaotic and unmanageable to easy and fun. Product selection, packaging, and deliveries will go from awry to kosher.
We have compiled a few tips that can help you increase your efficiency levels and put your business a step ahead of the competition. But before we start, it’s important to be familiar with the fundamental principles. Most important of them being customer satisfaction. The better you treat your customers, the better they will treat you. This means more returning customers, better feedback and splendid word of mouth from your community. Industry giants which probably are your strongest competitors are consistently recognized for their unwavering focus on the customer experience. This is no longer an important thing to have, it is what customers now expect unconditionally.
But what does this have to do anything with streamlining operations? When you dig down the underlying component of their success, it is their creative use of data which they only get from happy customers. Each of these giants harvests massive quantities of information regarding customers, purchase behaviours, and internal processes. And the end result is a well-mechanized commerce operation that ensures an outstanding experience for the customer, with the right balance of humanization and personalization to round it out. Here are some tips for streamlining your e-commerce processes-
1. Make sure help is readily available
A well-optimized e-commerce shop can speed up and enhance the shopping experience for your customers, however, keep in mind that not every order decision will be seamless from their side. They do need time to think and weigh their options. Have customer service representatives available for those customers who need a little extra help with the ordering process or who might have questions about your products and services. Make your contact information (e.g., phone number, email address) easy to find so that consumers won't leave in frustration when their questions go unanswered.
2. Optimize your Checkout process
Simplify the Checkout: Reduce what’s visible on the screen (including navigation and other distractions). According to the Baymard Institute, more than 68 per cent of online shopping carts are abandoned before the checkout process is complete. Does that represent people who change their minds about a purchase? Shoppers who are frustrated by the process itself? Don't drive customers away with a convoluted checkout procedure. Keep each step simple and clear. Follow Up with Visitors: By taking the email address earlier, it’s possible to follow up with people who supplied their contact information but failed to complete a purchase. Ask if they had a difficulty that you can solve and/or supply a discount coupon to secure the first sale. We have talked in detail about shopping cart abandonment here. You can check out the complete list for a better understanding.
3. Speed up your shipping and dispatch processes
Look for every tiny improvement that’s possible with dispatch. Considering that the process is repeated many times a day, the time and cost savings accumulate.
For instance, pre-printing labels containing the company information and instructions on how to return products avoids customers being left guessing. Not needing to wait for a custom printout to support an individual dispatch reducing waiting time too.
4. Plan your inventory according to festive seasons
While on one hand, you don’t want to overstock, it is extremely important to not have the bare minimum stock on hand during busier sales seasons.
Look at seasonality and popular dates during different seasons to get the stock levels right. Avoid investing too much and having capital in inventory that isn’t moving because of the season. Plan to avoid over-ordering or running short and having to scramble to replenish stock to avoid turning away orders.
5. Sales Management
With eCommerce, there aren’t many outbound sales involved. Most stores get their business through visitors to their site. However, if your company does employ a sales team, there’s room for automated workflows to make their lives more comfortable.
Using automated workflows and assessment tools within CRM systems streamlines even further. If, for example, a new prospect is added to your system, an automated tool can instantly capture their details, schedule a call, and allocate that call to an agent.
When a member of your sales team makes multiple calls to a prospect, those calls can be recorded and tracked. Workflow automation plays a part here, as salespeople can establish processes for recording call details and outcomes. When it comes time for a follow-up, that information can then be automatically placed at their fingertips when using a VoIP phone system. By doing this correctly, they avoid repeating the same information and keeping the relationship fresh and personalized.
Though operations and customer service may be separate entities within a company, there is a remarkable amount of overlap in terms of their implications.
The faster an order can be filled, the sooner a return can be completed, and a refund issued, the happier the consumer will be. Actionable data unlocks continual improvement for the most prolific commerce organizations and the same can be true for you.
You don't need Amazon sized revenues to leverage data to improve your operations. Each improvement, however small, can contribute to getting the customer their product, exchange, or refund faster and thus contributing to the overall customer happiness.