E-commerce enables small teams of entrepreneurs to build a business, even without backing from venture capital or traditional retail structures. However, as your e-commerce store grows, it becomes more crucial for you to have deliberate control over everything from inventory and orders, to fulfillment and profit management. The higher your sales volume, the more crucial it is to integrate strategic planning, strong use of data, and fast response time to ensure that everything goes as planned.
This article will go over how an e-commerce manager can help you tie every level of your business together, so you have the capacity to drive growth in a strategic way. A tool like Extensiv takes on multiple roles inside of your organization, functioning as an operating platform and an automation platform, so you can strategize, optimize, and improve.
Here are 7 ways an e-commerce manager will make your life better.
7 ways an E-commerce manager will make your life better
1. It will boost your strategic planning
Knowing where, what, and why you're selling can help you make decisions that save money and spend it more wisely. If you can access all your data and ecommerce analytics across all your channels, you can see what sells where and why, so you can plan for future sales. You can also see what isn't selling and what's costing you money, so you can strategically cut products to increase profits.
Extensiv shows you all your data across all channels, so you can spot trends, recognize KPIs, and use inventory forecasting to introduce more efficient inventory models. For example, if you know that a product is selling well on Amazon FBA but not on eBay, you can easily plan to shift more of your inventory to Amazon FBA to increase sales and decrease your own warehousing costs. Or, if you know that summer sales for a specific product went up 30% in the previous years, you could increase stock for those months to meet demand.
2. It will ensure accuracy in cross-channel communication
From Amazon to eBay, to your own platform or even Facebook, multichannel sales are where most big e-commerce brands make or break it. Unfortunately, multi-channel sales stress inventory management and customer service. Unless you have a real-time inventory management system that syncs across all your channels, you will have to make sacrifices to ensure that stock out events do not happen.
It's important to sync your real-time inventory across all channels rather than splitting inventory or choosing easily restockable products. A good e-commerce manager will enable you to sell all your products on every channel, with every channel displaying your actual total inventory (unless you manually set it to create scarcity. Tip: Extensiv can do this!).
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3. It will optimize cross-department communication
Most e-commerce stores have two to three distinct backend teams, which can be loosely divided into marketing, IT, and supply. 'Marketing' teams handle merchandising, PPC, SEO, social media, and other types of front-end presentation to the consumer, analytics, as well as customer service. IT handles technology, servers, integrations, etc. Supply teams handle warehousing, supply chain, inventory management, quality control, and so on.
While it makes sense to have each of these managed separately, and many large companies break every individual element into its own team. The more you work in e-commerce, the more it should become evident that each process is so interconnected that it cannot function without the other.
Inventory management needs integration with merchandising and marketing, merchandising and marketing need integration with software and technological capabilities, and so on.
A e-commerce manager will help you to tie every team together with integrated data analytics, product synchronization, product history, postage, and much more. This makes it simple for customer service to come in and see where and when a product was shipped, easily start a return, and add accountability to every customer service interaction. It also enables merchandising and marketing teams to use product turnover, sales forecasts, inventory levels, and profit per product or channel to guide strategic decisions.
4. It will save you time
E-commerce owners are often entrepreneurs with a limited budget and a limited capacity for adding on new employees. Time saving tools like Extensiv Order Manager's Orderbot allow you to automate processes after the checkout, so that you can save time on every order. For example, Extensiv automates accepting orders, reducing inventory based on the order, creating packing slips and labels, creating seller alerts for shipments, and even printing out labels. All of this is based on predefined rules that you can set up using If This Then That technology.
For example, an If This Then That rule you could use with Extensiv would be: If SKU ABCD12345 sells on eBay.com, then ship with USPS
Orderbot will use this to automatically create your shipping label, so all you have to do is print and put it in the mail.
Automating repetitive processes allows you to cut time expenditure for everyday processes, so you save both time and money.
5. You can automate reorder points
Understanding PAR levels or reorder points enables you to prevent stock out events, because you can reorder before you sell out. An e-commerce manager like Extensiv uses a sales algorithm that predicts reorder points, adjusts in real time based on sales velocity increases or uses data that you have set, and generates automated purchase orders when stock reaches par level.
Because stock outs can cost you money and sales velocity on Amazon and other channels, reordering before you sell out is a best practice. But, generating purchase orders manually is time consuming and repetitive. Extensiv saves you on both by automating the process.
6. Keep everything in one place
With traditional management tools, you likely spend a considerable amount of time moving back and forth between different applications, different management programs, and different channels. Extensiv collates all your data from channels, warehouses, 3PL, FBA, etc., into one place, to generate easy to read cross channel reports, inventory listings, reports, and much more. Everything is in one place, and you can see it together, or easily check separate channels with the click of a button.
7. Maintain complete control over inventory
From tracking profitability by product or channel, to comparing total costs, to saving money with reorder points, an e-commerce manager can help you to get in control of your inventory. Extensiv Order Manager's tools offer complete automation and management for processes after the shopping cart, making it easy for you to keep up with order fulfillment, returns, purchase orders, stock levels, profitability, sales by turn, and much more. This data will help you to make better decisions, and improve efficiency across your entire store.
A good e-commerce store works like a well-oiled machine, where orders are shipped quickly, stock is re-ordered before you sell out, and everything is optimized to provide the best customer service at the lowest cost to the store. No matter how complex your inventory management, customer service, fulfillment, and other details become as you grow, an e-commerce manager can help you stay in control, optimize your processes, and save money.