eCommerce is the new direction in sales. Since Amazon’s launch in 1995 and ultimate success, the importance of an online presence to drive sales has become immense. 47% of all global sales now happen online, and this number is only growing. But how can a new business break through all the competition out there? Millions of shops operate an online-only model these days, and it can be hard to even grasp how large your competition really is.
Implementing the Right Strategy
Implementing an OKR software package is the first step. OKR is a must, made up of Objectives and Key Results. Early success or failure of an online store largely comes down to its ability to create and manage launch goals. OKR tools help create a framework for success and keep your team members on track to meet it. Goal setting is crucial, but the manner in which this is done can often determine future performance. The OKR framework is used to set strategic objectives, like ‘reach a larger audience and grow sales this quarter.’
These are noble goals, but may not really constitute measurable results. This is where the Key Results come in. For both of these company goals, your team members might aim to ‘deploy four advertising campaigns on Facebook and Instagram this quarter,’ ‘sell 10% more of X,’ and ‘increase views of Y by 30%.’ Typically an OKR board might see three primary objectives and four to six key results for each per quarter. The entire process is designed to facilitate higher achievement of company goals and greater team engagement across the entire company. OKR signals to a team the primary goals and relays the reason for them in order to energize an office.
Implementing this sort of goal setting framework can really jumpstart a new eCommerce site to pump out as much inventory as possible. It’s a team effort, so getting your sales, engineering, and logistics staff all on the same page is essential.
Once you have built a culture of accountability and office alignment toward a central goal, it’s time to think about extra services and process streamlining. Think about the customer benefits offered by an Amazon Prime subscription. Obviously, your startup won’t offer the range of experiences that Amazon brings to the table, but evaluating the super logistics that the company brings to the table alongside its value to the customer is a great place to start when thinking about your own order fulfillment process and beyond.
Another thing essential to an expanding small business is lights out customer service. Hiring great support staff that can handle phone, email, and other customer service integrations should be near the top of your list. No company can succeed without providing a rewarding customer experience.
More than half of all online shoppers are vocal with friends and family about negative buying experiences, and even more will choose a competitor when buying again. Not every sale will be a perfect one, but building a stout customer service team right away will ensure that any animosity a customer feels will be dealt with in order to convert a potential one-time client into a repeat user.
Online stores also have a unique benefit that isn’t available to brick and mortar facilities: shipping services. The ability to shop from the comfort of home coupled with the fast delivery is the beating heart of eCommerce. Amazon and thousands of other outlets offer 2-day shipping and expansive catalogs of different color, size, and product options.
Understanding the use of different fulfillment companies to gain an edge is crucial. Logistics is a tough game, but getting it right can pay off big time. Shipping quickly will convert more customers and save you money in the long run. It’s the most underrated and least understood component in the chain of online sales.
Choosing a fulfillment service that gets it right takes the pressure off you and demonstrates your business’ worth to customers.
It all begins with a winning strategy, but it takes a team to succeed in any segment of the eCommerce game. Smart hires and tactical logistics that play into your company-wide goals and measurable results is the way forward.