eCommerce Solutions To Help Small Businesses Manage Multiple Channels
As a small online retailer, you know that gaining exposure to more customers can make a significant difference in how well your business does. The advent of the omnichannel shopper, new online marketplaces to sell on, and even click-and-collect, has not made it any easier to do so.
Selling on multiple shopping channels can be tricky, especially if you have to manage them separately and, in many cases, manually. If you’re evaluating eCommerce solutions, make sure they provide the following functionality.
“Reduce the steps you need to keep your customers informed.”
1. Sync Product Information
Consistency is critical when presenting your products to customers online. It can be a risk for consumers to make an online purchase without seeing the item in person first. To make your customers more confident in their buying decisions, you need to paint the most accurate picture possible for what you offer and make sure it’s consistent across all sales channels.
ECommerce software solutions like SalesWarp give you the ability to sync all of your products from all sales channels and create one product data set making it easier and more efficient to manage versus managing separate, duplicate product catalogs per channel. With product sync, you ensure consistent product information, descriptions, options, images and even pricing is presented to your customers no matter where they are shopping with you. With a unified product management tool, you can significantly reduce the time and resources needed to deliver an omnichannel shopping experience.
2. Real-Time Inventory Management
Like product syncing, your eCommerce management software should also give you the ability to sync and update inventory in real time, across your sales channels. Why? You know your customers shop on many channels, and in many cases do so during each buying process. So they don’t want to find out after they’ve made a purchase that the product is out of stock or on back-order. This leads to an abandoned shopping cart, and more importantly, delivers a poor customer service experience. Make you sure your system can manage inventory across sales channels in real time.
3. Vendor-Dropship Management
Now you could say this is part of inventory management, but it’s a little simpler to break it out for the sake of this blog. With vendors, you ship from your own warehouse, meaning you need to make sure you always have product in-stock. With dropshippers, you just need to know that they have the products so that your orders can be shipped on time. In both cases, you need purchase order and receiving capabilities as part of your inventory management. Now, not all systems provide this and this may not be a top priority of yours, but make sure you have included this in your process mapping and system evaluation. You may find that this an area where you can improve the process, improve delivery times, and deliver a better overall customer experience.
4. Automated Order Routing
Shoppers have specific reasons for choosing one retail channel over another. That doesn’t mean that the sales need to be processed any differently from channel to channel, or separately. Tracking orders across channels with one integrated order management system will save you significant time. Orders are pulled into one system where one set of order routing rules are applied to ensure orders are routed and fulfilled from the most efficient and cost-effective location. Additionally, make sure that the system integrates with your shipping software or has built-in shipping integrations with the major carriers so that this too, is synced and automated as much as possible. Why spend your time finding and sending tracking information to your customer about their order when you can have a program that collects and distributes that data for you automatically?
The more connected all of your processes and channels are in one e-commerce management system, the easier you can offer the products and services that will keep customers coming back to you again and again.