There is a myth about entrepreneurship that still exists today, that those who dare to start their own businesses are simply risking capital for profit.
You may even have become familiarized with this myth years ago when world renowned author Michael Gerber released “The E-Myth” — a must read for any business owner.
30 years after his book was first released, the concept that in order to be successful you should “work on your business, not in it” is still as relevant as ever.
What does this mean?
Entrepreneurs are hard working folks, there’s no doubt about it. Let’s be honest, you can’t build a successful business by lazing around all day.
The problem however, comes when we feel like we need to be working 24/7 in order to get ahead. We subject ourselves to burn out, and ultimately end up giving up on many of our projects or spending time on tasks that don’t make a dent in our bottom lines.
It’s easy to get caught up in the little things…
Perfecting your branding:
- Your social media images need to be “just right”
- Spending hours scrolling through Creative Market searching for the perfect logo font
- Installing ALL THE PLUGINS
Monitoring your CRM:
- Checking your orders every half hour
- Following up with shipping 100x per day
- Wondering why your leads haven’t converted like you thought they would
Dwelling over your competitors:
- Their latest product offerings and pricing fluctuations
- Trying to keep up with their inventory amounts
- Trying to be one step ahead with your items
So what gives, how do I automate my eCommerce business and increase my sales?
When you’re ready to admit to yourself that you’re heading down a bottomless pit, come a little closer, I’ve got something to share with you…
The way you set your business up for long-term success is to stop sweating the small stuff and instead opting for a business model with increased AUTOMATION.
When you automate your repetitive daily processes and tasks, it leaves you and your team free to work on ways to fulfill orders, gather leads, and grow your business
- Invest In The Cloud For Inventory
Whether you sell on Amazon, Ebay, Woocommerce, brick and mortar, or all of the above, your inventory across each channel is important. It can quickly turn into a logistical nightmare if you’re managing each on separately on excel sheets.
Solving this problem starts with using a cloud-based inventory management program which helps you see at all times how much stock you have available on each platform, orders that need to be fulfilled, and notifications for when to reorder.
Your fulfilment team will be less caught up in checking on inventory since they will have 24/7 access to accurate data that will help them package orders and get them ready for shipping.
Recommended Cloud-Based Inventory Management Tools:
- Outsource Shipping
If you sell through Amazon FBA or have a monthly box service, chances are you’re already making use of this shipping method. Shipping fulfilment works by connecting the orders processed on your website to the fulfillment centre which then ships your products with your custom labels.
Although there are costs to consider with this option, the benefits make up for it, like location independence and more time to find new products to sell, and scale your customer base and business.
Recommended eCommerce Fulfillment Services:
- Reduce Your Cart Abandonment Rate
Did you know that in 2015 the average rate of cart abandonment was 68% and that a total of 4 trillion dollars in sales were LOST?
Cart abandonment occurs when someone comes onto your site, adds one or more items to their cart, then for some reason exits before completing their purchase.
Before, that may just have been counted as an unlucky loss, but with all the tools available to you to prevent cart abandonment… losing out on those sales is reckless at best because once someone buys from you, they’re 67% more likely to come back…
Recommended Cart Abandonment Tools:
- Granify (WordPress)
- Ghost Monitor (WordPress)
- EDD Sales Recovery (WordPress)
- Abandon Cart Saver (Bigcommerce)
- Shopify Abandon Carts Recovery
- Spy On Your Competitors… Smartly
Before you even got into selling via eCommerce, you did your research on your competitors. In order to stay ahead, it’s useful to keep up with spying on them.
What you may not know is that the very same tools you use to keep tabs on your business can also help you monitor your competitors’ web performance.
Recommended Competitor Research Tools:
- Finally Set Up Your Marketing and Sales Funnels
If you’ve done any research into online marketing in the past couple years, you’ll know that “funnels” are all the rage.
But what can they do for your eCommerce business? Instead of going for the sale right away, better practice is to warm your potential customer up to you, letting them get to know you before you even think of asking them to buy from you.
Think about this…
You wouldn’t react too well if you’re walking through a department store and now instead of just having to dodge the perfume spritzers you’re having to dodge a representative from each department shouting at you to “Buy these boots, buy this jacket, buy this scarf, buy these pants!”
When creating your marketing funnel, it’s important to keep in mind that you need to always stay relevant. The average shopper these days is smart enough not to simply fall for your “10% off your next order” popup. If they’re just in the browsing stage, they’re not ready to buy and will simply hit that little “x”
A few examples of different funnels you can create are for people who:
- Visit a few pages on your site but do NOT buy
- Add items to their cart but abandon
- Buy a product from your website
Recommended Sales Funnel Tools:
- Take Email Marketing Seriously
Sending once a week newsletters with your latest discounted products, flash sales, or hottest Instagram shots are a thing of the past! Sure, they used to work well, but not anymore.
Today’s customer expects that you know them like the back of your hand and only serve content that is beneficial to them. When you consider that in 2014 email marketing attributed to 25.1% of all online sales, it’s time to take this seriously.
Recommended Email Marketing Tools:
- Stay Consistent with Social Media
At any given time, only a percentage of your social media followers are online whether it be Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Because of this, posting about a new product or offer just once or twice can easily get lost in the social media chatter.
Instead, aim to get your message in front of as many of your followers as you can by making use of social media scheduling tools. This allows you to repost content such as deal announcements, links, and more at preselected times.
Recommended Social Media Automation Tools:
- Keep Your Books In Order
Probably one of the biggest tasks you’ll be thankful for automating is your accounting. Listen, I’m not saying accounting isn’t fun for some people, but for most… you know where I’m going with this…
So if you’re like me and hate number crunching and invoicing, there are many cloud-based programs that will keep you organised year around and leave you with more time to work on growing your business.
Recommended Cloud-Based Accounting Tools:
- Pay Attention To Your Data And Use It Wisely
It doesn’t matter how many fancy tools you use to automate your business if you’re not going to use the data that they generate. Yes, it may be scary if you’re new to eCommerce, but when running a business online, there’s no room for assumptions and losing money unnecessarily.
Data can be used for everything from creating your next product to tweaking your sales campaigns and everything in between. Essentially, data takes all the guesswork out of your business strategy and with so many tools available in order for you to collect the data you need, there is no excuse!
At Industry Compete We make all-in-one tools that allow us to learn about your business, then extract large volumes of publicly-accessible data relating to you and your competition. We cross-reference and analyze that information, and the result is easy-to-understand, monthly online reports you can use to gain the advantage and grow your market share.