This is a guest post from Niki Tibble. Niki is a content writer for Expandly, the multi-channel management software saving eCommerce entrepreneurs time. Integrate your online marketplaces, shipping carrier, and Xero to centralize all of your listings, orders, inventory, shipping, invoicing and accounting.
Life is busy, and if you’re an eCommerce entrepreneur, it’s even busier. Juggling marketplaces, listings, orders, shipping, invoicing and reporting, alongside business administration, website updates, social media, blogging and reminiscing about when you used to have a social life…it’s tough.
Sure, some of that time is just part of becoming a successful eCommerce entrepreneur, but are you unnecessarily using up time that could be spent growing your business, increasing sales or enjoying some “me time”? I’ve seen online sellers make some common time-wasting mistake that they don’t need to, and with eCommerce set to account for 15% of all retail sales globally by 2025, now is the time to get these eight common time-wasting eCommerce mistakes in check.
1) Selling on one sales channel
Yes, you read that one right. While selling on one sales channel may sound like time-saving 101 it’s actually the opposite. 51% of online shoppers start on Amazon, but only 55% stay there. Putting all your goods into one online marketplace basket (e.g. eBay) will inevitably take you longer to increase your customer base, improve your sales and buy that dream yacht you’ve been aiming for. Adding your store to Amazon, eBay, Etsy and Wish, alongside your own website, is a quick way to grow your business by reaching new customers and generating more sales.
2) Manually updating and uploading listings
Whether you’re selling on one or multiple online sales channels, manually updating and uploading listings is unnecessary and prone to human error (typos), which can lead to more time wasted dealing with customer complaints. Online sales management software exists to provide a simple and centralized platform, where you can upload listings in bulk across all of your sales channels (including eBay and your own shopping cart), which is especially important when you’re selling across multiple sales channels and when you’re adding a lot of stock to your store. Time saved and mistakes reduced.
3) Logging into sales channels to process orders
For those that are already multi-channel selling, if you’re logging into each of your marketplaces and shopping carts to process individual orders you might as well cancel your weekend plans now. Logging into sales channels and manually updating orders take time; unnecessary time that could be saved by using online tools and software. Multi-channel management platforms provide a single login and dashboard for all of your sales channels, from where you can view, manage and process orders from anywhere in the world.
4) Poor inventory management
eCommerce sellers updating individual sales channels and listings with stock status, as soon as something has sold, you’re in for a shocker. You don’t need to. Inventory management software is one of the most overlooked ways to save a lot of time. Using a provider that automatically updates stock levels across all of your sales channels, negates the need to do it yourself, avoids overselling or sell out, removes the need to ring-fence and provides you with reports of what’s selling well and what you need to shift.
5) Selling the wrong products
Spending time stocking, listing and promoting the wrong products is a big money-wasting and time-wasting mistake. Whether that’s selling the wrong products at the wrong time of year, selling the wrong products on the wrong sales channel, or pitching your goods at the wrong price – it’s all wasting your time. Stay on top of your sales reports and use data-based intelligence to plan your products, stock, sale channels, audience, marketing and timing.
6) Pushing the wrong offers
Cart abandonment is a big risk to your eCommerce business, but it can be fought with good analytics and insights about what your customers want. If you’re not monitoring what’s driving your customers through checkout, then you’re wasting time creating and promoting offers that aren’t worth the effort. Use reporting to track the offers that your audience go checkout-crazy for and the offers that go straight to the trash can.
7) Not keeping on top of the trends
When you’re time-poor, keeping on top of eCommerce news and trends can be the last thing on your to-do list. But it can help you stay ahead of the trends and plan your eCommerce strategy effectively. Utilize your time by signing up to industry blogs, eCommerce news roundups and social media accounts to get your dose of the need-to-know news.
8) Trying to do everything
We all have to do some grunt work, but writing down picking lists, individually printing shipping labels and manually updating your reports can all be done by intelligent (and affordable) software. Batch-print your picking lists and shipping labels, automatically create invoices and have your reports complete themselves.
Also, if social media, blogging, admin and accounting aren’t your thing, outsource to someone who can do the job quickly, confidently and a whole lot better than you can. It will save you money (and reputation) in the long run.
Selling online doesn’t have to take up all of your time. Investing in the right tools and software will save you time, money and stress while allowing you to spend time running and growing your business.