Learn Ecommerce Operations

Building a systemised backend helps set the infrastructure up for a scalable and successful brand

What Are Ecommerce Operations?

Do you know how customers react when they discover their items don't ship for two weeks or more? Most of them just throw their hands up in the air and give up. They tell their friends, "Don’t waste your money buying anything from xyz brand", and when that negative social proof gets momentum that can end a brand before they have had a real crack at success.

Let me say it again: Include Post-Purchase Communications in your Operations Strategy!

Creating systemised processes, guides for team members, live chat scripts and more operational items help make your brand operate like a well oiled machine. This perception at the very least is what customers want to see from brands they spend their money with. 

In this guide we will cover off the key ecommerce operations checklist for creating a well oiled system on your brands backend.

This guide is part of the build an ecommerce brand track.

ecommerce-website-store-design-examples

"E-commerce" is a type of business model that takes advantage of the internet to do business or make sales using a number of different technology platforms. There are many different types of ecommerce examples. The three most common are B2C (Business-to-Consumer): buying from a company like Amazon; P2P (Peer-to-Peer): buying from another individual or business like Etsy; and B2B (Business-to-Business): buying from other businesses like Alibaba. Even if you are just getting started in online marketing, you should be aware of... and at least be familiar with... every single strategy described in this report. After all, you never know when or where (or with whom) your skills will come in handy! There are many people who offer these types of services. Freelance graphic designers include those who work as independent consultants, those who work for large companies (like I do), and even some web page / blog / online advertising agencies. In 2019 direct-to-consumer ecommerce businesses dominated headlines, with many millions in sales and several very high-profile investments.

Ecommerce is a technology-based foundation which supports all kinds of businesses - from huge retail chains to small, privately-owned sole proprietorships. E-commerce companies need three things to survive and grow: Product knowledge, money and the ability to function electronically.

Build an online store to sell services or products... which is one of the most profitable things you will ever do.

Enter all your customer information and start taking payments through Amazon.

An order management system or shopping cart is something you should provide for your customers. Shopify and WooCommerce do this exceptionally well, I highly recommend both platforms for ecommerce.

These are all the important functions of an e-commerce website which makes it so much more valuable than a regular, brick-and-mortar store. However, backroom operations are very different than a "typical" business model. One big difference is that they are NOT concerned with profits... at least initially.

 

How Backroom Operations Scale Brands

Backroom operations are more about building their ability to generate leads, find and qualify those leads, and then close the sale. Many very successful ecommerce websites have made the transition from a physical location to the Internet. In fact, it's not uncommon at all. With these three little words, Al and Joanne Weissler gave their company a whole new life. By eliminating most of their overhead, reducing their selling staff from three people to one, and targeting a global instead of just a local market, they were able to generate an immediate 300% increase in revenue.

Successful online stores and service providers understand that frameworks and strategies are key ingredients for success. They continue to read and study to stay on top of the latest trends and innovations in their respective fields.

Consider these operational flows:

  1. Marketing
  2. Advertising
  3. Customer support
  4. Technical support
  5. product research and validation
  6. Packaging and wrapping
  7. Inventory management
  8. Demand management
  9. Shipping and logistics
  10. Financial management
  11. People & culture (Teams)
  12. Office & warehouse management
  13. Conversion optimisation
  14. Sustainability 

If you chip away at just one of these each month the rewards will start snowballing in your favour. These are some of the biggest levers you can pull on to maximise your ecommerce stores function. 

Every person, every product, every web page and every supplier plays a part in your success. Focusing in on any one can help reduce cost, reduce waste, reduce hesitation to purchase, reduce bounce rate and improve your bottom line making it a worth while excercise.

Understanding the Omnichannel Retail Strategy

More and more businesses are using omnichannel retail strategies that allow the customer a seamless shopping experience. Using multiple channels: landline telephone, mobile device, desktop websites, and often these "stores" will "tie-in" with their "brick-and-mortar" or flagship stores. The future of retail is omnichannel. It's using whatever combination of these resources works best for the customer and the retailer to promote the retailer’s brand, engage the customer, and deliver the products or services.

Another feature of an omni-channel retail strategy is that the customer can interact with the company in any number of different ways, when they have a problem or a concern. Companies that offer these types of retail fulfillment options include: 1. FBA Providers: (also called "Fulbrights") These companies offer an all-in-one solution for Amazon sellers who want to take all the guesswork out of selling on Amazon.com. An efficient omnichannel business will weave together all the various channels of information from the different backend systems, such as customer data, vendor information, and inventory or logistics.

The best retailers of today have mastered the art of providing their customers with an enhanced shopping experience. They do this by integrating various media into their marketing campaigns, both online and off. Online personal styling service (also known as an "online stylist") is an excellent example of how small ideas can have huge ramifications. Want to know more about this idea? Check out the short video at the link below... https: Gilt has been described as the "Uber of retail." They use smart technology to interact with the customer personally, algorithms to select clothing best suited for their personality, and they provide fast and free shipments of clothing to the customer both ways.

A lot of their customers go online first to look at their goods on a mobile phone. Because of this, REI started an “Explorer” program where they sent a text message with a unique link to a mobile phone number. If that customer clicked on that link, they would immediately get redirected to a mobile optimized website hosted by REI's servers. Customers could then make purchases without having to use a computer or fill out any forms. To help their in-store sales associates provide better service to their customers, they equipped them with mobile devices - merging the online and in-store experience.

Sephora helps customers shop for hundreds of different skin care, makeup, perfume and hair care products at one location by providing complimentary “makeovers” where models help shoppers discover the right products for their unique faces and bodies, plus offering beauty workshops to teach shoppers how to achieve the latest “can’t-live-without” looks. Plus, they've got in-store technology where customers can scan products, learn about them on their mobile devices, watch product tutorials, and earn reward points for their purchases.

Ecommerce Operations Strategy

A robust and efficient IT infrastructure is essential to the success of any ecommerce business. You have to be able to handle the full range of functions necessary to support your ecommerce business, including taking and fulfilling orders, establishing efficient domestic and international shipping, and having enough inventory to satisfy your customers and to keep them coming back for more.

1. E-commerce operations management is built upon six core fundamentals: (

2. Store Presentation, (

3. Order Taking, (

4. Inventory Management, (

5. Order Fulfillment, (

6. Return Handling, and (

7. Customer Service.

E-commerce strategy is the process of defining your goals, selecting an e-commerce platform, creating a viable business plan, determining your market, and, finally, testing and executing your plan

An eCommerce store must be run like any other retail store, and not as a side business or a hobby. It needs to be treated with the same seriousness with which you would treat any other profitable business.

The ecommerce business owner must find a secure, scalable ecommerce platform that has integrated marketing tools.

You need to research your market as thoroughly as possible before you put up a website. If you don’t, you’ll waste a lot of time and money. It’s better to find out important information about your market after you’ve chosen your niche and have invested the time and energy to become an expert in that particular niche.

One of the most powerful ways to create word-of-mouth marketing is through the use of social media. By letting your customers be your brand ambassador, you can have them post positive testimonials and reviews about your product on websites like Google, Yahoo and Amazon. These glowing endorsements will spread like wildfire through the Internet and can dramatically increase your sales.

Consider the following operation strategy of Amazon: Once an item is listed on Amazon, it is listed for an average of 11-days. Focused on customer service and supply chain management? What a joke. This company doesn’t have a clue about either of those important elements of running a successful business. If they did, they wouldn’t be selling such poor quality products. An excellent example of an outstanding operation strategy on Amazon's part is their ability to take orders and get them shipped quickly.

The main benefit of operations strategy is to remove friction between customers and between customers and sellers. It does this by giving the operations person (you) the power to make decisions about what sells and what doesn't without involving the person who is actually responsible for the sales outcome (the merchant). This book will give you a clear path to improve every area of your Amazon operation. The more you improve your e-commerce operations, the easier it will be to focus on those products that sell faster and bring in greater profit.

funnel map workflow

Ecommerce Strategy Frameworks and Examples

A good ecommerce strategy starts with a vision. What do you want your visitors to experience when they land on your site? What do you want them to do after they read one of your product descriptions or browse your products? What promise do you make to them that keeps them coming back for more? There are many different types of e-business strategies. One of them can help you dominate e-commerce. Work with a service provider that specializes in ecommerce platform services. They can help you design and implement successful e commerce strategies that will build brand loyalty through unique and memorable shipment tracking and marketing.

To improve the success of your ecommerce store, you need to create ecommerce strategy frameworks that include useful content, powerful images, value-added products, social media engagement, personalized messaging, outbound product promotions, and video marketing.

Excellent examples of ecommerce sites with a strong operations strategy framework are those that acquire new customers, retain those customers by meeting their needs, and continuously generates new revenue by expanding the sales opportunities available to the site. These sites may or may not use the following tactics but they almost always incorporate some form of them:

Promote your current product or service to your customers... right now!

Monthly recurring payments

Offer free shipping or other free delivery options

URGENCY SALES: Amazon does these all the time. They're great for building brand recognition and making your existing customers feel like their investment in your business is truly paying off.

Highlighted customer reviews or ratings on the ecommerce site and in email marketing messages.

Give an "Exclusive Offer Only" to one of your best customers. This will not only give him an extra "reason to come back", it will also make him more loyal to you. And that's a good thing for your business!

Professional looking photos and effective styling are a must for social media branding. In this case, the “styling” refers to how the individual components (product photo, price, bullet points, description, etc.) work together to form an overall appealing visual treatment.

Give your existing customers (both online and offline) an experience they won’t soon forget.

This is a must-read for anyone who sells on Amazon. You'll discover why product description is the most important factor in determining whether or not your product will be a success.

These five strategies are the core building blocks of everything you need to know to create a powerful, profitable ecommerce website. You'll discover how to use each of these techniques to construct a solid foundation for your website, and you'll learn how each of these techniques fit together to create a seamless whole.

Fab 5 Michigan team

Ecommerce Roles and Responsibilities

If your company has an eCommerce website, your first ecommerce job should be to find out if your CEO or someone else on the executive team has any interest in ecommerce whatsoever. If so, they'll be more than willing to guide you through the process of building an ecommerce website from the ground up. A job description template for your ecommerce business should list all the duties required to develop a solid strategy for your online store's order fulfillment, shipping, and inventory management needs. The ideal candidate should have at least three years of experience in all of the following:

Amazon knows retail operations and shipping logistics like no other company. If you've got the right stuff, there's no better place to learn and master these skills.

Able to analyze and interpret data, such as sales and customer data

Driven by a proactive attitude that is sales-driven and results-oriented

Outstanding organisational and communication skills

A) The main job responsibilities of an ecommerce manager are: (

B) Developing a strategy for the customer’s online and offline experience, and (

C) Making sure that the experience delivered through all channels is the same high quality experience that the customer expects and desires.

 

Hiring qualified people that have experience will help you scale in that area of the business just from having a sturdy set of hands looking after that section of the business for you.

1. An operations manager should be someone who has proven to attract and convert a high percentage of customers. That means he should have a proven ability to do the following:

2. Find products that sell well and create more of them.

3. Create super-effective advertising campaigns for those products.

4. Run the ads and monitor the results with a focus on action, not vanity statistics.

In addition to a thorough business education they should have an intense financial training, and learn about financial procedures, inventory control, and merchandising best practices.

A good general rule of thumb is to always include a description of the duties and responsibilities of the position you are recruiting for. This is especially true for managerial and supervisory positions. These job descriptions help you determine if you are talking with a qualified candidate or not. This is a very good idea if the person is skilled at crafting job descriptions. They might also be able to improve the description by adding or deleting activities.

An operations manager at Walmart e-sales would be responsible for the entire operation of the e-tail business at that location. He or she would have the authority to make any and all decisions regarding everything from advertising and promotions to fulfillment and customer service. These employees would also be responsible for training other employees and ensuring they are following proper procedures and policies. For a small-to-medium sized business (SMBs), you can expect to pay less than this for an ecommerce operations manager salary. Since your ecommerce business probably does not have the same volume of orders as a giant like Walmart, it might be cheaper for you to not hire an operations manager, but rather hire someone who is "good enough" to do the job of an operations manager at a price you can afford. This will almost certainly be someone who has some prior ecommerce experience, and ideally, this person should live close by and be able to interact with you on a regular basis.

Topic Resources To Continue Learning

sales by numbers

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