E-commerce businesses can be lucrative and enjoyable. However, the intricacies of running an online business may feel overwhelming.
In many cases, online marketplaces need help managing certain aspects of their business. Although paying for an e-commerce solution may seem like a setback, it often yields positive results and frees up time to focus on other parts of your business.
If you aren’t sure if you need an e-commerce solution, watch out for these signs that you may need help.
1. An Uptick in Customer Service Requests
Providing top-notch customer service is the hallmark of a great e-commerce business. Tracking the number of requests you receive daily, weekly, or monthly is essential. If you see an increase in customer service requests, it may indicate a process gap.
Take the time to understand why you’re getting customer support tickets. It could be due to damaged products, late shipments, or an issue with your e-commerce website. If you don’t have time to address the problems your customers are contacting you about, it could be time to look for help. An e-commerce solution offering third-party logistics (3PL) services may be ideal if the requests are primarily related to shipping issues.
In some cases, customers may contact you due to a specific item being out of stock. This issue is common for marketplaces with separated inventory. Some e-commerce solutions let you use one inventory source, meaning you’ll spend less time worrying about properly allocating products for each marketplace. That means a better user experience too, which is always a bonus.
2. Feeling Overwhelmed or Burned Out
In some cases, the main indication that you need help can’t be backed by data. Feeling overwhelmed is often the most important sign you need to outsource some aspects of your business. This usually occurs when you “wear too many hats,” which is common as a business owner.
If you pack and ship orders, respond to customer service requests, and manage your social media, you will eventually feel overwhelmed. Additionally, some aspects of your e-commerce store will inevitably suffer.
You may begin to feel burned out when your business suffers. Feeling this way doesn’t always mean it’s time to pack up and quit. More often than not, burnout occurs when your workload feels unmanageable. Outsourcing elements of your business decreases your workload and rejuvenates your will to continue building your business.
E-commerce solutions free up time for you to focus on tasks you previously didn’t have time to complete. For example, spending hours allocating inventory to your online store, Amazon, and other marketplaces takes time that could be spent engaging with customers. Choosing an e-commerce software with access to various marketplaces from a single location alleviates the stress of managing numerous storefronts.
3. More Orders are Arriving Late
Most customers expect to receive their products within 2-3 days. If something is preventing you from shipping orders on time, it will lead to customers shopping elsewhere. The larger your business grows, the more difficult it becomes to handle order fulfillment in-house.
Some e-commerce solutions handle inventory management, warehousing, and fulfillment. In some cases, it may have warehouses nationwide, meaning it can fulfill orders faster than you could on your own.
Solutions with 3PL services free up time and space since you won’t have to ship or store inventory yourself. In many cases, the 3PL provider can match your customer’s orders to an appropriate warehouse to optimize shipping. The 3PL software usually allows you to easily track which warehouse has your inventory. You can drop ship your inventory directly to a central warehouse, and they will handle the rest.
The partner you choose will be the one who interacts with your customers’ orders directly. Choosing a platform with trustworthy logistics and warehousing services is essential.
4. You See a Decrease in Order Volume
If customers are buying fewer products from your site, it could mean you aren’t putting enough time into marketing. In most cases, this isn’t due to a lack of trying.
Focusing on the fundamentals can be challenging when you’re responsible for every facet of your business. Choosing a solution that takes numerous tasks off your plate leaves you more time to focus on your marketplace’s fundamental needs.
In some cases, a decrease in order volume may be due to a lack of data. It’s hard to pinpoint why your business is slowing down without robust data. Complete e-commerce solutions often have powerful tools that let you visualize and interpret business data. Having information on every aspect of your business lets you quickly identify and resolve potential bottlenecks.
Using a Complete E-Commerce Solution
The larger and faster your business grows, the more likely you are to need help. Still, complete e-commerce solutions aren’t only for large companies. Choosing a complete e-commerce solution early on decreases the number of problems you’ll face as you scale.
An e-commerce platform should offer integrations with numerous marketplaces, data solutions, and more. Those that include shipping and warehousing services tend to be the best.If you’re ready to find the right e-commerce solution, reach out to Tradefull today to learn how we can help you run a successful e-commerce business.