Despite the fast growth of eCommerce in India, taking a retail business online is not a piece of cake. Selling on any online marketplace might seem like an easier task than creating one’s own store, however only those actually retailing on marketplaces know the real challenges one faces when they enter this arena.
Running an online retail business successfully involves managing aspects like – inventory, warehousing, packaging, logistics, user experience, customer support, marketing etc. while making steady revenues that are scaling up. Some eCommerce technology companies have created products to manage most of these aspects, below are 6 areas which online merchants can look into immediately to grow their business
- Align with the Marketplaces
All the major eCommerce marketplaces heavily market their respective sale seasons, it might help to participate in such events. Additionally besides the big sale days, these portals also have special deals daily. In order to maximise the discoverability of your products you can become a part of the same and start tagging your products based on daily banners.
- Know Your Seller Relationship Managers
Marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal have designated account managers to handle any queries the retailers selling on their platform may have, and provide them support. You can get in touch with your respective managers on a regular basis. A routinely monthly call will help in knowing about the upcoming events and help you prepare your inventory in advance. The same manager can also guide you on optimising your account better.
- Automate Inventory Allocation
Whether you are an established retailer/reseller having a big brand or a small time setup selling handmade items from your home, it is both inefficient and time taking to manually keep a track of what inventory you have. If you are selling on multiple marketplaces, you may want to deploy tools like Browntape, Vinculum, Unicommerce, BoostMySale etc. In case you are building your own eCommerce portal, such a solution will still manage your inventory across channels.
- On Time Financial Settlements
When you are retailing online, you would have to keep a track of transactions happening at different levels. While your eye might be fixed on the incoming revenue from sales, the streams of outbound payments would be multiple. This includes payments made to your own goods procurement vendors, for logistics, commission to marketplaces, settling refund requests and so on. You can use cash flow management tools like PulseQuickbooks to keep a track of all different settlements you have to make. It’s important to deal with every pending transaction to keep your business running smoothly.
- Lowering Return Rate
Return and exchange is a necessary evil that comes alongside with selling online. Order rejects at the customer end could be due to multiple reasons, and it is important to keep a track of them. The return rate could be reduced by proper cataloguing on each of the marketplaces you are selling. This includes professionally shot product images, accurate dimensions information, material & colour information (In case of apparel). Check the product before packaging, and ensure that it is delivered within the committed time frame.
- Create a Permanent Destination
No matter how many marketplaces you might be selling in, it is essential to have your own destination where you can list all your products and get an opportunity at cross selling and upselling. By having a permanent destination for your entire catalogue, you can push the same through your marketing channels to reach your customers minus the competition you face on the marketplaces. You would have the control over the experience you’d like to deliver to ensure repeat purchases and take your retail brand to the next level. There are several DIY ecommerce website solutions that you can deploy right away.
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About Purple Stores
Purple Stores is a DIY eCommerce platform designed specifically for the Indian Merchants. It allows them to run their own eCommerce platform with ease even while selling on multiple channels. Apart from on demand technical support, it allows gives an access to services like catalog development, logistics support and internet marketing. To try out Purple Stores for your business for free, click here.
Disclaimer: This column is powered by Purple Stores