E-commerce provides a great way for retailers to grow their business and promote their brand. For retailers, it works as a great platform to make their brand known. But, operating an e-commerce business is easier said than done, as there are many features and functionalities involved in it.
People often think that running an e-commerce business is all about marketing and advertising, but there is much more to it. Because these days marketing and advertising of a business are easy, there are many cost-effective platforms available to do that. But apart from marketing and advertising, there are other important components of an e-commerce business which are often overlooked by retailers.
In this article, we have mentioned some of the important fundamental components of an e-commerce business, which play an important role in its success and growth.
In a normal retail store, the purchase of product relies on electronic communication and the way it is displayed. But when a product is bought online, it comes from a warehouse- a place that’s used by online retailers to store their products and later prepare them for delivery.
At first, it does sound like a simple task, doesn’t it? Well, let us tell you that it isn’t. In a retail store, warehouse management consists of several operations including hundreds or thousands of products on the inventory, dozens of employees managing the labour work, and packing and shipping products to deliver them on time. This is the reason why many large retailers often choose third party logistics for such operations. But, believe it or not, efficiency in your warehouse can help you save both time and money.
So, if you’re in charge of your warehouse operations, make sure you consider every important aspect. This involves hiring effective labour, storing and packing of products, labelling and shipping of products, and inventory management.
Supply Chain Management
E-commerce business is a competitive market which is growing every day. If you’re an online retailer then you have to come up with unique ideas to attract customers and convert them into leads. But, you simply cannot achieve it without the right products, delivered at the right time with a price that customers are willing to pay.
Suppliers play a vital role in the success of an e-commerce business. They provide you with the right products and take your stocks burden off your shoulder. If customers are not getting their products on time, they will not consider buying from you the next time. So before starting an e-commerce business, make sure that you have enough suppliers who can ensure timely delivery of the products and are financially and operationally safe.
Client Relationship Management
The most important aspect of any e-commerce business is its customers and clients. If you have customers who are interested in your products and willing to buy them then you’re good to go. But before selling your products, you have to consider what you’re going to offer them and is it attractive enough to keep them coming back. This is the time where CRM comes to the rescue.
The term client relationship management is basically used to describe a type of software. But it actually defines the whole policy about your relationship with the customers and the way you interact with them. CRM is a customer-centric software and policy which completely focuses on delivering excellent service to the customers. It gives you an understanding of who your customer is and what he/she wants.
Marketing And Loyalty Programs
Without good marketing, it’s almost impossible to get customers and convert them into leads, no matter how good your product or service is. Marketing is an essential tool for an e-commerce business which is required to reach your next revenue goal. In short, it is the lifeblood of your business.
Well, thanks to digital marketing and media, there are numerous solutions available for marketing these days. But, not all the solutions are alike and efficient, so focus on specific platforms, such as social media marketing, email marketing, branding, etc.
On the other hand, loyalty is completely different than marketing not to mention, it’s really hard to earn. Users often search for items with the lowest price and then buy it. With loyalty programs like reward purchasing, social shopping, gift vouchers, and discounts you can easily get in the good books of your customers and earn their loyalty.
The first thing that customers will notice about your business is how you represent your brand. So it is essential for smaller e-commerce businesses to make their branding effective and consistent. Having a reliable brand message will set you apart from the saturated market.
Branding reflects the values and priorities of the customers you want for your business. It’s not easy to build a great brand but it’s easy to dissipate. So make sure all your branding strategies are aligned to create and reflect a better image.
Shipping cost is a marginal cost that is required to run an e-commerce business, and many businesses often lose money due to lack of shipping process. Your products may be displayed and marketed online but once someone orders, it has to be shipped to its real destination. For this reason, you need an efficient warehouse management and great shipping service.
However, if your shipping costs are low or you hired a third-party logistics who is offering low shipping rates, you can offer free shipping to some of your genuine customers as a part of your marketing campaign. But, if a customer returns some products, then it can cost you double the amount.
Shipping cost for your products is more important than you think, as it helps you become a part of the marketing budget.
E-commerce is a competitive and complicated business, which is growing rapidly with time. So you need to make the most of every resource and tool that is available to you. Though it will take time to get all these things done, it’s definitely worth the effort!