21 Jun My Boss’ E-Commerce Success Comes From These Three Letters
Let’s start with a small exercise. Let’s think of 3 random items right now that we’d like to buy. Ready? I want you to type those items online and see if the product is available online. An additional challenge, let’s take a look and see how many online stores are offering that very same product. Chances are, there are a lot of online stores offering the product you are looking for. The world of e-commerce is ever growing and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down!
Naturally all of us would want to get on this platform quickly and tap into this new market. However, as many of us here know, managing e-commerce is as hard as (if not harder than) managing your offline commerce or offline stores! So naturally when I see my boss coming into the office stress free while his e-commerce presence is strong, we asked him the million dollar question! “Boss! What is your secret behind managing e-commerce stress-free?” to which he gave me three letters! EAS (E-Commerce Automation Solution). We were obviously a little confused so we asked him further to understand more!
The Secret to Successfully Manage Your E-Commerce – EAS
- Product Information Management
- Marketplace Hub – Stock Management
- Sales and performance
PRODUCT INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
One of the challenges my boss told us that many businesses are facing, would be the challenge to keep everything up to date and accurate without much manpower! Certainly when we think about those e-commerce giants, we’d think about them having a huge team of hardworking employees managing their e-commerce platform so everything runs smoothly. For us SMEs, that may not be the case. Whenever we want to put a new product on our platform, we’ll usually need to spend a lot of time going back and forth with suppliers on product information and details. Furthermore, we’ll need to key in these data into our e-commerce sites manually. If you only have one platform to manage, that’s manageable, but if you have multiple platforms such as SHOPee, Lazada, FB marketplace, Instagram, TikTok, your own platform etc, it’s going to be one whole day wasted just to update 1 product.
The amount of effort taken for 1 product is already overwhelming, imagine having to deal with 10, 20, 50 or maybe 100 products. With limited manpower and an overwhelming number of stocks to update, it’s going to take a lot of time and effort to update them. This is without considering the possibility of accidentally keying the wrong data and information into the platforms. My boss said that was one of his struggles back then, usually taking up till late night before actually updating a few products across platforms. However, once he implemented EAS, everything changed for the better!
He has time to come into office to tell us this story because whenever he plans to update his e-commerce platform with new products or old existing products, EAS would allow him to get the suppliers to upload the data and information from their side while he approves these information pertaining products. You might be wondering, but that doesn’t solve the issue that we need to upload and update it across multiple platforms. Well, through EAS, just a click of a button and through updating one platform, the data and information for that product will be updated and sync-ed across all platforms, allowing for a much smoother product information management system!
MARKETPLACE HUB- STOCK MANAGEMENT
We were both very surprised when he told us about this system of updating product information, we never expected it could be this easy. Then my colleague asked “Boss, then what about the stock? How do we make sure all the stock is updated form the website?” As many of us would know, one of the first major challenges when managing e-commerce is how we manage our stock. I believe tons of us would receive orders from online and offline but will somehow reach a point where we may be confused in terms of which product is reserved for online and which is not. To make matters worse, sometimes we may have taken too many orders but do not have enough stock to fulfill both sides. This has caused many dissatisfaction for customers that ruins their experience with us.
So, most of us would safeguard ourselves and opt to separate our online with our offline stocks. A new problem arises with this approach, we may sometimes overestimate the amount of stock allocated either offline or online. If the stock we allocated for online is low but online is doing well, we run the risk of losing sales. On the flip side, if we allocate too much but sales are slow, our cash flow may be stuck. Our boss said that is where EAS helps by managing stores across marketplaces.
Through EAS, he is able to link all stocks across different marketplaces. For example, when one stock is ordered from Lazada, the same product for SHOPee, Facebook, online store etc would also deduct one stock to show the true amount of remaining stock. This is true for both offline and online sales. Furthermore, EAS takes it a step further by helping us to understand how each of the platform sales are doing comparatively with others without comparing the data ourselves one by one. This saves my boss tons of time in terms of stock management across platforms and helps improve the customer experience.
SALES AND PROMOTIONS
“If you’re thinking, that’s all the marketplace hub can do, you’ll be wrong” My boss told us as we were very impressed with EAS already. Although the stocks information can be uploaded by the supplier and await our approval while we don’t have to separate our stocks and worry about cash flow or sales loss issues, one thing that still plague the business would be the pricing of the products between offline and online stores.
Most of us would at least experience this one customer. During special days like 11.11, They would walk into our store and ask about product information and maybe have us demo how to use the product or have a feel of the product. Once they seem to be confident with the product and we feel confident they will be buying the product, instead of taking out their wallet, they take out their phone and show us the exact same product at our online store for a cheaper price and ask us why they should buy from us when they could get it cheaper?
My boss said, here’s where most businesses are making fatal mistakes. Most businesses would think that to secure an online presence and online platform, we would need to make sure our online prices are more competitive and should have discounts cheaper than our physical store products. What most businesses may not realize, would be that customers nowadays are very smart. Once customers have seen this difference, they may feel cheated.
Moreover, the act of updating these prices or uploading new prices may be a hassle when we need to do it constantly especially with all these festive discounts as well as events going on. EAS enabled him to enjoy the flexibility of updating the pricing of the products according to a promotional schedule and as such would be able to reduce the amount of hassle required to update product pricing one by one. In addition, this creates a clear game plan for offline stores to plan sales and promotions effectively too!
As most of us are moving towards e-commerce, many of us may find it difficult to try to simplify or speed up this process of automating the whole process. Curious to learn more about the power of EAS? Interested to start implementing EAS to speed up and simplify your e-commerce process today? Well, look no further! At senwave, we provide effective solutions specifically catered to you. Come and check out our solutions here for you now!