Modern businesses have to update their approach to scaling to stay relevant in the modern world. With the help of automation, predictive pricing, and big data, you can create steady growth for your online store.
You are what you sell. For a business owner, the sheer joy of reaching out to customers and engaging them to interact with your products is like no other. Over the years, such relationships turn into loyalty, as you learn from your buyers’ behaviors and design services unique to their needs. But, in order to make the shopping experience memorable, repeated, and optimized for quality, your eCommerce store requires timely updates.
Think about it. When cell phones became practical in the early 90s, were they as functional and popular among consumers? How did they become as we know them today? The answer—updates. As the technology, market demands, and high competition came into play, smartphone creators went head-on with their innovative strategies to reap the most of these changes to the smartphone development paradigm. With years of research and constant improvements, smartphones went from opulence to a commodity.
Just like that, even your brand strategies need to be updated with time and to help you scale. Each time a seller gets added to your platform, it automatically starts a new channel consisting of their daily inventories and other in-sync details. If you have more than one platform that needs to be updated with a real-time feed of your customers’ and sellers’ status, data automation is the only effective way to do so.
Focus Areas For Scaling Your Business:
27.6% of the global population are online shoppers. In 2021, there were more than 2.14 billion buyers online. As the eCommerce market in 2022 is likely to produce a massive $5.55 trillion USD in profits, brands need to work wisely. Such enormous growth will require businesses to adapt to new traffic handling methods, better customer relationship management, and more price forecasting, so that they don’t break under the pressure.
Sometimes just good retail experience doesn’t cut it for your buyers. You’d also have to take care of the following factors:
- Engagement: As a business owner, the process of reaching out and engaging with your customers never ends. Even when they aren’t at your store or using social media. For building customer engagement, it is essential for you to understand your customer’s likes and dislikes.
- Uniqueness: As a brand, the more standout solutions you provide, the more you register in your customers’ minds. Thinking about what your brand provides and adding a mission statement to your website is also useful.
- Customization: In order to deliver highly personalized customer experiences as they shop from your eCommerce stores, thinking about their preferences as you make recommendations or collections can go a long way.
- Keep them guessing: Who doesn’t like surprises? In fact, consumer behavioral studies show that buyers love to shop when they get a surprise gift or code with their purchase.
- Create, win, repeat: Delivering satisfying customer experiences should not be a random occurrence, which can do more harm than good. Try to streamline the processes involved to keep it regulated every time your customers interact with your brand.
As a product or service-based enterprise, inventory control, logistics, and customer services come with the business. There are ways in which you can leverage most of such processes and deliver smarter. Here’s how:
1. Inventory Management:
You require your businesses to handle exponential business growth in volumes, so you need solid inventory management. In order to keep the process streamlined, you need to do everything from registering the purchase to keeping the data in-sync, which can prove a burden if not automated.
Simply put, an inventory management system is about tracking orders and stock management. It follows the complete lifecycle of your customer’s order right from when they clicked on ‘Purchase’ to having it delivered to their doorstep. Like every other major management protocol, there are a few key steps involved in getting an inventory prepared. They are:
- Identifying the items: Items need to be entered into the database and identified, often using RFID or barcodes to allow them to quickly be counted when they are added to the inventory.
- Live tracking software: In this stage, custom software can be helpful to manage all orders, once they complete the RFID stage. It is with the help of this platform’s dashboard that you can view and compile all data, generate reports, and integrate your accounting software.
- Inventory valuation: Most companies follow a First-In-First-Out (FIFO) or Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) technique for ensuring seamless operation of the inventory management.
There are many ways in which having clearer inventory insights helps your business identify its attention areas and self-growth. Some of them are:
a. Maximizing scalability
Manual interference can only lead to slowing down of operations and huge time investment. Furthermore, with increased traffic and orders, a manual system would crumble, thus making your brand incapable of scaling. Therefore, automation in the inventory management could save you time and resources, as well as bringing bulk orders and quality customer relationships.
b. Reduction of human error
With more automation comes a reduction in human errors that lead to overselling or underselling certain items, among other problems.
c. Giving time where it matters
As a business owner, you shouldn’t be at all places, all the time. To ensure all-round development of your business, you need to assign tasks to your automated system to take care of crucial areas with high accuracy. It could help you divert your time in curating strategies and products that enhance the value of your brand.
d. Higher customer satisfaction
Due to competition, a customer that faces a canceled order or delayed shipping for a product they ordered due to poor inventory management will probably not return to your store. Therefore, you need better tracking and better inventory management that synchronizes with your storefront.
2. Logistics Outsourcing:
With industry giants like Amazon providing same day shipping and overnight options, small businesses have trouble competing with larger operations with better inventory management and bulk shipping deals. Investing in a strong order fulfillment system can take care of slow shipping, errors in picking up and packaging of orders, and keep you from losing the brand loyalty of your customers.
90% of Fortune 500 enterprises outsource their supply chain and logistics operation to 3PL (Third-Party Logistics) for better efficiency and cost-reduction. Since such vendors deal with larger volume and scale, it reduces the overall cost involved for carriers and provides automated end-to-end logistics management. Apart from the above, there are several other advantages that third-party logistics outsourcing bring, like:
a. Operating to industry best practice
Since the 3PL vendors come with years of industry experience, they are experts in taking care of the entire process of logistics and warehousing. Such management streamlines your business supply chains and gives you competitive advantages like free shipping, same-day shipping, etc., putting your brand in the big leagues.
b. Automating network management
There are several logistics provider companies that can combine cutting-edge technology with efficiency with the help of high-end dashboard management software. For better visibility and business intelligence, such tools can be instrumental in scaling your brand.
c. Driving cost-efficiency
Third-party vendors operate entirely on carriers and help in logistics optimization for enterprises. As a 3PL vendor often puts together massive volumes in carriers on the basis of per cargo, they, therefore, help in a substantial reduction in the costs involved for shipping. Such flexibility allows your brand to provide free and fast shipping to your customers, thus competing with industry-leaders in terms of order fulfillment satisfaction.
3. Customer Relationship Management
Many enterprises have started going with smart chatbots that take the load off their human team and can filter out most general business enquiries. Chatbots can also be instrumental in redirecting special inquiries that require human assistance, thus reducing the overall wait time for your customers.
There are many benefits that come with improved customer communication:
a. Adds clarity to your brand
Often business owners struggle to identify their customer’s true requirements. With an active, transparent communication medium your customers can ask you directly about their requirements, which helps you connect them to the solutions they’re looking for.
b. Service transformation
With effective communication, you can understand the growth in your customers’ requirements and adapt your services accordingly. For instance, if your customers require more frequent deliveries, you can adapt your brand resources to deliver accordingly.
c. Rich customer experience and relationships
For a business owner, making a mark in customers’ minds is what matters the most. Brand loyalty and potential leads can come as an added benefit when you build a positive, sustainable relationship with your customers over time. Frequent emails and regular updates can go a long way to help you keep in touch with your customers.
4. Price Forecasting
A regression process is often undertaken by brands to understand and predict related prices of a product based on multiple factors. The descriptive and predictive analysis involved can help a business obtain knowledge based on historical data.
Investing in machine-learning based predictive software can yield higher productivity and growth in revenue generation. Once integrated, the right algorithms can help identify and react to different scenarios for the correct prediction of optimal pricing. In 2015, CocaCola adapted its data strategy based on big data analytics on customer retention. It helped them create powerful campaigns for their customers and gain huge profits.
Here are some of the other benefits that come with price forecasting:
a. Boosting customer acquisition
Without a solid customer base, your brand will never be successful. On the other hand, with growing competition, the price forecasting model will only gather more data that can be broken down to have better insight into your customers’ preferences and provide services or products accordingly.
b. Better market insights and promotion campaigns
Big data analytics and Machine Learning can be combined to create compelling marketing strategies, fetching better conversions.
c. Proactive pricing
You can have a headstart in current market changes and developments, that can help you take proactive decisions in product pricing as and when required. This keeps you ahead of your competitors and closer to your customers.
Be it with the help of powerful technology or through networking, upgrading your online brand can be a daunting process. Despite that, it can be a rich learning process for you as a business owner to gain experience and valuable insights.
If you’re looking for an ecommerce QR code platform to better fit your business’s needs, we have a free suggestions:
1. 29Next CRM
29Next is a Direct to Customer (D2C) platform with a global storefront, a customer support system, and marketing funnels all built in. It’s also a great choice for subscription offers. It’s a powerful, extendable, and customizable platform.
A popular, customized eCommerce building option, they come with a suite of services that can add value to your business website without breaking your bank. The best part is you get access to a lot of plugins to add to your storefront as per your preferences.
As a small business owner, you can opt for Unify CMS and Sticky.io which comes with storefront building services for you to design your website, and with sticky.io at the backend – all within an affordable price.