Average Order Value – how to increase? The most analysed metrics in eCommerce include: Revenue, Traffic, Conversion Rate, or Cost of Sale.
In the profitable eCommerce eBook “How to keep up with customers and successfully sell in 2022?” list of Ecommerce manager tools.
How to effectively develop an e-commerce team? Comparison of the 3 most popular cooperation models: agency – freelancer – in-house employee.
Are you facing the vision of starting an online store? It would seem that choosing the right system for running an e-store that offers a wide range of sales management, inventory management and customer contact is crucial.
Wraz z dynamicznym rozwojem sprzedaży online na przestrzeni lat powstało sporo nowych stanowisk odpowiedzialnych za działania marketingowe sklepu internetowego.
Acquiring customers in the online channel is associated with considerable costs. To verify profitability and then measure it, eCommerce KPIs are used.
What is eCommerce Management?
eCommerce is one of the most rapidly growing industries. Consumer shopping awareness is driving an increasing number of people to use online shopping, something that has also been heavily affected by the pandemic. eCommerce solutions work equally well for B2B commerce too. The dynamic growth of the industry has not only translated into a need for specialists and increased growth potential for companies and stores, but also increasing competition. This, in turn, makes proper eCommerce management essential to achieve success and maintain a high market position. On the website you will find a complete set of tips for managing, setting, and measuring KPIs.
E-commerce management is the management practice of an online business to successfully achieve its objectives in terms of product quality, customer acquisition and customer retention.
Its core feature is to identify the overarching targets of your e-commerce brand and to achieve those targets by managing the wider brand team, through managing the recruitment of internal staff to managing external stakeholders.
The Importance of Website Management
Your website business should operate like a well-oiled machine. Indeed, a website can bring many benefits when it is managed properly. Below are the top five advantages of website management.
Building customer interest
You will attract new customers and ensure that existing customers return with a well-managed website. However, good design is just half the battle. Your website needs to be customer-oriented and highly intuitive, and its content must be kept updated to ensure a reason to return to it again and again. The inbound marketing techniques, such as blogging and producing offers such as e-books and whitepapers, may also draw prospective customers to your website and could help you appear as an expert on various products or themes.
Search engine ranking
Website maintenance is vital in terms of search engine ranking. Should your website not rank high when someone searches for a type of product or service you offer, your competitors will eventually seek to grab their business. So, keeping your content refreshed and updated regularly is crucial as it will help you rank higher on search engine listings. In addition, it is important that your content is optimized for search engines so that it is considered indexable. The proper content formatting for the web is both an art and a science, so website content management requires an understanding of both HTML and SEO.
Brand image communication
Your website represents your brand. If your website is a decade old (or just looks that way), contains lots of mistakes in spelling and grammar or outdated content, has confusing navigation or has non-functioning links and dead pages, customers are likely to assume that you simply do not care and are likely to find another company that does. Having a routine review of your website (and your competitor’s website) is important to ensure that you are keeping up with trends and that it is fully operational and flawless.
Communicating business decisions
Are you aware of who your customers are and what they are interested in? The answer is you may think you do, but website analytics can uncover types of customers you may not even have known you had. Website analytics helps analysing where your website visitors originate from (this may come as a surprise to you), the length of time they stay on your website and which pages were the most visited. Having this insight could help you optimize the pages that generate most conversions and build or expand content that people find valuable.
Ensuring convenient shopping
Your online store is available for business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so your customers can shop anytime, anyplace. What this means is that you no longer need to employ a person to process individual orders in person or by phone, saving on labour costs. However, if your website is not properly managed, errors and other defects may occur that can hinder the shopping experience, at the cost of customers who quickly shift to another merchant’s site.
15 Tips for Ecommerce Website Management
- Perform Website Backups
- Monitor downtime
- Perform daily security reports
- Test across browsers
- Review analytics and metrics
- Check loading times
- Test your forms
- Update regularly
- Create engaging content
- Perform SEO
- Engage in affiliate marketing
- Think globally
- Use Google AdWords
- Offer coupons and discounts
- Highlight product reviews
E-commerce management challenges
Because the industry has been around for a short time, and due to the wide range of models it has to support, there are many challenges in e-commerce management.
Challenge 1: Definition difficulties
The main challenge of e-commerce management is determining exactly what it means. For example, is a business owner automatically an e-commerce manager? Does a manager mean the same thing as an e-commerce director, or does one need to create two separate functions? In what should an e-commerce manager be most well-versed: in shipping, marketing, or IT? The very variety of retail models is also problematic in terms of management thinking. A consumer-directed website will require completely different management than, say, a consumer-to-administration model, such as a person paying council tax.
Solution: Avoid attachment to specific professional positions
We have provided an overview of the overall duties of an e-commerce manager or management team, but do not be misled by the roles you think your business should play. Focus on the three main principles instead – product, customer acquisition and retention – and solve any difficulties within these principles. Perhaps the marketing strategies you have in place are highly effective, but your product has a high failure rate on arrival. Instead of hiring an e-commerce manager, first consider reinforcing your logistics team to solve this particular problem. Alternatively, maybe the heads of logistics, marketing and IT collaborate sufficiently well to form a management team together. In fact, you may not require a dedicated e-commerce manager on your team, especially if your team is small.
Challenge 2: A team of zero
An e-commerce business often kicks off with just one individual with a laptop and an idea. It can be a challenge to grow a team, especially if you have no experience in recruitment. It can be difficult to make decisions about salary, which role to staff first and whether to hire remotely, in-house or using recruitment agencies.
Solution: Start slow and be flexible
Once your business begins to expand, consider what areas you are short of staff in and recruit them accordingly. You might be having trouble catching up on emails and need customer service support. Or you have realised that you require a production worker to help you renegotiate contracts as orders ramp up. It is worth being creative when recruiting. You may want to consider agencies, chatbots and remote freelancers rather than recruiting an in-house team right from the get-go. This will save you time and trouble and will give you an opportunity to judge whether the role requires somebody in person or on a full-time basis before you make a long-term commitment.
Challenge 3: Customer customization
Getting to know a customer has been a major challenge for online merchants.
Physical stores have been struggling to convert their customized offline experience into a virtual model, while e-commerce brands have been struggling to find out who their customer even is. Should your campaigns and ads target the wrong audience or fail to reach potential regular customers, sales and satisfaction will plummet.
Solution: Incorporating machine learning
Machine learning is not as sinister as it sounds. Essentially, it is whenever computers learn from large amounts of data to create more customized offers for customers. This is one way you can offer customer customization online. It is one way you can offer customer personalisation online. And this is constantly improving with the emergence of algorithms that can remember product choices and preferences across sectors and advertise them accordingly. Even without huge amounts of data for machines to ‘learn’ from, there are new solutions on the market for smaller businesses.
Challenge 4: Winning customer trust
Unlike retail outlets that have ventured online, for digital brands, building customer trust has been one of the most difficult barriers to overcome. It normally takes years for a customer to develop brand loyalty. However, e-merchants had to build trust quickly to ensure that click-and-mortar stores (ones with a physical and online presence) failed to conquer the market. Additionally, there has been an increased awareness on security and customer data. More than ever, customers want to know that their personal data will be safe before they buy from a new brand.
Solution: Protect customer payments
A responsive website helps with credibility, as do viable product specifications and an SSL certificate. eCommerce managers have to ensure that brand websites display all these attributes to compete with traditional e-retailers, as well as a convincing brand story. Posting all customer reviews of a product – from positive to average – shows that you are transparent, and these builds trust with your audience.
Challenge 5: A transient landscape
Without anticipating the peaks and slumps of the e-commerce market, you could be losing revenue and market share to your competitors. By staying up to date with industry developments – be it international implications for your business, such as Brexit, or a new analytics tool that e-commerce companies are rapidly adopting – brands stand to gain an edge over their competitors.
Solution: Cross-team research
It is here that the responsive, adoptive model of e-commerce management emerges.
No director can keep up with all the developments that may affect an e-commerce business. Yet by integrating the expertise of the logistics, marketing, and web development managers, you should be able to react and adapt to changes across the sector.
Consider recruiting such a person and holding biweekly or monthly meetings to discuss developments in the industry.
eCommerce Management – strategy is key
One of the main aspects you should be concerned about is your strategy, which will outline the path you should follow in growing your business. The publications available on the website provide you with the information you need to create a comprehensive plan, clearly define your objectives, and set out the next steps for implementing your actions. To begin with, you will learn what the overall plan and vision for a project should be, how to incorporate a competitive analysis, determine the potential of your organization and the business model that will be most beneficial to you and enhance eCommerce management. The publication also covers issues relating to integration planning, how to determine your communication style and how you can stand out from the crowd. I also share the 6 stages of building a marketing strategy for an online store which includes:
Situation analysis which covers analysis of customers, competitors, SWOT, i.e., identification of advantages and disadvantages, opportunities, and threats – this element has a significant impact on eCommerce management as it allows the right course of action to be taken, analysis of effectiveness and trends.
Targets – what is crucial in eCommerce management, the path you want to pursue.
Strategy – described as the smallest and at the same time the most difficult part of the marketing plan.
Tactics – in the eCommerce management category you will find information to help you understand the differences between strategy and tactics.
Actions – i.e., finding out what you will do, when you will do it and how you will do it.
Monitoring – eCommerce management is a process, so regular monitoring is important. The monitoring should therefore not only take into account whether targets are being met, KPIs, but also include monitoring of critical points in a store’s operation, analysis of campaigns and recommendation of changes.
eCommerce Management – how to choose a strategy?
Internet has become an ideal business-to-business (B2B) transaction space, equally well suited to retailing (B2C). This model is the most common. One should also not forget the 3 other types of eCommerce: direct, indirect and hybrid. The eCommerce management, regardless of the sales model, must be based on an appropriate strategy. I write more extensively in the blog about how to structure it, while below I share tips on what to keep in mind when choosing a strategy:
- Become an industry leader – this is the easiest option if you are launching a new product, service, or customer experience.
- Choose a specialisation or a market niche – eCommerce management in the current era of a buoyant industry can be challenging, so creativity and a fresh new approach to the market is what counts. Instead of duplicating existing ideas, stand out with something innovative.
- Networking – efficient eCommerce management should be based on collaboration with multiple actors on the basis of symbiosis and synergy. Because it translates into higher conversions, boosted sales, development of marketing reach and brand awareness
- Customer care – eCommerce management inevitably involves costs. The biggest of these concerns the acquisition of a new customer. The biggest of these concerns the acquisition of a new customer.
This is why planning specific actions is so important as you can find out more about in the article on creating an eCommerce marketing strategy. The blog also features articles on proven ways of attracting new customers and nurturing those who have already become familiar with the product or service we offer.
- Invest in developing affiliate programmes – this is a method that is gaining in popularity, not only in the eCommerce industry. Affiliate programmes and referrals provide benefits to both sides of the relationship.
eCommerce Management – the role of the eCommerce Manager
eCommerce management does not exist without the appropriate eCommerce Manager. A dedicated article on the role of this type of specialist is also available on the website. You will learn from it that the role of the manager is not only eCommerce management, but also analytics, strategy, marketing, technology, management, and motivation. The person who takes on this position should not only have interdisciplinary knowledge and the ability to learn and react quickly and learn lessons but should also excel in the courage to implement change and the ability to coordinate and motivate a team. In order for eCommerce management to run smoothly and effectively, it is important to expand the team with a manager, especially when:
- your targets are not being met, you are having difficulty in taking direction,
- you are experiencing poor or non-existent contact with the marketing agency you are working with, and
- you achieve low sales results.
If eCommerce management is going great for you, this is also the best time to start working with a manager. Why? As your business grows, eCommerce management becomes more time-consuming, a manager will help you delegate tasks, coordinate the work of specialists, and get the business to 100% of its potential. You will find details on this topic, the impact of an eCommerce manager and other practical advice in the article prepared on this topic.
eCommerce Management vs. KPIs
eCommerce management also requires the ability to plan costs, which are often not inconsiderable, especially when it comes to acquiring a new customer in the online channel. The increase in the number of online stores increases competition, and marketing costs also continue to rise. This is why it is so important to ensure that eCommerce management is based on KPIs.
One of the key metrics is the conversion rate. This is because it allows the effectiveness of e-commerce traffic sources to be monitored. It tells us what percentage of customers visiting our site have made a purchase. This type of indicator can be equally helpful for Newsletter sign-ups, e-book downloads or a specific CTA on a store website. One of the KPIs to determine how much sales have been generated in a channel is the COS – the lower the percentage, the better. For details on how eCommerce management is affected by KPIs, how to calculate conversion rate, COS, what ROI and CAC are and how to calculate their value, see the comprehensive article available on the website. You will also find issues related to average gross and net margins, how to calculate them and how to distinguish between them.
eCommerce management requires flexibility, vigilance, and knowledge. This category offers a substantial portion of expert management know-how, techniques you should implement to scale your business, and proven advice on when to seek the support of an eCommerce manager and what to consider when choosing the right professional.
Why Do You Need Ecommerce Management Solutions?
- To keep customer data accurate.
- To maintain inventory levels.
- Help expand to other sales channels.
- To reduce human error.
A huge ecosystem of ecommerce management software solutions is available. Therefore, determining which ones you really need can be confusing and overwhelming. The following are some of the top third-party integrations you can leverage for your business.
- Inventory management.
- Order management.
- Customer management.