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Stepping up your ecommerce business
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Stepping up your ecommerce business in 2021

16th March 2021

So you’ve had massive success in the last year, but how do you step up your ecommerce business to build on that success? 

In 2020 Sellerdeck’s customers’ grew on average by more than 100% and ecommerce in the UK grew by 20% overall. But often with growth comes pain.

When there is a sudden increase in online business, it quickly highlights the areas in your operation that have inefficiencies; these inefficiencies prevent your business from growing as you are spending your ‘sales and marketing’ time and budget on tasks that ultimately cost you money.

However, it can be very challenging to solve these issues, so here are some key areas and simple actions you can take:

Order Processing

Order processing in ecommerce platforms should be simple, but unfortunately it isn’t. As ecommerce evolves, so do expectations and not all orders are as simple as click complete and ship. Having the flexibility to deal with order changes, i.e. cancellations, quantity updates and coupon code discounts, is important. If your current platform doesn’t offer that functionality in an easy to use feature set, then maybe you need to review this.

Ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce and Magento do offer the functionality you need, however, they can be extended through WooCommerce and Magento Extensions which add in more features. It’s worth identifying your most comment order changes and investigating whether there is an extension to help improve the process. 

If you find that your ecommerce platform cannot offer you the right feature set, then it may be time to look at a back-office system that manages everything. There are a lot of options out there, but keep in mind you must invest the right amount of cash and time to make that a success. 

Multi-channel

Selling across multiple channels is a great way to increase revenue but can complicate matters.If you had a small listing on Amazon or eBay, which suddenly got a lot of traction, you’ve probably experienced issues with overselling and not having full visibility of your orders.

This issue can easily be solved with an integration that shares real-time stock figures across all your channels.

Implementing an ecommerce integration with your website and other marketplaces is a mixture of process and technology changes. If you have the right platform, there are often apps you can plug in that quickly give you the functionality you require. You’ll then just need to ensure your content and processes are set up in a way to allow for the technology to work correctly.

Delivery and fulfilment

If you don’t have an integration with your carrier, that’s a pain. It’s a lot of effort and risk to rekey customer data and select delivery options – but it doesn’t have to be that hard.

Using the right integration you can transform your setup, not only can you automate the registering of shipments but you can reflect the exact cost and service on your website based on the carrier information.

Using an integration with a carrier you can offer customers different delivery options which are completely accurate in their service and price. For example, Saturday delivery, something which a stand-alone shipping setup may not be able to easily handle; but with an integration, you can ensure that the combination of the location, product and delivery service all match and is viable.

This real-time data gives your customers the information they want as well as ensuring you do not need to put time and effort into correcting issues with the order. But keep in mind this will require having the right data on each product.

Payment Processing Fees

The more payments you process, the higher your costs are, but with volume comes negotiation power.

Whatever you are paying today, you can likely get better rates especially if you are using a digital wallet.

There are a range of payment services/ merchant accounts available. We’ve partnered with Elavon and Opayo who offer a great product and service at very competitive rates. You should speak with your current merchant provider or an alternative provider to seek better rates and service.

Rich Data

The data you’ve collected over the last year will help guide you moving forward. You need to spend some time understanding what has happened in the last year and why. That can be difficult but look through the data you have available and try to spot trends. The best place to look is usually your orders and Google Analytics.

First-time buyers

What’s been very clear in the last year is that there have been a significant number of first time buyers. These are a mixture of types of people, all with the common thread of receiving products from you for the first time.

I see this as your business’s biggest opportunity in 2021. You must put effort into turning these first-time buyers into loyal customers. You have their contact info, you know what they’ve bought from you, so do some research and follow up with a marketing plan.

If you get your marketing right you have a great chance of increasing your revenue beyond the last 12 months and into the future.

When marketing to these customers, I strongly recommend making it persona, as ultimately the customer experience will sway future purchasing decisions. Do not send out mass marketing emails to everyone on your list, be targeted based on who that person is.

What does the future hold?

A question I ask my customers is “do you think the increased volumes will continue after lockdown?”, it’s a mixed response mainly based on industry. However, what’s very clear is that both ecommerce and the high street have taken a big step forward in their evolution timeline.

Zoom had 10 million daily meeting participants back in December 2019 and that number exploded to 300 million in April 2020. Obviously, not all of those 300 million participants will continue after lockdown, but it is almost certain that a lot more than 10 million will.

People ask me if the time is right to invest in ecommerce, my answer has been the same every year – YES, ecommerce grows every year and has done since the first online transaction, it will only continue to grow.

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