If you’re looking to start your own online business, grow your online store, or learn more about ecommerce management, you’ve come to the right place! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about running a successful ecommerce operation. From setting up your shop and choosing the right products to marketing your business and optimizing your sales funnel, we’ve got you covered. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
Prior to delving into ecommerce statistics, let’s first establish some context.
US ecommerce sales grew by 15.5% in 2019 to reach $601.75 billion (Source: Statista)
By 2040, 95% of all purchases are projected to be made online (Source: Invesp)
Between 2018 and 2022, global ecommerce is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.5% (Source: Statista)
Before we start
But first, let’s unhide some of the key facts about ecommerce management that you should know before getting started:
E-commerce management is the process of running an online store, from start to finish. This includes everything from choosing the right products to sell and managing inventory, to marketing your store and processing orders.
It’s important to have a solid understanding of ecommerce management before starting your own online store, as it will help you avoid common mistakes and set your business up for success.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to ecommerce management, which we’ll cover in more detail below:
Choose the right products to sell
Manage your inventory
Marketing & Sales funnels
Shipping & Fulfillment
Provide excellent customer service
Ecommerce management meaning
In dictionary terms, ecommerce management is defined as:
“The process of running an online store, from start to finish.”
In other words, it’s everything you need to do to run a successful online business.
This includes choosing the right products to sell, managing inventory, marketing your store, processing orders, and providing excellent customer service.
Whether ecommerce management systems is necessary for your online store?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
It depends on the size and complexity of your operation. If you’re just starting out, you might be able to get by with a basic system.
But as your business grows, you’ll likely need something more robust to manage your inventory, orders, and customers effectively.
The good news is that there are plenty of options out there, so you can find a system that’s tailored to your specific needs.
What are the benefits of ecommerce management?
There are many benefits to having a solid ecommerce management strategy in place. Here are just a few of the most important ones:
Efficiency: A well-managed ecommerce operation is much more efficient than one that’s not managed well. This means you’ll be able to get more done in less time, which will save you money and help you grow your business more quickly.
Improved customer service: Good ecommerce management systems help you provide better customer service. This is because they give you the tools you need to track orders, manage customer data, and resolve issues quickly and efficiently.
Increased sales: By making your ecommerce operation more efficient and improving your customer service, you’ll inevitably see an increase in sales.
Reduced costs: A well-managed ecommerce business will also tend to have lower costs than one that’s not managed well. This is because you’ll be able to avoid mistakes, streamline your processes, and eliminate waste.
Ecommerce management systems
There are many different types of ecommerce management systems out there. Here are just a few of the most popular ones:
Right products to sell
As an ecommerce business owner, one of your most important tasks is choosing the right products to sell.
This can be a challenge, as there are endless options out there. To make this task easier, start by considering your target market.
Who are you selling to?
What do they need or want?
Once you have a good understanding of your target market, you can start to narrow down your product options. It’s also important to consider the profitability of the products you’re selling.
Not all products are created equal in this respect. Some are much more profitable than others.
So, while it’s important to sell products that your target market wants or needs, be sure to keep profitability in mind as well.
There are three main criteria you should use to evaluate potential products:
Let’s see an example of these three elements – right time, right place, and right people when you want to sell products:
You want to sell products when people are actually looking to buy them. This might seem like common sense, but it’s important to consider nonetheless.
For example, if you’re selling winter coats, you’ll want to make sure people are searching for them in the fall or winter, not in the spring or summer.
You also need to make sure you’re selling your products in the right place. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, this means being located in a high-traffic area with plenty of potential customers.
If you’re selling online, it means being listed on popular marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, or having a well-optimized website that ranks high in search engine results.
Finally, you need to make sure you’re selling your products to the right people. This means targeting your marketing efforts at those who are most likely to be interested in what you’re selling.
For example, if you’re selling women’s clothing, you’ll want to make sure your marketing efforts are focused on women. The same goes for any other target market you might have.
Inventory management system
Another key element of ecommerce management is having a good inventory management system in place. This is important for two main reasons:
You need to know what products you have in stock at all times so you can keep your customers happy.
You need to be able to quickly and easily restock your products when necessary.
There are a few different ways to manage your inventory, but the most important thing is to find a system that works for you and your business.
One popular option is to use inventory management software like inFlow Inventory.
This type of warehouse management system can help you keep track of your inventory levels, inform you about minimum stock levels, reorder products when necessary, and even track your sales and expenses.
Another option is to outsource your inventory management to a third-party provider like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
This can be a good option if you don’t have the time or resources to manage your inventory yourself.
Marketing & Sales funnels
Once you have your products sorted out, it’s time to start thinking about marketing and sales. After all, you need to get people interested in what you’re selling!
There are a few different ways to go about this, but one of the most important is to create a sales funnel.
A sales funnel is simply a series of steps that leads a potential customer from awareness to purchase.
Using multiple sales channels, you can increase the chances that a potential customer will take the desired action, whether that’s signing up for your email list, visiting your website, or making a purchase.
Your marketing funnel will be determined by your marketing sources.
For example, if you’re primarily relying on organic traffic from search engines, your funnel will look different than if you’re running paid ads or using email marketing.
1. Search engine optimization (SEO): SEO is the process of optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engine results. This can be a long-term strategy, as it can take months or even years to see results. But it can be very effective, especially if you’re targeting high-value keywords.
2. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: PPC is a form of paid advertising where you bid on keywords and pay for each click on your ad. This can be a very effective way to drive traffic to your website, but it can also be expensive if you’re not careful with your bids. You can
3. Email campaigns: Email marketing involves sending emails to potential and existing customers to promote your products or services. This can be a great way to build relationships and drive sales.
4. Social media marketing: Social media marketing involves using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote your products or services. This can be a great way to reach a large audience and build brand awareness.
5. Content marketing: Content marketing is a type of inbound marketing that involves creating and sharing content (such as blog posts, infographics, and videos) to attract and convert prospective customers.
You should also monitor your campaigns to see how they’re performing.
This will help you determine which ones are working and which ones aren’t so you can make adjustments as needed.
There are a few different metrics you can use to track the performance of your marketing campaigns, including:
Click-through rate (CTR): This is the percentage of people who click on your ad or link out of the total number of people who see it. A high CTR means that your campaign is performing well and if customer interest is high, it could result in sales.
Conversion rate: This is the percentage of people who take the desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter, out of the total number of people who see your ad or link. A high conversion rate means that your campaign is effective.
Cost per acquisition (CPA): This is the amount of money you spend on a marketing campaign divided by the number of people who take the desired action. A low CPA means that your campaign is efficient.
Impressions: This is the number of times your ad or link is seen. You should aim for a high CTR and conversion rate, and a low CPA.
Open Rate: The open rate is the percentage of people who open your email out of the total number of people who receive it. A high open rate means that your email campaign is effective.
Cost Per Lead (CPL): The cost per lead is the amount of money you spend on a marketing campaign divided by the number of leads you generate. A low CPL means that your campaign is efficient.
Example marketing tools
Monitor CTR, Conversion Rate, CPA – Google Analytics, Search Console
Monitor Open Rate – ConvertKit, GetResponse, MailerLite
Monitor sales trends – Google Trends
Shipping & order management system
Order & Shipping management system allows you to track and manage your orders and shipments in one place.
This can be a great way to keep track of your inventory and make sure that your customers are receiving their orders on time.
Some features of an order & shipping management system include:
1. Order tracking: You can track your orders from the time they’re placed until they’re delivered. This can help you keep track of your inventory and make sure that your customers are receiving their orders on time.
2. Shipping tracking: You can track your shipments from the time they’re shipped until they’re delivered. This can help you keep track of your inventory and make sure that your customers are receiving their orders on time.
3. Inventory management: You can keep track of your inventory levels and reorder products when necessary. This can help you avoid stock-outs and ensure that your customers always have the products they need.
4. Customer management: You can manage your customer information, such as contact information and order history. This can help you keep track
There are also some key features you can find in a good order & shipping management system dedicated to ecommerce businesses:
Multi-channel orders: enables to see all orders from every sales platform in one place (offered for example by ZOHO)
Automated shipping: calculate shipping rates and print labels automatically (offered for example by Shipstation)
Inventory management: keep track of your inventory levels and reorder products when necessary
Customizable order statuses: allows creating custom order statuses that make more sense for your business workflow
Returns management: helps streamline the process of handling customer returns
Automated emails: system sends automatic email notifications to customers at key points in the order process, such as when an order is shipped or delivered
Building strong relationships with your customers is essential for the success of your business.
Small steps like sending a handwritten thank-you note, or following up after a purchase can make a big difference in how your customers feel about your business.
In addition to building relationships with your customers, you should also focus on building relationships with your employees.
Creating a positive work environment will help your employees be more productive and motivated, and it will also help them be more likely to stick around for the long run.
Some tips for building strong relationships with your customers and employees include:
1. Communicate frequently and openly: Keep your lines of communication open, and make sure you’re communicating regularly with your customers and employees. This will help build trust and understanding.
2. Be responsive: When your customers or employees have questions or concerns, make sure you’re responsive and address them in a timely manner. This will show that you care about their needs and that you’re committed to solving any problems they may have.
3. Be flexible: Things change, and you need to be able to adapt to those changes. Whether it’s a change in your product line or a change in your employee’s availability, being flexible will help you keep your business running smoothly.
4. Be honest: Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to business. If you make a mistake, own up to it and take steps to fix it. This will show your customers and employees that you’re committed to doing things the right way.
Success stories are also a great way to show potential customers that your product or service can help them achieve their goals. By sharing stories from your current customers, you can show that your business is trustworthy and that you’re committed to helping your customers succeed.
If you want to read more about customer check also 10+ tips how to increase customer service?
Statistics shows that 78% of customers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of poor customer service.
It is essential to keep this number in mind when working on your ecommerce business because if you don’t provide good customer service, you are likely to lose potential customers and sales.
Software like customer relationship management (CRM) helps you manage your customer interactions and track your customer data in one place. This can be helpful when trying to improve your customer service because you can see where there are opportunities for improvement.
Customer journey maps are another helpful tool when trying to improve your customer service. This is because they help you visualize the different steps that a customer takes when interact with your business. This can help you identify any areas where there might be confusion or frustration, and then you can take steps to improve the process.
Ecommerce business knowledge base
Below you will find a collection of software and courses on ecommerce management.
This is a perfect place to start if you are new to ecommerce or if you are looking to brush up on your ecommerce knowledge.
Ecommerce management software
Ecommerce management software helps you run your online business. It can automate tasks, such as order processing, shipping, and customer management.
Ecommerce management software can also help you track your inventory and sales trends.
Here are some tools that can assist you in running a successful e-commerce business.
SellTheTrend – helps find trending products
Google Trends – check trends
inFlow Inventory – manage Inventory
Google Analytics – measure campaigns, traffic, etc.
GetResponse / ConvertKit – email marketing
Tidio – chatbot on the website
HiverHQ – turns Gmail into the helpdesk
Ecommerce management courses
Acquiring knowledge is the best way to be successful in anything you do. If you want to have a successful e-commerce business, you should consider taking an ecommerce management course.
I will find some great and verified courses for you can check out below. If you finish one of them, please let me know how it was in the comments!
Start & Scale by Gretta Van Riel | Foundr
Skillshare: E-Commerce Essentials
Udemy: Selling on Amazon
HubSpot: Ecommerce Marketing Course
Comprehensive Shopify DropShipping Course