An experience from Shop to Ship. And a story, that I didn't learn from school or university but rather personally felt, imagined and experienced from my dad's who was into the traditional business (as a shopkeeper).
Regardless, Stay with me, relax yourself with a coffee, beer or whatever makes you tipsy hahah!(really Monday afternoon) and Trust that you will enjoy it by the time you finish reading!
Again as I always say, NOT FOR MARKETING PURPOSE , just learn, share and make myself feel happy! For few of you out there, this might look like the basics which you already know nevertheless, take the opportunity to feedback for me to improvise.
What it contains: This article covers all the rudimentary elements involved in setting an eCommerce business more purely thoughts, next practices to keep it running, drive revenue and lastly measuring growth. All of them are organised in a certain sense deliberately to help you visualise a story (specially for beginners) and give structure from beginning to end.
Consider it just a run book that you need to run through if you are setting up eCommerce business. Unfortunately this is purely a collection of #my little experience working so far with different businesses, but one day I will have one mine.
Use-case: Setup an eCommerce business (sounds so easy, honestly I wanted to do this but my wife always has some concerns over my bank balance, nah; )
A. Lets see the ingredients (elements):
- Product Inventory (Sourcing)- Setting up a product inventory (stock IN /OUT) is really the core of any business.
- Cataloguing- The art of organising your products /services using categories (Men, Women etc.) A Catalogue in essence is a container that holds your products / categories organised in a certain fashion to drive sales & most importantly experience. Usually the art in traditional business is called Merchandising.
- Listings (product listings & displays) - PDP and PLP are 2 two of the weapons for you to present product descriptions, videos , photos, size, color etc. and other relevant elements etc. this is where the fate for potential sale lies , one step closer to get revenue.
- Marketing (Email, Social etc) - this weapon is all about how to make your brand reach customers / consumers using all the underlying communication tools.
- Customer visits (Select > Buy > Pay) for an item which gets authorised first via. Payment Gateway and then you see a happy message.
- Order Processing (release lock & Approve, fulfilment (Distribution centre CD or Drop-ship , Schedule, release, Pick & Pack) - Order Management systems usually hold this job of accepting orders to finally shipping the product for end delivery
- Logistics (Shipping- Transport and Deliver)- They deal with transport and services to help your brand deliver products in a timely manner. End goal to make customers happy :)
- Customer Service - This is your friend who comes to rescue when you as a customer have some issues with products / services on quality, delivery and service concerns.
To Sum, so far we talked about the prime elements involved in eCom, every single element on its own is altogether a healthy process to maintain and run the entire supply chain.
B. What it takes to convert a visit to conversion $: really basic things!
- Easy site experience so that your customers KISS it - try not to have too much content, categories as it makes it easy to deflect and quality use of search terms makes it easy for shoppers to browse and enjoy website experience.
- A clear path to purchase - Draw at the back precise path / journey to convert visit to purchase and define them to stages (for what we will talk later)
- Search Effectiveness - Irrelevant, wrong and crowded results often result in customers leaving your website and next sec you would see all your strategy in bin.
- Intelligent Recommendations- adds up to customer buying things which he is intending to buy when he /she visits your website.
- Personalise Greet & treat people with Name and offer them additional things they fond of: Make them feel that as a brand you are not selling products but rather a lasting experience which makes them come again (called repeaters and bring more) . We humans tend to align easily.
- Channel support for both web and Mobile and consistent exp (a major reason for omnichannel capability, consider it buzzword for now ;))
- Offer easy Payment options (not just limited to one)- sometimes compared to traditional you need to offer options aligned to focus more on buy than money you get.
- Lastly, Guide them to make decisions rather than merely offering them options, this is called conversational commerce which is guided with digital enabled channels WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. to help, take personal Interest, advantage and other factors into account when building a relation.
To Conclude thinking, why does this matter ?
A. Develop Trust
B. Enhance Buying experience
C. Turn them your Ambassador
Now that 1. we have a virtual shop up and running with all ingredients and 2. we know the dealing practices to generate revenue 3. Lastly, how we measure our business growth is what we see at last.
C. Metrics for measuring your eCom success:
There are multiple KPIs' and growth metrics, you would need to unbox to see your success rate, And there are tools out there to help you measure that -
- Quantify the number of site visitors
- Conversion rate: No of orders divided by total number of visitors.
- Number of orders per day / quarter (volume)
- units per order
- Conversion rate
- Web quality traffic
- Avg.order value
- Total Sale made from website
- Growth by device, product category to assess.