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Guide to Automating Your Invoice Processing For Easy Cashflow

Category: Growth Hacks

Guide to Automating Your Invoice Processing For Easy Cashflow

Guide to Automating Your Invoice Processing For Easy Cashflow
Processing invoices, especially when your business is starting to grow, can be painstaking.

When performing the task manually, it can be easy to make mistakes which leads to delayed payments and upsets in business relationships.

Follow this guide to improve your business cash flow and develop reliability when it comes to invoicing for your business.

Invoice Types

There are two main types of invoicing available to businesses. These are:

  • Before payment (accounts receivable or payable)
  • After payment (receipts and copies of transactions for record-keeping)

Before Payment

This is a common approach for many companies. These invoices detail the services or products which were provided and the amount they cost.

It is essentially a request for payment within a period and needs to be completed by the relevant people before the deadline.

Manually creating before-payment invoices can create issues when it comes to consistency and efficiency. By automating you can:

  • Automatically invoice clients;
  • Register invoices for your accounting department to see outstanding payments;
  • Receive reminders when payments are due.

All of these processes help to improve productivity so if you use them before payment invoicing, you can benefit greatly from automation.

After Payment

This process acts as a receipt for a client. It acknowledges that payment has been made and provides proof for bookkeeping purposes.

A common area for these forms of invoices is online stores where you receive a receipt once you have purchased an item.

For small and growing businesses, creating manual after payment invoices whenever something is purchased from your web store is time-consuming and costly.

Here you can automate: customers receiving copies of their invoices; making exact copies of invoices automatically for record-keeping and creating invoices instantly to accelerate the payment process.

Why Wait?

Guide to Automating Your Invoice Processing For Easy Cashflow
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Let’s for a moment consider a hypothetical new business start-up.

The imaginary owners want to create a great external customer service experience, so they look at articles on how to start a contact center. They manage invoice payments manually for the first year of their company’s existence as there aren’t too many to manage, but suddenly they begin to grow exponentially due to the success of using vanity phone numbers in a marketing campaign.

They are now stuck. Their company is wasting precious time and money creating invoices that have errors. Their clients are getting confused and feel misguided and relationships are fracturing. The company chooses to switch to automated payment systems but loses money during the transitional period.

If the company had switched to automatic invoice processing before their sudden growth, they would be able to scale up payments and keep up with demand so consider doing this immediately.

What is automated Invoicing?

Automated invoicing is the process of making a historically manual job automated through computer systems and software.

The aim is to make an arduous and error-filled practice straightforward, efficient, and accurate. When you have your processes set up, scheduling payments, sending receipts, and creating invoices will be simple and means cash flow remains uninterrupted.

It is important to recognize that the options for businesses are wide. However, some companies strive to make the process of moving from manual to automated invoicing as seamless and trouble-free as possible.

One example of these companies that provide brilliant software is Paytabs. They have video tutorials available to those just getting started and have great customer communication channels to make sure your needs are met continuously.

Benefits

So why move to automated invoicing?

Guide to Automating Your Invoice Processing For Easy Cashflow
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  1. You reduce your costs vastly. Paying employees to manually create invoices is expensive, especially when they make a mistake and have to go through the process again to make sure it’s right. Furthermore, an automated service is trustworthy, so senior officers and managers won’t need to review every payment before it’s sent.
  2. It reduces errors. Automation means you don’t need to worry about human error. When people make mistakes it can upset clients and fracture relationships, much like having out of stock products, with important vendors or clients. Ditching manual means you won’t have to worry, as the software is created to serve a specific purpose.
  3. Faster turnaround times. For all businesses, making your invoices automatic means you can make payments quickly and it minimizes the amount of admin. When money moves quickly and reliably, companies are happier.
  4. Employees have the time to focus on higher-impact jobs. Without the need to process invoices, they can be asked to perform jobs that are more valuable to your company such as performing affiliate program monitoring.

What does it involve?

With all the software available to businesses nowadays it’s clear that automation is the way to go to improve efficiency and reduce costs. More people than ever are involved with creating new software, IoT app development, and websites. So where do you start?

Create Your Forms

The first thing you need to do is decide on the program which suits your business approach and requirements.

It is important to consider the needs of your company and the information required to process payments properly. Modern software allows you to use digital signatures, or provide simple drop-down menus with lists of clients or services to make payments even smoother.

Once you have made this decision, you need to use pre-built templates or create your invoicing form. Creating a form provides clarity to users and uniformity across all of your payments. This is often instantaneous, meaning you can use the forms straight away.

In the past altering forms manually would be challenging but modern solutions mean you don’t need to be a coding expert to make complex processes a reality. The automation and control you can exert, when it comes to creating your forms through appropriate software, is often very user-friendly and truly customizable.

Consider Your Approval Workflow

Regardless of your payment process, more valuable invoices need to be sent to senior officers or company presidents for approval. Again, these processes are easily managed when it comes to software.

Imagine that your company requires that all invoices over $10,000 are sent to the senior officer before processing.

Modern software can be employed to ensure that this process happens every single time without error.

This means that managers are only seeing the payments which they are required to under company policy thus saving time and improving efficiency.

Integrate

It is important to consider how integration between your new and old systems will look. It is key that your payment records are kept up-to-date for bookkeeping. For example, when it comes to reviewing company profits or gathering information regarding a payment discrepancy in the future.

This is where considering how you are going to ensure a seamless transition between manual and automated systems is vital.

Much automated software comes with the ability to integrate with current financial management systems.

Generally, companies are likely to use an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system for their finances, and manually entering order numbers into databases is time-consuming and costly. Find software that fulfills this process automatically and works well with the methods you currently employ.

Next steps

Guide to Automating Your Invoice Processing For Easy Cashflow
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Training

Whilst the initial set up of an automated invoicing software comes with difficulties, over longer periods you will find that the time previously spent on completing invoices, can be used for other important parts of your business. Use a time management tool to reap the benefits of spare moments.

Using a new piece of software can come as a challenge to many companies. Your staff must be trained to use new programs. You should have an approach laid out in your IT strategy to help employees manage and understand new systems.

The ultimate aim is to make the payment process easier and making sure everyone understands produces fluidity in sharing information and issues.

Use and Review

Having an initial testing phase is important so make sure you do that immediately.

However, after some time using the new invoicing software, your company must be reflective in regards to its effectiveness.

Asking companies who have processed payments through your new approach for feedback can further develop your use of the systems.

Gaps and difficulties can be challenging to overcome when filling out invoices manually. However, using automated software means you can quickly customize and change your invoicing forms and process to adhere to changing needs, so listen to feedback from clients and employees.

Final Thoughts

For those who process a few invoices per quarter, or those doing hundreds a day, switching to automation contributes to great efficiency and reduces costs swiftly. When used correctly, it can alter the way your business operates and free up time for employees.It is important when considering moving to automation, that you find software that is effective for your business. To save time, don’t scour the internet, start with PayTabs, take a look at the great services they offer, and watch a few videos. You may find that they provide exactly what you need clearly.

Jessica Day
Jessica Day – Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, Dialpad
Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business hosted IP PBX communications platform that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Here is her LinkedIn. She has also written content for Pretty Links and Kanbanize.

6 Basic Steps of Order Fulfillment and Challenges You Need to Know

If you’re launching your first ecommerce site and looking to sell across a distance, you need to understand the order fulfillment process. Third-party solutions, like dropshipping or fulfillment by Amazon, can make things easier on your end.

However, they just move the complexity to places you don’t control. You need a clear business process to run your order fulfillment. What is a business process, and how does it help?

A business process is any sequence of steps you need to take to achieve an outcome. David Allen writes in Getting Things Done that a “project” is any outcome that requires two or more actions to complete. “Business processes” may sound complicated, but it’s just the principle – i.e., mapping out the steps needed to accomplish a goal – that’s applied to teams and whole companies.

By documenting and clarifying your business processes you can begin optimizing them. After all, what isn’t measured can’t be improved. If your returns process isn’t optimized, you’ll find your staff’s time being taken up by proactive customer care when things go wrong.

The order fulfillment process has lots of moving parts where a lot can go wrong, but the customer sees none of that. They just expect their product to arrive quickly and easily. If they don’t get that, because your order fulfillment process wasn’t well-run, they’ll take their business elsewhere.

With that in mind, let’s look at six basic steps of the order fulfillment process and see some of the challenges your business might face with them.

6 Basic Steps of Order Fulfillment and Challenges You Need to Know

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1. Receive your goods

Whatever the size of your business, you’ll be receiving inventory in bulk to be stored in the warehouse. Above a certain scale, boxes will be sent on shrink-wrapped pallets to be slotted directly into the warehouse shelves either on pallet trucks or a forklift.

Shipping in so much bulk requires investing in machinery and the skills to use it. But such big shipments mean warehouse staff can pick from the same pallet for a longer time before you have to ship another one over.

One of the most reliable small business management tips, in any case, is to automate processes wherever you can. Processes like inventory management and ordering, the generation of pick lists, and the management of returns can all be automated along with countless other steps in the process. Some of these jobs, like pick lists, might seem small, but the sum of many little efficiency gains can add up to big changes.

Not only will automation save the staff time and the company money, but it also reduces the chance of human error. This results in a more consistent and high-quality experience for your customers, and they’re one way you can turn your order fulfillment process from a necessary job into an asset to the company.

2. Store your stock in the warehouse

Once the stock is received in bulk and staff have checked the shipment is accurate, the goods are stored throughout the warehouse. Deciding how the goods should be stored is one challenge, but getting it right can benefit your bottom line.

The difference between sales operations and revenue operations is while sales operations looks at the sales process from end to end – from marketing to purchase – revenue operations run across the whole business.

In practice, this means RevOps will be looking at the whole order fulfillment process to increase profit margins. For example, the layout of goods in your warehouse should be updated periodically to reflect your sales data. If you have a product range that sells better for one season every year, you should place that close to the loading bay to save workers time and energy.

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3. Pick your orders

Your order to cash optimization process runs in tandem with the entire order fulfillment. This ties back into your revenue operations and it’s about running your administration, warehouse, and shipping processes in the most cost-efficient way possible.

When the order comes in and it’s confirmed everything is in stock, a pick list is generated and sent to the warehouse. The list includes product names, SKU numbers, and their exact locations in the warehouse.

The work that goes into creating this list should be automated. Not only does this save time, but having all the information on the sheet coming from one database keeps everything in a single source of truth.

4. Pack your deliveries

When the picked items are all assembled at the loading bay, they have to be packed to ensure they arrive to customers in perfect condition. Depending on the product and the “unboxing” experience you want to create, this might require bubble wrap or packing peanuts.

If you’re shipping packages that can be carried by hand, your shipping might be complicated by local shipping regulations that dictate how much it costs to ship. A RevOps team might try to optimize your order fulfillment process around these to increase profit margins. The savings here would be extremely small, but, at a scale, that adds up to a lot of money over time.

If you’re shipping pallets full of stock, you’ll be dealing with haulers and trucking companies. This would dictate the pace of your order fulfillment process because the truck is expensive to drive. It has to operate on a strict schedule in order to be cost-efficient. In order to make any deliveries, you have to get all of your orders packed up for a certain time that’s determined by what’s best for the trucking company.

6 Basic Steps of Order Fulfillment and Challenges You Need to Know

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5. Your products are shipped

After your package leaves the warehouse, it’s on its way to being shipped to your customers.

Shipping costs are a crucial business decision in ecommerce. Are you going to pay for those at all, or will you add them to the customer’s bill? Should you offer different tiers of shipping so customers can get products faster?

This depends on the kind of service you want to deliver and what you can afford to deliver. You can maybe kill two birds with one stone and offer free shipping to your customers on orders above a certain total. This will keep your order fulfillment operation profitable while increasing total sales along the way.

Your packages will move from your warehouse to your courier’s own warehouse. From there, they’ll divide all the packages based on their destinations and send them out for “last-mile” delivery.

Last-mile delivery is a whole article in and of itself. It’s why Amazon hires economists to help them figure this kind of problem out, and it’s why you should leave last-mile delivery to a third-party courier service. It’s why the global ecommerce fulfillment industry has grown to over $77 billion in value.

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Shipping a truck full of goods from a warehouse for hundreds of miles is cheaper and faster per mile than delivering a few packages across one town. This is because there are so many complications along the way, such as different buildings to navigate, dealing with packages for people who aren’t at home, and making all the deliveries on one tank of petrol.

For you, all you need to worry about at this stage is tracking. If you track your packages and you ask for the customer’s email upon order, you can enhance your customer service and support by sending them an email as soon as your product has arrived. If your product is technology or a home appliance you could email your customers some setup instructions along with the contact information for your support channels.

6. Process returns

A good returns process is about customer interaction management. You should make your returns process clear on your site and use it as a selling point.

Returns are inevitable no matter how good your product is, but you can turn the returns experience into an asset if you use the recovery paradox. This is a well-documented phenomenon in which customers think better of a company for recovering well from an error – such as a faulty product or a service outage – than if they’d performed flawlessly the whole time.

Nevertheless, a good returns policy will see you eating the cost of shipping the product back to your warehouse, and that means you want to reduce them as much as you can. Innovations like augmented reality ecommerce allow users to see products like furniture in their homes before they buy. This helps reduce the number of pricey returns in total, which streamlines your operations and helps your order-to-cash optimization.

6 Basic Steps of Order Fulfillment and Challenges You Need to Know

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Turning your order fulfillment process into an asset

At every stage of the order fulfillment process, from receiving your goods to the courier handing over your product, there’s room for you to optimize your business or improve your customer service. Using the data you generate already and feeding it into automated software can speed up your internal processes. And tracked shipping can help you make a great first impression when it arrives at the customer’s door.

Jessica DayJessica Day – Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, Dialpad
Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. She has also written for domains such as DesignLike and Unstack. Check out her LinkedIn profile

10 Practical Tips to Drastically Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

Shopping cart abandonment is one of the most frustrating problems in ecommerce. It means you’re doing almost everything right. But at the last minute, you’ve missed out on an interested customer. With around 76% of carts in the Middle East being abandoned before checkout, what could be going wrong?

Online shopping cart abandonment can be caused by a range of things, but luckily there are plenty of ways to tackle the problem. Let’s look at ten practical tips you can employ very quickly.

 

1. Improve shipping

According to the Baymard Institute, the number one cause of cart abandonment is extra costs (and that often means shipping!).

10 Practical Tips to Drastically Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
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Many retailers avoid being upfront about shipping costs, hoping to slip them in at the checkout stage as if they’re an afterthought. Unfortunately, this tends to have the opposite effect to it’s intent – customers notice, and often leave.

One way to avoid this is to make your shipping costs clear earlier in the purchase journey. However, this alone may not increase successful conversions. Price-sensitive customers who would have abandoned their cart are instead likely to abandon the purchase at the browsing stage.

Getting your customer the most attractive shipping cost should be central to your ecommerce pricing strategies. Negotiate with your carriers and see if you can provide a flat cost. Alternatively, use tiered pricing or provide free shipping above a certain order value.

 

2. Use your returns policy as a selling point

One reason your customers abandon their cart is that they’re almost sure they want the product but they’re not sure about your returns policy.

Luckily, this is an easy fix. Make sure your returns policy is easy to find, and easy to understand. It should be so good that it becomes a selling point, and your customers should know about it at the start of the checkout procedure – maybe even during their initial browsing. Display it prominently across your site, from the product page to the confirmation email.

If a customer has any doubt in their mind about buying, a clear returns policy removes it as an obstacle to purchasing.

 

3. Tell them your USP

Often, people abandon their shopping carts to compare your competitors’ offerings to your own. You can prevent this by emphasizing your unique selling point (USP) at every stage of the purchase journey.

Review your product photography/imagery, A/B test your product page’s layout or optimize product feed text ads to make your USP as prominent as you can. You might be emphasizing what makes your product unique. Alternatively, if you’re selling a similar product to your competitors, emphasize what makes your service unique. Maybe you offer very good shipping rates, or a uniquely good returns policy.

Your USP shouldn’t just be prominent on your website. Make sure everyone in your sales, marketing, and customer support teams know your USP by heart. By making it prominent across the whole purchase journey, you can make your competition irrelevant in the mind of the customer long before they’ve reached the checkout.

 

4. Employ live chat

Your customers might abandon their shopping carts because there’s an aspect of the product, shipping, or return policy they’re not sure about. If the customer has a question like this, it could prevent them from ordering. You want to be able to answer those questions in an instant.

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Providing a live chat service on your site is a great way to address these questions. This could be a text chat window, voice chat, or free video calls. If you can’t have someone online 24/7, implement a chatbot that can answer questions or refer customers to your email.

Talking directly to your customers is also a great way to gather data on their concerns. If you keep hearing the same issues, make the answers to those questions clear on the product page or add them to your FAQ page. You could even add that information to your chatbot so it can answer the customer directly.

 

5. Remove distractions

In the world of online shopping, attention spans are short. According to CrazyEgg, a one-second delay in loading means 7% less conversions (not to mention the 16% decrease in customer satisfaction). It’s not just load speed that counts, however.

If your site is cluttered or asks too much of the customer, they might get distracted and abandon their cart.

Test your purchase journey from browsing to purchase and look for distractions. If you’re offering a lot of special offers, pop-ups, or upselling in your purchase journey, consider removing one of them in an A/B test. You want the journey from browsing to purchase to be as fast and easy as possible.

Consider the example of Stripe, the global payments provider who arrived in the Middle East in 2021. When Stripe asks for a customer’s credit card information, they don’t ask for their address. They only ask for a postcode, which they can use to work out the address. They don’t ask the customer to select their credit card provider, because this information is encoded in the credit card number.

Each step automated by Stripe is a step less for the customer to do – and the easier a purchase is, the more likely it is to happen.

Consider how much effort you ask of your customer in the purchase journey, and think creatively about how much of that you can remove. Many Shopify themes are built with simplicity in mind, but you can customize them to improve your customer journey.

 

6. Use reviews or testimonials

If your customer is having second thoughts about your product and abandoning their cart, it might be because they don’t have enough social proof. In a B2C context, you might encourage customer reviews on your site. This allows browsers to see how other customers have liked your products after purchase.

10 Practical Tips to Drastically Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
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If you’re selling a B2B product or service, like work force management solutions or cloud storage, then your customers will be making more considered decisions about purchasing from your site. This gives you the opportunity to provide more in-depth social proof such as case studies and testimonials. Make a habit of collecting these from your clients,and keep track of this in a CRM or project management system such as Salesforce, a Bitrix24 alternative, or Asana.

 

7. Make it easy to change orders

One common point of frustration for online shoppers is changing their orders at the last minute. If your customer decides they want another item, just before they’re about to click “Buy”, sites often aren’t designed to make it easy to change this order. This isn’t good for your customer experience, and it leads to cart abandonment.

If your customer has to cancel their current purchase or go back to your main site to amend their order, they’ve just abandoned their cart. Whether they come back is out of your control.

Can your customers change their order within the checkout procedure? At the very least, they should be able to change the number of items they’re ordering. If your product comes with accessories or optional add-ons, make it easy for the customer to add these deep into the checkout process.

If your customer is in the checkout they’re obviously ready to buy, so this is a good time to make a last-minute sale on top of what they’re already ordering.

10 Practical Tips to Drastically Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

8. Offer payment options

It’s become more and more common for online retailers to provide flexible payment offers. In late 2021, “buy now, pay later” solutions are almost standard for high-ticket items where price might put a customer off.

You should also offer as many payment methods as you can, from bank transfer, to credit card, to speedy solutions like Apple Pay, Union Pay International or mada. If your customer doesn’t have their credit card to hand, the delay this causes could lead to them abandoning their shopping cart.

 

9. Make it urgent

Give your customers a reason to buy here and now. If you’re selling a similar product as your competitors, you only have outstanding service to compete on. As we’ve mentioned, price-sensitive customers will think of comparing your offering to competitors. Make sure your product pages highlight the benefits of shopping from you.

That could be anything from your excellent returns policy, your low shipping costs, or your flexible payment options. It’s also worth considering limited-time offers. These can either happen via a pop-up at checkout or in a follow-up email (more of those in a moment).

 

10. Use marketing tactics

There are lots of marketing tips to reduce shopping cart abandonment outside of your website. Three key tactics are:

Retargeting

Platforms like Facebook and Google make it easy for you to deliver ads to people who have visited your site already. Consider delivering adverts to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts. This is a proven tactic for bringing customers back to finish the purchase.

This can have a great return on ad spend (ROAS) if you employ performance marketing. What is performance marketing? It’s when your advertising partners or affiliates get paid when an agreed-upon action is taken. This could be a clickthrough or a successful conversion. This allows you to cast a wide net without breaking the bank.

Exit pop-up

If your customer is at the checkout and about to click to another page on your site – or another window entirely! – an exit-intent pop-up can help. Your pop-up could do anything from offering a limited-time discount to asking for the customer’s email. This could convince the customer to complete the purchase then and there, or give you a chance to send a follow-up email.

Follow-up emails

A personalized follow-up email can help get customers back to complete their purchases. Include the customer’s name if you have it, and make sure it’s based on their browsing history.

If you’re not just emailing to remind them of their abandoned purchase, tailor the email to the product category they abandoned. Offer your customer a clear method to contact you directly. This allows you to answer any questions that might have prevented them from buying.

Try new things

One or all of these ten tips could drastically reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate. A lot of these tips will benefit all of your customers as an additional benefit, so it’s worth taking the time to A/B test anything that looks like it would suit your business. Who knows – the results may surprise you!

 

Jessica Day
-Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform with A2P SMS that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Here is her LinkedIn

Everything You Need to Know About Product Bundling

Have you ever been shopping for groceries when you get a call from your partner who informs you that the Swiss cheese is part of a buy three items for the price of two deal? And you rush back to the cheese aisle and see that, low and behold, the mozzarella is also part of the deal!

Well then you probably already have an idea about what product bundling is.

What is product bundling?

Everything You Need to Know About Product Bundling

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To clarify, product bundling is when multiple products are bundled together with the offer of a discount to entice buyers to spend more than they might have originally intended.

Maybe they went into the shop to buy one tube of toothpaste, but they left with three because of a three for the price of two deal. Or maybe they’re in the market for some digital products, and if they add a VoIP phone system to their basket, they get 10% off some IP handsets or noise-cancelling headsets.

Or maybe they wanted to buy a pair of boots for $40 but ended up buying socks as well, and both items were discounted by 10%. You get the idea!

 

What are some advantages of product bundling?

Product bundling has several advantages, but we’ll cover the main ones here.

1. Generate more sales (and expend less energy)

The biggest and most obvious advantage of product bundling is generating more sales. You can entice a customer to leave your shop with more than they’d intended to purchase, so your efforts of finding customers in the first place enjoy a bigger payoff.

Finding customers can be an expensive process to begin with, so once you have people in your shop, you want to maximize their time there. This benefits the customer as they get a better deal than paying more for each separate item over a longer period of time or from multiple shops. It also benefits the company because the AOV (average order value) is higher, which is good for company growth.

It also takes less effort on the marketing side of things to bundle several items together under one theme than to market those items individually. Customers love a cohesive story, so offering a whole outfit that gives off “cottagecore vibes”, for example, is likely to go down better than a bunch of disjointed stories or themes for each individual item.

 

2. Improved customer experience

Customers get to enjoy a better experience because they can get a deal with product bundling, and save some money. Even if they end up spending more than they intended to on that day, they might end up saving money in the long-run. Who doesn’t love a good deal?

It’s also practical because instead of having to go to multiple shops trying to find a good deal on each item, they can save time by getting them all in one place. While it’s nice to shop around sometimes, fatigue can quickly set in if you have to juggle too many balls.

Product bundling also takes out some of the effort of thinking about what to buy, especially when buying gifts for others. Getting three books for the price of two to give to three different people is a no-brainer. And a satisfied customer is key to a successful ecommerce business.

 

3. Reduced waste

Everything You Need to Know About Product Bundling

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There’s nothing worse than stock sitting around in storage gathering dust. Mixing less popular items with more popular ones in the same bundles is a good way to move your products off the shelves and avoid both waste and lost profits.

This also frees up space in your warehouse that you can use for this season’s items, and, by offering a nice bundle, you also stand out from your competition and increase customer retention rates.

 

How should I bundle my products?

So we know why bundling is a good idea, but how should we go about it?

1. Give options

The first thing to consider is giving your customers multiple options for bundling so that they don’t feel they’re being tricked into buying something of low value. Offering multiple options also gives a nice sense of choice so that they don’t feel funneled toward one product in particular.

 

2. Best, meet worst

You will want to look at the data behind your bestsellers and the things that seem to fall by the wayside. Some items might not seem that appealing at full price, but if they’re tacked onto a more attractive item in the form of a deal, they can suddenly gain a new glow. Maybe this is the halo effect, or maybe customers always liked the item but not the price. Either way, this seems to be a winning combination for getting stock off the shelf.

 

3. Be clear about savings

Make it obvious to your customers how much money they’re saving with the bundles. To maximize this strategy, it’s important that customers can see what a good deal they’re getting.

Happier, informed customers means lessened workforce management call center demands for you, too. The clearer you are up front, the less likely you are to get calls from confused customers.

 

4. Get the timing right

By analyzing seasonal and regional consumer trends in India, the US, or elsewhere, you can figure out the best time to offer bundles. Many companies will offer bundles around gift-giving periods because this simplifies the buyer’s mission.

By analyzing individual products, you can also figure out the best time to bundle that particular item. If an item is falling in popularity, that might be a good time to bite the bullet.

 

5. Make it visible

While this might seem obvious, visibly displaying bundle items next to each other on web pages and in-store helps drive a sale more than simply informing customers that the bundle exists but making them locate the items themselves. You can also have three for two categories on your website to get all matching offers in one place for customers’ ease.

If you want to go even further, you could integrate augmented reality software on your website to allow your customers to “try on” clothes online or see how a sofa looks in your living room.

Product bundling is a win-win

Everything You Need to Know About Product Bundling

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One of the best things about product bundling is that it’s a win-win. You make more sales, shift stock, avoid waste, and need less time for marketing. The customer saves money overall, saves time and effort, and gets to enjoy a cohesive product story.

Grace Lau
-Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud PBX phone system for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn

B2B Vs. B2C: the Differences Every Marketer Should Know

B2B Vs. B2C: the Differences Every Marketer Should Know

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If you have any experience in the business world, you’ll have come across the terms B2B and B2C. B2B stands for Business to Business and describes the business strategy of companies who sell their product or services to other businesses.

B2C stands for Business to Customer and is the business strategy of companies who sell their product to the mass consumer market. The contrasts between B2B and B2C are essentially the difference between wholesale and retail.

B2B marketing tends to focus on more logical, process-driven purchasing decisions due to the target market being businesses. B2C marketing, however, tends to focus more on emotionally driven purchasing decisions due to the target market being end consumers. They may overlap sometimes but the marketing strategy differences are still significant.

Understanding these differences is key to building a high-performance marketing strategy. Let’s look at some key differences between B2B and B2C marketing.

 

1. Customer Relations

B2B

The target audience in the B2B model is businesses. You’re a business marketing your product or service to other businesses. Your marketing focus is going to be on creating and building more personal relationships that will lead to long-term business.

Personal relationships are important as potential clients get to know your practices, ethics, and morals. These things can separate you from your competition and let your target audience know that you are a good, reliable supplier. These are long-term qualities that business people look for.

Building these business relationships and generating leads creates repeat and referral business. So developing relationships with target audiences is crucial for B2B businesses. One way to do this is to allow customers to call you at any time using a toll-free number.

B2B Vs. B2C: the Differences Every Marketer Should Know

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B2C

The target audience in the B2C model is retail consumers. You’re a business marketing your product or service to consumers. Your marketing focus here is going to be on leading consumers to your ecommerce store and driving sales.

Because you’re only generating one or two small sales at a time with no guarantee of long-term business, your marketing focus can’t be on building personal relationships. Instead, B2C businesses need to focus on sales efficiency and creating extremely transactional relationships.

The marketing strategy for B2C focuses on selling the product, with the majority of time spent on delivering high-quality products as quickly as possible. One way to speed up the customer experience is to use AI customer service.

 

2. Branding

B2B

As mentioned above, in B2B marketing, the focus is on relationship building. This applies to branding as well. Honoring relationships through consistent presentation and delivery of products or services will build your reputation or brand in the industry.

Your target audience is businesses whose decision-making is business-oriented. To build your brand you’ll need to market your position in the industry and let your personality shine. This will build brand recognition and generate leads. Don’t forget to adjust your brand towards your target audience and be aware of their personalities.

 

B2C

When marketing to a B2C audience, branding is essential. Having a strong brand allows you to deliver a message, build brand loyalty, create credibility, emotionally connect with customers, and motivate purchases.

Branding is the number one priority of B2C marketing due to the fact that the customer and business don’t interact a lot. To make up for this you have to create a lasting, positive opinion and provide a quality experience for the customer, ensuring repeat sales.

Building a brand with a good reputation can be achieved by delivering clear, credible messages, and creating motivational copy that resonates with consumers.

 

3. Decision-Making Process

B2B

The decision-making process in the B2B model involves more open communication between businesses so that both parties can decide if it would be a good partnership. Therefore appeals to emotional and rational decisions can be made.

In B2B, the decision-making process sees customers evaluating their needs which can have rational and emotional motivators. Rational motivations are driven by financial mindsets; is this a good investment? Emotional motivations are driven by emotional connections; Will we lose money and have to fire some staff?

Understanding your audience can help you comprehend the decision-making process that may apply to you. This allows you to get ahead of competitors by creating an emotional connection through clear, specific messaging.

B2B Vs. B2C: the Differences Every Marketer Should Know

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B2C

With B2C, the focus is on the sales funnel. Marketers should use their knowledge of the conversion funnel in the decision-making process, maximizing ROI. At the top of this funnel are advertisements that give customers the need for a product.

Now, the customer will know what product they want to purchase. However, unlike B2B, customers are more open when looking for a specific product to buy.

That is why it’s essential to simplify the decision-making process for consumers while continuing to appeal to them. There is still a high chance that consumers are looking at your competitors as well. Using an influencer marketing campaign is a great strategy, especially when paired with discounts via a referral code.

 

4. Audience Targeting

B2B

B2B businesses operate in a niche market, and so it’s very important to know your target demographic. An example of a niche may be cheap electronic parts made specifically for the Indian market. To effectively attract customers, you must compile and analyze accurate data (both qualitative and quantitative).

B2C

Since the target audience is so broad (retail customers), B2C businesses must work in larger-scale markets. For marketers, the marketing funnel is crucial for attracting customers.

Start at the top of the funnel and cast a wide net. Use emotional and product-driven advertisements. From there you can create a warm lead list and remarket to those target audiences who showed interest.

 

5. Ad Copy

B2B

In B2B it is important for you to speak your target audience’s language. This is because businesses want to partner with experts who understand their industry. Understanding the terminology, processes, and even the decisions made by customer businesses can greatly increase the chances of a purchase.

B2B Vs. B2C: the Differences Every Marketer Should Know

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B2C

In B2C, customers only care about the product or service they receive. So instead of using industry jargon, you can use more straightforward language to speak to customers in a relatable voice. Aim to evoke emotion in your audience.

B2C customers want to enjoy a purchase, whereas B2B customers are making a rational, logical financial purchase.

 

Conclusion

As a marketer, it is crucial that you understand the key differences between B2B and B2C marketing.

Knowing these key differences will drastically change your marketing strategy and allow you to create highly effective marketing practices applicable to both B2B and B2C businesses.

Grace Lau
-Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud PBX phone system for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn