10 tips and tricks for omni channel eCommerce businesses

Omni channel ecommerce retail strategies enable retail and wholesale businesses of any size to sell across multiple channels and increase sales. There are many opportunities to streamline and automate omni channel ecommerce digital systems to save time and money, and grow revenue. Is your retail business already implementing these top 10 tips and tricks for omni channel ecommerce businesses?

 

1. Are you using spreadsheets to manage your inventory and overseas purchase orders?

Are you managing stock levels, exchange rates, and products in a spreadsheet? Are you manually sending emails to each supplier?

With overseas purchases and fluctuating exchange rates, it starts to get complicated to calculate the actual cost of goods. If there are issues with the supplier and stock is missing or there is something wrong with stock and requires to be written off, these changes would need to be updated manually in your spreadsheet.

Implement a holistic online ecommerce solution that integrates and streamlines stock forecasting, purchase order management, low stock level notification, automatic cost of goods sold (COGS) calculations, including write offs when goods arrive damaged. 

Save time, improve productivity, increase confidence in COGS calculations and dynamic stock levels, and reduce manual errors with an optimised ecommerce digital system.

 

2. Are your warehouse operations based on manual checks and processes?

Are you manually counting and checking goods received against purchase orders?

Do you have a warehouse system that allocates each product into a particular area in the warehouse?

Are you manually defining the pick up route through the warehouse to pick up a list of items for an order?

Are you manually checking items when picking and packing for orders?

You can automatically identify and reduce stock errors, improve warehouse management, and save time and money with a well designed and implemented ecommerce platform. 

Implement a warehouse system so that the warehouse is defined into pick up zones of various products. Scan products upon pick up to confirm the correct item for the order. Mobile devices can be used to determine the most efficient route to pick up a list of items for an order.

 

3. Are you manually adding your product catalogue onto your webstore?

Suppliers often provide product data in a format that is not so easy to use, forcing retail businesses to have to manually add their product catalogues onto the webstore.

Reformat the data sheet from suppliers and use system import tools in your ecommerce platform to get data into your system easily and error free. 

With an integrated ecommerce system you can save time and have confidence in the quality of your product data.

 

4. Are you manually advertising your product catalogue on various sales channels?

Are you manually advertising your product catalogue on various sales channels such as eBay, Catch of the Day, Amazon, Google Shopping, Trade Me, and more?

Integrate your ecommerce platform to various sales channels and achieve a streamlined omni channel retail solution. Maintain dynamic stock levels and streamline fulfillment and supply chain operations across multiple sales channels. 

Automate processes, save time and money, and improve confidence in dynamic stock data and order fulfilment.

 

5. Is your system for receiving orders streamlined?

Are your staff using best practice in managing orders? E.g. addressing incorrect addresses, back orders (sale of sold out stock), managing payments for customers with accounts, making changes to orders, and processing refunds. 

Do you have dynamic stock levels integrated across multiple sales channels to avoid back orders?

Implement an integrated platform that manages a holistic system for receiving orders and allows staff to operate with best practice. 

Improve confidence in managing orders and reduce manual errors with an optimised ecommerce platform.

 

6. Are your staff manually checking for pick ups in the warehouse?

Is the picking process in the warehouse a manual process? 

Are your staff manually checking to pick up items for an order? 

Are they printing out orders,  manually reviewing each order, and manually calculating how to pick up each item in the warehouse for each order?

There are two ways to optimise the picking processes in the warehouse: 1) paper method, or 2) mobile device method. 

Design the warehouse with pick zones, improve staff training, and optimise warehouse navigation to achieve significant efficiencies in the picking processes.

Paper method: 

Use numbered trolleys and pick slips automatically generated by the ecommerce platform with an optimised route through the warehouse for efficient picking of multiple items. 

Mobile device method:

Use a mobile device as both a scanner to check that the correct item is being picked and to navigate for an optimal route through the warehouse for pick up of multiple items. 

Minimise pick up errors, save time, and increase confidence in stock data with a streamlined ecommerce platform.

 

7. Is your warehouse packing station a manual process?

Many ecommerce businesses use third party websites to create and print shipping labels e.g. Australia Post or DHL. Staff may be manually typing customer details and the weight of the package into the website to calculate shipping costs and print out the shipping label.

Implement an ecommerce system that includes product level details such as weight and dimensions. The system uses known customer details, product details and automatically creates a shipping label ready for print. 

Install and integrate an industrial grade thermal label printer, no ink required, printing 1 label per second.  

Staff can scan items at the packing station to add an extra check in the warehouse and minimise packing errors. 

Automate the shipping label process, save time, and increase confidence in shipping label data with an integrated ecommerce platform.

 

8. Are you manually creating a manifest to submit to your courier?

In shipping orders from the warehouse, are you still manually creating a manifest to submit to your courier?

Implement an ecommerce platform so that you can automatically generate a manifest (list of packages ready to send) to submit to the courier. Your platform can also automate booking a courier to arrive for pick up. 

Implement a digital system to automate processes, save time, and increase confidence in manifest data.

 

9. Are you manually emailing customers with their order and delivery details?

Do you copy and paste an email template to email customers with their order and delivery details?

Do you copy and paste the delivery tracking number into customer emails?

Implement a platform that automatically emails customers when the shipping label is printed at the packing station. Customers receive an automated email and are able to follow delivery live tracking. 

Save time and automate customer emails with an integrated ecommerce platform.

 

10. Have you implemented best practice for your staff to provide after-sales support?

After-sales support can include tasks such as managing defects, returns, shipping issues, and product queries. Operational issues can arise from poor email management and insufficient staff training. 

Implement best practice in after-sales support with improved staff training and by using a ticket management software. 

Save time and increase confidence in enabling your staff to deliver exceptional customer service.

Small to mid-tier to enterprise level retail businesses can benefit from an omni channel ecommerce strategy and increase sales across multiple channels. Optimise fulfilment and supply chain operations with a holistic, integrated ecommerce platform that automates and streamlines the complete process. Save time and money and grow sales by implementing these 10 tips and tricks for omni channel ecommerce businesses.

 

 

By David Donohue and Emily de la Pena

 

David Donohue is the Managing Director of Donohue Consultancy, an ecommerce agency specialising in omni channel ecommerce strategy and optimisation, and end-to-end solution design and implementation. Donohue consultancy partners with all ecommerce platforms and designs holistic, bespoke ecommerce digital solutions for medium-tier to enterprise level retail businesses. In a fast changing retail landscape, David understands the value of a solid omni channel ecommerce strategy to enable brand owners of any size to compete globally. David loves to help businesses, from specialty retailers to global manufacturers, to save time and money, and grow sales.

Emily de la Pena is a business strategist, award-winning business owner, and founder of Coding Kids. She is passionate about supporting business owners grow. Emily was awarded 40 under 40: Top Young Entrepreneurs Brisbane, Queensland Women in Leadership Award, What’s on 4 Kids Award, and the Queensland Pearcey Award, and Advance Queensland’s Community Digital Champion. Emily has also been on ABC Radio Brisbane, SBS radio, The Courier-Mail as a thought leader on the intersection of marketing, business and technology.