Tips for leveraging technology to reduce busywork, improve productivity, and save money for your business.
When it comes to ecommerce, automation is a solution to many time-consuming tasks that overfill the typical day of an online seller. From a logistical point of view, automation literally moves data from one business system to another. It eliminates the need for manual data entry and saves you time and money to focus on what you do best—selling. But examined from a broader perspective, the benefits of automation can be total game-changers for an online business. For example, automation can help you increase profits and create a marked competitive advantage. There are plenty of companies that provide software for all aspects of your business—your front office sales and marketing and your back-office operations. In this post, we focus on the back-office, specifically operations and accounting.
Automate order processing. Most successful ecommerce sellers use multiple systems across their business and sell from multiple places—at the very least, on a custom website platform like Shopify or Magento and on a marketplace like eBay or Amazon. This can create operational havoc as data flows through their inventory, shipping, and accounting systems. To get this under control, you want to automate all processing by sending a single, accurate set of order data from inception to the bank account. With automation, you can do all of this with no manual data entry and exactly zero errors. When there are no errors introduced during order processing, correct sales tax is charged, the correct item is chosen, inventory is kept up-to-date across all sales channels, shipping labels are accurate, and tracking information is available immediately to share with the customer.Check out 3 Ways to Use Automation in Your #Ecommerce Business by @paragmamnani #sellmore #unify Click To Tweet
With manual data entry, when any one of these basic tasks goes awry, the customer’s trust in the seller is lost, sometimes for good. Technology’s role in building consumer trust cannot be understated, according to KPMG’s global report The Truth About Online Consumers: “Regardless of how many attributes a company has that will earn the trust of their customers, not having the right systems in place to protect that trust can be catastrophical.”
Automate tracking of revenue and expenses. As a multichannel seller, it’s easy to lose sight of the financial performance of your business and keep tabs on all the costs you’re incurring. When marketplaces like Amazon provide bi-weekly settlement reports or platforms like Magento create complicated spreadsheets of your transactions, sellers often find themselves down a rabbit hole of data. Unless you’re planning on getting a bachelor’s degree in data analytics, you’re better off using software that can help you bring data and insights from across all sales channels and systems into one place.
Simply put, automating the tracking of revenue and expenses is key for online sellers who want to know their profit and grow their business. Sound like all sellers? Unless you promptly account for both the money coming in and the money going out—in payment processor fees, marketplaces fees, warehouse fees, fulfillment expenses, and shipping costs—of your business, you’re flying blind. In fact, operating without real-time visibility into operational expenses ensures the financial growth of your business will be stunted, and puts your business at a high risk of failure.
Making sense of fees and other costs can be a frustrating experience for Amazon sellers. Now a new enhancement to Webgility Unify simplifies accounting for Xero users who sell on Amazon. With Webgility 1-Click Accounting, it’s now fast and easy for sellers to post Amazon Marketplace orders, refunds, expenses, and payments into Xero.
In fact, Unify users can now swiftly reconcile their Xero accounting with their Amazon Settlement Report, eliminating the need for any additional data entry or a separate clearing account. Webgility Unify automatically syncs the Amazon Settlement Report with Xero, making batch reconciliation easy for both sellers and accountants. “Managing a business’ finances from a central dashboard is a far more beautiful experience,” says Steven Larsen, Product Partnerships Director at Xero.Click once to settle! Accounting just got easier for @Amazon sellers who use @Xero #Unify Click To Tweet
Xero offers an open app ecosystem that gives users an opportunity to select technology that best suits their needs as their company grows. Webgility Unify’s integration with Xero enables small business owners and their advisors to track sales and automate accounting across online marketplaces and ecommerce tools.” Continue reading →
A simple case for changing the course of your business—and your life—with automation.
These days sellers conduct business through a number of channels—both offline and online. These can include a cash register at a brick-and-mortar location, a selling platform (or store) like Magento or Shopify, a custom website with a shopping cart extension like WooCommerce, on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and even a point of sale tool like Square. So when it comes to accurately inputting all that sales data into inventory, shipping, and accounting systems, life for a multichannel seller gets very complicated very quickly. And the complexity is multiplied tenfold not if, but when, human involvement introduces errors. Typically when sales hit a peak or the business scales in some way, either the repetitive manual entry becomes too much for a busy seller to manage or hiring a bookkeeper becomes too expensive to justify. In fact, the data management has been the undoing of many a burgeoning business.#Datamanagement is time-consuming and expensive. Here's what to do about it and save money. #Unify… Click To Tweet
Either way sellers are conflicted: The ones who handle their own bookkeeping know their time is better spent growing the business with marketing, networking, researching lower-cost vendors, reviewing workflows—the list goes on. And those who pay to outsource data entry and bookkeeping are often left wondering if they’ll ever be free of an expense that scales in tandem with their business. Continue reading →
Why sellers should commit to back-end operations before pursuing just another pretty piece of SaaS At the risk of over-simplifying the ecommerce industry, most of its software falls into one of two categories — sexy and unsexy. Inevitably, the more seductive side of selling entices business owners to buy tools they must have to attract customers, such as beautiful websites, video tools, artificial intelligence, marketing automation, and the like. Because owners think they need customer-facing tools in order to sell online—and because they’re more fun to use—they put tremendous business resources toward these shiny objects.Why #online #sellers should commit to back-end ops before pursuing another pretty piece of #SaaS… Click To Tweet The truth is, sellers who first invest in the software that does the heavy lifting around data and order management are far more likely to survive their first year. Because the less showy, “boring” side of the business is what sellers actually use to run the company, without it, they are sure to fail. Among dozens of other tasks, this is the software that allows them to
automatically post and sync sales data to accounting, inventory, and shipping
Plus tips on how online sellers can adopt, adapt, and win in the coming months
A wise young man once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” That’s doubly true for ecommerce, which reaches warp speed during the holidays and skids to a stop in January as sellers breathlessly scurry around returns and clearance sales. Traditionally this is when I review my predictions for the previous year and look ahead to what we can expect in the coming months. Here are this year’s predictions, plus my take on how ecommerce SMBs canadapt and adopt to win in 2018.#Ecommerce predictions worth reading, plus real-world tips for smart sellers. #Unify Click To Tweet
1. To the surprise of no one, Amazon will continue to knock down new and interesting categories. Over the last decade, ecommerce and Amazon have both become synonymous as great disruptors. We’ve seen this coming and it’s nowhere close to an end. Same-day delivery? Of course. Fashion? Certainly. Groceries? Been there, done that. There has even been talk about Amazon entering the healthcare industry—popcorn’s on me for that price war watch party.
If your industry hasn’t yet been touched by ecommerce or Amazon, reach for technology for protection and then brace for impact. To further grow and compete, move from single channel to a multichannel model and sell on a big marketplace. Doing so will give you better exposure, SEO value, more options for moving inventory, and the ability to adjust profit margins based on the market. If you don’t have the stomach for Amazon, consider Walmart. If you can’t stomach Walmart, go with eBay or Etsy—just go with something.