Selling your products online often means using a variety of sales platforms, from your own website to sites ranging from eBay and Amazon to Etsy and often physical stores as well. Having access to all of these different places to sell your goods is fantastic for your sales but it’s not without its challenges. When your sales are booming, you wouldn’t have it any other way. What you would like is for it to be easier to manage your sales across the platforms that you sell on, so you have a reliable oversight of sales, inventory, despatch and customers.
Small businesses often start off using spreadsheets or basic software to track their sales. You might have begun doing this years ago (before you even started selling products online), and carried on doing with the same systems when you discovered the wonders of e-commerce. It worked then but now, as your sales and your selling platforms have increased, the magic of e-commerce isn’t turning out to be so magical. Your sales information is like a jigsaw puzzle that you can’t quite put together properly – or quickly as you can’t get your hands on all the pieces. Fortunately, you can fix the problems. You just need the right tools for how you are working now.
The Problem with Multiple Platforms
When your sales numbers are up, you’re happy. It’s great that using multiple sales platforms helps you to boost your sales and gain more exposure for your brand. Unfortunately, it also means you have information flying at you from every direction. You’re trying your best to keep up with orders and sales data, but it’s like someone’s firing tennis balls at you from five different machines that don’t talk to each other. Keeping all of your sales information in spreadsheets or different databases is time-consuming and can easily lead to mistakes. With all that information in one place, you save time by eliminating duplications, errors and delayed orders.
Just keeping track of each sales platform and what’s on them takes a lot of effort. Have you updated them all with your latest products? Is information about which items are in stock accurate across all your platforms?
Orders, Inventory and Despatch
Each part of your sales process ties into the next. If you’re not managing your orders well, you’ll find it difficult to manage your despatch process and keep your inventory up-to-date. Checking five different spreadsheets to find out what sales you’ve made or to track your inventory becomes your Multiple Platform Madness. Being unable to see which orders have been paid for and just how much money you’re making, shouldn’t be like answering a riddle from the Sphinx. You need all of this information to be clear and easily accessible – and, crucially, in one place.
Bringing Sales Platforms Together
Just like online selling has developed, so have the systems to help you juggle your growing business and SaaS applications make it simplest of all as they can be fast to implement and tailored exactly to your sales process. Many systems will do just one part of the solution, such as CRM or inventory management but technology should be able to provide you with a one-stop solution. Workhorse designs custom solutions so that you can organise your e-commerce and offline sales activity into one funnel. What if you could automatically create an order fulfilment funnel that not only made sure you were on-time, every-time with customer orders but also managed unique order details and updated your inventory and the required purchase orders automatically? For businesses with orders coming in from multiple platforms, this is crucial to have an up-to-the-minute overview of inventory and despatch, so that you always know you have the goods to fulfil the orders coming in. Even better, consider how much you could improve systems and the time you spend on them by having all of this automatically funnel into your accounting software, or leads drop automatically into the order funnel from your sales channels. Particularly in your most busy seasonal periods like Christmas, doing this you radically saves you time, taking the pressure off and meaning you’re not working to the early hours to keep up with serving your customers. Spreadsheets simply won’t do the job in this more complex, sales environment. But the technology that’s given you Amazon Marketplace, also gives you SaaS Cloud business management systems like Workhorse. Finally you can have everything you need to run your business, in one place and at a cost that won’t break your business.