Successful retail and eCommerce management

24 Jan 2020
Kate, copywriter
Improve your eCommerce store management. It is what makes your business competitive.
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behavioral factor

How to manage retail & eCommerce store successfully

What happens on the Internet, stays there forever. Except for your website store, if you don’t care about improving your management. Theoretically, it will exist on the web. Practically, no one will search for it. People will spend less and less time on your eCommerce store. The thing is that Google has recently patented behavioral factor technology. It detects the time you spend on the page. The more time – the more relevant information. The website is valuable. Google says “Yes!” to its promotion. So the more you ignore the necessity to attract user`s attention by good eCommerce management, the more it disrupts your ambitions, venue and customer satisfaction. In retail, clients are not faithful partners. They won’t stay with you in sickness and in health. It’s the age of consumerism. They want to be constantly enticed.

To entice them, improve your retail store management. It is what makes your business competitive on the market. Why?

  • Faster order processing => faster delivery => clients order again;
  • Clear discount system => clients understand benefits => clients order again;
  • Fast reaction to complaints => customers are cajoled immediately => customers order again.

Yes, good management produces regular customers.

What is store management in eCommerce, exactly?

It’s the set of actions that improve your clients’ experience when they use your webshop. Think about the situations when you order online.

  • You want to find products fast and also check different categories;
  • You want to register, add a purchase to the basket, choose a convenient payment system;
  • You want fast delivery;
  • If something is not satisfactory, you want to refer to customer support and get your money back or get an exchange.

Store management is what controls and improves these processes.

Store management system

Your online store management will largely depend on what eCommerce platform you choose. There are plenty of them: OpenCart, Prestashop, Shopify. Depending on the complexity of the project you’ll need different ones. However, there is one that will fit any scale of business — Magento. It manages data, goods, gathers all stores in one place. This way, you’ll be able to go through all stages of the management process effectively. Let’s begin with…

Managing Product Listings

You will find a pair of men’s socks faster if you look in men’s section with underwear. If there is no such structure in the shop, you will not buy socks there. Just like that in the eCommerce retail store. Everything should be structured and designed in a way so that the client does not need to additionally search for information, perform redundant actions, and get distracted.

The minimum needed to structure your catalog

Design. The best option is a light background with black text and no distractions. It’s easier to read. Clients won’t think about how annoying these colors are. They’ll think about the purchase.

Title. It must be precise, detailed, and including keywords people use to search such products. For example, we came across the following title on Amazon – “Michael Kors Men’s Slim Runway Quartz Watch with Stainless Steel Strap”. You can google “Michael Kors Watch”, “Quartz Watch buy”, “Stainless Steel Strap Watch” and find this very item.

Images and videos of high or at least good quality. Be sure to display products from different sides or even show how it is used. The price must be correct and updated. When was last time you felt delighted ordering $5 item which turned out to cost $10? Just because no one updated it!

Options and description. Be sure to include sizes, colors, fabrics, shapes and possible ways of using.

Practical considerations. You won’t deliver glass and fabrics in the same way, so add info about shipping. For practical considerations, you also can add taxes. For example, in the USA they differ from state to state. What if you are from California and order headphones from Florida? By law, you’ll have to pay a tax of your residence. Client-oriented webshops contain such info. They may even add the tax to price and show it.

Reviews and Ratings. It is still the best method of selling. You hear good feedback — you are more likely to buy.

Question/Answer. It’s in case something is not mentioned and your customer needs to know it. It is more convenient to write the question in special QA section than call customer support.

CTA. Call-to-action buttons like “ORDER NOW” and “ADD TO WISHLIST”.

If you did correct catalog management, your clients will find what they searched. Now they can fill in a basket and pay.

order status

Payment solutions and chargeback cases management

Before choosing payment solutions, think where your market locates. Small region? One country? West globe? Whole world?

If you deliver things only throughout the USA, be sure to include American Banks, if throughout Europe — European ones. If both, then the best decision would be online wallets and online banks. The most popular and customer-proven are PayPal, Amazon Payments, WePay, Dwolla, Payoneer, 2Checkout. It does not mean you have to launch every single payment solution. You just need to know what app your target audience uses most. Also, be sure to warn about possible taxes for each payment solution. Also, consider the chargeback conditions of each payment app. No matter the quality, there will be situations when a person pays and then wants money back.

Here are several reasons why a client may demand money back:

  • A customer just changed the mind. Just like that;
  • Errors in shipping, packaging, and delivery;
  • Lack of clear/responsive communication;
  • Authorization and processing errors.

Managing a retail store with good order processing, you can eliminate these reasons.

Order Processing step by step.

  • Congratulations! You’ve got an order! It’s a white T-Shirt for Lily from New York. Size M. In system, the order gets status “New”.
  • Now we need to gather info about shipping and payment so that it changes to“Pending Payment”.
  • If Lily changed her mind and refused to pay for the T-shirt, the order would be “Cancelled” in the system. However, she did want this T-Shirt. So it has a status “Payment Received”.
  • Then we check if our warehouses have specific items in stock. ECommerce platforms give a possibility to improve this process. They take the product off-website if it’s off the warehouse. Now, let’s suppose you have it. 
  • The next step is packing according to practical considerations. Well, our T-shirt is not made of glass but it can crumple easily. We need to fold it carefully and place it in a package. Order is in status “Invoiced”.
  • Then we ship it. You need to fill in all info so that T-SHirt gets to Lily from New York not Jackobe from Minnesota.
  • When Lily gets an order, it has the status “Delivered”. Then there are two options. Lily may think the T-Shirt is of bad quality, and she wants to turn it back. Then the order is in status “Refunded”. Or she may be satisfied and take the package. Then it is “Completed”.
customer support

Wow, it was difficult with one T-Shirt. What if there were 10000 of them? Well, that’s exactly why the choice of the eCommerce platform and apps is important. Not only they enable to automatize the process of ordering and tracking the delivery. They also can synchronize with CRM to manage your customers.

Managing Customers.

You sold not two, not three, but twenty-three thousand T-shirts!
To manage customers and analyze data, you can write down info about them in your notebook, or type it in excel. Name, surname, phone number, e-mail address, ordered goods and their categories, score, and reviews.
Oh, wait, we don’t live in a computerless past!

To manage customers you need a good customer relationship management system. What do CRMs do?

  • Store info about customers. Any type of information that the client allows to have CRM has. Then it is enabled to analyze it;
  • Organize info about customers and divide them into categories;
  • Allow making individualized offers. “Look, Lily is ordering T-shirts from our shop for 5 years. She deserves a discount”;
  • Enable to create efficient customer support.

Customer support. Key aspects.

Say, Lily ordered another T-shirt. However, she confused sizes and accidentally ordered S. She needs to exchange it. However, she doesn’t know how. Good thing you have customer support arranged. It is a service where you can call or write to solve issues, give questions and complaints. It can be a call center or customer e-mail service. People who work there will in the shortest time possibly tell you what to do or solve problems themselves.

Customer Service Skills:

  • Patience. Some people will explain the problem clearly, some won’t. It requires some time to figure out the problem. Sometimes you’ll have to tell obvious things: “Have you tried to turn it off and then on?”;
  • Clear communication. The clearer you explain, the faster the problem is solved;
  • Product knowledge. Most questions refer to that. You have to know all the features and options of it;
  • Being stress-proof. Often people call with complaints and they get aggressive. No matter how mad they are, you have to be polite.

Marketing and SEO

If no one knows about your website, no one will visit it. It’s time to do some marketing! You have two ways-  include marketing strategies to drive traffics to your store. You can integrate Instagram, launch a Facebook store, include more e-mail campaigns to attract e-mail subscribers. Go for blogging and video marketing.
The most necessary thing is writing SEO articles and promoting them on Google search. To do it, you need to determine keywords people most often use to search your product. Keywords should be relevant, competitive (not like any others, more detailed), and intended on your target audience. You can make the research with SEMRush. To make sure clients find your products, be sure to categorize them on the page and write down detailed descriptions with keywords. “Michael Kors Men’s Slim Runway Quartz Watch with Stainless Steel Strap”, remember?

Store managing software

Now that everything works like clockwork, it’s time to improve your progress with management software. You can manage retail store inventory even better than before!

  • SkuVault — a simple platform for inventory management. It enables to manage multi-channel warehouses. Improves shipping and solves order errors;
  • Unleashed enables real-time inventory checking and monitors production;
  • Linnworks connects multi-channel shops and warehouses, keeps track of listings, controls stock and shipping;
  • ShipBob — an eCommerce fulfillment provider, makes your shipping faster and manages inventory.

How can SapientPro help your eCommerce store management?

After updation of a website, eCommerce management also includes maintenance of a website by devs. They are like protectors of your website — constantly working on it, while your business grows. First of all, developers make sure that there are no bugs. Secondly, they implement new features, so that the website improves and your clients remain satisfied with their experience. A fast website without bugs alongside the quality of your product is only a basis of website management. Good developers help to arrange catalog, improve order processing, tell you how to manage customers and give pieces of advice concerning managing payments and chargeback cases. Imagine it as if SapientPro devs are building a store for you. They design the store and choose the best materials to make it long-lasting. And you can only care about management not about roof falling off or window breaking.

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