According to the Office for National Statistics, online retail sales
increased by 14% between 2016 and 2017, with an average weekly spend of
£1.2 billion. E-commerce in the UK now accounts for 17% of all spending
by pound value.
Larger retailers dominate the platform, with low-pricing strategies that
can make competing difficult for small and medium-sized businesses.
Smaller vendors tend to concentrate on specialist products and providing
expertise and advice. Customer service is increasingly important,
especially in an era of social media complaints and review site ratings.
One of the appeals of running an online shop is the far lower overheads
due to not needing to rent a physical store space or hire sales
assistants. But dealing with a high volume of sales and enquiries may
well involve hiring staff either working in a shared office or remotely.
As your online business grows, you could face an increased workload that
suffers from bottlenecks and disruptions.
Business process management is a discipline that gives you the tools to
analyse, improve and automate each stage of your working practices, with
the goal of increased productivity and profitability. How could this
approach help in relation to running a successful online retail
Approving, ordering from suppliers, and keeping track of the products
you sell on your website is essential to maintaining the inventory you
need to satisfy customer demand. Business process management helps by
mapping out every stage of this process, from ordering from suppliers to
Automating this process removes the need to update spreadsheets and send
emails manually. The risk of human error and inefficiency is greatly
reduced. By streamlining this process, you can keep your inventory at an
optimum level, fulfilling all orders without accumulating excess stock.
Setting out a process for your customer enquiries and complaints can
significantly speed up response times, and give a you clear framework
for resolving issues successfully. Deadlines are essential here, as most
consumers will forgive you for making a mistake, but few will forgive
not making amends quickly and sincerely.
Refunds are an aspect of customer service that also affects inventory
and finances. Setting up a system to update your stock and
simultaneously send money back to a customer is a way of saving time and
effort, significantly reducing administrative overheads.
How Swiftcase helps
SwiftCase is a powerful cloud-based business process management platform
with an intuitive interface accessible across mobile devices as well as
Configure workflows to automate customer service enquiries, and track
events in real time to keep on top of inventory and orders.
If you’re interested in a free, no-obligation demonstration, get in touch today.