When it comes to running an online store there are lots of behind the scenes tasks that help keep things running smoothly and efficiently.
So I wanted to give you a few ideas of what you could do to make the most of your business. I strongly believe in routines when it comes to your business. Routines can help you onboard and train new staff plus give you insights on what to tweak in order to make things better.
These tasks were helpful to me especially when I ran a brick and mortar store. A lot of this information can be easily transferable to an online store and business.
Review your sales
Each day sit down and review sales from the previous day. Look at your reports and see if there were any surprises or any indicators you need to keep an eye on.
For example, maybe your latest arrivals sold well. If that is the case think about what you may have done to help drive sales. Were you talking about it consistently on social? Did you email your newsletter readers with a clear call to action to purchase?
Or maybe you did a huge markdown but you haven’t seen the merchandise move as quickly as you like.
When reviewing your sales your looking for insights to help you make better business decisions.
Talk With Your Team
If you have a team, make sure everyone is up to date and on the same page as far as changes are concerned in the business. If you’ve kept notes throughout the previous week that you want to discuss, bring the topics to the team.
One thing I loved about having a team, is that each person would bring a fresh perspective to the table that I might not have considered.
When you have regular meetings it helps everyone involved feel closer to the goals you have set for your business.
Plan New Inventory or Arrivals
Having fresh merchandise will help people return more frequently to your store. Plus when you stay at the front of your inventory plan you can make sure your high sellers remain available. That’s why reviewing your inventory is vital to your business, each week plan any new inventory adjustments.
How often you do orders depends on how fast your merchandise moves. For example, when I did inventory orders I knew from previous sales how much to order at once. For the items that we went through quickly, I set aside a bigger budget to account for those items. I also wanted to make sure we had our supplies in case the vendors ran out. Sourcing for a new vendor at the last minute is not the most ideal.
Having fresh finds will also help your loyal customers continue to purchase from you. If you want to learn more about different customers and their journey read this post.
Another way you can keep track of inventory needs is to set up a task in your favorite project management system of what is getting low. Then when you sit down to do the order you can reference the list.
If it’s just you a whiteboard would probably be fine, I like having a digital option in case I suddenly remember standing in the checkout line.
Evaluate and Assess Your Customer Experience
Customers are your bread and butter and are very important. Reviewing your customer experience throughout the day is a must! When it comes to running an online store, because your customers are online, you have to approach things a bit differently.
Here are some things you can do to check your customer experience:
- Review your customer surveys, hopefully, you are asking customers about their shopping experience. Stay tuned I’ll be talking about surveys in a future post.
- Review your site heatmaps and if you aren’t sure what a heatmap is. It’s a technology that allows you to see what areas people are clicking the most often on your site.
- Review your social media comments – what are people saying about your brand.
Those are just some ways you can check in with your customers on their experience.
Going a bit deeper into customer experience and why it’s so important is because at the end of the day people remember what they experienced.
51% of customers said they would ditch a company after just one negative customer experience! – source
Unfortunately, not every business owner understands customer service and falls short. Even if they have an amazing product, if they’re customer service is trash, yep I said it. It’s going to cause them to lose amazing customers and money to someone else who treats them better.
So please always review your customer experience no matter how big or small take every situation as an important issue.
Train and Educate Your Team
Training your people on how to run and operate your brand is part of your business success. Reviewing where your team is when it comes to their knowledge and confidence not only empowers your brand but them as well.
Empowered training looks like:
- Training your team on product information.
- Allowing them to lead on certain topics so you can see how they understand things.
- Training your team on how to handle customer service concerns.
- Training your team on when to escalate a situation and stand back.
Unfortunately, we’ve all had at least one experience where an employee lacked training. Which probably resulted in frustrations and ultimately changing your perspective of the company.
Check-in with the finances
Reviewing your finances to make sure your money is making the right moves, is essential. Paying yourself and/or balancing payroll should be on the agenda each week. I like to assign days to check my finances to make sure things are looking the way they should. If they aren’t, I can correct it then so that I’m not waiting till the last minute to get it together.
I know for a fact I am not going to remember certain transactions 6 months from now. So me staring at my computer trying to understand where to account for money is not me “living my best life”.
Put your finance days on a calendar and just do it you’ll love your future self even more.
Plus if your team member forgot to include something they should have been paid for you can catch it early instead of down the line.
I don’t know about you but the only money surprises I like is getting more money.
When it comes to how often you perform these task it really depends on your business. If you are busy then, of course, you should be doing all these regularly.
Running an online store takes a lot of habit building and consistent action. Fortunately, once you have a routine that works for you down. You can then use that to help you grow and scale your online store.