Making your online marketplace business more efficient
When you’re just setting up your marketplace business, you can afford to spend time and energy on the day-to-day stuff. That includes handling transactions, picking and packing orders and dealing with customer queries. But as your business grows and the orders mount up, so too will the demands on your time and resources.
We look at the ways you can save time and money so you can expand your business.
Review what you do
It’s a good idea to regularly look at the way you do things. Take parcel despatch. In the early days of your business, you’ll probably wrap parcels yourself, take them down to the local Post Office® and stick on stamps.
That’s fine when you’re dealing with a few parcels a day. But when you’re dealing with lots, it’s a different story. Is sticking on hundreds of stamps really the best use of your time?
Fortunately, there are simple alternatives that could free you up to do other things. They could also save you money in the process.
For a start, you could have your parcels collected, either on a one-off or regular basis. So you’ll have no more last minute dashes to the Post Office®, and more time to concentrate on your business.
We get a collection every day at 5.45pm; it’s helped us a lot with our daily planning and time management.
Keeping customers happy
Customer satisfaction is a top priority. However, the time and effort – not to mention money – you spend on managing existing customers and maintaining services can stop you growing your business and reaching new customers.
But there are easy ways to free up resources without letting your standards slip. For example, as your business expands, it may become difficult for you to handle the returns process. If so, you could consider putting returns management in the hands of your delivery partner. They’re probably better equipped to deal with large volumes of returns. Given how much marketplace customers value a positive returns experience, this could prove vital to your business.
It’s all about sustainable growth
Saving time and money on day-to-day tasks means you can keep your existing customers satisfied. It also means you have the time and energy to plan ahead and expand your business. Consider new tools and services that will increase efficiency and help your business grow, without damaging your hard-earned seller ratings.
Make the most of online tools
There are a range of online tools that could be a real boon to your business. For example, services that let you buy and print postage from your home or office.
Click & Drop lets you import order details from your marketplace accounts – including eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Not on the High Street and more.
You can also pay and print postage without needing to enter customer details again. You then simply drop off your parcels at a local Post Office® branch or Royal Mail Customer Service Point.
The right online tools will make your business processes easier and more efficient, so take time to choose wisely. Think value for money and convenience.
Keep your data clean
Accurate, up-to-date data is absolutely vital. Data drives so many aspects of business, from transactions to communications to marketing. So, if you get it wrong, it costs.
For example, as a marketplace seller, if your customer data is inaccurate, you could end up with failed deliveries or errors in invoicing and payments. This will add costs to your operations and impact your cash flow. It could also damage your relationship with your customers. In a world where customer ratings and reviews play such a key role, that’s something you can’t afford.
The good news is a range of data services are available. These not only help you capture accurate customer data, but also clean and maintain your data on a regular basis. Some of these services don’t come cheap but they could save you huge amounts of time, money, and customer goodwill.