How can I match back-end logistics to front-end online sales?

A. Ben Way  writes:
If you’re serious about taking your e-commerce site to the next level, you need to treat it as you would taking your business into a new country, with a different language, marketing rules, logistics issues and consumers. The internet can’t be treated as an afterthought to your business, and you will have to dedicate a large amount of time to its development. You will live or die by your search engine optimisation (SEO), the look, feel and functionality of your site and your fulfilment. Imagine if your best competitor opened a store next door to you. Why would your customers choose you over your competition? On the web, all your competitors are next door, and consumers only take seconds to walk in and out.

I suspect your larger items are not as well priced as your competition. The key to orders is SEO. Make sure your site tracks from pay-per-click (PPC) right through to purchase. It is a simple equation. If your C2PP (click-to-purchase profit) is less than the cost of the clicks then just keep pouring cash into PPC. If not, you may need further optimisation of your brand, website and functionality, but web marketing is all about testing. There are no longer quick wins in this market as everyone’s trying to achieve them.

As for logistics, fulfilment and automation, if you want to take your site to the next level , you may want to consider something from a bigger e-commerce provider like Venda. This is more expensive than your standard technology, but has all the advanced back-end systems and functionality that will set you apart from the competition. It also depends on whether you are prepared to separate out your logistics from your stores, which if you are serious about e-commerce, you should do sooner rather than later. Bring in the skills you require, invest in your systems, make e-commerce your priority and you will probably make a great success of it.



Ben Way is one of the UK’s foremost entrepreneurs and inventors. He founded his first company when he was 15, despite struggling at school and suffering from dyslexia.




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