How to Maximize Productivity for Your E-Commerce Business
The time to focus on your E-commerce business is now! Learn how to maximize efficiency, productivity and capitalize on COVID-19 for online sales potential.
With people staying at home to help curb the spread of COVID-19, the time for e-commerce businesses to thrive is now. The question is, how can you appropriately capitalize on these circumstances when online shopping is more popular and more essential than ever before? If you are looking for ways in which to maximize efficiency, profits, and productivity, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
Focus on streamlining operations management
Well-coordinated operations management will make it quicker and easier to fulfill customer orders when they come in, ultimately ensuring that you get their goods to their door fast and without issue. So, what aspects of operations management should you be investigating and perfecting?
- Find a way to aid you in judging productivity and planning workloads. A good way in which to accomplish this is to carefully measure the number of orders, lines, and units completed on an hourly basis every day.
- Schedule your order picker shifts based on your busiest days. For the majority of e-commerce businesses, the busiest day by far will be Monday due to the massive flow of orders that comes in throughout the weekend. In many instances, order volume will slow down from Tuesday – Thursday and then pick up again on Friday. To boost productivity, it is wise not to schedule the same order picker to handle all of the busy days in one week.
- Invest in an order management system and double-check that this system comes equipped with productivity measurement software and tools for streamlined labor-management planning.
Consider investing in a delivery fleet
A significant portion of e-commerce businesses will rope in a third-party delivery service to courier goods from the warehouse to the consumer. The reason why they opt to outsource this crucial aspect of the business is that they believe it to be more cost-effective. While it certainly is more affordable in the short-term, it is almost guaranteed to cost you thousands more in the long run. If ever there was a time to invest in a robust delivery fleet for your online enterprise, it is now when orders are pouring in, and consumer interest is reaching its peak.
There are various essential advantages to investing in and maintaining a fleet of your own. Firstly, you are in complete control when it comes to ensuring that your customers receive their orders on time and in perfect condition. You are also in control over how well the vehicles are looked after to avoid any potential mishaps on route that could delay deliveries or increase costs.
Along with a fleet of delivery vehicles, don’t forget to purchase the necessary tools and software to empower you to effectively manage a fleet. A great example is the advanced fleet management platform known as OnFleet, which allows for optimized route planning, effortless integration of apps, ordering systems, etc., and automatic dispatch.
Improve relationships with suppliers and vendors
Stock shortages can result in extremely lengthy delays in terms of fulfilling customer orders. In many cases, if your customers are not happy with how quickly they receive their goods, they are likely to look into buying from a competitor to compare experiences. Obviously, this is something that you want to avoid at all costs.
One way in which to lessen the impact of stock shortages is to improve your relationships with your suppliers and vendors. If the relationship is favorable, not only are you sure to benefit from more attractive bulk pricing, but they are also likely to go out of their way to quickly replenish your stock in an emergency.
Treat your suppliers and vendors as your partners, and don’t hesitate to ask them what you can do to make their jobs easier.
Pay attention to cleanliness
You should be warranting maximum cleanliness throughout the times of COVID, but did you know that optimal hygiene is a clever way in which to boost and maintain higher productivity levels, too? A dirty, cluttered workspace or warehouse definitely isn’t conducive to streamlined order processes and deliveries, after all.
Along with dusting and cleaning the floors, it is also essential to remove unnecessary items that are taking up space. If you have a few items of remaining stock that you want to get rid of, consider running a special and encouraging your customers to buy them. That way, you can allow for additional room for fresh, new stock, and more opportunities to prove to your customers that you are ahead of the curve.
Embrace omnichannel retailing
As always, keeping customers happy is key regarding omnichannel retailing. Essentially, this approach to sales and marketing means concocting a creative combination of streamlined engagement channels, both physical and online, to maximize sales and satisfaction. You need to ensure a consistent experience when it comes to all of these channels through brand messaging, timeous delivery/pick-up, and a reduction in issues relating to admin, payments, and logistics.
An excellent example of successful omnichannel retailing is when a customer buys a beautiful, hand-crafted piece of jewelry from your store, placing their order via their tablet. They are then given the option to have the item delivered straight to their door or to pick it up themselves from their nearest store or your warehouse. Once received, if they wish to return their purchase for whatever reason, they can then opt to send it back via mail or scheduled pick-up via your fleet of vehicles. The quality and convenience remain consistent throughout the transaction, and the customer’s shopping experience is enhanced as a result.
Ask for feedback
The most straightforward approach to keeping customers coming back for more is to ask them for their feedback regarding your products, your e-commerce website, and the payment/delivery process. In doing so, you will receive actionable insights to allow you to improve the consumer experience and your workflow, resulting in improved customer retention and an even more significant number of orders.
You now know everything necessary to maximize productivity within your e-commerce business. Now all that’s left to do is put this know-how into practice. Good luck!