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Must-do things for e-Startups

by Your RetailCoach YourRetailCoach

The year 2020 has already secured a prominent place in the history of mankind. Maybe b-schools or experts from the eCommerce business consulting industry around the world will preach the case studies of big and small businesses that survived and grew exponentially after 2020. The pandemic shockwave will wipe out the redundant ways of doing business. 

 New retail and eCommerce startups will have a head start in the sense that they will get to start on a corrected course for the future in developing their eCommerce business models and strategies. And in doing so, eCommerce consultants or eCommerce consulting services might have a big role to play. 

 The heightened importance of the online channel will drive more retail businesses to turn omnichannel and more eCommerce startups coming to the fore. However, sticking to the business fundamentals won’t change.

Business Model and Business Plan

 With an altered business environment, eCommerce startups need to reassess business models and plans that worked in the past in the light of the present and the future. A business model defines how a company is going to generate revenue. Here it is not about the numbers but the overall idea of how a company is intending to generate revenue. A business plan shall define how the business model will work. In other words, how the intended offering will be created and delivered to the market and customers. This will include considering regulatory permissions and compliances for doing business, laying out the logistical, supply chain and distribution network plan from source to destination and vice-versa, human resource management, marketing strategy, office and administration, financial planning (capital requirements, profitability, break-even, etc.), technology and technology partners, etc.

 Branding Strategy

 From here on, safety and hygiene will play a big role in the branding strategies of businesses. Ecommerce startups are no exceptions. Many reputed brands have already put in place safety and hygiene measures for their customers, employees, suppliers, etc. In the post-lockdown world, a brand that will not address the safety and hygiene concerns will face the music. Samsung has already promoted their safety measures in eCommerce website Flipkart and such an initiative is very much in tune with customer expectations and the reality of the world now.

 IT Platform

 Running an eCommerce business involves multiple business processes and operations that need to run in a synchronized manner. A strong IT infrastructure to support all the departments and the business processes becomes necessary. In the post-lockdown world, it is expected that eCommerce shopping will experience a surge. Thus, eCommerce businesses will require a robust IT platform and technological infrastructure for order management, CRM, supply chain and inventory management, etc.

 Marketing Strategy

 One area of marketing where fresh considerations will be required, in the light of a new business environment, is the distribution and service delivery strategy. Lockdowns at various levels have already slowed down production and supply chain. It might be a while before the old standards of efficiency are retained. ECommerce startups might have to focus more on local solutions for distribution and service processes.

 Website UX Strategy

 A website to an eCommerce company is what a physical store is for a retail entity. The website is the most important digital touchpoint for the customers of an eCommerce company. That is where customer shopping wish lists, choose a suitable payment method, track orders, manage their accounts, and register their complaints, and so on. That’s a long journey despite how quickly it might take place for once. Any small deviation from expected standards at any point in the online shopping journey could be a turn off for customers. To ensure a better website UX, all the important considerations like user interface, ease of navigation, colours and fonts, logical flow, language and device support, data security, payment method flexibility, etc. need to find a place in website/app design and development.

 Inventory Management

 For any business, effective inventory management is crucial to be able to consistently meet the demand. Depending on the size and scale of operations of an eCommerce entity and the number of intermediaries involved, use of relevant technology can give better control over managing its inventory. Whether a customer could place an order or not depends on whether the stock is available. Real-time inventory tracking and system update (to reflect in website/app or customers’ order tracking) is critical in eCommerce inventory management.

Planning and tracking the storage and movement of thousands of products manually can be inefficient and if done manually, then it will lead to several discrepancies. It is highly advisable to have an auto-replenishment system (ARS) in place which is a computerized and automatic system for tracking inventory levels and reordering based on a product’s lead time and reorder levels. An ARS system will help you achieve higher efficiency levels in inventory management with less judgemental errors, placing and getting orders on time, and preventing delays.

 SOPs

 It is only when the duties and responsibilities are crystal clear to all of your employees in all the departments will they be able to carry out what they are needed to do. Now, how to achieve such clarity for all? The answer is SOPs. SOP is an operational roadmap for each operation or activity. SOP defines the step-by-step approach to carry out a particular task or operation. SOPs need to be planned and documented. It removes subjectivity and doubt. It also makes supervision, monitoring and improvisations easier. There should be SOPs for every department like finance, HR, store operations, merchandising, purchase, inventory, etc. The overall objective is to achieve eCommerce business flow.

 By designing effective SOPs, you can take a step ahead in the direction of eCommerce automation.

Article Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/must-do-things-e-startups-dr-rupal-agarwal/


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About Your RetailCoach Innovator   YourRetailCoach

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Joined APSense since, May 12th, 2017, From Pune, India.

Created on Jul 18th 2020 03:44. Viewed 139 times.

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