The eCommerce industry is rapidly flourishing. According to SimilarWeb, there are about 12-24 million eCommerce websites around the world. This surprisingly high number has given rise to stiff competition among businesses.
Businesses are transforming their processes digitally to stand out among their competitors and cater to larger sections of customers. For example, listing products for sale on leading marketplaces, promoting shopping via social media and more. However, one of the aspects that most eCommerce businesses often ignore is boosting operational efficiency and productivity.
Operational efficiency helps businesses gain control over the existing processes to overcome challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. By streamlining the servicing operations, businesses can deliver personalized experiences to the customers thereby ensuring greater customer retention.
In this article, we will understand the top six ways how eCommerce businesses can streamline their operations for enhanced productivity.
6 Ways how businesses can streamline eCommerce operations for enhanced productivity
1. Leverage the omnichannel marketing approach
The omnichannel marketing approach aims at improving eCommerce sales by offering a seamless shopping experience to the customers no matter which platform they are using for making a purchase. It provides the internal eCommerce teams with an integrated approach for synchronizing and amplifying sales and marketing efforts.
For example, a customer care representative can directly view the customers' chat history with other chat representatives and help the customers with their queries. Similarly, the omnichannel marketing approach helps in conveying a consistent brand message across various channels, such as social media, emails and more. In today's world, most people spend their time online, and creating websites helps businesses show their brands to more people, and makes them look more credible.
By aligning the entire team toward common goals, the omnichannel approach provides detailed customer insights to facilitate ecommerce customer retention and growth in team efficiency and business revenue.
2. Deliver efficient customer service
Customer service and engagement play a significant role in making your eCommerce business stand out amidst the competition. Besides, it helps improve the productivity of internal teams.
An efficient customer service solution helps in setting defined goals for your team. By setting clear expectations, it introduces a structure in work processes, defines a schedule for the employees and ensures that the entire team follows the same diligently.
Further, it sets internal service standards for the teams which ultimately helps in increasing productivity and team efficiency.
As the entire customer journey takes place online, it is ideal to rely on technology to deliver good customer experiences.
- Leverage live chat software to interact with customers in real-time.
- Set up a conversational chatbot to provide customers with order updates.
- Send personalized emails to customers to keep them engaged with your brand.
- Use customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage customer information and track their order details, purchase history, and more.
- Seek customer feedback and utilize this feedback to improve business operations.
- Use process documentation tools to walk customers through your product, introduce new features and answer FAQ questions.
3. Foster strong vendor relationships
Strengthening relationships with vendors is another important factor that can boost the productivity of eCommerce businesses. Connect with the vendors to understand their work processes. If there is anything you can do to speed up the process and make their jobs easier, suggest those improvements to them and enhance the performance.
Have a collaborative connection with the vendors and suppliers by discussing ideas, challenges and concerns upfront. Treat the vendors as a part of your team. Talk to them about other opportunities and brainstorm partnership ideas. Do not forget to release their payments on time.
Remember trust, honesty and responsiveness form the foundation of strong vendor relationships.
4. Automate repetitive processes
Thanks to the current era of automation, eCommerce businesses can bid goodbye to manual and repetitive tasks. Leverage various automation tools, such as inventory management tools, sales automation, invoicing tools, collaboration and commenting tools, and more to eliminate manual tasks, enhance team communication, increase productivity and save time.
For example, automating the invoicing process can save time for the finance department as invoices can be generated and sent to the customers, suppliers and vendors without any manual intervention.
Using collaborative editing solutions on the eCommerce website can quicken the content review and publishing process thereby ensuring the website stays updated with fresh content at all times.
Similarly, leveraging AI automation can speed up the report generation process while giving deep insights into market analysis, average order value, customer lifetime value, sales and other reports. Advanced analytics can also run a predictive analysis to determine future outcomes based on your company's historical data.
Besides, eCommerce businesses can leverage augmented reality and machine learning to design personalized shopping experiences for their customers.
Check out how Sephora, a beauty product retailer, provides an interactive experience to customers through its product try-on feature. With the help of their AR tool, customers will get a fair idea about how the lipstick would look on them before making a purchase.
5. Optimize delivery efficiency
Having an efficient delivery management system has become critical for eCommerce businesses considering the volume of orders received every day. Businesses need to shift from traditional delivery models and adopt advanced delivery platforms to optimize parcel delivery and expedite the shipping process.
Leverage logistics automation and fulfillment services to streamline warehouse and delivery operations. For example, eCommerce businesses can count on reliable courier mediums, such as airmail and postage for order fulfillment. These media ensure the packages are delivered to the customers within the stipulated time frame. Besides, it helps the customers in tracking their packages accurately as soon as they are shipped, taking your customer experience to the next level.
Further to achieve efficiency in delivery management, eCommerce businesses can automate the fulfillment process with the help of an order management system. By automating order-related tasks and digitizing the entire delivery operations, eCommerce businesses can deliver shipments to customers faster.
6. Streamline returns
Product returns are an inevitable part of the eCommerce business. Having a streamlined process for returns ensures high customer retention and low logistics overheads.
Instead of relying on manual processes for processing product returns, eCommerce businesses can leverage returns management systems for quicker operations. This tool can compile all the information about product returns in a centralized location, thereby reducing errors and speeding up refund processing.
Here are a few tips for tackling returns management issues.
- Define and implement generous and lenient return policies.
- Leverage chatbots to assist customers with placing return requests online.
- Share real-time updates related to the returns, such as request confirmation, date of pickup and refund initiation to the customers.
Every eCommerce business wishes to improve its operations for better productivity. Whether you want to scale the eCommerce operations faster, launch new products or boost customer experiences, we are sure that the tips mentioned in this article will help you maximize your productivity and grow your eCommerce business.
Ashley Kemper is an Assistant Editor at Commerce Mentors. She has 5+ years of experience in writing about Marketing, SEO, and Technology. She also helps with the end-to-end execution of content strategy. When not writing, Ashley spends most of her time reading and cooking. As a sports enthusiast, she spends her weekends running and watching badminton tournaments.