What Dropshipping capabilities every order management system must have?

drop_ship

Of late “Dropshipping” has become an important tool in an online retailers’ repertories. But, performing it in a traditional way is no more a good idea. It can be time-consuming, error prone and loss making in today’s competitive world of e-commerce. The smart way is to live up with the technology and use them not only to ensure accuracy but also will save you loads of time and cost in turn will make the best out of your resources.

Automation is the buzzword in world of retail, and today more and more retailers have realized that it does not only makes their life easy but allows them to make the most out of it. If you are one of them and ship from more than one warehouse, or dropship through multiple suppliers then it can be a real nightmare. Instead of stressing on multi-locations shipping on every single order, take a step back. Infuse and order management system that allows dropshipping capabilities. Doing this retailers can automate the way orders are processed which allows them to automatically route orders to correct suppliers who will then handle order fulfilment, including packing and shipping them to customers.

There are many order management system solutions for e-commerce retailer available in the market, but not all of them allow dropshipping functionalities. So, when you look for an order management system ensure that it offers you the following functionalities.

1- Electronically route order

Your order management system should electronically transmit orders to the designated dropshipper sharing the customer’s detail that includes order details, name, address and message the customer has requested for. This way you eliminate the hassle of manually routing orders to multiple suppliers one by one.

dropshipping 2 – Auto-update tracking details

Once your customer’s order is routed to the dropshiper, it should automatically send electronic manifests to the carrier and push order shipping confirmation and tracking details to your order management. Therefore select an order management system that has the ability to connect well with your suppliers system which will make your order fulfilment process faster and much organized.

3 – Order invoicing facility

Your order management system should offer a functionality that allows dropshippers to automatically transmit invoice directly into your financial management system, once order shipped.

4 – Cancellation and order modification facility

While selecting an order management system ensure that it offers the ability to modify and cancel orders on customer’s request. Also, any changes made to an order, your order management system should notify your dropshipper for the same, to avoid confusion.

5 – Real-time reports

It becomes very important for you to know suppliers performance because not all of them offer the same service or system. Make sure your order management system has a tool that gives you a clear visibility of your supplier’s performance in real-time. This way you can analyse service that you are getting from each suppliers and increase efficiency and customer service like never before!

Key benefits of having drop-shipping order management system

1 – Eliminates manual processes

No more risk routing orders to the wrong suppliers. Running a dropshipping business in a traditional way can lead to errors and miscommunication between you and the dropshipper. Automating your dropshipping retail business will bring you accuracy and efficiency in fulfilling your customers orders.

2 – Less order processing time

Dropshiment when done manually involves more time to fulfil orders through multiple suppliers managing each individually -again which may lead to miscommunication and create a loss for your business. Having a dropshipping order management system in place will eliminate the manual process involved in selecting suppliers then  routing order and other functionalities that will reduce order processing time dramatically!

In Closing

If you are retailer into dropshipping business who has not yet implemented an order management system or has an order management system but does not offer the above

mentioned functionalities then you need to act upon it now!

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Are Manufacturers Ready For eCommerce?

Manufacturers who are willing to sell online, should understand that they don’t need to become web merchants, but instead step into the shoe of a retailer.

Many manufacturers already sell online to their business customers, while others are planning to do, and some are still investing further in their digital sales platform. Today, owners are seen to be adopting e-commerce over the development of their brick and mortar presence, but are not sound of the challenges in implementing an online sales operation.

Are manufacturers ready for ecommerce?

Source: internetretailer.com

Are you one amongst those who is planning to do so, then let me throw some light on the most common challenges that you will face while selling online.

Product offering and price not ecommerce ready

Manufacturer’s product offering are designed for retail business and are not consumer ready, so it hampers key decisions for making an online offer – that can include testing of new products, exclusive products and even pricing. So, it’s important that your product offering and price offer a competitive value to the consumer, and ensure that it does not affect the profit margin.

Lack of in-house talent

Your firm will have employees who are trained in a manufacturing environment, hence there will be no logical leader to understand the complexity of an online business. Lack of in-house ecommerce talent will hamper executing online business!

Customer support

In a manufacturing unit, there is no deep involvement of customers support and hence your staff may find it difficult to directly communicate with the customers. And, in the world of online, customers prefer shopping from sites having a complete customer support in place. Outsourcing your customers support to a third party may be a critical decision, so ensure you have a trained customer support team to reap the benefits.

Fulfillment process not set up

Inventory management and order fulfillment are one of the biggest challenges in e-commerce industry and if you think that fulfillment is the same as the manufacturing industry, then you are wrong. A strong process or ecommerce solution system in place needs to be set-up, to effectively manage shipments and returns. Your fulfillment process will determine the success of your business.

Marketing, a whole new start

Digital marketing may not be implemented in the world of manufacturing industry, so understanding social media, search engine optimization, email, affiliate marketing, and the whole balance between traffic and conversions can be a whole new start. And, without marketing how will you promote your products  to consumers. This is one of the biggest challenge manufacturers are facing in the world of online.

Lack of a research to work through the above mentioned points

If is always suggested to research well before plunging into the world of online. Start investigating on the e-commerce process to wrestle the above issues, as none of them are hard to overcome. But, always remember an online business requires a disciplined thought and decision making power to be successful.

In closing               

Are you ready for ecommerce? If yes, spend time and make use of the internet and get help from experienced experts that will help you identify the challenges and opportunities, while you engage in a process to work through the answers.

Image Source: internetretailer.com

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Posted in Business Management Software, Inventory Management Software

Purchasing Email List Can Ruin Your Brand’s Reputation

Leads that are purchased in return for big bucks containing huge database of email addresses which are said to be potential contact information.

What do you understand by purchasing an email list?If you are new to email marketing with aggressive sales targets, purchasing email list can seen to be a tempting quick fix to gain contact information and communicate your message. While tempting for some, email lead list services do more harm than good for a brand.

Unfortunately, companies are still paying big bucks purchasing leads and using them for marketing and sales campaigns. Maybe if they knew the bad part about the purchase email lists, they’d re-evaluate their outbound efforts and consider cultivating their own leads through inbound means.

Read further, to know how can purchasing email list ruin your brand’s reputation.

1- The data cannot be trusted

Every three out five competitors may happen to have the same list. So, companies who purchase email list can expect to have duplicate leads. This means those lead information and contacts may have already be used and through those leads even you contact the same people who may not want to hear from you who in turn will spread negative comments about your brand over their social networking sites.

How many unsolicited mails do you receive on a regular basis? I receive about two to five in my inbox per day, which is quite annoying and interrupts my day. Imagine blasting out thousands of emails through such leads can drastically arise a damaging effect on your brand, because inaccuracies in your data will cause the recipient to immediately question your credibility.

2 – Low Response rate

Receiving an unsolicited email is like starting a conversation with a stranger on the bus. For instance, when you receive a marketing email from a company that you may have never heard of, you probably flag them as spam or simply delete it. Similarly, trusting your purchase email list and bombarding emails to those contacts may bring you low response rate because either the recipients are not sound with your company or service or the email address provided are of poor quality.

If you’re buying a purchase email list, keep in mind that the other vendors may have the same list, and even businesses elsewhere who bought the list, are also emailing these recipients. By the time you reach the recipients’ inboxes, those readers are going to be exhausted and annoyed by the barrage of unsolicited commercial email they’ve been receiving. This way you will not receive a positive response rate and also affect your brand value.

3 – Hampers your IP reputation  

When a person doesn’t know why they’re receiving emails from your business, there’s a higher chance they’ll mark your email as spam or even get annoyed and report a complaint for such unsolicited emails.

For instance, if you purchase a 1,000-person list and receive just 1 complaint, you’ll most likely get a warning from your email marketing provider letting you know that you’ve been reported as having a high spam rate and to stop.

If you consistently get spam complaints, your account could either be temporarily blocked or your email provider may close it indefinitely. Your email deliverability could also drop drastically and your emails will start hitting spam boxes instead of regular inboxes, which is not at all a good sign for your brand.

4 – Impacts sales momentum

Spending time and money on third-party email list is surely going to hamper your sales flow. You cannot trust the data to be genuine, hence you are not sure about the response rate. So, blindly targeting people, will bring in more complaints and negative feedbacks for your brand which in turn creates a bad impact on your sales momentum.

So, what’s the solution?

Purchasing email lists, you are unable to confirm it to be a potential source. Are you willing to risk not only your email deliverability, but also the reputation of your IP address and your company? Instead it is always recommended to begin creating your email list from scratch using an email subscriber form on your website. It’s slower, but your response rate will be so much better!

Image Source: help.madmimi.com

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Posted in Email Marketing, Online Marketing, Purchasing email lists

Points to consider while selecting your shipping provider

When you plan to start an online business, there is a lot of hard work involved. From the initial stage of designing the website, and before running social media campaigns, you’ll have to face the not-so-interesting task of selecting your shipping provider.

Your shipping provider is one major component that will decide the success of your business. So, it becomes important for you to be careful while you select your shipping provider.

Implementing too many shipping provider, can be confusing, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit your shipping option to one; instead offer choices for your customers depending on the size of your business and type of products you’ll be transporting.

Points to consider while selecting your shipping providerSo how would you determine which are the best shipping provider for your business. Here are few points you ought to keep in mind:

1 – Type of products

The first component to keep in mind is to always consider the type of products you will deal with your customers. Your shipping provider should offer a complete shipping management system that does not limit your product offerings, such as if your are selling edible or perfumes. You may also come across certain shipping provider who limit their service to very expensive or fragile products. So, know your products and it’s shipping requirement when consulting various shipping providers.

2 – Area of service

Know your target audience and consider your area service while selecting your shipping provider. This is one more crucial factor to consider, as you’ll know whether to implement both national or international providers in your options.

3 – Credibility

Shipping customers order in timely manner will make them happy and entice them to shop from your site only! So, check the credibility the shipping provider your consider in your shipping options. There are many providers with cheap rate but they may end with costly errors like lost package or package not delivered on time- this will directly hit the bottom line of your business. Ensure you check reviews of the shipping management software you would like to implement.

4 – Accuracy & Speed

Every online shopper would expect a quick shopping experience. So, consider those in your options who offer both accuracy and speed of delivery in local as well as national locations.

5 – Tracking service

Your shipping management provider should allow tracking ability in real-time. This is one of the most important points to consider while you select your options as it will allow you to track customers order as well as you can monitor their level of service. Also, in case of delay in shipping process, with real-time shipment capabilities you can easily contact your customers and keep them in loop with their order status and also allow them to track shipment status online.

6 – Security

One of the shipment challenge for many retailers, is package lost in transit. Therefore, to have a peace in mind you should ensure that your shipping provider will offer a security for products lost in transit. Please not all shipping providers offer security, so select the one’s that does, compare prices and consider those in your shipping options.

7 – Flexibility

Your customers may demand flexibility in delivery. And, fulfilling their demands will help you stand out the competition. Ensure your shipping provider is open to same-day deliveries, re-route packages, and much more.

8 – Live rates

Ensure you implement a shipping provider that allows you to calculate shipping and postage costs based on service level required, location and weight. Having this feature, you get a clear picture of the costs associated with each provider and can easily compare shipping options.

9 – Type of shipment methods

Almost 70% of online shoppers will opt for cheapest shipping option available. Ensure you focus on type of shipment methods when you consider your shipping options. Flat rate and free-shipping methods are standard ones that your shipping provider should offer.

10 – Pricing

Shipping provider has a costs for the service they provide – delivery surcharges, delivery confirmation charges, insurance fee. So, include these extra charges when you calculate the cost of shipping and compare provider and settle for the best in your shipping options.

11 – Integration with business system

Co-coordinating your shipping provider with your order system will ensure a smooth flow eliminating costly errors like shipping products twice to customers. Ensure you settle for a provider that allows integration with business system, like inventory and order to optimize your fulfillment process and minimize errors.

12 – Handle returns

Returns are a part of any retail business, and it’s difficult to prevent such scenarios. But, managing those returns efficiently will keep your customer satisfied. Ensure your shipping provider allow tools to automate your returns process maintaining good customer experience – leading to repeat sales and recommendations.

You might also like: How shipping management software can help reduce shipping rates?

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How to successfully run an Etsy Shop?

If you are one of them who has a passion to design handmade products and are making few bugs selling it either in your friend’s circle or through an exhibition, then why not turn your craft into a more profitable business!

Etsy is a devoted marketplace for handmade products where millions of people across the globe connect to buy and sell unique products. Offering an easy-to-use platform to showcase you handmade, vintage items and craft supplies, Etsy will allow you to grow your independent creativity giving a competitive advantage for the building a successful store!

For all those people who would like to turn their art into profit-making business without even opening a store, then Etsy it is! Curious to know more about Etsy? Thinking it may be a good compliment to the way you’re marketing your craft business at present? Check out few tips that will help you successfully run an Etsy shop.

How to successfully run an Etsy Shop?

1. Do your homework before jumping
Many talented artists who have listed their handmade products on Etsy.com are wondering why aren’t their products selling. This is because they haven’t done their homework properly. So, if you are planning to open Etsy store, then you first need to well-educate yourself with Etsy policies. Also, you can connect with a support person during their set hours though Etsy’s live chat feature. Doing this, you can easily iron out kinks you may have in mind before actually starting with Etsy.

2. Create a name carefully
Etsy will not allow you to change your username once created. So, create a name carefully as it will accompany you forever. It is always recommended to choose a username same as you would like to name your shop. Unless you have a specific name in mind, you can always compare other sellers name in the search box that are leading in Etsy’s page. Try similar combinations, pick a good one and stick with it.

3. Add relevant images to your products
Etsy is an image-driven platform, so your product image will influence a buyer’s decision based on their needs, taste and quality of your image. You are allowed to showcase five images for each product that you list, so ensure you add relevant images to your products that are clear, creative and with proper close-up.

4. List your products in dribs and drabs
Listing all your products at the very first day will no doubt keep them up in Esty’s search results giving you a competitive advantage to bring in more sales to your store. But, let me tell you your product ranking will go down in search results as and when new sellers upload their unique products on Esty. So, listing products in batches day-by-day will help you keep your newly added products up in Etsy’s search. This way you have your products visible for a longer time.

5. Focus on keywords
Getting your Etsy products found on Goggle can be a hassle, but proper research and use of small niche words will be of a great help. Small niche words are found less on Google, but at the same time are less competitive. The smaller competition, the better the chance your products will rank in Goggle for a particular keyword. Focus on keywords that people interested in your products will search for and use Google keyword tool to get more relevant keywords and determine using the ones that are worth!

6. Informative “About us” page
Your “About us” page will influence may shoppers loyalty towards your brand. So being visible about your company will help shoppers determine whether to shop products from your site or not. The more visible your company profile and policies are the better sales you will experience. If you have beautiful handmade products to sell, then why not express that in words and make your “About us” page more informative, creative and influential.

7. Identify your market
Implementing marketing campaigns in general is a waste of time, cost and effort. Knowing your target audience makes it easier for you to target them and bring in sales. So, identify your audience in small segments and market your products to them rotationally. Or, if you have an online store and selling products since quite a while then analyze through past sales and track those audience that are interested in your product and who are actually buying them. This way you can identify your market which makes it easier for branding your Esty store.

8. Brand your products and store
Once you know your target audience, you need to make your Esty store and products visible to them. So, your branding method will be the most important source to bring in traffic. Your branding methods can include blog posts, social media, newsletters, and much more. Ensure you brand your products and store to the right audience at the right time for quick and better results.

9. Have patience
Once you brand your Etsy store and products, give time for customers to respond. Success doesn’t happen overnight. There can be days when you may have no sales but there can also be days when your may be flooded with sales. Sales can go up and down for no reasons. So stay positive during slow times and find out ways that can bring in sales!

In summary
The above mentioned tips will no doubt help you, but continuously implementing changes to your store is a never ending tasks of successful Etsy store owner!

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How can an efficient purchase management resolve your stock issues?

One of the oldest, but yet a challenge many businesses face, is purchase management and inventory. Running low on necessary stock, placing duplicate orders, or not receiving placed orders are some of the major stock issues that companies may face while dealing with purchase management, in a traditional way. Today, in order to survive the growing competition, you cannot afford any room for errors in your purchase management. Because, if you don’t procure products in a timely-manner, then you will loss sales and trust of many potential customers.To avoid stock issues scenarios nothing can be better than automating your purchase management.

The buzzword for an efficient purchase management is “automation.” Implementing an order management system that offers an in-built purchase management software will help you avoid stock issues while making the process more streamlined and efficient. This way you can cut-out and automate many steps as possible, reducing cost and manual-related errors. Also, integrating this software with your business allows every employee associated with purchasing, to easily access the software for collaborative management to expedite the purchase order requests.

How can an efficient purchase management resolve your stock issues?Image source : orderhive.com

By automating your purchase management you can ensure the following:

1 – Accuracy

By automating your purchase management you can have an easy access to all your inventory in real-time. It will alert you once your stock reaches a limit. However, in a traditional approach you or the person associated to purchasing have to constantly check those levels manually, and any error  may lead to several stock issues. So, the smart and effective way to prevent critical stock from running out, is to automate your order purchase process.

2 – Repeat purchase order

If you are business undertaking regular shipment of products – it becomes tedious, time-taking and error-prone to recreate the same purchase orders, repeatedly. This reduces product management efficiency and directly affects the bottom line of your business. However, integrating a purchase management system with your back-end operations can repeat old purchase orders avoiding the hassle to recreating them, again and again. So, repeat purchase order can be created once and used indefinitely, increasing efficiency and eliminating stock issues, in such scenarios.

3 – Purchase order visibility

Miscommunication is the one of root cause that occurs stock issues. Many times it is commonly noted that one person from your purchasing department places the order, but another person accepts it but forgets to forward the product to the concerned department in a timely-manner. This reduces efficiency and increases management costs of your business. Automating your purchase order process will allow you and the members of your purchasing team a clear visibility of all your purchase order process, in real-time. It doesn’t matter who receives the order or who placed the initial order, the arrival of the products will be known company-wide.

4 – Up-to-date reports

Maintaining accurate reports is the key for an efficient purchase management. It becomes difficult to track purchase orders manually, and even more difficult is to generate accurate reports based on those information. Having accurate reports on-the-go will help you resolve stock issues, completely. Purchasing software automatically tracks purchase orders and helps you generate reports at the click of a button, allowing you to make informed decision to avoid stock issues, which in turn can save your business more money.

In Closing

Automation is a smart way to spot: improved efficiency, cost saving and convenience. Because all of your purchase orders is handled by a single system, the chances of stock issues becomes zero.

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How to increase your marketplace sales with repricing?

Marketplace repricing – What does it mean?
In a simple words, marketplace repricing means a seller making changes in the price of their products they offer on platforms that includes Amazon and eBay. It is mainly done for a competitive advantage.

How can I increase my marketplace sales with repricing?
Repricing a product too low can reduce profit margin and pricing a product too high may not bring in sales. Market repricing has to be planned well, because an uncompetitive price will push your products way behind other products listed on the marketplace, which in turn will affect the bottom line of your business. Therefore, to be a successful marketplace seller you need to find ways that will always keep your products at a very competitive rate to drive-in more sales and increase your ROI.

How to increase your marketplace sales with repricing?Below are few suggestion that will help you increase your marketplace sales with repricing.

1 – Determine your cost
Your product’s price listed on marketplaces will determine the conversion rates. Therefore it is always suggested to determine direct cost – including stock, shipping, packing, and other indirect cost applied with those product. This way you get your unit cost, by which you can start testing repricing your products which will help you gain a deeper understanding what repricers do and in the end settle for the most competitive price that will bring in more sales.

2 – Know which product to reprice
Repricing multiple products at a time without preparation can lead to poor sales, and in the end affects the bottom line of your business. So, it is always suggested to select few products to represent the whole, which makes it easier for you to test which set of products has more response from buyers. This way working with small batches will help you focus more thoroughly and quickly, and allows you to increase your marketplace sales with repricing.

3 – Implement a repricing tool
Automating repricing has it’s own pro’s and con’s, as implementing a repricing tool may not work the same on all your marketplaces, but having it in place will help you understand and learn what are the effects of repricing and how far it benefits your business. It is always suggested to implement the repricer solution offered by the same marketplace through which you sell your products, as it will help you better understand your product’s demand and reprice them at a very competitive price, which in turn will increase the chances of sales and boost profit margins.

4 – Test and Adjust
Having a repricing tool for your marketplaces is good, but that’s not all. Because what may work now does not mean it will work forever. So, it becomes crucial for you to test the benefits that your are getting from the repricing tool, review them and finally make adjustments. This way you can make better decisions and focus more on the best selling products.

Repricing tool available in the market

There are two ways of getting a repricing tool: a repricing tool offered by specialist who are just focused in repricing and the other, a built-in repricing tool offered by marketplaces.

A specialist repricing tool will benefit you the most as they are focused on performing one function, hence they will do their job well. On the other hand, using a repricing tool offered by your marketplace, it becomes easy for you as a start-up to understand and optimize repricing.

In conclusion
In a platform where millions of sellers are performing the same job, it becomes difficult to manually track and reprice your products, therefore automating repricing will make for an utmost benefit, bringing in more sales than you expect!

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