6 Challenges to Conquer Ecommerce Operational Efficiency as You Grow

Ecommerce Operational Efficiency

This post is by Sam Moses, CEO of RetailOps. RetailOps is an all-in-one warehouse management system for small to medium-sized businesses. Their web-based platform is built to scale and work with the processes of how ecommerce businesses operate.

A few years ago you had faith in your idea, took the plunge and started your online retail company. Now you’re seeing all that passion, drive and hard work pay dividends – your business has taken off! It’s a wonderful feeling, and well worth basking in. Go on, I’ll wait.

However, as great as this growth feels, sustaining this trajectory as a seven, eight, and nine-figure operation poses added challenges. Once you’ve identified your niche and know your customer, scaling your business operations can prove overwhelming – especially when success happens so quickly.

The challenges of warehouse and fulfillment management at scale can be huge – but not so big that they can’t be comfortably managed. As well as some everyday methodical tweaks, effective warehouse management software (WMS) exists to help you crush your problems and ease those challenges, allowing you to take charge of your growing business.

Let’s see how:

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Private Label Roundup: Sourcing, Trends, Trademarks and Compliance

Private Labeling Roundup

Private labeling is where sellers source generic items, usually from China, then add their own branding to create a whole new product.

It’s a hugely popular strategy for Amazon sellers, because it creates their own unique product listing and avoids direct competition. But it’s also surrounded by a bubble of hype and misunderstanding.

Over the past year we’ve worked to demystify private labeling, raise understanding, and let out a little of that hot air!

Here’s a roundup of our private labeling-focused blog posts. It’s also worth checking out our blog posts on Amazon and Sourcing, which are often relevant to private label sellers.

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Amazon Making Sellers Squeal on Product Review Abusers

Amazon Product Review Abuse

This post is by Chris McCabe, a former Amazonian and founder of ecommerceChris.com. For Amazon sellers, having their merchant account suspended means losing time and money trying to get back in business. ecommerceChris shows sellers how to keep their accounts healthy, or, if the worst should happen, how to get their account back from a suspension.

Helpful product reviews written by Amazon customers have been at the heart of the Amazon marketplace from the beginning. Amazon has no interest in seeing their well-established product review system falling by the wayside.

An Amazon spokesperson said:

Our goal is to eliminate the incentives for sellers to engage in review abuse and shut down this ecosystem around fraudulent reviews in exchange for compensation.

Some sellers have tried to take advantage Amazon’s previously inconsistent scrutiny of product review abuse. But now they’re cracking down. In 2016, I’ve seen sellers warned or suspended for:

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Private Label Product Liability: Don’t Get Burnt Importing from China!

This post is by online business expert Matt Thomas. Since 1999, Matt has had many online business ventures of his own, alongside client consulting and project management projects. This post was originally published on Insider Secrets as Amazon FBA Seller Liability: The Dangers of Importing and Reselling Products from China. This isn’t legal advice – Matt is not a lawyer!

A profitable online business that’s growing in popularity is importing custom manufactured products from China and selling them through the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program.

One big advantage of sourcing your own product from China is the ability to be unique. While the competition is selling the same products as everyone else, importing a product from China and making it your own by private labeling means you’re the only supplier. If that product is in high demand, being the sole supplier can be a very profitable position.

The gurus hawking FBA as the ultimate risk-free path to riches make it sound easy to turn all your ideas into successful products. One post I read advised to take your idea and head straight to Alibaba.com, a site where Chinese manufacturers and middlemen advertise the products they’re capable of producing. The post encouraged you to custom manufacture 1,000 units of the product and ship them direct to Amazon’s warehouse and, from there, sell them on Amazon at fantastic margins. The perfect online business, they say!

Until one of your products burns someone’s house down – as happened in the recent spate of hoverboard fires – or a child gets hurt.

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Exploit Your Ecommerce Data to Unlock New Business Growth

Exploit Your Data

This post is by Matthew Ferguson, Customer Success Manager at Volo, a provider of technology and services to some of the world’s largest marketplace sellers. Matthew worked as an ecommerce manager in Florida for six years, before moving into a marketplace services role in London.

A little while back we were working with a big retail chain, and they were thinking about pulling the plug on Amazon and eBay. They were putting more and more work into it, and their listing count had grown but sales were down. They were frustrated and ready to completely write off selling through marketplaces.

But they hadn’t dug into their data. When we ran some quick comparisons, we found that none of their key products had been restocked. Their best sellers across several brands hadn’t been reordered over a two-year stretch. Then we saw that their product prices were getting lower but their shipping rates were up. Overall they were less competitive than they had been two years before.

How on earth did they miss such simple things? Well, when you have a large sales volume and/or a team of people working in the business, you don’t “just know” that kind of information. You have to go looking for it. But when you do routinely examine your data, those things are really easy to spot.

But using data isn’t just a matter of regularly comparing sales figures, it goes much further than that. To put it frankly, data is make or break for ecommerce businesses. It can uncover problems, optimize current sales and guide you down new paths. That’s when you really start unlocking its power.

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