3 ways to hurdle what’s tripping up your ecommerce business.
The future of buying and selling is borderless, seamless, voice-driven, personalized, powered by AI, machine learning, and automation. There is no omnichannel, there is no ecommerce—it’s all just “commerce.” Consumers expect to find the best-rated items, at the best price, always in stock, shipped to them immediately from anywhere in the world, delivered on time, and easily returnable, all from any interface—laptop, tablet, mobile phone, or virtual assistant.
What does this mean for small and medium-sized businesses? On the one hand, it’s easier than ever now to start an ecommerce business with so many platforms and tech solutions; but if you can do it, so can everyone else; the competition will only get tougher. If you have figured out your business strategy, you’ve likely discovered some operational challenges they may be standing in the way of scaling. By processing millions of orders for thousands of ecommerce companies, we’ve learned the most common blocks to scaling are: Continue reading
How to make ecommerce overselling a thing of the past and peace of mind your SOP.
When used correctly, QuickBooks can be a very powerful tool for tracking inventory. But the key to using QuickBooks to track inventory successfully is in appreciating how and why QuickBooks tracks all inventory activity at the item/product level.
1. Proper Item/Product Setup: It may be tempting to start recording your sales in QuickBooks and watch the revenue grow, but to get the most reliable financial reports, you’ll need to put in some time and effort up front. Here’s how to think through your inventory setup and list organization:
- Do you want to use the SKUs from your website or other sales channel for your item/product names? If so, you can populate the “item name” with this info or choose to populate another data field with the SKU. Webgility Unify’s mapping features help to streamline the matching of different SKUs between all sales channels.
- Decide how to organize your list. QuickBooks Online allows for product categories, but QuickBooks Desktop does not have the category feature. However, you can organize your QuickBooks Desktop lists by using the field: sub-item of.
- Consider adding a few income accounts within your chart of accounts for a clearer view of your income on the P&L. Once these accounts are set up, you can choose to which account each item/product’s revenue maps from the dropdown menu in your item/product screen. Also, if you are in QuickBooks Desktop, you can change your mappings in bulk: Lists > Add/Edit Multiple List Entries
- The cost field in the item/product setup is mostly just used to populate the default value on your purchase transactions (bills, purchase orders). This cost field is not directly used to calculate your inventory value—more on that below.
2. Accurate Starting Counts: Ideally, you want to get started with a physical inventory and accurate item/product counts. But realistically, it can be a challenge to get all of your inventory counted at once. If this is too overwhelming, start with a large even number, like 100 or 1,000 units for the inventory count of each item/product, and then adjust as accurate counts are done using a quantity adjustment. When recording the adjustment, Just be sure to use the date of the actual count.
3. Proper Inventory Workflow: Now that you have inventory set up, you need the proper workflow to maintain accurate counts and costs. The following transactional documents can add inventory quantities to QuickBooks: Continue reading
Determined to succeed in ecommerce? You aren’t alone.
But if you take the time to properly set up your systems, you’ll have a leg up on the competition, I promise. Here’s my simple but effective checklist for success:
TAKE A DEEPER DIVE
- Define your product catalog. Know what your differentiators are—the uniqueness of your products, competitive prices, free shipping, how your products are bundled—so that you can stand out from similar items.
- Pick the right channels. If you’re selling from your own web site, you’ll need to “pull” customers to your products. If you’re selling on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, you’ll need to “push” your products, which means paying fees, and competing with pricing and shipping.
- Create streamlined workflows. If you’re not integrating and automating sales information into your accounting, inventory, and shipping systems, you can lose dozens of hours each week on data entry alone.
- Build ironclad fulfillment. A fulfillment system that is well-managed, accurate, and fast is the backbone of any e-commerce business.
- Be accountable. Take steps to properly track, validate, and pay sales tax properly with a proper accounting software and data automation so it’s all timely and accurate.
Now it’s even easier for Amazon sellers to unify their entire ecommerce business
Great things are happening with your favorite ecommerce management company! To be specific, we’ve officially been chosen to participate in the newly formed Amazon Marketplace Developer Council. Sounds big, but what does that mean? Members of the Amazon Marketplace Developer Council have a unique perspective and understanding of the small and medium-sized businesses that sell on Amazon. Through the Marketplace Developer Council, we’ll share valuable insights and feedback to help shape the roadmap and priorities for Marketplace Web Service APIs and associated tools. Continue reading
Simple questions and answers for those wondering which to choose.
Ecommerce sellers often ask me which edition of QuickBooks they should choose for their business, but the answer isn’t so cut and dry. Over the last several years it seems that Intuit has been focused on QuickBooks Online and moving everything to the cloud. But QuickBooks Online may not have the capabilities you need and QuickBooks Desktop might be more powerful than necessary for an SMB. Here’s an overview of the big differences between the two based on the varying needs of ecommerce businesses.
From what device or from what location do you run operations?
QuickBooks Online is cloud based, so you can access it from any web browser, your phone, tablet, or computer. QuickBooks Desktop runs from a stationary computer, but you can also have it on a hosted solution and still get the remote capabilities.
What are your inventory needs?
Yes, QuickBooks is accounting software, but it’s also plays a key part in inventory management, especially as it relates to the cost you pay for your stock. A big factor to consider when choosing which version to use is the complexity of the inventory. For example, if you’ve got finished goods that you’re selling out of a single location, QuickBooks Online is a great choice. But if you have more advanced needs like multiple warehouses, choose QuickBooks Desktop, specifically the Enterprise edition. And if you sell assemblies or bundled products or need barcode scanning and serial tracking, you’ll also need the advanced features of QuickBooks Desktop.
What are your accounting needs?
When it comes to accounting, the capabilities are the same with a few variations. For example, the workflow looks a little a different and the interface is a little different but from an accounting standpoint, they accomplish all the same tasks. The one exception to that is sales orders, which is a capability needed by many B2B businesses. Since the purpose of sales orders is to take units out of the available quantities so they’re not being sold, QuickBooks Desktop is the best choice. You can’t do that with QuickBooks Online.
It’s worth noting, purchase orders have previously been a limitation for QuickBooks Online but that capabilities has recently improved. So for businesses that might’ve hesitated because of purchase orders and partial bills, that feature is no longer a deal breaker.
The only thing that’s constant with these two products is change, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the differences. Even though it may seem that Intuit is putting more resources toward QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop is still evolving and expanding features all the time.