For any business, time management is the most precious asset but for most it is also their greatest enemy. Poor time management is one of the key factors in a failing business. Businesses that inefficiently manage tasks in their operations will dis-allow the opportunity for growth and increase wasteful expenditure on overhead and human resources.
According to data pulled on a wide range of eCommerce sellers, the average merchant had over 13,000 product SKUs in their inventory, and processed over 6000 orders a month, on an average of 3 different sales channels. That’s over 200 items daily that need to be accounted for in inventory levels across all selling channels while being invoiced, packed, and shipped; communicating this information to the customer, shipping courier, merchant and marketplaces.
Manually this task is a nightmare and takes several people working full-time to manage the day to day operations, causing a higher risk for error thus diminishing the ability to scale the business and grow revenue.
While assessing prospective customers pain points to determine their needs, we have started to notice a pattern of issues across the board with businesses that manage these operational tasks manually. The most common issues we addressed that were detrimental to the health of the business such as:
- Overselling and underselling due to lack of accurate stock level updates hence resulting in lost business and a low customer retention rate.
- Overpayment on shipping costs due to choosing the wrong courier services, wrong packing material and lack of access to bulk shipping rates therefore driving the overall price of your product up therefor being less competitive.
- Inefficient expenditure on overhead such as staff, physical space, and an excess of low demand inventory.
The issue most detrimental to the health of the business is the latter, wasteful expenditure. By having to manually operate these processes, businesses tend to hire too many staff members to handle mundane tasks that can be efficiently managed by a multi-channel automation software. Without the proper order management processes in place businesses find that they have excess inventory for items that are in low demand thus tying up capital and stunting the ability to allocate to a more profitable product.
It's obvious time has great value to every business. Businesses need to automate these tasks to free up time to expand the reach of their business. Because of these savings, an automation software allows businesses to focus on expanding their product line into new markets and channels.
With a multi-channel automation software such as Linnworks, businesses can allow the system to manage all of their orders, update their inventory, and automate their shipping. Some platforms will also allow you to handle accounting functions and list items in bulk across multiple selling channels including storefront and warehouse locations.
These platforms can integrate with many of the major marketplaces online and communicate directly with shipping couriers being used across the globe. You can print labels and automatically send tracking information from the courier to the customer within the system or you can use a third party system shipping software to manage your logistics and communicate directly with the platform.
On average businesses using Linworks saw a growth of 39% in revenue prior to using the software up until their most recent transaction. During this time we also saw a pattern of an increase in the number of SKUs being sold and expansion into overseas markets using cross border trade features available on select software platforms.
eCommerce automation platforms are designed to help small to medium sized eCommerce businesses better manage their time so they can focus on growing the business. As technology professionals, if we focus on helping businesses grow it will benefit us all. For example:
- Sellers will enter new markets and as a result grow revenue
- Buyers will have access to more products and as a result more competitive prices
- Marketplaces will see a growth in revenue from listings and purchases from new and recurring users
- And of course couriers will ship more packages to further destinations.
So lets work together to expand the reach of our respective businesses.