There was a time when opening a store could be done only by those with extensive capital and resources. It took finding a building, renting or buying it, getting a permit, hiring staff, locating raw resources and a whole number of other unpleasant logistics.
Now all you need is a URL and a website to open up shop. Or skip the site altogether and sign up to sell under Amazon, eBay or another online shopping Goliath.
It does take a bit more than that if you want to succeed. But the door has been opened for thousands who previously would never have had a chance.
Once you get up and running, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re looking to expand.
Problems stack up fast without a proper system to manage orders and ensure they reach the intended destination. Without this information being relayed directly into a platform used to manage orders—whether that be a CRM or other database solution—you will find yourself quickly drowning in a sea of spreadsheets or, God forbid, hand-written notes.
If you are attempting to run an online store without such a system, forget about every scaling or expanding beyond mom and pop status.
Once you decide on which CRM or platform to use, you then need to ensure it can integrate to your online store and all other online sites you are using (other marketplaces, 3PLs, distributors, etc). That way, as orders are retrieved, your local inventory is automatically updated with the quantity of item ordered.
Track Your Inventory
Without a grasp of your inventory, you will run into situations that force you to cancel or delay orders. This leads to bad reviews, and these can make or break your success. A handful of negative comments about slipshod service or canceled orders could mean the difference of succeeding or having to close shop.
It’s vital that you have all such information synchronized so customers always know what is available and what is out-of-stock.
Details are paramount when it comes to delivering what you promised. If you go to ship out an order, you better have the right shipping information and an automatic system that changes the status of your order to “shipped” which then triggers the charge to the customer.
Not only will you irritate and lose customers without this in place, but you might find yourself giving away free merchandise due to not being properly integrated with your system.
Simple Solutions to Complex Problems
Solutions abound for the above issues. The trick is locating a program that performs the actions efficiently. Without having the proper integrations in place to connect your platform to all the required applications and sites, you could find yourself one step short of success.
MindCloud exists to connect your platform with online marketplaces or e-commerce sites to automatically retrieve orders, manage inventory and update vital information such as the shipping status of orders so customers can be informed when their order has been sent.