Time is money. This is a business cliché, but it’s especially true in ecommerce. Customers choose to shop online because of the convenience, an even bigger motivation for online shoppers than price. That means speed is built into the culture of ecommerce. If you want to appeal to customers and gain great feedback, you need to run a lean business that can fulfill orders and restock inventory at a brisk pace and save time in ecommerce.
But where can we find that kind of time? Running a business requires a lot of tasks, both small and large, in the daily operation. But within each one of those tasks are opportunities to shave off major minutes. Eventually, all the time saved adds up to a much more efficient business.
These are 6 areas you might be wasting time in ecommerce, avoiding these areas will help you save time in ecommerce.
Haggling Over Returns
The customer is always right, even when they’re wrong. In fact, especially when the customer is wrong. If you receive a customer complaint about an item and they’re demanding a return, you can’t allow yourself to get into an argument with them. The goal is not to prove to the customer that you are right, but to resolve the issue in the way that’ll make the customer the happiest. It’s better to lose a little on one transaction than to lose the customer forever. To prevent getting into this situation to begin with, make sure your return policy is clearly spelled out in your online store. A painless return policy increases sales for a business, so make yours as simple and lenient as possible.
Logging into Every Channel
How many tools do you use for your ecommerce business? Amazon and eBay are probably two of the most common. Maybe you also have your own website powered by Shopify or WordPress with Woocommerce. You use QuickBooks Online for your accounting needs, ShipStation for your shipping, and a combo of dropshippers and FBA for fulfillment. That’s a whole lot of tools to have to keep track of. That’s why so many multichannel businesses are saving time by using a cross-channel inventory management software system. At ecomdash, we’ve got a deep roster of integrations including Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Woocommerce, QuickBooks Online, Jet, and tons more of your favorite tools and platforms.
Social Media with No Strategy
Job boards across the web are littered with employers looking for social media rock stars, gurus, or ninjas. But what’s the point of employing social media professionals if there is no social media strategy? Strategy is the backbone of social media. Are you building your Instagram audience as a way to showcase your products? Are you using Twitter to socially surround your potential customers and understand their needs? There are certainly ways to make money on social media, but if you approach it without an eye for those openings, it’s just another way you’re wasting time when you want to save time in ecommerce.
The amount of data and information that has to be passed back and forth in ecommerce is mind blowing. You’ve got to take sales from all your channels, forward them to your supplier or fulfillment service, forward tracking information back to your customer, and plug all that data back into your accounting software. But with ecommerce inventory management software, you can automate many of these processes. Sales order control software automatically routes sales to suppliers and 3PL’s, and even forwards the tracking information to the customer. Not only do you save time, but you lessen the chance of human error that can lead to angry customers and lower feedback ratings therefore you will save time in ecommerce.
Marketing to the Wrong Audience
Niche marketing is one of the most important skills you can learn to grow your business. Your marketing efforts can’t be one-size-fits-all. For example, if you sell baby clothes, a marketing strategy that leveraged Snapchat might not see much success. Snapchat’s users skew younger, so very few of them would have children. Likewise, trying to market trendy, youthful apparel on Facebook might not be the best use of your time, since Facebook skews older. Instagram and Snapchat are more likely to find an audience for this kind of product. The key is to find where your niche gathers, analyze how they speak about the product, and then tailor your messaging in those communities to their specific needs.
Listing Difficult Products
The products that you list should be hassle free to sell. Every listing you post takes time, and on most ecommerce sites, you’re charged per listing. You have to make every listing count. In order to not waste time, don’t list products that are difficult to sell, even if they have a high profit margin. There are three characteristics you’ll want to avoid in order to save time in ecommerce.
- Fragile – Items broken during the shipping process lead to angry customers and returns. Keeping your product catalog full of sturdy, durable items will save you time and money on returns.
- Technical – The more technical an item is, the pickier the buyer will be. Sticking to simple items that don’t require a ton of technical know-how will maximize your catalog’s effectiveness.
- Competitive – You’ll want to stay out of any space where customers passionately debate brands, or where well-known top sellers dominate the market. Establishing yourself as a trustworthy name takes much too long and there’s no guarantee you’ll ever make it.
Automation, strategy, and targeted selling are the three overarching concepts that tie together these tips. Once you’ve strengthened your stakes in these areas, you can see for yourself how much easier your business day can be. Cutting out all the wasted time will have you selling more, selling simpler, and selling efficiently.