It’s never been cheaper or more accessible to sell online, and things are only getting better as time goes by. Key to this is the progress of technological development — though it doesn’t always make things simpler. With each innovation comes a significant uplift in complexity as people try to figure out how it works. The bigger the toolset, the harder it is to use it effectively.
The result of this is a massive expansion in the number of new eCommerce merchant, hungry to succeed but also extremely confused about how to achieve it. There’s so much to do, and so many viable options. How are they supposed to keep up with their low-level competitors, let alone dominating corporations such as Amazon or eBay?
Well, just as technology brings complexity, it also brings new options for mitigating it through significant boosts in efficiency. In this post, we’re going to cover some key ways in which technology can streamline the everyday workload of an eCommerce business — so if you’re an eCommerce merchant, you should pay close attention. Let’s begin:
Much of eCommerce work today is done remotely, and for a good reason: it’s perfectly possible to get things done from a coffee shop now we have access to powerful laptops and smartphones. But problems can arise, such as data being lost or communication being mishandled. Cloud storage like that of Google Drive Enterprise can help you keep everything in one central location, and project management tools can hold tasks together (here are some suggestions).
Despite frequent suggestions to the contrary, there’s still much value in an eCommerce brand having an office (there are many tasks that are always going to be more comfortable in person) — and technology can help with that too.
Modern hardware can seriously boost the efficiency of office IT. You can swiftly get a team involved by presenting to multiple screens using an HDMI splitter from somewhere like StarTech, for instance, or even take a step closer to the worlds of science fiction by equipping international sales staff with live translators like these at Amazon.
To stand out as an eCommerce business, your brand needs to be something special. It’s hard to get ahead through having the best prices because the margins are so slender anyway, and having the best selection is tough when any products (aside from those you manufacture yourself) are generally available to many retailers. So how do you manage it?
Well, a vital area is customer support. If you can provide reliable support, helping people out when they need it, they’ll come to trust your business and repeatedly choose to return to it. And through the implementation of an eCommerce chatbot equipped to parse all the most common queries, you can ensure a 24/7 support presence that scales smoothly using cloud processing to meet demand. Chatbots can’t handle all support queries, of course, but you need only design them to escalate any complex matters by passing them along to human support assistants.
Reaching the right audience is essentially more important than choosing the right message. If you reach the wrong audience, there may be nothing that you can say to win their custom. If you reach the right audience, though, then you might still get somewhere even if your message isn’t particularly potent. Technology can help you manage it.
Take PPC advertising, for instance. Drawing from the immense pool of account data it stores, the Facebook Ads platform allows remarkable targeting, allowing advertisers to select people based on factors including their identified interests and their professional positions. Combine this level of targeting with social monitoring tools capable of picking out key influencers, and you have a recipe for a finely-polished digital marketing campaign.
Making the most of digital marketing today requires the consideration and use of various platforms and channels. There are PPC (as noted), organic content marketing, traditional advertising, general PR, influencer deals, and other things besides — and it can take a lot of time and effort to understand how they all work together.
Using modern analytics, custom goals, and various offline tracking methods (shortened URLs, QR codes, suggested hashtags, and even custom trackable phone lines that log their calls as analytics events), a retailer can bring everything together in just one view allowing them to see which elements are producing ROI and need adjustment. The more cohesion, the better.
Technology delivered eCommerce in the first place, and while it may be somewhat intimidating to review the many options available to online sellers when it comes to marketing and business in general, things are never as complicated as they first seem.
As we’ve seen in this piece, technology invariably develops to provide simple ways to implement innovations. Unless your business is already running optimally (which seems very unlikely), you should make it a priority to start streamlining it.