I suspect a number of different merchants feel similarly. However, it’s important to inquire if you’re working on the ideal things. Are you investing time and money into projects which will help achieve your business objectives? Do you understand what your business objectives are?
Importance of Strategy
In the event you were to travel from Colorado to Canada, by way of instance, do you leave without doing any preparation? Probably not. You’d probably want to determine:
- The best path;
- Just how long it will take;
- What supplies you need;
- Customs or visa requirements.
If you would like to cultivate your online revenues in 2013 by 30 percent, how will you do this? Ask the very same types of questions, like the following.
- More revenue from existing clients?
- Increase average order value?
- Sell through new channels?
- Acquire more new clients through affiliate marketing campaigns?
- Reduce your prices to steal business from rivals?
- All the above?
The point is, make a plan. At least think and strategize even if you don’t develop a concrete business plan, which is always best, incidentally.
- Conduct a SWOT analysis. Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and dangers of where you are now.
- Review your overall vision. Where would you like to be in 5 to 10 years?
- Establish business aims. For the present year, establish goals for sales, profits, customers, traffic, new systems, and new employees.
- Pick your strategies. These are broad ideas of how to achieve goals.
Time Well Spent
All this will take some time, but it’ll be worth it. Continually reflect on matters that come from your SWOT analysis. It generally presents the chances you need to pursue and the flaws you have in your enterprise.
- Concentrate on reducing your weaknesses and building on your strengths.
- Mitigate the risks you see from outside threats. These are usually supply chain, aggressive, or traffic related.
- Evaluate going after the outside opportunities. Those are often where your main investment of money and time should be made
Review your merchandise strategies, site, supply chain, customer service, fulfillment, and financing. To put it differently, review your entire company, not just one part. Making a change in your online shop may affect your operations or resources in a different area.
Involve Entire Team
Assemble your management team from many departments and plan projects as a team for a half or full day. My company calls this “Discovery Project.” Having all of the stakeholders involved will help provide a broader view of your business and market. Create a vision and business goals the exact same day. Meet again a couple of days later and examine alternate strategies to attain those objectives. Set aside another week for the many teams to evaluate the effect of various strategies.
Develop strategies in these areas of your ecommerce business.
- Client experience. Everything from locating your shop to post-sales support.
- Merchandise strategies. What is your product mix, pricing, and sourcing?
- Ecommerce platform and systems. Is your platform supporting the perfect customer experience? Are your systems automated and incorporated in a level to support your processes?
- Business processes. How efficient are your surgeries? What are areas of advancement, training, or even better supervision?
- Channels. Are you reaching all of the target clients with your current online shop? In case you add marketplaces? International markets?
Regions of Improvement
As you proceed through this process, you probably will immediately identify areas for improvement. A fantastic SWOT analysis may expose it through the first day.
For most merchants, customer experience improvements will be the major emphasis. Whether you just launched a shop or are running one which hasn’t changed in three decades, you need to have a list of improvements to make. Prioritize those improvements that can allow you to accomplish your business objectives. If you wish to sell more to existing customers, you might need investments in merchandising and personalization. If your intention is to acquire more new customers, you might choose to concentrate on new landing pages and search engine optimization.
In short, seek constant improvement.