There’s a strange consensus among the average shopper that running an online store is easy, that ecommerce is something anyone could just set up a website and do by Ecommerce Development Company. Things aren’t that simple though. There are a lot of bumps in the ecommerce road, and eventually, you’re going to realize those processes you’ve been sticking with since day one are actually holding you back.
Whether orders are getting out the door too slowly, customer queries left unanswered or content calendars never getting completed, here are some excellent tips for how software and tech can be utilized to streamline an ecommerce business.
Social media is one of the best marketing tools an ecommerce business has at its disposal. Whether running free or paid campaigns, social media gets eyes on your website and products. However, it can eat into your schedule significantly if you’re not careful.
Switching between accounts and platforms to post the same campaign message multiple times can be a chore. No matter what kind of pattern or routine you develop to help you through this daily process, it will take a significant chunk out of you and your marketing team’s days that could be better spent elsewhere. That’s before you even get to the issue of forgotten passwords.
Centralizing your social media efforts can massively streamline your overall output. Think like a social media manager and use the best tools available. For example, look at this Hootsuite review to understand how it can help you to manage multiple accounts in one place, allowing you to upload and schedule posts in bulk and monitor engagement. It’s a much more efficient way than logging into each individual page and using their less than sophisticated info structures.
This is of particular benefit during peak periods such as Christmas when you’re running multiple campaigns daily and dealing with an influx of orders and don’t have time for scheduling. However, if you’re still struggling to keep up with your social media, then you might need to outsource your digital marketing to an agency and free up valuable time to focus on other aspects of the business.
As your business grows and you look to streamline processes, you might need to move your store to a different ecommerce platform. It’s important to consider all the features, functionality, and integrations that various platforms can offer. Being able to set up a store in a matter of minutes isn’t the only concern — it needs to work seamlessly for you and your customers, and make it easy to run your business.
Everything from how you take payments to managing orders and stock levels should be straightforward. It’s also important that the platform you use is good for SEO, and will help you to rank higher in search engine results. This is essential to a growing business but some platforms make it over-complicated to manage your SEO or don’t allow you to add a blog to your site. And as you grow your business you want to be able to easily integrate your email marketing with your store so that you can communicate with your customers.
Do some research into your options, for example take a look at the review of the GoDaddy website builder. While it’s not a dedicated ecommerce platform, as you’ll read in the GoDaddy review it has all the features that you’ll need to run a streamlined business. It’s easy to build a customized website, it provides all the functionality you need to set up and manage your store, and has tools for improving SEO and email marketing — you can keep on top of all the important aspects of your business in one place.
I can’t blame you for wanting to trust your intuition. It helped you set up a business, find customers, and make a success of yourself in ecommerce after all. That doesn’t mean you should be ignorant and ignore the data that’s staring you in the face though.
Analytics tools have become crucial for any business with a digital output, giving them clear insights into who is visiting their website and how they got there. It can be argued that ecommerce businesses stand to gain the most from using analytics though. They stop you from feeling around in the dark for solutions to your website problems.
Spending hours wondering why no one is purchasing your new products is a waste when you could just hop onto analytics and notice there’s a huge bounce rate due to a misleading paid search ad. Analytics tools won’t do the work for you, but give you the knowledge to do so.
It’s easy to say that tools will solve all your problems, but that’s simply not true. They offer essential insight that highlights the bumps in your business you could benefit from ironing out.
A good example of the kind of tools you need to be using is Hotjar, which provides behavior analytics so that you can understand how visitors interact with your site — learn more about Hotjar analytics in this review. It can help you to recognize issues with the structure of your key pages, while A/B testing tools allow you to experiment with new branding and calls to action. Much like Hootsuite, these tools centralize your website updates in one clear to understandable place.
Customers are a great source of knowledge that businesses rarely tap into because they feel they know their operation better than any customer ever could. They may not understand the in’s and out’s as well as you, but they live with the public-facing view of your business and are much better at spotting its bad side.
Canvassing customer opinions on your website through an email (or if you fancy going old school, telephone) survey is one of the best ways to find out how your website and business could be more streamlined. Customers are very open about where they faced issues with the order process that they may not have felt the need to get in contact with customer services about. You should also look to get in contact with people who weren’t able to complete orders through an automated email, as this will help point out bigger issues. This should be the first step in your campaign to simplify your operation.
You’re going to be looking at some operations within your business through rose-tinted glasses. That’s not your fault, and letting your customers explain the issues they found is a great starting point towards a business that moves much more efficiently.
There’s no obvious answer to the question of how to make any business more streamlined. These suggestions are more of the beginning of your journey to a more efficient operation, rather than a quick fix. As always, consider the specifics of your industry and business when thinking about changes you can make.