eCommerce is a massive industry that touches every corner of the globe. Even within eCommerce, some businesses keep more plates spinning with more than just one sales channel. Navigating the modern and technologically driven world is hard enough, but housing multichannel marketplaces under one business roof take it to a whole new level. Thankfully, there are many programs and tools any business can use to make the process easier. By using these modern tools around us, we can solve our modern problems. It does not matter what size your business is. Any business can find success with hard work and the proper guides.
Inventory counts are a pain for many warehouses and eCommerce businesses. Be aware that making your business multichannel only increases your inventory size. With inventory spanning multiple stores or sites, it is good to set up an inventory management software (IMS) to handle multiple sales channels. Inventory systems keep track of how much of each item you have and how much is coming. Some systems can even predict when you will need to reorder again. With an inventory management system, you can track what items are going through which channel and keep an eye on the entire process. You no longer need to guess if you have enough to fulfill an order with a warehouse managing system telling you your stock levels. Be careful with separate inventories, though. Mixing the inventory of multiple sites can lead to a quick inventory issue if multiple people on multiple sites buy the same product. Ensure you have a buffer or plan to cover situations where multiple channels collide.
Knowing that inventory systems require regular maintenance and checks to ensure nothing got lost in the process. Your system is only as good as you keep it. Even though the management tool does most of the hard work, you must ensure products are accurate, and counts are appropriately applied.
Focus On Better Shipping
Shipping is one of the most complicated parts of an eCommerce business, and small business shipping can add more speed bumps to the process. You are responsible for ensuring that orders arrive at the correct destinations, but you cannot control carriers or pricing. You can talk with major carriers to get better rates for your customers, but an improvement is not guaranteed. When it comes to filling and packing orders, things can get confusing. You should always check the order details with multichannel marketplaces. You do not want the wrong items to end up in the wrong locations. You do not want to confuse an order for a pet-based website with a beauty website. Such mistakes will easily translate into more shipping costs.
It is worth the time investment creating an efficient shipping process that keeps your multichannel marketplaces in line. Look at what areas of the shipping process take the most time or have the most volume per month to determine what areas need the most help. If an area is falling behind or routinely has issues, look into the mechanics of the process to see what is going wrong or adjusted. However, do not mistake speed for efficacy or accuracy. Just because orders are getting out the door does not mean they are adequately packed, contain the right items, or are going to the correct destinations. Details matter in the shipping process, so ensure you are confident about every order that leaves your care.
Company Structure And Management
Managing multichannel marketplaces requires a team working together to make sense of the rapid-fire business. If there are too many cooks in the kitchen, progress could be stalled. However, not having enough people help out means the system runs far slower than expected. Work with your business team to determine the best way to employ managers. You could give managers different groups of marketplaces. Not every manager has to know about everything, though this requires communication and trust. Your leadership must be in unison and plan to divvy up the multiple channels for the resulting process to be smooth. With so many plates spinning, you want strong leadership to teach and guide. Else, all the plates will fall.
Managing orders for multichannel marketplaces is a demanding task, but it is possible. While orders are coming in from every angle, an inventory system can check the stock and start prepping orders. The shipping process is where most things can go wrong. Please make sure you double-check addresses, customer names, and the website they ordered from. Bolster your management and leadership to navigate the chaos better and guide the rest of your workers.