Starting an online business can be as easy as opening a booth selling drinks. Both types of business would require some tools to operate. To open a booth, one will need a table, some decorations, signage, water bottles, and all the ingredients to make the signature drinks. To sell online, you can simply sell on a social media account.
But let’s look into the bigger picture. You can start small, but you’d want to grow big. To set up a scalable online business, it is important to plan a systematic operational procedure that is easy to be maintained and managed.
In this post, we have listed all the basic tools that you can leverage to automate your online business systems.
1. e-Commerce site / Website
Having a website means hundreds and thousands of people can buy from you simultaneously at one time, any time of the day. Unlike closing sale on social media, this means you can sell while you’re sleeping!
Tips: Provide enough product information on the product page, add lots of pictures with different angles and infographics. Also, include a product video intro and demonstration for a personal touch.
2. Payment Gateway
You can do Cash on Delivery (COD) or normal bank transfer, but it will not be efficient to process hundreds of orders daily. Choose a payment gateway that can integrate into your shopping cart so you can easily know the payment status of each order. A payment gateway should also allow you to accept several payment channels such as online banking, credit or debit card or e-wallets. Another important aspect to consider when choosing a payment gateway is the features such as recurring payment model or the analytics.
Tips: Check the rate of your payment gateway provider and make sure to count it in for your operational cost. Compare the payment channels that are offered and if there are any “activation fees” for certain channels/feature.
3. Delivery & Logistics
So you’ve sold a few products, and now you’re getting hundreds of orders a day, it’s crazy not to have your shopping cart integrated to a logistics service platform. With this, the airwaybill (AWB) for your shipments can be generated in bulks, and automatically updates your customers with their tracking number. Some services even include stock keeping and packaging together with the delivery.
Tips: Check for rates to the weight of your products and if the logistics link to multiple courier companies. Test several platforms and always go for one with good customer service.
4. Customer Relationship Manager
In any business, there’s is nothing more important than having a returning customer. And the key to keep them coming back is to constantly keep in touch.
Tips: The best CRM for e-commerce is with an email service provider. But for services based businesses, we recommend a CRM software.
5. Social Media Manager
Social media is the spot to get traffic and attention to your brand. It is so important to keep good contents flowing on your social media accounts and have a good engagement with your audience. You can even do marketing and retargeting to specific crowds.
Tip: Remember to embed your Facebook pixel and Google Analytics code. Also, focus on the right social media platform that your target market see the first and last thing of the day.
6. Team-Work Management
A business can only grow as strong as the team that manages it. It’s important that everyone in the team is well aware and in sync to current events, updates and issues.
Tip: Use minimal platforms with the simplest function so everyone can follow through easily.
These 6 are the basics of running an online business. Of course, there are tonnes of other aspects to look into as business grows and team expands. So, do you have all in place? What’s your favourite tool?