There has never been a better time to start an eCommerce business. At present, 67% of millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer online shopping than visiting a brick-and-mortar store. Moreover, around 80% of digitally native shoppers make regular impulse purchases online.
But, while the demand for online stores is growing, as more businesses enter the arena, standing out from the competition is essential if you want to grow over time. With so many online channels to manage and such little time, learning how to streamline your eCommerce business will prove essential to your success in the long term.
Fortunately, we live in an age where digital technologies are in a state of constant evolution. In today’s world, the powerful tools and platforms exist to help ambitious eCommerce business owners streamline their internal processes in a number of ways, allowing more time to develop their brand while forging invaluable client and consumer bonds.
Here we explore how to streamline your eCommerce business by embracing the power of digital technology.
Storage & sharing
To start an online business the right way, you need to focus on the fundamentals first—and implementing a seamless storage & file sharing system will help you lay solid foundations from the very start.
While file storage & sharing was once considered a laborious manual task, there are a host of cloud-based solutions that will save you countless hours scouring through archives or searching for lost USB sticks.
The likes of Google Drive, WeTransfer, and Dropbox are effective tools for organising, locating, and sharing files internally or with business partners both swiftly and securely.
By selecting a cloud-based storage system as well as an online file transfer system that suits your business model, you’ll save time and ultimately, money on hours spent locating or sending integral information or data.
Project & time management
As an eCommerce business owner, juggling several tasks and projects at one time is inevitable. Streamlining your time management while trying delivering campaigns or initiatives is a challenge, but with the aid of the right tools, it is more than achievable.
The evolution of digital technologies has freed us from the shackles of time or geographical location, meaning it’s possible to connect, communicate, and collaborate from anywhere in the world.
With features designed for real-time communication and setting detailed briefs or targets in one centralised space, the likes of Slack and Trello are invaluable. Tools like this offer a host of functionality that encourage swift communication as well as seamless end-to-end project delivery.
Choose a project management platform that you feel will benefit your eCommerce business while working with an interactive online calendar and list-making tool—and you will boost your productivity, exponentially.
When it comes to managing a budding eCommerce empire, there are countless processes, initiatives, and activities to consider.
From fulfilment and website development to marketing and client communications, making sure the ship is running smoothly is an all-encompassing task. When resources are stretched and the responsibilities pile up, progress is often stunted and deadlines are missed—but, with automation software, it’s possible to streamline every key area of your online business.
Around 51% of businesses across sectors currently use automation to improve productivity across departments. Plus, those that utilised automation for their omnichannel marketing activities boosted their customer retention rates by up to 90%.
There are a wealth of powerful platforms or tools available to automate business functions including content scheduling, social media, email marketing, customer service communications, order fulfilment, and more. Here are some quick tips to help you choose the best solutions for your business:
- Consider your key business goals, both long and short term. Doing so will help you choose tools and functionality that will scale with you.
- Talk to your team and ask them the areas of their job (or the organisation as a whole) that they feel would benefit the most from automation. Take the time to do this and you’ll choose solutions that are valuable to everyone within the business which, in turn, will ensure a healthy return on investment (ROI).
- Compare tools and platforms. Some will offer all-in-one functionality while others will specialise in particular areas (e.g. social media or email marketing). By drilling down into your existing processes and comparing a number of potential tools, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether you commit to one platform that integrates your existing systems or a number of tools, each for specific areas of the business.
In our hyper-connected digital age, a wealth of innovations exist to streamline online businesses across sectors. Select the right tools for your business and you will increase your productivity, improve brand awareness, and ultimately, boost your bottom line on a sustainable basis.
For more business-boosting insights, here are seven practical ways to use predictive analytics in eCommerce.