Life is busy. And, if you’re an eCommerce entrepreneur, it’s even busier. Juggling online marketplaces, listings, sales orders, invoices, shipping, accounting and (dare we say it) reporting is tough. Add in admin, social media, blogging and thinking back to a time when you had a social life, and it’s near-on impossible.
You knew the life of an eCommerce entrepreneur wasn’t going to be all beaches and piña coladas, but are you unnecessarily wasting time that could be spent growing your business, increasing sales or having the occasional sit-back-and-relax cocktail? At Expandly, we give online sellers the gift of time daily, pointing out the common time-wasting mistakes they’re making and how to fix them. And, with eCommerce set to account for 15% of all retail sales globally by 2025, now’s the time to make the change yourself.
1. Selling on one sales channel
No, we’ve not gone completely crazy. Selling on one online sales channel might sound like the perfect way to keep your eCommerce business manageable and your time saved, but it can quickly turn into the opposite. 51% of online shoppers start on Amazon, but only 55% complete their purchase there. Putting all your eCommerce eggs into one online marketplace basket (such as Amazon) will take you longer to increase your customer numbers, improve your sales and get to that piña colada on your private yacht. Complementing your Amazon store with eBay, Etsy and Wish, alongside your shopping cart (such as Shopify), is a quick way to grow your business. And with multichannel management software automating many online selling processes, you may even find managing several sales channel(s) easier than one.
2. Manually updating and uploading listings
Whether you’re a multichannel selling convert or still selling on just the one, manually updating and uploading listings is time-consuming, open to typos and unnecessary. Online sales management software allows you to upload and edit listings in bulk, across all of your sales channel(s) (such as eBay, Etsy and Magento), from one simple and centralised platform. It saves you time, reduces errors (reducing customer complaints), keeps your branding consistent and makes sense.
3. Logging into sales channel(s) to process orders
This one is for you, multichannel sellers. If you’re logging into every marketplace and shopping cart to process orders, you might as well trade that dream yacht in for a push bike now. You know this is time-consuming and you know this time would be better spent elsewhere. Multichannel management software avoids this pain by providing a single login and dashboard, covering all of your sales channel(s) and orders, allowing you to view, manage and process orders at once. And the cost is far cheaper than the cost of your time spend on menial tasks.
4. Inventory management
Whether you’re avoiding it or doing it manually, poor inventory management is one of the biggest time-suckers we see. Being in-stock is important, making monitoring your stock levels and updating your sales channel(s) even more important. Inventory management software does the updating, syncing and reporting for you automatically – giving your sales channel(s) the data to never oversell and you the data to never be out of stock. Less time managing and more time planning.
5. Selling the wrong products
What bigger waste of time (and money) than ordering, promoting and not selling stock? Whether that’s because it’s the wrong time of year (we’re looking at you thick socks in the summer), the wrong sales channel or the wrong price – it’s all a waste. Stay on top of your sales reports and data to know what sells well when and where, and then plan your stock, promotion and channels accordingly.
6. Selling the wrong offers
And it’s not just the wrong products that are wasting your time. Free shipping, 20% off, bogof – there are plenty of offers to give, but it’s only the ones driving your customers through the checkout that are time-worthy. Use your reports to track the ones your customers go crazy for and the ones that head straight for the bin.
7. Not keeping on top of the trends
Staying on top of the latest eCommerce news and trends can easily fall to the bottom of your to-do list, but it’s these insights that allow you to plan your eCommerce strategy effectively and efficiently. Make it easy for yourself but signing up to industry blogs, eCommerce news roundups and social media accounts to get the need-to-know straight to your inbox.
8. Trying to do everything
Starting up your own eCommerce business often means that you’re the king of all roles: management, sales, marketing, admin, the list goes on. What the list shouldn’t include is easily automated tasks such as writing down picking lists, individually printing shipping labels and manually updating your reports. This can all be done by intelligent (and affordable) software. Batch-print your picking lists and shipping labels, automatically create invoices and have your reports complete themselves. And, if social media, blogging, admin and accounting aren’t your thing, outsource to someone who can do it quicker and better than you can – saving you money and reputation in the long run.
Being an eCommerce entrepreneur doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Invest in the right tools, software and people to give you time back and grow your online business.