We talk a lot about the outstanding accessibility of ecommerce, and for good reason.
If you have an internet connection and the desire to run your own online business, you can find a store-setup tool, create a suitable site, and start using something like dropshipping to offer various items. But the fact that busy junctions are technically accessible to pedestrians doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to take a casual stroll across a main road in the middle of rush hour.
That’s an extreme analogy, of course. Here’s another way of putting it: ecommerce is easy to pick up, but hard to master. Dabbling in the occasional novelty-shirt sale is a breeze, but actually building a successful online store is seriously difficult. Ecommerce merchants soon enough learn just how much work goes into the running of a moderately-popular store.
Choosing products, writing descriptions, getting the shipping right…. With so much to get done, it’s vital to streamline things as much as possible. If you can’t cut down on your workload, you’ll find it all but impossible to reach your ecommerce goals. Here are some straightforward tips for running a more streamlined business:
You might wonder why we’d be talking about cutting expenses when the goal is to streamline things. After all, don’t you often spend in an effort to speed things along? Wouldn’t reducing your budget cause issues? Well, those points aren’t entirely unreasonable, but they don’t tell the whole story.
Look at it this way: the more you spend, the more finance work you have to do. If you’re anything less than entirely frugal, there’s sure to be a fair amount of unnecessary spending in your average month. Maybe you keep ordering lunch instead of having some homemade sandwiches, for instance.
Alternatively, you might have a rolling subscription to a media service that you haven’t used in a long while. Keep in mind that small expenses add up surprisingly quickly. By clearing out the cobwebs, you can reduce the time you spend tracking your spending and save some money that you can towards further streamlining efforts.
If you’re a solopreneur, handling everything for your store, then your amount of admin will largely be set by the software tools you’re using (more on those next) — but if you have numerous employees, there’s an excellent chance that your week is packed with oversight tasks. Checking briefs, checking work, and generally being a filter.
That’s a fine idea, but it isn’t particularly practical when you’re trying to compete. Sooner or later you need to trust your employees to take initiative and work without your near-constant involvement. This will also free up time that you can put towards things that better warrant your skills and station (anything involving brand promotion, most notably).
The online world is packed with hyper-convenient pieces of software that can radically transform how you do things. For a great example of this, look to any tool that offers dynamic pricing. The process of manually adjusting product prices is a slow and annoying one: you need to double-check every update and periodically check other sellers to see where you stand.
A dynamic pricing tool from a company like Prisync will automatically track what your products are being sold for elsewhere and adjust your pricing without your input. All you need to do is set the parameters (how much you’re willing to undercut the competition, for instance, or how regularly you want your prices to update) and let the tool run.
You can also look for tools to promote your social media posts on a regular basis, or even help you write on-site copy. Automation in general can bring so much to any operation, so there’s no sense in wasting it when it’s available and more affordable than ever before.
The bigger an ecommerce business gets, the more time goes towards dealing with customer queries and complaints. And since just one customer issue can take a long time to suitably address, even a modest number of support tickets each week can soak up a lot of time. You obviously can’t just disregard those issues without sustaining massive brand damage.
This is why you should implement chatbot software to automatically handle (or filter) new queries. When there’s something simple like a customer chasing the status of their order, the chatbot can provide the answer and wrap things up without you even noticing — and when the matter is too complex for an automated workflow to handle, it can be appropriately escalated.
Follow these straightforward tips for running a more streamlined business, and you’ll soon see an improvement in how your business operations run.