If there is one thing that successful e-commerce ventures are getting right, it is their e-commerce management processes. With $5.2 trillion and $870 billion in 2021 global and U.S. sales, and up to $5.7 billion in global sales in 2022, the retail e-commerce marketplace is a goldmine.
However, participation is not enough to become a global e-commerce player. Getting the best out of the market is a special skill, and that’s where E-Commerce Management comes into play.
Instead of leaving any e-commerce processes to chance, learn how e-commerce management can make a tremendous difference to any business. This article will delve into the principles of e-commerce management, effective tools and resources, steps for a successful e-commerce business, and much more.
Amongst other things, you will learn the following in this article:
- Only a few e-commerce companies thrive beyond the first four months of operation
- Many e-commerce management solutions are automated, designed to save time and money, plus produce accurate output
- There are technology solutions for inventory, order, shipping, and customer management
- E-commerce businesses can take advantage of lead scoring to determine the customers most likely to patronize the business
- Website speed plays a crucial role in customer retention. Slow e-commerce websites are a major turn-off for customers
What is E-commerce Management?
E-commerce management involves monitoring a company’s entire online presence, including web development, marketing, and advertising. E-commerce managers are in charge of every facet of the e-commerce endeavor, including site development and design, marketing, and even sales.
In addition, e-commerce managers are concerned with:
- supervising online personnel
- dealing directly with suppliers and delivery providers
- handling customer care difficulties.
Overall, the e-commerce manager ensures that all systems and procedures adhere to predetermined goals and reflect the company’s values.
While there are over 24 million e-commerce businesses globally, it is interesting to note that only 10% of these e-commerce businesses will survive after the first four months of operation. Let’s explore why many e-commerce businesses cannot succeed without a healthy e-commerce management system.
Why Do You Need E-Commerce Management Solutions?
There are many e-commerce solutions for managing your e-commerce activities to help you grow your online business. You can get specific benefits for your business if you choose the right e-commerce management solutions.
Reduces the Workload and Stress
When your online business has reliable e-commerce management solutions in place, the workload reduces significantly. From data collection to record keeping, most of the functions of these solutions are automated. Automated processes reduce the responsibility of your staff and improve workplace satisfaction.
For example, shipping software provides your customers with real-time information about their purchase’s shipping status. These shipping updates ensure that you evade the hassle of attending to a truckload of shipping status inquiries.
E-commerce management solutions save time for you and your customers. With e-commerce management solutions on the saddle, it is possible to provide instant answers to customer queries and deliver orders on time. E-commerce management solutions will also help you track shipments and provide timely delivery updates to your customers.
E-commerce management solutions can help cut down budget costs. For example, solutions such as shipping software will place all your shipping options on the table and allow you to make the best choice. You can then pick the cheapest and most reliable ones for your business.
Accuracy is an important part of any e-commerce management success. E-commerce management software is known to deliver not only real-time data but accurate ones too. These solutions will help you make accurate and data-driven decisions, giving your business a valuable advantage.
E-Commerce Management Challenges
There are some challenges that e-commerce managers must solve in order to succeed in their roles.
For many online shoppers, cybersecurity is a top issue; e-commerce retailers combat an average of 206,000 web attacks per month. Statistics show that alarm systems and security cameras are installed in physical stores to deter crime. However, in the internet world, these devices have no place. To safeguard client data, online stores need to have particular cybersecurity features and procedures.
It isn’t as simple as it looks to prepare content for new products. When time is limited, it’s important not to sacrifice quality. However, taking too long to arrive at an idea can impact the product’s sales window, resulting in a loss of money.
Managing inventory is one of the most challenging tasks that e-commerce managers must perform. Keeping track of which products are performing well and which aren’t can be difficult, resulting in either overstocking or understocking.
Picking the Best Hands
The success of your e-commerce management drive leans heavily on the strength of your team. Besides picking the right persons, you must pinpoint the areas of management that require the most attention.
Solutions to Help Manage Your E-commerce Business
Managing an e-commerce business is a delicate endeavor. Therefore, you will require all the help you can get. The following e-commerce management solutions will go a long way.
The process of locating, storing, managing, and transporting your merchandise is known as e-commerce inventory management. Your company can track and measure the quantity of available stock and the location, price, and variety of those things with the proper arrangement.
Statistics show that approximately 34% of retail businesses shipped an order late because they sold a product that was out of stock. However, with multi-channel inventory management software, it’s possible to quickly determine how many products are currently available, out of stock, and completely unavailable in multiple locations. Early detection allows you to address inventory problems with ease, ensuring customer happiness and a high level of satisfaction.
- The relationship between customers and suppliers can prove difficult if the inventory management does not go well.
- If customers don’t receive their orders when they expect to, or if you’re selling products at a rate you can’t meet, this will seriously hurt your business.
Research has shown that better inventory management is crucial for raising customer satisfaction levels, which ultimately benefits e-commerce businesses. Correcting inventory management errors may be quite expensive for firms in terms of dead stock and missed sales revenue. Therefore, it is important to find the best inventory management software that guarantees success.
E-Commerce Order Management
E-commerce order management is the process of monitoring and completing online orders. E-commerce order management entails collecting client data, handling payments, controlling inventories, and dispatching goods.
Even while the majority of e-commerce platforms come with built-in order management tools, certain organizations require a more substantial solution; an e-commerce order management system (OMS) fills this need.
OMS will analyze sales and update your product info, such as popularity and availability. The software will also send data to the e-commerce company’s account system to ease operations. The process of fulfilling orders is automated and streamlined by this software for businesses.
More e-commerce managers are experimenting with various e-commerce integration methods to successfully address changing client needs. Businesses should search for an order management system (OMS) to save the day as e-commerce websites scale and the number of orders and goods in the PIM increase.
Delays in delivery can result in serious issues. Research indicates that 13% of dissatisfied customers won’t make repeat purchases, particularly when they order goods on an e-commerce website. Reassuring clients that the shipment was successful is one of the major obstacles online sellers face in their business today.
With shipping software, customers will enjoy real-time updates on the shipping status of their products via mail. This service can increase your customer satisfaction tremendously.
An e-commerce shipping solution’s primary purpose is to:
- automate all your fulfillment processes
- make it simpler and faster to handle logistics, shipping, and tracking.
- streamline the workflow of order processing by taking care of your manual labor
Shipping software will also help meet your customer’s shipping price concerns. E-commerce customers get turned off by enormous shipping costs. However, with shipping tools showing you various price options of several carriers, you can choose the best and the cheapest ones.
One of the main justifications for e-commerce management is customer retention. Customers are the driving force behind competitiveness and the foundation of every company. Thus, maintaining customer satisfaction must be your top focus.
Your customers should receive outstanding service in addition to that. This is where customer relationship management (CRM) for e-commerce can come to the rescue. CRM software discovers potential customers and saves customer information.
- This data comprises demographics and purchasing history– two essential sources of knowledge about consumer behavior.
- CRM saves data on the cloud, making them accessible to numerous people at a go.
- Any of your E-commerce management team members can easily access this data anytime.
Lead Scoring Opportunities
With lead scoring, an automated marketing strategy, it is possible to categorize the leads in your database into the various stages of your conversion funnel. To put it another way, this tool gives your potential consumers a score based on their interest in purchasing any of your products.
For example, lead scoring may assign 10 points to customers who visit your careers page, 10 points for reading a promotional mail, and 15 points for visiting your pricing page.
Lead scoring is critical in supplying intelligent direction to your marketing strategies. It will also separate high-priority leads from low-priority ones, saving you time. You can quickly send these high-quality leads a discount voucher to encourage them to decide.
- Lead scoring pays attention to customer actions.
- Through these customer actions we can analyze the level of a customer’s interaction, exposure, and favorability to your brand through their online activities.
- If a potential client relies on your brand enough to send email inquiries or download your promotional materials, they could be close to making a purchase.
- In the end, lead scoring increases your conversion rate, helping your business stay alive and grow.
Guiding Principles for E-commerce Management
E-commerce management is a serious business; the competition is fierce, the stakes are high, and the company needs results. To this end, it is crucial to adhere to some of the most basic principles and philosophies associated with the job, such as:
1. Be Customer-centric
Customers are at the center of any business. Therefore, every decision you make as an e-commerce manager should revolve around satisfying their needs and providing them with more pleasant experiences.
2. Prioritize Speed
Customers just want to check out your products and maybe make a purchase. Spending valuable time waiting for pages to load isn’t one of the activities they would love to engage in. For instance, studies show that a one-page delay will reduce page views on a website by 11%, and 44% of customers will share the story of a long loading time with their friends and family, reducing visits to your site. Therefore, you must enhance user experience, especially in website page speed.
3. Take Care of Your Mobile Users
A study has shown that about 72.9% of all 2021 e-commerce transactions are mobile-based. Mobile users will rather browse your e-commerce site than download an app. Therefore, it is in the best interest of all e-commerce managers to optimize their sites to cater to their mobile users.
4. Follow Your Potential Customers
Most potential customers are on social media; your e-commerce business should be there too. Don’t leave a dangerous void in your customer’s most preferred hangout spots like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Create a customer support system outside your website. Respond to as many mentions of your company’s name on social media, too. This way, you will remain in the minds of your customers and even get to meet new ones.
5. Showcase Your Humanity
When it comes to resolving difficult situations, customers want to feel like they are talking to someone. E-commerce companies will benefit more from letting customers know their representatives, real names, and identities. Such levels of interaction inspire brand loyalty better than anonymous emails and secret identities.
Essential Functions of E-commerce Businesses
The activities of any e-commerce business have three main aspects;
The online store and the products for sale are crucial marketing points. Accurate market research and create a brand strategy should be conducted before any marketing activity.
During the research, you will learn more about clients’ needs and how to create a distinctive brand identity for your business. Digital marketing expertise and communication prowess are crucial for improving sales conversions when engaging in various marketing activities.
2. Supply Chain
The logistics of the e-commerce supply chain include:
- acquiring raw materials
- producing completed goods
- inventory control
- last-mile delivery.
A typical e-commerce supply chain also manages inventory tracking, supply and demand, and varied distribution schedules. E-commerce supply chain management’s main objective is to ensure that every order is filled with high-quality goods and consistent product selections.
3. Financial Management
The growth of any firm is supported by wise financial management. Financial management solutions are necessary for processing payments for your online store because they help monitor performance. Also, a financial management solution can help keep track of expenses and determine where to make savings that keep your business profitable.
Tools and Resources for E-commerce Management
E-commerce management, for the large part, could be pretty cumbersome. However, it could shed much of the workload if you have the right tools. Here are some e-commerce tools that might interest you.
Asana is an increasingly popular collaborative tool that will come in handy for e-commerce management. With the app, you can better coordinate your team by creating, assigning, and managing tasks.
This is a CRM tool that connects customers to the answers they seek. The app helps collate likely answers to customer queries. If you opt to answer such questions yourself, the app gathers such queries so you can respond effectively.
This marketing automation solution provides deeper integration than the typical email autoresponder. Businesses don’t require complex commands to set up and operate; they only need a few clicks. Utilize this tool to deliver highly tailored customer emails. It’s distinctive because you can use templates rather than starting from scratch to generate powerful sequences.
Tips for Ecommerce Website Management
Here are some tips to help you manage your E-commerce website more effectively.
Use Images and Videos
High-quality photos and videos are among the quickest ways to catch a user’s attention. Because they allow the client to acquire a feel for the goods before they hold them, product photographs are extremely important in online retail.
No one needs a PC to shop online; about 2 billion people access the internet from their mobile phones. Therefore, you must ensure that your website’s pages are optimized for mobile use. One aspect of optimization is utilizing responsive themes that look fantastic on desktop PCs and mobile devices. If clients can’t effortlessly transact business with you via their phones, you will lose out.
Provide Tight Security
Data security is a top concern for e-commerce customers and a requirement for winning their trust. Customers must trust your site to do business with you online. In particular, your payment gateways should enjoy maximum protection. One way to maintain security is by conducting daily security reports.
Improve Your Website’s Speed
On your website, customers should be able to find their needs and complete transactions quickly. Wait times are an easy way to miss out on prospective business; therefore, strive to keep them to a minimum by optimizing your website speed.
Simplify Your Checkouts
Your store should have defined and easy-to-follow roadmaps for purchases and checkouts. Anything short of that will cost you lots of repeat patronage.
Declutter Your Website
Simple designs on eCommerce websites increase conversion rates. It should have a distinct point of attention so that visitors will go directly to your CTA button or the goods you sell.
Build a Search Bar
Search bars not only make your product accessible to more people but also help buyers save a lot of time. Customers can focus their search by limiting the alternatives based on the goods they want.
Update Your Content
You cannot create a website and leave it unattended. You must revamp it frequently to keep the content relevant and the audience returning.
Building Your Ecommerce Team
As an e-commerce manager, you are more likely to succeed when you surround yourself with the right team. Competence, creativity, and experience are qualities to look out for. Here are the major roles within an e-commerce management team.
Director of E-commerce
Directors of e-commerce are in charge of managing their organization’s digital marketing initiatives. To create plans for online sales of goods or services, they collaborate with a group of specialists, including marketers, designers, and other professionals.
Web designers create and construct eCommerce websites. They are often in charge of the site’s visual appeal as well as its technical performance, including how quickly it loads and how much traffic it can withstand. Due to the critical role websites play in e-commerce success, it is wise to go for highly experienced and outstanding web designers.
It is the responsibility of the IT technician to guarantee that computers are operating correctly so that end users can complete organizational activities. Receiving, prioritizing, documenting, and resolving end-user support requests are all included in this. The utilization of authorized diagnostic and assistance tools and the IT technician’s direct assistance at the desktop level may be necessary for problem resolution.
Inventory managers are in charge of ordering, storing, and distributing goods produced by an organization. To effectively track supplies, they handle inventory flow using protocols that minimize the need for loss mitigation when necessary. They also determine how much stock should be on hand at any given time to avoid underreporting or overcounting.
Digital Marketing Manager
The general planning, development, implementation, and management of the overall digital marketing strategy fall within the purview of digital marketing managers. Additionally, they lead, manage, and train the team’s digital marketers and other marketing positions.
Customer Service Representatives
The E-Commerce Customer Service Representative is essential to the E-Commerce management team and the company. From providing customer support to resolving questions and inquiries, the rep is the voice of the company.
Accountants and Finance Officers
All e-commerce business owners need to take accounting very seriously if they want to succeed rather than merely survive. Accounting for e-commerce companies entails keeping accurate financial records and meticulous logs of all transactions.
E-commerce business analysts look into, analyze, and assess the performance of websites and e-commerce stores in online retail. They are highly qualified data analysts that pinpoint areas for development in internet marketing and sales. They help decision-makers create online company plans and e-commerce items as well.
Steps Towards a Productive E-commerce Business
The e-commerce business, like so many other endeavors, is more about precision rather than activity. The following steps will place your e-commerce company steps ahead of many competitors.
1. Find Your Target Customers
Scrambling for every potential buyer is counter-productive. It’s always best to focus your resources and strategies on attracting a specific group of customers.
Once you find your target customers, it becomes easier to nurture them. This marketing method saves both time and money.
2. Automate Your Tasks
Productivity and time go hand in hand. So, implementing time-saving mechanisms will boost your e-commerce company’s productivity by significant margins. The key is automation. Besides saving valuable time your team spends on repetitive tasks, automation will also reduce the possibility of error.
3. Learn From Your Employees
Employees have the benefit, or if you like, the experiential advantage of hands-on involvement. Therefore, they can possess quality insight into more viable methods and processes. One way to get a hold of these fantastic ideas is through feedback. Employee feedback will also give you sufficient information to make more accurate decisions concerning the company.
4. Collaborate With Affiliates
Affiliate marketing is one of the biggest sales-boosting strategies in the e-commerce industry. With affiliate marketing, other online merchants get busy directing customers to your website. The affiliate marketing system will cost you some money in commission, but the overall benefits are pretty juicy.
E-commerce management will only be successful if all the components of the business work together. There are skills, strategies, and tools that can make the difference between success and mediocrity.
E-commerce managers must, however, ensure that their services are customer and technology friendly. Not forgetting, an excellent e-commerce web host is crucial for delivering server security, site responsiveness, and technical support. You can find top-rated web hosting recommendations here.
Next Steps: What Now?