Written by: Kevin Gardner
Running your own company takes a lot of hard work and determination. While it promises immense rewards, you’ll have to keep your eye on the prize until you earn it. There are numerous challenges awaiting business owners, and this has only been compounded thanks to the recent surge of e-commerce. These are the tips that will help you bring your business in the digital age with e-commerce functionality.
Supply Chain Management
The most important part of any retail company is its supply chain. Businesses of all kinds need supplies of all shapes and sizes, but the retail business model revolves around the supply chain. This is because businesses don’t regularly manufacture their own goods and have to get them from distributors or manufacturers. Distributors like CORSIA provide the service of transporting goods from manufacturers to retailers, and they tend to do so at a markup.
That markup is justified by value added to the products, and that means that skipping distribution can save you some money. However, doing so means giving up the superior quality typically offered by distributors. Wholesalers are essentially a special kind of distributor. They buy products from manufacturers and sell them to retailers in bulk. That makes wholesalers a great fit for businesses that intend to meet serious demand or to carry on the pattern of selling in bulk. Bulk buying typically comes at a slight discount, meaning that wholesalers and bulk retailers can save a ton of money in the long run.
Managing your supply is one of many facets of your company that can be simplified and expedited through the use of organizational software. There are many apps that can help to simplify the complexities of certain clerical tasks, and these pieces of software have become instrumental in the modern smart office. Smart offices use IoT technology such as these apps in order to create a more productive, more automated work space.
This is accomplished by connecting various devices and apps to a business’s wifi network and, from there, to each other. This enables the remote viewing and remote control of various systems, leading to a reduction of menial labor and an increase in workflow. That automation that the smart office has to offer is an essential part of modern retail, especially when it’s online retail, because it allows customers to engage with businesses around the clock without the need for 24/7 service.
Social Media Marketing
While social media’s online nature makes it a perfect fit for e-commerce in particularly, social media marketing has become the new normal. This is due in large part to the dwindling viewership of TV and radio and the simultaneous increase in the use of streaming services and other online outlets for entertainment. It makes sense than online media would get more attention in an increasingly digital world, but social media provides additional advantages to businesses.
While social media platforms offer paid advertising like more traditional marketing outlets, it also provides a variety of important engagement metrics that can supplement your existing market research and, in doing so, guide your business plan and marketing strategy moving forward. The emerging practice of sentiment analysis can glean even more information from social media by employing AI to scan social media posts that mention a given business en masse, providing the most complete, most honest form of customer feedback possible.
As your business becomes more and more online, the risk of encountering cyber attacks likewise inflates. That means that e-commerce companies have an increased need for cybersecurity to protect themselves and their customers. Investing in the expertise of a cybersecurity consultant is a great place to start, because cybersecurity is a complex field that requires immense skill and knowledge. More importantly, it also requires an intricate web of various pieces of software and some professional operators in order to achieve comprehensive coverage. It’s worth noting that your company’s website and app are particularly vulnerable areas in need of protection, but technology has the answers you need for these problems.