What are ecommerce SMART goals exactly?
The new year is just around the corner, and it’s the time when many people set goals for the upcoming year. They want to get healthier, be fit, and perform better – you may feel the same. It’s true, the new year is a great time for goal-setting; not just for you personally, but also for your online business. Setting and working toward goals for your ecommerce store can make it healthier, more fit, and better performing.
If you are looking to grow your online business this year, it’s helpful to have goals in place. Using Peter Drucker’s SMART system for goal-setting can be very helpful for you and your business. The SMART system has been used for setting goals for decades, and it still applies today. The ecommerce SMART goals program is broken down like this:
Specific – Choose a Specific Area You Want to Improve
The goal you set must be clear. It needs to have specific numbers, a timeline, and an ending target. For you, it may be an amount of revenue generated, but there are other areas that you might want to consider, like increasing the number of orders you process, improving website traffic and conversions, reducing abandoned shopping carts, or increasing average order or customer value. Each goal you set should have a precise number or percentage and a timeframe of when it should be completed.
Measurable – Quantify Progress
The goal you set should be trackable, something with which you can see your progress in the numbers. This means that you must know your customers and your current Key Performance Indicators (KPI), so you understand where your starting point is. If you are using an ecommerce management software for order fulfillment, inventory management, or dropship management, you’ll be able to analyze reporting to determine your starting point and exactly how much improvement you would like to see in the coming year. For example, if you use Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) for your order fulfillment for 50 percent of your inventory, you may want to set a goal of reaching 75 percent by the end of the year. That will lower the amount of inventory you must maintain on-hand, and the time you spend packaging and shipping. That is a measurable goal, that is trackable, and has a specific end-point.
Attainable – Be Realistic
The goal you set should be one that you can reach. That doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be a challenge that requires time and effort. It means that it has to be something that is within your bandwidth to actually achieve. Setting goals that are way outside of what you can realistically accomplish only serves to dishearten you in the long-run. Being sensible and pragmatic when you determine your goal will set you up for success. Consider a measurable amount of progress that will satisfy your desire for improvement, stretch it a bit, and then work toward that goal.
Relevant – Look at the Big Picture
The goal you set has to fit in with your overall business strategy. When you consider where you would like to see your ecommerce business go in the long-term, does your goal fit in that bigger picture? While you’re considering which ecommerce SMART goals are important for this year, make sure they’re relevant to the vision you have for your company.
Time-Related – Be Patient, But Persistent
The goal you set should allow you enough time to establish and implement the strategies you plan to use to accomplish it. Once you have an annual goal, you may consider setting smaller, short-term goals that will help you achieve the larger goal. Don’t expect to be able to attain overall goals overnight – give yourself enough time to complete them, and then be persistent in your strategy.
Using Strategies and Tactics to Reach Your Goals
In order to reach the goals that you have set, you have to put a strategy in place, and then assume tactics that enable the execution of that strategy. A strategy is a plan of action, and the tactics focus on specific elements of your business. When you break down your strategy into smaller achievable pieces, goals are more attainable.
What does that look like? Perhaps your strategy to increase sales is providing a higher level of customer service. Your tactics to achieve that may be:
- Improve the look and speed of your site
- Improve the quality of the photos in your product descriptions
- Respond to customer questions or concerns within a certain amount of time
- Manage inventory effectively to avoid stock outs and oversells
Using those ecommerce SMART goals tactics you will have a positive effect and contribute to the success of your overall strategy of improving customer service.
The Time for Goal-Setting is Now
If growing your online business in the coming year is important to you, now is the time to set goals, develop strategies, and determine the tactics you will use. When you use the ecommerce SMART goals plan, you are setting yourself up for success. Now there’s a resolution we all can keep.