Our world has changed significantly and continues to change. One of the greatest changes is the increasing demand for online stores. Shopping online is faster, easier, and more convenient for so many people which is why businesses need to keep up with this demand. If you are planning on setting up your business for e-commerce, here are a few things you will need to know.
Selecting a Platform
There are dozens of different online platforms where you can sell your products. The one you choose will depend on how well it can cater to your needs. You may look for such features as a shopping cart add-on, dedicated e-commerce hosting, or maybe you prefer a blog platform with a shopping cart plugin. Remember, this is a decision you will need to consider carefully because it will have a long-term effect. If you choose the wrong platform, you may need to change it at some stage which is complicated, time-consuming, and it can be quite costly too.
Stocking Products and Filling Orders
Next, you will need to decide how you plan on stocking your inventory and getting orders out to your customers. The method you choose needs to be accurate in order to ensure customer satisfaction and maintain profitability. If there are problems with an order, you will be responsible for rectifying the issues which ends up costing more than getting it right the first time. Some options for order fulfilment include in-house fulfilment (you stock and ship), drop ship fulfilment (your supplier ships directly), hybrid-style drop and in-house shipping (combining the two), and outsourced fulfilment (specialized logistics companies store your inventory and handle shipping). At SPARX Logistics, we offer a full range of services including warehousing solutions, import, and export, as well as parcel delivery and customs clearance.
Managing Orders and Shipping
Now you will need to decide how your orders will be managed and how your shipments will be tracked. If you use drop ship vendors or if you outsource, you will not need to concern yourself with this part of the process. If you are handling the shipping yourself, you will need to make sure that your e-commerce platform also offers an order management tool that allows shipment tracking and other features. Another option is basic or advanced shipping software. The option you choose will depend on your needs and budget.
Packaging Your Orders
All orders need to be properly packaged in order to ensure that they arrive intact. The type, size, and shape of the packaging will depend on what you are shipping. Examples include shippers (large boxes), mailers (smaller boxes), envelopes, and triangles or tubes.
Manage Your Inventory Both on the Website and in Your Warehouse
Stock shortages and unexpected backorders can cause significant problems. Stock issues are usually inevitable but it does not mean that you cannot take certain measures to curb these problems. The main thing you must do is implement a system to update your online stock count so that it accurately reflects your physical stock. This is essential for preventing overselling. Some systems work within the site itself whereas others can be connected to the system. Again, the system you choose will depend on your needs, preferences, and budget.
This is another important part of the process since you will need to make it easy and safe for your customers to pay for their orders. Look for a PCI-compliant secure payment option. Such options include secure payment providers (easy and secure online payments), secure shopping checkouts (protect customer data), and POS integrations (for using your current merchant account).
How Your Products Will Be Listed and Displayed Online
How to Attract Customers and Create Customer Loyalty
If you want to attract clients, you will need to focus on several areas in order to build a positive online reputation and boost SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You can do all this through blogging, social media interaction, email marketing, view marketing, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing, special offers (coupons, free shipping, etc), and offline engagement like including promotional information with shipments. Also, if you focus on customer satisfaction, you will keep your clients happy and this will encourage them to come back and refer others too.
For E-commerce solutions that are tailored to your professional needs, contact SPARX Logistics at 1-833-577-7279. With us, you will enjoy safe handling, easy inventory management, speedy shipping, customizable shipping labels and more!