Your customers are no longer shopping through just one channel. The Internet and mobile technologies have changed everything for retailers. Customers are buying in stores, on their phones, through social media, apps, and at festivals and markets. Why would you only sell in one place if your customers are buying from more than one? To optimize your exposure, you need to sell where your customers shop.
Being visible is crucial for growth of a business in the connected commerce age. Nielsen’s president of global retailer vertical, Patrick Dodd stated that, "Time-starved consumers want to use technology to make shopping faster, easier and more efficient.”
How do you achieve all of this as a retailer? Rather than be everywhere all at once, give your madness a method. We have three steps to get you and your business on the sane path to multichannel success.
Automation is a tangible goal, even if it seems lofty at the start. There are a wealth of products to help you along this path. While Stitch Labs helps manage your inventory, there are other aspects that need automation, too.
You can streamline aspects of your customer support and experience. Invest in a customer management system such as Desk.com or ZenDesk. In a report from Genesys Global Survey, 82% of Americans have stopped doing a business with a company because of poor customer service. Having an organized way to tackle and resolve customer emails and issues will make an impact of your customer reputation and satisfaction.
Another crucial aspect of your business that should be streamlined is company communications. You’ll want to establish a clear path in which to communicate with employees. Whether it’s creating a company email system, or using a system such as Slack for employee communication, narrow down your channels so that is simple and clear to understand.
Additionally, keeping your daily tasks and larger projects organized, Basecamp and Trello are two really great apps you can use to organize your tasks even if you’re a company of one. In 2011, 321 of Fortune 500 companies were using Basecamp, which speaks to the importance of successful project management in a company’s growth.
Simple automation adoptions like these can make a huge impact on your business’ organization and will save you time to complete other tasks.
Your systems are friends, not enemies. They need and want to talk to each other. If you’re selling on Amazon, eBay and Shopify, wouldn’t it be nice to see all your sales data, customers and inventory in one consolidated location? Leverage solutions that tie all of your platforms together and provide you with the data you need to make smart decisions fast. Minimizing how many management solutions you use for your business will not just save you time, it will also eliminate the opportunity for human error and disparate information.
To grow your business, being able to gather and analyze data in a concise manner is key. Gathering data in one place gives you the context and ability to track easily and will save time. You’ll be able to make informed decisions about inventory to purchase, suppliers, and more with effective data.
As we mentioned earlier, communication is a crucial facet of your business to not only automate, but to consolidate. This includes customer communication as well. Keep your communication centralized and visible to your entire team. Make sure they’re up-to-speed on the latest customer support issues and come together to solve these quickly.
Now that you’ve automated and consolidated your systems, you’re ready to grow your business. Many business owners have a moment of panic when they realize they’re business is about to take off. You’re antsy to expand to more channels and keep growing! The problem is that this step usually happens prior the above steps. It’s a great problem to have, you just want to make sure you’re ready to expand by first automating and consolidating. If you try to expand before you’re ready, you will definitely have a panicked moment sooner rather than later. When that happens, start at step one and repeat. It’s never too late to automate and consolidate.