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Multichannel Selling: The Right Move Forward or Too Many Things at the Same Time?(Part 3)

Tag: data

Multichannel Selling: The Right Move Forward or Too Many Things at the Same Time?(Part 3)

Multichannel Selling: The Right Move Forward or Too Many Things at the Same Time?(Part 3)

How you interact with the customers during and after a sale are also tightly controlled. Even outside these marketplaces, sales is expanding into the realm of customer service. As some studies note, as many as 88% of online shoppers say they are less likely to buy from you if you’re not responding to complaints or service requests posted on social media. This customer service element extends into order fulfillment too.

Nearly every channel has its own way of handling the flow and interaction with customers. Each has its own journey and process, which means you’ll need some salespeople to put those things in place.

The nice bit is that a lot of this can be automated after the initial setup, so you’re not always trying to force a sale with a specific individual. However, the other side of the automation coin is that it’s got to be set up correctly or you push everyone down a path that’s not optimized to sell.

Order Fulfillment

E-commerce warehouses are in the news often because of conditions customers don’t want to hear about — that doesn’t happen everywhere, and we’re working to show your buyers that it’s not the norm. The reason that this unnamed behemoth gets so much attention is because of its reach and how it changed the online conversation to always be about two-day and same-day shipping.

For multichannel sales, that means having the ability to get things out the door. It’s leading more and more businesses to just outsource the warehouse part of their operations because of the complexity that comes with fulfillment. You not only need a system that can take all orders from all sources and combine them for your warehouse, but you have to keep things in stock, monitor inventory demand changes over time, hire people, fill boxes correctly, negotiate rates with carriers, and be able to handle when a product is returned or an order is canceled in the middle of it being picked and packed.

That’s a lot, and each new channel makes it more complicated. It’s often even too much for a single third-party fulfillment company to handle for everyone. Red Stag Fulfillment only works with about 12% of the e-commerce companies we speak with because of how much things like product size and weight or the number of orders you ship can dictate costs and efficiencies. We do refer that 88% to some other great fulfillment companies and they’re in this list of the best fulfillment companies for 2019.

Each carrier will charge you differently for your products based on weight, size, location, and your overall volume. At the same time, warehouses have different prices for these and other factors. It gets overwhelming quickly, and it’s why we always suggest that e-commerce companies looking at multichannel fulfillment have conversations with multiple warehouse and fulfillment companies. Some might be cheaper to ship from while others are cheaper to store at and understanding that can be the difference between having enough money to expand your marketing or going to the bank to try and secure a loan. You’ve got to ask.

3 Thoughts to Help You Decide

Research. Research. Research.

Okay, that’s one thought, but we’re having it in at least three distinct ways. To understand if the opportunity is there, you’ve got to research your customers, costs, and metrics.

In this thought process, customer research is mainly about who your audience is and where they operate. Are they shopping for goods like yours on multiple sites and channels? Do they purchase on these channels, or do you require so much research that most sales still end up happening on your website?

Typically, there’s no good reason to choose every channel. Sure, it’s tempting, but your audience isn’t everywhere (even if you want them to be). Do your homework to find out where the buyers are and seek out the channels you need to reach them.

Our second research point is about the costs you’re facing. Every new channel adds complexity, and that can be expensive. You’ll need to expand marketing budgets to grow across those channels — even if you’re not buying ads, it still takes people to post on social and respond to customer concerns quickly. Expertise is costly, so narrowing down your list of channels and then looking at related costs can help you find the best spots you can afford.

In your selection process, remember that everything costs. Your fulfillment company may charge more for adding new channels, or you might need to buy new software to integrate your store and warehouse with whatever is new. If you’re targeting a brand-new channel, you might need to pay to have a developer create custom support too. Everything costs money, but budgets aren’t unlimited.

The final research we’ll leave you thinking about touches on everything else here: data. Track everything you can think of and use it to inform all the other decisions and choices we talked about today. There’s a lot, and here are a few highlights:

  • Customer data can help you understand if your old targets are still valid.
  • Product performance can give you insight into the channels that work best for you, especially ads.
  • E-commerce platforms can help you understand search volumes and if you need to switch up your keywords.
  • Warehouse data can show if you’re getting orders out on-time and correctly. It can also highlight what gets returned.
  • Channel specific data can show you when interest on a channel — especially around search and hashtags — is growing or dwindling, marking signs for a change.
  • Competition data can help you find trends that your data hasn’t identified yet.

That’s the tip of the data iceberg, and there’s definitely a whole lot more lurking beneath the surface. Multichannel selling represents a significant opportunity for many, and it’ll come back to your audience and the data you have around them to see when it’s worthwhile to expand.

About the author

Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.

5 Google Analytics Tips for eCommerce Websites

5 Google Analytics Tips for eCommerce Websites

Traditional shopping is a passing fad and now shopping from food to clothes is mostly done via internet. However, there is no dearth of online shopping portals that are vying for customers’ attention across the globe. So, how do they manage to stay ahead in the race?

Well, the answer lies in a four letter word – DATA. Those, who are analyzing data 24×7 to understand who their average customer is and are making suitable changes, are beating the competition. And one of the most effective tools available for data analysis is Google Analytics (GA), which can help any eCommerce player to actually see if their online marketing strategies are working and optimizing sales.

Here are 5 tips on Google Analytics to understand customer behavior and raise your profits.

Tracking campaigns

E-commerce players keep experimenting. Some click, some fail. But to get a better understanding of why a certain campaign did or didn’t work, use GA campaign tracking. It gives you the data behind the strategy for you to see where you won/lost. All you need is to create a special URL for the campaign and see its statistics and assess the ROI after the campaign is over. You also need to take out referral spam aka ghost traffic or spam crawlers to get clean  data, which will tell you if a campaign is truly working or not. The Site Search feature reveals what your users search for on your site. You can capitalize on the search terms to optimize the page where the keyword is primarily targeted.

Tracking Bounce Rate

While, a bounce rate of less than 40% is considered okay, anything more is bad for business. Faulty website design or pages taking several seconds to load can put off the visitor. Sometimes, when the content is irrelevant, it makes the potential customer leave the site immediately. With GA, you can take  corrective measures as it helps in detecting weak spots and getting your conversion funnel streamlined.

Know your customer

This is possibly the most important use of GA. It helps you discover who your customers are – age, gender, region wise. You can plan your campaigns better knowing who is most likely to buy from you and their purchasing habits like the size and frequency of their purchase. You can also get to know which digital platform – desktop or mobile – are they using and optimize that platform. The purpose of acquisition reports and conversion rates, assist you in eliminating factors that hamper the webpage traffic and investing more in channels that bring you more buyers.

Using annotations

Once you have identified the customers, now use Annotations in GA to understand sales report. It tells you the top performing products in your store. It not only tracks fall and rise in sales but also suggest factors that might have led to it. For example, it will show if your sales increased because of the free coupons you were offering during the long weekend.  You can also use GA to compare to see how you are faring against the competition.

 

Customizing reports

If you want specific set of data to understand the dynamics, GA offers that too. You can create your own custom report to retrieve the required information by simply clicking on the ‘customize’ feature and choose options you want. GA with all its infographs helps you prepare comprehensible reports for board meetings with partners and investors. And in case you have lost track of several reports you have prepared, you can always use the option “Find Reports & More” and browse through the existing documents quickly.

Conclusion

It’s imperative for E-commerce players to use digital tools for identifying who, among the huge global audiences, can be their customer. And since, not everyone has the budget like Amazon or Walmart to set up a whole team to do that, they can bank on Google Analytics. Though to understand a few detailed processes, you might take the help of a web developer, GA largely presents statistics that are easy to evaluate and if acted upon intelligently, it can help boost your eCommerce website.