Category: eCommerce

Best Magento 2 Extensions to increase eCommerce sales

Introduction

Magento 2 can be considered as one of the most reliable and widely used eCommerce platforms currently available in the market as it has helped a lot of businesses in increasing sales and becoming successful.

Talking about increasing sales, a BONUS TIP here would be, to also learn Magento mobile app development to boost the growth of your business and make it stand out in the market. But for today, I am only going to be talking about the best Magento 2 extensions to increase eCommerce sales.

Even though there are a lot of other platforms available online but Magento development services should be your best choice as it has a more quality and comprehensive feel about it.
Therefore, here I have listed some of the best Magento 2 extensions which will help you boost your business!

Why You Need The Best Magento Extensions

With the extreme competition in the market, it becomes essential for a store that other than giving good sales, it also provides the best return on your investment.

There are multiple things that Magento merchants can do to increase their sales like building an e-commerce app for android and IOS or using the best Magento Extensions for their website.

These Extensions help you to improve the efficiency of your Magento 2 store, and give your customers the seamless experience they want and increase your sales.

Best Magento 2 Extensions for Business in 2021

  • B2BeCONNECT for Magento

This is a B2B extension for Magento that provides B2B functionality within a Magento store.

When it comes to changing any eCommerce store, B2B is the next big thing. This Magento plugin turns any basic Magento store into a store that is full of features. Through its amazing service offerings, a B2B Magento business serves a wide range of consumers.

  • Magento 2 Shop By Brand

Customers can use this extension to explore the dedicated brand pages of their preferred brands before making a purchase.

This extension assists merchants in creating numerous brands with logos and names, as well as promotes some of the most popular brands.

  • TaxJar Sales Tax Automation for Magento 2

TaxJar Sales Tax Automation is the finest Magento 2 extension out there since it deals with account calculations and financial-based business activities.

It aids in the automation of a variety of corporate activities such as sales tax collecting, reporting, and filing, and many others.

It can also help you connect with channels like Amazon.com

  • Layered Navigation

This extension is one of the most downloaded Magneto 2 extensions. This is mainly for businesses that have a lot of different kinds of products.

With this extension, buyers can click on a category, and it will display the products that match the criteria they applied.

While clients are visiting your store, this helps to reduce clutter and confusion increasing the chances of the buyer staying for a longer period and buying your products.

  • InstantSearch+

It analyses a visitor’s activities by showing them the most closely matched products first, which helps in the conversion of as many visitors as possible. Along with this function, it also includes other features like AutoComplete, Individual Results, and more.

  • Authentication

This extension prevents your website from spyware and maintains a list of trusted IPs.

By enabling additional authentication protocols for visitors, this plugin helps speed up the purchase and checkout process. This prevents hackers from interfering with payment procedures.

  • Auto Select Shipping Payment

The checkout screens are never-ending, therefore to avoid scrolling and go straight to the money confirmation page, you should use this extension.

It allows customers to skip to the final stage of the process after selecting their preferred shipping option, making it quicker for them to buy and exit.

  • Multi-Channel Marketplace Selling Integration

It enables online businesses to use a single platform to list and sell products on numerous prominent marketplaces.

This is also a useful tool for cross-border selling, as it allows you to sell Magento products on Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.

  • Magezon Page Builder

Magezon Page Builder is a set of tools that allows you to build and maintain your Magento website. You can easily configure product descriptions, site structure CMS Page in seconds using this extension.

  • Magento One-step Checkout

Abandoned client carts are the last thing a Magento business wants to deal with. This plugin improves the checkout process, lowering cart abandonment by 66 percent, cutting checkout time by over 80%, and leading to an increased conversion rate (more than 30%). The One-Step Checkout addon allows you to check out in only one step.

  • Bingo ElasticSearch

If you use this plugin, the search results appear instantly.

Furthermore, this plugin has a thorough search box that is capable of understanding both singular and plural words. It also has catalogs, products, characteristics, and admin features.

  • Nosto Personalization

Nosto is another great Magento eCommerce development extension for allowing the display of personalized product recommendations for buyers online. Nosto provides AI-powered shop personalization. It analyses data points in real-time across a whole store and allows users to create, deploy, and optimize marketing campaigns.

  • Magento 2 Marketplace Extension

This extension allows you to sell products just like popular markets like Amazon, eBay, etc.

The admin, in particular, has complete control over the store, including advanced reports such as bestsellers, most seen products, a line chart for sales statistics by day, month, and year, most recent orders, and a list of the top countries that consume the products.

You can also design an attractive theme to display your products.

  • Magento 2 Contact Form Extension

This allows online store owners to quickly and easily add an easy contact or feedback form for customers to fill. The information is communicated with the business owner in a few minutes after the form is submitted using Flexible Magento 2 Contact form Extension.

Conclusion

So, these were the 14 extensions that you can use for improving your online eCommerce store, for more sales, and for increasing your profits. Do check them out and make your eCommerce store stand out!

Progressive Web Apps V/s Responsive Websites: Decoding Differences & Deciding A Winner

Progressive? Responsive? Aren’t all one and the same? Well, making a web presence today needs you to decide between too many things and one among which we are going to discuss below.

You decided to get an online presence developed and approached a decent web development company but are asked to choose whether you need a responsive website or a progressive web app, and out; comes your reply, “whatever is the cheapest or as you seem fit.” Well, PWA or responsive website is no rocket science that you cannot understand. Once you know both, you can easily pick what you want rather than leaving it to the developers. So, are you ready to learn about them? Let’s begin!

Progressive and Responsive; indeed both sound, look, and function similar but, there are a few detailed differences that one needs to understand if one doesn’t want to be left behind in the cutthroat competition.

So, beginning with the introduction:

A Responsive Web Design is an intellectual approach to provide a seamless user experience on devices of any size, type, platform, etc. due to the sharp rise of mobile shoppers. Smartphones have become a part of our life, and there’s nothing that cannot be done via them therefore, people today expect to get a remarkable mobile experience no matter what device they are using, which has become possible with responsive web design.

While Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are next-level web apps. They run in the browser mimicking the behavior of an app without the need to download the app from the Google Play Store or iOS App Store. Although they feel, look, and perform similar to native apps, the innovation of PWA was made to overcome all that native apps lacked like offline support, push messages, faster response time, less storage space, and other advanced features that customers expect in a UX.

Overview of current PWA market trend

The way PWA offers the most up-to-date web capabilities into app-like capabilities to users its fanbase is spreading wide. Users are getting attracted like a magnet which is making many business owners opt for PWA app development in order to stay put. Need proof? Big and esteemed brands like Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Trivago, etc. are some of the finest examples who after getting their PWA developed experienced an impressive rise of on-page per session and a reduction in the bounce rate which would have taken years to achieve with responsive websites. In fact, Google itself transformed its Chrome Apps to PWAs in 2018 and as per 87% of digital marketers, PWAs as an upgraded and improved version of web apps; is the future.

Similar experiences yet different, how?

PWA and RWD both give almost similar user experiences and share almost all the same benefits from the Web which include – one URL, one codebase for all platforms, enhanced security with HTTPS, better discoverability, and always up-to-date, etc. but differ a lot in their real-world impacts. So, let’s dig into what makes them apart.

Feature-wise

progressive web app development

Push Notification

One of the most important features that make PWA stand out is Push Notification. It gives you a pop-up where the user will be asked to subscribe for notifications. Once subscribed, the user will get a subscription ID after which every user will start receiving unique notifications.

Offline Capability

Poor or no connection at all, PWAs function just fine under all circumstances unlike in responsive websites where you get stuck with a shaky Internet. Users can browse, shop, stream, easily because PWAs smart cache feature allows websites to store a large amount of data offline, giving PWAs much of the functionality of native apps.

No Download Required

PWAs are great space savers. A Progressive Web App is like a soul without a body means it can live on your home screen as a tappable icon and does not need to be installed taking up space on your phone like native apps. You simply have to “Add to Home Screen” and use it just like native apps.

Performance-wise

Lightning Loading Speed

Speed matters the most today as people today do not even have a split second to wait and hence if something takes more than a few seconds to load, that’s it, people leave the very moment. A responsive website is impressive but a PWA is a level-up and the reason behind it is its “App Shell” architecture that consists of the code that caches to the mobile device after loading it for the first time. Hence, the speed. Moreover, due to cached content, PWAs can load fast even with poor connectivity or function in offline mode as well in mobile devices. Also, since faster loading translates to better indexing by search engines, PWAs have considerable SEO advantages.

One For All

We never know what kind of device do users use and hence making a solution that works for all is what we can do with PWAs. They are extremely adaptive and hence require no separate coding for the platform (Android, iOS, web).

Usability-wise

Budget-friendly

Many don’t even bother to find the truth about the PWA app development fearing it will be expensive as it’s something new. Well, guess what? PWAs comparatively are expensive to make than websites but are cost-effective than native apps. PWAs don’t cost as much as developing a native app from scratch neither do you have to upgrade it frequently which would cost you in any way.

Better App-like Experience

Compared to responsive websites, PWAs give better user experience, engagement, and conversions due to their impressive features that a user cannot find anywhere else. With PWAs one can not only attract users but can also channel them down the sales funnel due to its simplicity, usability, and smart features that native app lack behind.

So, do we have a winner?

Well, clearly PWA appears to be a winner as we are praising it since the beginning but, although it might appear to be tempting to jump on board the PWA bandwagon, not necessarily it is the only thing your business needs. Nor does it make responsive websites or native apps useless. Each come with their pros and cons and hence it is up to you to decide which technologies are right for your requirements.
Jump the PWA train if you want to provide a seamless mobile experience with app-like features like (easy home screen app access, offline use, and high-quality, full-screen functionality), and if site speed and accessibility is your target then responsive web design is all you need. No matter what you pick, MobiCommerce, a Progressive web app development company, known for its effective digital solutions is within your reach anytime, anywhere.

Take The Headless Approach: Choose A Frontend Ecommerce Solution

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will agree how the current digital landscape is more focused on the consumers than ever before.

Not only are they spoiled for choice but also they demand to have a shopping experience that enables them to purchase from various touchpoints, and that transcends all mediums such as mobile, IoT wearables, PWAs, social media, and so on.

If you want to gain a competitive edge in the market minus the hassle, the answer is headless commerce for digital delivery.

What is headless commerce?

In simple words, it refers to an eCommerce solution where its frontend and backend aspects are decoupled. Meaning, the “head,” which comprises the user interface, digital marketplace, social commerce, and more, can be updated or changed separately without hampering the backend.

A headless eCommerce solution lets you tap into the full potential of online retail and ensure an incredible user experience because you can customize the features and functionalities of your eCommerce storefront without shaking the foundation, i.e., the backend.

Four benefits of headless commerce for online merchants

1. Faster time-to-market

Building a multi-channel retail experience with a transitional eCommerce platform can be painfully slow. In headless commerce, the content and products are placed centrally and delivered via API to all platforms.

This ensures faster time-to-market when adopting new channels, entering new geographies, and so on. Fashion e-retailer Net-A-Porter, running on a single Java codebase, now does multiple releases a day after moving to this technology.

2. Flexibility for developers

Headless commerce enables you to select the eCommerce platform which best suits your business requirements while also allowing you to choose an appropriate frontend — be it a PWA, CMS, or a DXP. The great choice in options helps developers streamline their processes and be more efficient — without disturbing the workflow.

3. Omnichannel consumer experience

Even though consumer demands change over time, they want to receive a consistent buying experience across channels and devices.

Thanks to headless, you can use dynamic commerce capabilities to your advantage, such as product information management, merchant tools, shopping cart flexibility, and so on, and connect your eCommerce storefront through the API to any CX frontend.

That means — you can share your products, blog content, company videos across channels without re-architecting your eCommerce platform.

4. Seamless integrations

An API-driven headless commerce platform enables frictionless integration with other platforms like ERP, CRM, and MarTech tools. This eliminates the need for partial integrations that are often complex and involve plugins requiring timely updations.

Integrations are time-saving and straightforward in headless commerce as the frontend UI layer is synchronized with the backend but not connected. With the suitable API, you can ensure the data flow happens bi-directionally, reducing manual labor.

Four headless commerce use cases

1. Customization for different regions

You can create subsets of page content for web apps and sites in the backend, pulling appropriate messaging for region-specific channels. This helps increase customer conversions.

2. Formatting for different delivery methods

Not every device is meant to achieve a standard sale. For instance, smartphone apps help find product information and wishlists. They enable leisure browsing. In comparison, the desktop could be the place where consumers close the deal.

Headless commerce enables you to adapt the touchpoints to deliver information or experiences that your customers are looking to get.

3. Overcome language obstacles

Although Google and other translation engines help translate professional web content in different languages, they produce a less than ideal outcome. For example, the English language uses infinitive modifiers for verbs, making the French translation awkward.

Headless commerce enables you to accurately encode the content with proper characters and alphabets before syndication.

4. Allow for better optimization

Headless commerce nudges you to try different templates and test various approaches on the system. For instance, you could experiment with different backend search solutions with the same frontend search capability. That is how Amazon gets to know its customers. The tech giant makes changes constantly, measures the impact, and then optimizes the functionality.

Five technology trends in headless frontend headless architecture

1. GraphQL (for APIs)

It is an open-source data query and manipulation language which enables robust API development. It makes optimizing queries over the network to data sources possible. Meaning, if no prices are requested for a product range, there is no need to load them to the frontend.

GraphQL allows you to get all the required data for one request. For instance, if a request is made to view the shopping cart, it will also fetch the number of products and the complete user profile. The language enables you to build access points to business processes from external apps and third-party sources.

2. High performance

Ecommerce storefronts with superior speeds will always be favored. Headless commerce works with only real-time data sources having a response speed of 150 cms or less.

The technology can consolidate and cache data from non-real-time data sources such as legacy systems and ERPs, which are traditionally not ready to load data at the time of a request.

Therefore, speed up your store by shifting display logic to the frontend, streamlining the backend, and accelerating its performance with a PWA. That is what makes headless eCommerce platforms ideal for online trade data consolidation and enrichment.

3. Impressive scalability

Headless commerce scales itself at the same pace as the business itself. It deploys several scalable storage sources and non-relative databases such as Redis, Elasticsearch and Azure Cosmos DB, and so on to ensure the storefront expands as its load increases.

That enables you to adapt to consumer trends faster by working on both frontend and backend development simultaneously, across platforms, in a programming language of your choice.

4. Core functionality extensibility

Headless commerce is all about ensuring you enjoy better market competitiveness and eCommerce profitability. Since it allows A/B testing of different templates on the backend and frontend, finding the ideal combination for your eCommerce business is not a problem.

You can extend the core functionality of your online store on different levels, such as:

  • Core persistent models
  • Core API contracts
  • Override implementation

For instance, you can replace the default implementation with personalized business rules — replace price list rules with dynamic price mechanisms or integration with your ERP system.

5. Heightened security

Security is never a problem because the headless commerce development process is undertaken with modern safety protocols that make it challenging for hackers to breach the frontend or backend of your eCommerce application.

As there is a single data structure to monitor and control instead of a multi-headed monolithic system, this decreases the risk of critical failure. Moreover, the CMS functionality can be hidden under one or more layers of the codebase, keeping it away from the prying eyes of the hackers.

In addition, the APIs provide content to a headless CMS that is primarily read-only mode which again reduces the risk of a cyber attack. Plus, temporary issues on either frontend or backend would not compromise the continuity of the online store.

Over to you

Smart voice assistants, in-store interfaces, and Amazon Dash buttons are giving consumers new ways to explore product information and place orders. Ecommerce companies that do not adapt to the evolving technologies get left behind.
 
Headless commerce solves many problems, giving you the power to deliver content on different devices and touchpoints through APIs. A decoupled eCommerce platform is the present and future. So what are you waiting for?
 
Deliver the most unique user experience by creating a fantastic shopping experience with a powerful headless website builder. Use MobiCommerce!

eCommerce Growth and Transformation

Experience A Spellbounding E-commerce Growth & Transformation In 2021 With Mobicommerce

E-commerce was already on the crest of a wave but, in 2020 when the world caught under the net of the pandemic; the demand for e-commerce only doubled further. Today, every other person is taking interest in the e-commerce business, and hence with the bubbling competition, it is becoming challenging to find someone reliable, skilled, and top-notch in providing end-to-end e-commerce solutions. But, there are also a few exceptions like; Mobicommerce whose e-commerce solutions is a talk globally.

The Great Migration from Offline to Online

COVID-19, the deadly pandemic, put the entire world to a halt which none of us ever imagined would happen. The complete lockdown forced many offline retailers to put shutters to their business temporarily which led to permanent later due to lack of money. Only online businesses that too with the essentials were allowed to operate, and hence customers who were offline shoppers had no choice but to switch to the online platforms in order to shop the essentials.

Also Read: COVID-19: A Glitch in the 21st Century Causing Major Change in Online Shopping Behaviour

The way COVID-19 brought a massive change in consumer behavior and the paradigm shift that began taking place from offline to online, it seems that the day is not too far when brick-and-mortar stores will become a thing of the past. Many offline retailers realized the importance of having an online presence during the pandemic and are headed everywhere hunting the best eCommerce app builder to get their e-commerce appearance designed and developed.

What to Expect in 2021?

Due to the unfortunate event of the outbreak of Coronavirus in 2020, where everyone experienced a dramatic loss and downfall in both; personal and professional life, for the e-commerce industry, it was a reverse effect. It began to proliferate like never before, and looking at the current pace of it; e-retail revenues are expected to grow to $6.54 trillion by 2022.

Therefore, every day, with more retailers making the move to online selling, while entrepreneurs getting their start through e-commerce ventures; 2021 is going to be definitely a year of e-commerce, in fact, we can see many e-commerce trends expanding further this year which will take e-commerce to new heights without any doubt.

Ecommerce Trends to Watch Out in 2021

With the rising demand for online business, and due to the drastic change in consumer behavior, we can see more of the following e-commerce trends this year.

Voice Commerce – The fear of touching anything amidst the pandemic is causing an increase in voice commerce i.e., shopping by commanding voice assistant devices like the Amazon Echo with Alexa and the Google Home with Google Assistant.

Omnichannel Retailing – With customers becoming more tech-savvy and using all possible online platforms, sellers too are making effort to providing shoppers with a seamless and consistent experience across channels and devices.

Don’t Miss: Multichannel Marketing is The Road to Success for Brands in 2021 

Visual Commerce – Since visuals are the only factor that attracts customers to shop online, unlike offline where they can touch and feel the product; high-quality 360-degree images or videos, shoppable video ads, all of these are getting more importance and attention.

Single-brand Online Stores and Marketplaces – Online business is booming in both ways. While some are getting their individual online stores or a whole marketplace developed, others are simply selling on giant marketplaces. In short, one way or another, online selling is booming. 

AI, AR, and VR – All those fancy technologies that appeared to be fantasy are now a reality and customers are enjoying shopping with all of these as they not only make shopping easy but also interactive.

Green Consumerism – The year 2020 made us all pause and think about our actions like how much we are polluting the world and how the planet was healing when we all were locked inside. Thus, people have started looking for products that have been produced in an eco-friendly way that preserves the environment or involves recycling.

Ready for A Digital Makeover? Shout Out to Mobicommerce

Needless to say, whatever e-commerce trends we mentioned above and even other than that, Mobicommerce knows them all including the tricks and tactics of each so that one can make the most out of it.

Known for its revolutionary e-commerce website and mobile app solution for B2C and B2B brands as well as multi-vendor marketplaces, Mobicommerce is making headlines all over the globe which is why it is now recognized as the best eCommerce solution provider in the Middle East. 

Mobicommerce is a one-stop solution for all e-commerce needs, be it, mobile, booking, B2B, B2C, and even multi-vendor marketplace. Backed by proven expertise in multiple industry verticals like fashion, grocery, food delivery & restaurant, pharmacy, spa & salon, laundry, home decor, automotive, electronics, jewellery, cosmetics, Mobicommerce is the name you can trust for getting developed everything from a responsive online store, progressive web app, to Android and iOS apps.

Takeaway

E-commerce is growing at a rocket-speed, and to be on board, you need to approach a lightning-fast, but trusted and efficient e-commerce partner as only together it is possible to achieve online goals in this competitive world. And Mobicommerce is a hand you can firmly hold on to as it is their work that speaks louder than words.

online shopping behaviour

COVID-19: A Glitch in the 21st Century Causing Major Change in Online Shopping Behavior

The lockdown period gave a major spin-off to consumer behavior such that online ordering became an overnight habit. But the question is, will it be just a pandemic hangover or a forever manner?

An invisible virus brought a complete halt to all our lives. From washing hands thoroughly, wearing masks, social distancing and now vaccines, we may be able to speed up the recovery from the damage this pandemic has caused. However, the end is distant and uncertain. The deadly pandemic impacted all areas of our life and we could see new behaviors emerging in work, learning, communication, lifestyle, travel, health, entertainment, and the drastic one – shopping.

The moment the pandemic stepped into our lives, from businesses to consumers, all have taken refuge in the world wide web. Online selling and buying started becoming the new normal, in fact, the only mode of survival during the pandemic. Only those already online or businesses that re-evaluated their development strategies and invested in a smart eCommerce solution saved its face from the fall and rose stronger. So, what happened?

Well, eCommerce was here for many years but pre-COVID-19 the majority of the people refrained from purchasing online due to lack of trust, fear of fraud, and not being able to buy products at a good bargain. Preference for perishable/essential items and items with a big price tag, online, was also less. Hence, businesses relied on footfalls to check their growth and test the effectiveness of their marketing strategies. Online traffic was never considered as a measure of their success. Not long ago, a face-to-face meeting was considered inevitable to finalize a deal or maintain trust in clients. However, COVID-19 changed all that overnight.

Also Read: 7 Steps to Prepare Your Ecommerce Business for Continuity and Unexpected Future Post-COVID-19

The Behavioral Change: Temporary or Permanent?

The outbreak of online ordering that happened during the lockdown appears to soon become a permanent thing looking at the way the consumer preferences are changing due to:

Digital penetration: With the ease and availability of smartphones and cheap 4G network, online ordering started becoming more convenient than shopping offline, risking life among the crowd. The way digitalization has enabled consumers from distant places to order their necessities at their doorstep during such unprecedented times has helped build trust and loyalty in online shopping.

The COVID-19 fear: The fear of getting COVID-19 has not ended yet which is a good thing as it is one of the best measures to curb the spread of the pandemic. The more the fear, the less will people come in contact. Thus, it is the fear that caused the paradigm shift in consumer behaviour as people began shopping online more than going out. Although everything is back on track, a majority of consumers still prefer shopping online which may follow in the coming years too.

A Note for Retailers

With the emergence of new world order, i.e., consumers ordering online, retailers need to make a few changes in their way of business to survive and sail through the pandemic and the future ahead like:

  • For starters, offline retailers must approach an eCommerce solution provider right away and develop their online presence to safeguard their futures.
  • Embracing an omnichannel ecosystem and merging their online and offline operations would bring more benefits than they can imagine.
  • Retailers already having an online presence must along with their eCommerce mobile app development company, revamp their eCommerce solution with innovative and latest ways in terms of features, content, appearance etc., to keep customers hooked to their store.
  • A boost in social media presence would cause no harm as customers are always hanging out there, and reaching out to them where they are, is a chance no retailer must miss.
  • With growing online competition, it is important to maintain the store visibility, and hence; retailers must focus on capitalizing on their existing customer data to drive traffic to their online store.
  • Multiple payment options, easy navigation, simple checkout process, order tracking, personalization, all these features are what customers are looking for in any online business solution, therefore; ensure you have it all covered while getting your mobile commerce solutions developed at the hands of an experienced mcommerce app builder.

In A Nutshell, COVID-19 Brought with Itself Winds of Change

The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a new world order, changing the course of workflow and creating space for more creative innovations, digitally. So, if you are looking to reclaim your business, we at Mobicommerce are here to help you. Power your online store digitally today for greater reach and accessibility in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KPI for eCommerce Marketplace

Tricks to Set the Right KPIs for eCommerce Marketplace Fulfillment Operations

Just because you are not running a physical store doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep a measure of your sales and orders. An online business needs to be monitored as well, and for that, you need to have the right KPIs established in the right way.

There are too many things to be managed and measured in an eCommerce business, and one among them is order fulfillment. It is something that doesn’t affect the sales directly but can create a significant impact on the business if ignored. If you are getting regular orders, it does not mean you can fulfill them as and when you like. You have to maintain discipline, professionalism, and dedication towards every single order, no matter what size.

Now, since it is impossible to keep an eye on every order and track and measure its aspects accurately and continually, you need to establish meaningful key performance indicators (KPIs) that can do the job for you.

Also Read: eCommerce Personalization: A Trend That Will Get Past Traditional Commerce in 2021

KPIs? What Are They?

KPIs are the navigational instrument for an organization that gives a clear picture of the current status of the business whether it is where it needs to be. KPI that stands for Key Performance Indicator is a set of quantifiable measurements that demonstrates the effectiveness of an organization and its progress towards achieving its goals. It is a way to measure how well companies, business units, projects, or individuals are performing in relation to their intended result.

KPIs are used at multiple levels of an organization depending on the complexity of each, for example, high-level KPIs are established to focus on the overall performance of the business, while low-level KPIs help in focusing on processes in departments such as sales, marketing, HR, support and others. In short, they are incredible navigation and decision-making tools that help determine a company’s strategic, financial, and operational achievements, especially compared to those of other businesses within the same sector.

Why Do You Need Them?

Needless to say, the benefits of having the right set of KPIs in your business are many.

  • First of all, they help you measure everything from performance, issues to results. KPIs allow you to forecast trends and growth plans for the future based on your current outcomes and business status.
  • KPIs allow you to monitor the operations of your warehouse and eCommerce fulfillment process to keep your sales healthy.
  • KPIs assist in setting up your business goals by giving a complete overview of all aspects of your business and thereby help you determine – where you are losing money? Where you are lacking resources? Which areas need improvement? How can you save money? etc.
  • KPIs can also empower employees to take action, improve their performance along with that of the organization, and receive incentives for excellent KPI reporting.

KPIs in Order Fulfillment: What to Measure?

An order fulfillment operation usually includes receiving, put away, storage, order picking, packing, and shipping, and hence to streamline them, you need to have KPIs in the following areas:

Receiving – The entire process of your order depends upon how you receive it. If you get it on time, you can deliver it as fast as possible. Here, KPIs can help you determine whether you are receiving orders promptly by calculating the percentage of late receipts over the number of closed ones.

Put away – After receiving the order, KPIs can be used to figure out how quickly the ordered items can be made available for sale? You can achieve this by measuring the percentage of items that are put away on shelves or pick faces on time.

Inventory Management – Next, KPIs can contribute to keeping track of your inventory. It can be measured in two ways: the first is cycle count that involves counting a small subset of your inventory in a specific location on a specific day, and the second is a physical inventory count that is tedious and time consuming where you actually go through your entire inventory and count every product and SKU. In both of these, the numbers that you get from the count you performed are compared with the records you have of what the inventory numbers should be.

Order processing – KPIs play a great role in calculating the order turnaround time i.e, how fast a particular order can be accurately picked, packed, and prepared to ship out in the most efficient manner? Its metrics will tell you if there is an issue with your supply chain or not?

Shipping – By identifying the target percentage of orders meeting customer expectations with the help of the right set of KPIs and dividing that by the total costs that are incurred in operating the fulfillment center; you can get to know how much you are spending, per order and where you are making mistakes. By going through every single cost i.e labor, damaged products, returns, operational costs (such as utilities, taxes, rent, etc.), equipment costs, and other variable costs, you can improve your order management system as well as the amount of time it takes for order processing.

Order accuracy – KPIs can also be established to track the quality of your complete order process to confirm whether you achieved order accuracy or not. It can be measured by tracking quality issues via returns data, customer complaints, and anecdotal feedback, and using the metrics necessary improvements can be made to avoid any footfalls in the order processing.

Also Read: Tips to Turn Your Product Returns into a Competitive Advantage

Setting the Right KPIs

Order fulfillment is a broad area, and there are too many things to be managed and done right and the most common mistake businesses are committing is either picking up wrong KPIs and ending up measuring unnecessary information or simply follow the trend and establish unrelated KPIs in their business and wonder what went wrong? Therefore, to avoid such KPI pitfalls, you need to pick the right KPIs and implement them in the right sectors to get desired results.

You can either understand them better and pick the right ones by yourself or seek the help of a third-party fulfillment partner (3PL) like Mobicommerce, an eCommerce solution provider in the Middle East and other countries, to choose and establish the apt KPIs that can help you achieve optimal performance for your eCommerce fulfillment operations and deliver results beyond measure.

Personalised eCVommerce Platform 01

eCommerce Personalization: A Trend That Will Get Past Traditional Commerce in 2021

Shopping earlier was what you want to buy, and sellers show it to you but today, it is more like sellers already know what you are looking for and they display it and you simply have to pay for it. Got the point? It is nothing but eCommerce personalization that is taking over traditional commerce.

 

eCommerce has revolutionized the shopping experience so much that now, shopping offline feels like a challenging task with no fun. Although there are various features in eCommerce that are making it a preferred mode of shopping, personalization is something that is winning hearts and luring people more towards online shopping that we got to see more in the previous year not because it gained fame recently; but because of the deadly pandemic.

 

The year 2020 witnessed a major shift of everything offline to online from office meetings, social gathering, celebrations to the most important shopping. Hence, the adoption of digital commerce is not at all a new concept that sprouted in 2020. It simply accelerated due to COVID-19. Thus, in order to keep customers, continue with the online saga, retailers are now taking eCommerce personalization more seriously, and it seems that it will soon take over traditional commerce.

 

For a long period of time, eCommerce has been seeking the holy grail of personalization – a consistent, cross-channel experience that adapts to customer requirements and goals in real-time. To achieve this, retailers have started adding conversational commerce elements like messenger chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI), and customized information etc., to their online store. But, before we weave stories around it, let us understand what we mean by eCommerce personalization.

 

Also Read: 7 Steps to Prepare Your Ecommerce Business for Continuity and Unexpected Future Post-COVID-19

 

What is eCommerce Personalization?

eCommerce Personalization refers to the way of making customers feel special by creating personal interactions and experience on eCommerce sites and improving their shopping experience by showing them content, product recommendations, media etc., based on their previous actions, browsing behaviour, purchase history, demographics, and other personal data.

 

Personalization is becoming an important part of eCommerce as it is the best way to bring in more customers, achieve customer loyalty and repeat purchases, keep shoppers engaged, drive sales, increase conversion, and to boost growth and productivity.

 

eCommerce Personalization and Conversational Commerce

There are various ways to offer eCommerce personalization to the customers, and integrating top-notch technologies to the online platform is the first step towards it. Offering eCommerce personalization is becoming easier and attainable with conversational commerce that is nothing but an automated technology powered by rules and artificial intelligence (AI) that enables online shoppers and brands to interact through Messenger chatbots, RPA (Robotica ProcessAutomation) and voice interfaces like Alexa by creating an interactive environment that compensates for the missing human touch typical of a physical brick-and-mortar store.

 

In short, conversational commerce and eCommerce personalization are like two sides of the same coin but, their purpose is similar i.e, to provide a personalized shopping experience to the customers. In fact, conversational commerce act as a medium to provide a personalized experience to customers that is now slowly overtaking the traditional way of commercialization.

 

Thanks to the latest technologies, data collection, understanding customer behavior, providing them with what they need or are looking for, giving them an individualized shopping experience, all have been possible due to the duos.

 

Personalized Commerce Is the Next Frontier

Customers love personalization, and with online retailers competing with each other, they are implementing personalization strategies better from one another in order to please customers. Moreover, with personalized customer experience being something that customers do not get in any traditional commerce; it is quite natural for them to bend towards online shopping more than offline. After all, a salesperson asking you what you like and displaying products is better than a technology showcasing what’s on your mind based on the data collected and stored from your past interactions with the store.

 

So, what can be done to give a personalized shopping experience to the customers? Well, here are some of the strategies that you can implement on your online store and see the magic happen.

 

  1. Create Personalized Homepages – Homepages are the first impression, and hence you got to do it right. Greet them in the way that you get to win a position in their heart. If gathering their information via cookies, make use of it in improving their shopping experience.

 

  1. Offer Personalized Guides – Like, in traditional commerce where a salesperson assists you in shopping, you too can offer a personal shopping assistant for every customer on your online store. Take a quiz about their taste, style choices, size, and budget, and provide on-site assistance when they shop next time.

 

  1. Display Recently Viewed Items – Not necessarily everyone visiting your store will shop, but while browsing, some may like a particular product of yours but forgets to wishlist. Hence, with the “Recently Viewed” section on the homepage, you can remind and urge them to make the purchase.

 

  1. Personalize Product Pages Based on Location – Knowing where your customers are by asking them directly or via cookies, you can provide a more accurate shopping experience for customers that they will remember forever.

 

  1. Create Special Campaigns Based on User Behavior – No two visitors are the same, and hence offering the same to everyone doesn’t make any sense. Personalizing your on-site messages will attract customers more than you can imagine.

 

  1. Get Personal in Email Marketing – There’s no limit to the personalization you can do on emails. Starting from the subject lines, wishing your customers on birthdays and anniversaries, offering discounts up to reminding them about completing a purchase, you can personalize emails the way you want.

 

  1. Make More Personal Recommendations – Personalized recommendations have emotional value. If done right, they can directly hit the customers at the right spot.

 

Now, let’s understand various benefits one can achieve with eCommerce personalization

 

  1. Improve Customer Experience – Of course, a personalized shopping experience means a customer’s interest in your online store will double up, leading to more sales and conversions.

 

  1. Save Time & Resources – Messenger chatbots are the real time saver. From providing a personalized shopping experience to pulling leads, as well as engaging customers with conversations, they can handle all freeing you for other important tasks.

 

  1. Know Customers Better – With personalized interaction via chatbots, you will get to know your customers better to serve them the best.

 

  1. Increment in Sales – The more personalized experience a customer receives from your end, the more it will keep coming back to you which means; a boost in sales.

 

  1. Be Unique – The online competition is tough, and to stand out, you need to have some unique elements in your store that can be personalized for attracting customers. So, build an app using eCommerce mobile app builder that allows you to create a user-friendly environment with unique elements.

 

Summing Up

With incremental shift happening in customer’s behavior due to growing digitalization and the pandemic effect, an online presence with personalized experience is becoming a necessity more than just a trend. And, if you are in a notion that only big brands can afford classy technologies like AI, chatbots, messaging apps, PWAs, native mobile apps, voice assistants, etc., then guess what? They do not come at a fancy price that a small business cannot afford, in fact, one must gear it up all if one really wishes to survive the competition and the future ahead.

 

Need expert advice? Mobicommerce – an eCommerce solution provider in the Middle East and other countries is at your service!

Multichannel Marketing is The Road to Success for Brands in 2021

Multichannel Marketing is The Road to Success for Brands in 2021

Do you know focusing all your marketing on one channel is risky? Because while you are doing that, your competitors are out there taking multiple routes to reach out to customers. So, what should you do? Well, you too should follow the trend.

Marketing Then & Now

Gone are the days when one marketing strategy was enough to please and lure customers because today, you don’t know behind which screen your customers are hiding. So, you have to be there where your customers are. What we mean to say is you need to take multiple routes to market your brand if you want to get noticed by a large customer base. But, how should you market? On your own or your exposure in a marketplace is enough for your brand? Let’s get into the details.

The exposure a brand gets in a marketplace is not as same as the marketing a brand does for itself as both have opposite goals. Where multivendor marketplace owners want their customers to choose from the brands that are available at their marketplace, brands want customers to go to any retailer to find their product. Therefore, depending solely upon the marketplace for marketing your brand is not advisable for brand owners if they want to stand out from the crowd.

Keep in mind that marketplaces give prime importance to customer behavior and display and rank products as per their demand, ratings, reviews, and choice. Therefore, for your brand to get noticed either it must meet all the above eligibility or you as a brand owner need to deliver a unique experience that beats the competition. Also, as per the research, 70% of users never go past the first page of the search results so to be there and maintain the first-page position; brands need to have a sound channel strategy spanning which includes other channels i.e., Multichannel Marketing.

What is Multichannel Marketing and Why Branded Manufacturers Need to Focus on It?

Multichannel marketing is the utilization of multiple platforms to reach out to customers at every touchpoint. By diversifying your marketing strategy, you not only get to connect with more leads but also can stay top of mind with your customers. There are various ways to achieve that like:

Direct to Consumer – You can reach out to your customers directly, cutting out the need for any intermediaries. It allows brand owners to provide an end-to-end brand experience because they have control over the entire process. Unlike marketplaces, a brand is fully responsible for driving traffic, customer experience, acquisition, and relation.

Social Platforms – Today social networking platforms have turned into shopping mediums more than connecting with people. With the rise in smartphone usage, people are always hanging in one or the other social platforms, and hence it becomes easy for brands to reach out to customers on such platforms as the chances of getting noticed are more via them than the website or app. Social platforms act as the best medium to lure customers to your website or mobile app and push them to make a purchase.

A lot of commercializing happens nowadays on social platforms because the majority of customers are on it, and hence; it takes fewer efforts to reach out to them than the traditional techniques.

Also Read: Multichannel Selling: Experience eCommerce at its Best

Traditional Methods – Although the world is becoming digitalized and people more tech-savvy, it is important to stick to your roots and hence, traditional ways of marketing still play an important role in a brands’ success. Therefore, print, television, radio, emails, all these are necessary and one must incorporate in their marketing strategy along with the latest methods to achieve the attention of a wide customer base as well as for growth and sales.

Now, to travel multiple roads of the market, you must have an eCommerce solution that supports all of the marketing strategies as well as the below-mentioned points.

  • It must support multiple touchpoints i.e., website, mobile, any other connected device, social media etc. as you never know where your customers are using what kind of device. Thus, while developing your eCommerce solution, ask your eCommerce mobile app builder implement headless API-first architecture to onboard new sales channels. Know from your developers whether the APIs are RESTful, well-documented, and easy to use as the nature of it significantly impacts the speed to market for new sales channels.
  • It must be scalable. As your business grows, you will have to make changes in your eCommerce solution as well because you cannot build a new one every time. Therefore, ensure that your multi-vendor marketplace solution is extendable to accommodate new experiences with changing trends in order to deliver a unique experience to your customers.
  • It must provide a unified shopping experience across all sales channels. A customer not necessarily browses and shops at a time. It happens that they leave a shopping cart halfway in a website and then later open up in a mobile app but, if at that time the customer is displayed that the shopping cart is empty, it can annoy the customer so bad that he/she may never come back. Thus, your marketplace solution must give a unified experience no matter what sales channel the customer uses and when.

 

In a nutshell

The competition is getting fierce and for your brand to get noticed, you need to not only make your marketing strategies effective but also your marketplace solution well developed to stand out in the competition.

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Shopping in 2021: Know How Technology is Giving a Spin-off to Ecommerce Industry

Technology is transforming everything that it touches or gets into, and shopping is no exception. The way it is re-shaping the eCommerce industry is absolutely impressive, and we cannot wait for the next. So, how is shopping in 2021 going to be like? Let us get into the details.

Gone are the days when going out for shopping was a fun-filled affair. All the planning to go out shopping, deciding places to shop, roaming on streets exploring products, window shopping, all of these were the biggest stress busters, especially for women. No one ever imagined that the same fun of going out will turn into a nightmare because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, all the pleasure and planning has been replaced by fear and safety precautions and the safest option for people is to stay at home and “SHOP AT HOME” which is trending such that online shopping is becoming the new normal.

The COVID Effect on Shopping 

COVID-19 has totally changed the buying habits of the people. Today, groceries, dairy, medicines, people are buying their daily essentials online rather than risking their lives out in the crowd. Although it is a good change and much needed right now to curb the spread of the virus, unfortunately; this drastic change is badly hampering the brick-and-mortar shops who highly rely on the local customers visiting their shops to buy products. While the sales of offline retailers began dropping, eCommerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart etc., witnessed a sharp rise as people took a paradigm shift to online shopping at the convenience of their homes.

So, is it time for every business to go online? Are the eCommerce website and online app becoming a mandatory solution for improving businesses, to survive the current crisis, and to beat the competition? These are the questions every small business is struggling and brooding over, and the answer is yes as to serve the tech-savvy customers, retailers must embrace technology because online shopping seems to be the future.

How is Technology Transforming eCommerce? 

Going digital, digital payment etc. were the terms used commonly but no one actually faced the need of digitization before COVID-19. The deadly pandemic proved that it’s high time for everyone to adopt the technology and come at par with peers.

There’s no limit to what technology can do to anyone and anything. Implementing technologies in an eCommerce industry can bring huge waves of change that is necessary in the present times. Since technology keeps evolving; it is important to walk with trends as people are becoming tech-savvy and to meet up their expectations and requirements, becoming digitally sound is the only option to sail through.

E-commerce has come way forward with the introduction of the latest technologies in online shopping like chatbots, voice assistants, social media presence etc. But, with so many online things happening it is quite natural to question “how to make use of technology and stay ahead in the cut-throat competition?” and “how to make people trust online services?” The answer is not simple but neither impossible. Most of the online shoppers, many-a-times, come across problems concerning product delivery timelines and customer support services. Cybersecurity is the next biggest concern due to the inferior IT set-up used by several e-tailers that are allowing hackers to easily extract the personal information of customers. If these concerns are taken care of; then eCommerce business and mobile apps can boost your sales with wide customer reach like a piece of cake.

Since thinking innovative is the key to surviving in this online saga, let’s see how you can leverage the power of the latest technologies in online retail and provide the best to the customers in the safest and fastest way.

Product Visualization, AR, and VR

Technology now has a solution to the only drawback of online shopping that the customers cannot experience the product before buying. From product visualization where customers can zoom in to the minute details of the product to getting a real-like feeling via Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, many retailers are building eCommerce apps with AR and VR to give the user the actual feel of the product. Mostly retailers in furniture, fashion, and home decor are using such apps to allow users to imagine how a product will look on them, in their home or office.

PWAs and Mobile Apps

Shopping via mobile devices is expected to make up about 73% of total eCommerce sales in the coming years. Mobile shopping is on the rise, and customers need things to happen so fast that more than mobile apps they are preferring progressive web apps today as they are faster, can be browsed offline, and need not be downloaded.

Also Read:Progressive Web Apps: Shaping the Future of mCommerce

Shoppable Video Ads

With the increased usage of Social Media apps like Facebook and Instagram and YouTube, the trend of creating a small video about product awareness is topping charts. As it gives a real feel of the products; it can thus give more of a personal shopping experience to the customers.

Voice Commands

From shopping offline; people have shifted to online and are now getting even more advanced by shopping simply using their voice. Voice commands are becoming the harbinger of eCommerce transformation. With social distancing and contactless activities becoming the new normal, the use of digital assistants and voice-activated payments is growing at rocket-speed than any other connected commerce.

Autonomous Deliveries and Fulfilment

With customers expecting same-day delivery or delivery within 2 hours, big e-commerce players in the market are putting technology into use as much as possible in order to provide the right customer service. Therefore, automation in delivery/logistic and warehousing/fulfilment chains is now hitting a high note leading to the use of mobile robots, drones, and autonomous vehicles to fulfil orders safely, speedily and timely.

Product Personalization & Customization

A personalised shopping experience and the ability to customize products, what more does a customer want? Thanks to technology now it is easy to understand and predict what each of your customers wants by analyzing data, customer reviews, and their online behaviour and provide them with a personalized shopping experience accordingly. With customization, you can win more customers as nothing can entice them more than getting the product as they want.

The Future Ahead

Already, there is so much more happening in the eCommerce industry due to the implementation of the latest technologies, and since technology keeps evolving; we can surely see much more exciting advancements in the near future. The COVID-19 is a warning to stay prepared for any such unfortunate events and hence adapting to the latest trends at the earliest is the smart move to make. Approach the best eCommerce app builder today who are well-versed in such technologies to stay alive and ahead.

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7 Steps to Prepare Your Ecommerce Business for Continuity and Unexpected Future Post-COVID-19

It is rightly said that one must prepare for the worst and we are not sure that the pandemic which is hovering upon is the worst or something bigger is yet to come hence; a business plan is a must to survive even the toughest times.

Like the coronavirus outbreak, disasters can happen anytime, they are difficult to predict and have the potential to cause damage that may take years to recover too. Therefore, to sail through such situations, as a business owner, it is necessary to have a business continuity plan designed keeping in mind such disasters to keep your sales going and stay prepared for exceptionany kind of future risks and eCommerce business is no.

Also Read: Consumer Behaviour After COVID-19: Will eCommerce Demand Remain the Same?

With restrictions and lockdowns lifted and businesses resuming back to operation, now is the time to rethink about your business strategies and prepare for the worst, yes, something worse than the current pandemic can happen anytime and, there are some strategic steps you can take to recover business and revenue streams if anything happens about which we are going to elaborate. But first, let’s understand what a business continuity plan.

Business Continuity Plan

Unlike offline businesses, although eCommerce didn’t experience a complete fallout during the pandemic, it still needs a business plan to survive any kind of uncertain and challenging times. A business continuity plan is nothing but a framework which identifies potential external and internal threats that can threaten the company and outline protocols and procedures that ensure the continued functionality of the business  — or restore them as quickly as possible — in the event of a major disaster, whether it be Meteorological (tornados, hurricanes, flooding, wildfire), Geological (earthquake, tsunami, volcano, landslide), Biological (infestation, pandemic), or Human Factors (accidental, intentional).

Business continuity planning isn’t just an extra effort, it is, in fact, a must-have for all small, medium, and large-scale enterprises to act instantly, smartly, and efficiently in times of emergencies and minimize the negative impacts like financial loss, loss of consumer (and team member), confidence, and brand reputation etc. when any disaster strikes. A BCP covers all aspects of the business, including human resources, infrastructure, technology, contracts, and communication and hence is something you must not avoid if you want a safe future for your business. Now, let’s see what steps you can take to prepare for the uncertain future ahead.

1. Map out objectives and goals

To keep your eCommerce business running you need to rethink about everything from business functions, human resources, operations, public relations, to technologies since the COVID-19 infection has changed everything around us. Identify your goals and objectives as they will guide your risk assessment, the business continuity planning process, business impact analysis, and potential recovery strategies. Keep improvising and reviewing your plans according to the changing circumstances and have a backup plan ready to face any crisis.

2. Coordination is key

Running a multivendor eCommerce marketplace solution means you might be having employees working from home or warehouses, customer support team, stakeholders, vendors etc. with whom communication and coordination are crucial for your business to run smoothly. Therefore, you must leverage technology to stay connected and coordinate with all. Make use of online conferencing apps such as Zoom, Skype, and Slack, especially during the present situation, to ensure coordination and productivity is maintained.

3. Set up an emergency team

Too many cooks spoil the broth, you might have heard this proverb which means that instead of too many people getting involved in handling any emergency and creating chaos, establish a dedicated emergency team for your business. Assemble a few cross-functional managers or leaders, and train the necessary staff to keep things moving forward and make decisions when necessary.

4. Make a list of essential eCommerce business functions

As experienced during the lockdown, eCommerce platforms were temporarily restricted from selling any kind of non-essential items due to which online business of fashion, beauty products, etc. faced a tremendous loss. Therefore, it is important to contact marketplace solution provider to figure out how you can maintain the sale of essential services/functions in the event of an emergency. By essential we mean your:

Inventory management and supply continuity – as during a crisis people tend to buy and stock products hence your inventory must survive to serve them.

Order fulfilment and shipping deadlines – as meeting customer orders during any unfortunate event are not easy. There might be some issues like shipping delays which are out of your hand. But you can prepare an alternative option to keep up your delivery even during the crisis.

Ecommerce platform functionality – as people will rush to online shopping more when it becomes dangerous to go outside and hence; your online store must be able to function smoothly and should be updated as well. Like it must be able to handle heavy traffic, display out of stock products, have strong cybersecurity, etc.

Customer service – as customers are prone to panic during a crisis, and they may need you anytime to know about the products and delivery of their orders. Prepare your customer support team specifically to handle customers during such situations.

5. Be flexible in your strategy

Remember that when crisis strikes you may have to change your approach and adapt according to the circumstances and therefore you must design your strategies such that they are flexible. Like you may have to add up essential items for sale if needed during the emergencies, adapt to customer behaviour changes, deliver as per the situation of location, etc.

6. Innovate with time

You must innovate or deliver according to the scenario and demands. For example, if you are simply an online fashion store owner, you must include the sale of masks which are much needed in the present times. Likewise, whatever emergency arises, you must try to innovate or include products that are necessary for that particular crisis in order to help customers as well as for your business continuity.

7. Make your communication strong

Running a multi-vendor marketplace solution means you have customers, employees, suppliers, creditors & investors, and government and regulators to communicate with, which means during a crisis your communication with all has to be clear, transparent, and timely. So, invest in technologies or update your software so that your communication does not get affected during any unfortunate event.

Conclusion

Consider the COVID-19 pandemic as a lesson and take this time to make necessary changes, update your business operations in response to the shift in customer behaviour. In addition, compel features in your store that customer expect with the help of marketplace development companylike mobicommerceto keep your business standing and surviving during the hardships.

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7 Must-Apply Supply Chain Strategies Tips to Improve Your Multivendor Ecommerce Business

For any business to survive the competition, strategies are required to be applied timely, especially, when the time is turbulent like at present due to the COVID-19 situation. Strategies are a must and the sector of a multi-vendor eCommerce business that needs such strategies the most is – the supply chain management (SCM).

What is Supply Chain Management (SCM)? 

One of the most challenging divisions of a multi-vendor marketplace solution is its supply chain which is the handling of the entire production flow of a good or service — starting from the raw components, product development, sourcing, production, packaging and all the way to delivering the final product to the consumer and even collecting returns, including the information systems needed to coordinate these activities. It is a network of suppliers (“links” in the chain) created by the company to move the product along from the suppliers of raw materials to those organizations that deal directly with users in order to maximize customer value and achieve sustainable competitive advantage.

Why is it important? 

Supply chain management is an effective way to minimize cost, waste and time in the production cycle. It helps you keep your inventory in check and meet the needs of the demand-driven customers. With supply chain management; you can identify potential problems like shortage of products before the buyer gets disappointed, adjust prices according to the season and demand, and improve your delivery promise.

Now let’s understand the eight supply-chain strategies that will help your eCommerce business thrive in the current environment.

1. Plan your business based on demand-driven customers

Online business has scaled up during the lockdown period due to COVID-19, and hence there is no pause in the demands of customers in online stores. In fact, during the lockdown i.e. from March to May, many online retailers experienced disruption in the supply chain due to sudden surge in demands. Therefore, you got to structure your supply chain accordingly. Make use of powerful digital tools like Artificial intelligence technologies and internet of things (IoT) networks to act quickly and get real-time insights to meet the demand as soon as possible.

2. A resilient and agile supply chain is the key

How faster and better can you deliver is the only point of focus in today’s competitive world. Adaptability, speed, risk reduction, and sustainability, these are the key points companies today are paying attention to more than anything as customers have various options, and they don’t have to wait for you. Your supply chain got to have greater operational speed and flexibility in order to thrive in this new reality.

Adopt emerging technologies like cloud-based platforms to link your financial and materials-planning tasks to business-execution activities such as procurement, manufacturing, and inventory management, or methods like adopting more flexible sourcing and distribution strategies, including shifting to suppliers that are closer to home, engaging with customers in new – often virtual – ways, omnichannel ordering and fulfilment, etc. will help you sail through amid an ever-changing market landscape.

3. Innovate to grow

Customers look for variety in everything be it products or services, and if they are getting the same monotonous experience from your end, they will move on to others, therefore it is important to keep experimenting and innovating new practices also as per the current market. For example, Swiggy started delivering groceries and other essentials other than food delivering. Therefore, you can consult ecommerce solution provider who can help you in simplifying supply chain activities right from product procurement to product delivery.

4. Expand your fulfilment centre to lower shipping costs & delivery time

Faster delivery and lower shipping costs are what you and your customers desire; therefore, in order to achieve this common goal, a multi-FC strategy is the best approach. Expanding your facilities, inventory, staffing, and management will help you deliver to more customers nearby that area; quickly as well as at low shipping rates.

5. Scale up the number of picked orders per day

One of the most laborious tasks is order picking and delivering it accurately, and timely are keys to a successful eCommerce and customer experience. Improve your order cycle time, reduce replenishment trips and reduce put-away and picking time by slotting your order effectively. A fully automated order slotting method can provide high ROI, but not everyone can afford that. Try improving your storage capacity, opting for locations that are easier to pick from, separating similar products or SKUs that could be mis-picked etc., to increase your number of picked orders.

6. Optimize product design and management for supply, manufacturing, and sustainability

Considering product development and supply-chain planning as separate functions can be one of the major roadblocks in your order fulfilment. Merge design teams with supply-chain planners on a single (usually cloud-based) platform to speed up the process. Moreover, this kind of collaboration, as well as smart procurement practices such as supplier prequalification will help product developers source the right components upfront, based on factors such as parts availability, quality, and cost and will help you gain faster time to market, greater product revenue, and reduced scrap and rework expenses.

7. Embed sustainability 

There are environmental and social consequences behind every supply chain management process like carbon emissions of transportation networks, industrial waste from factories, ethics practised by suppliers, etc. Therefore, a sustainable supply chain practice is important in today’s time from guiding decisions ranging from product design and factory floor configuration to sourcing and logistics.

Some of the strategies to optimize supply chains for sustainability are:

  • Developing long-term targets to bring down the company’s carbon footprint, energy usage, and improving recycling efforts.
  • Deploying new technologies to ensure responsible environmental practices such as altering truck routes to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
  • Applying a shared data model to provide end-to-end visibility and real-time insights.

In a nutshell

The competition is getting fiercer every day, and with people switching to online shopping more after the lockdown and due to the scare of the COVID-19, strategies are a must if you want to survive and keep going. Apply the above-mentioned strategies, and you can see a significant difference in yourb2b ecommerce software solutionsfor sure.