In the world of E-commerce, shipping labels might not be the most glamorous topic to discuss, but they are an essential component of any online business. Despite this, many E-commerce owners tend to overlook the importance of shipping labels, which can cause significant issues for both themselves and their customers.
Creating and managing shipping labels play a critical role in ensuring that packages are delivered accurately and on time. Without proper shipping labels, packages can easily get lost, delayed, or delivered to the wrong address, leading to unhappy customers and additional costs for business owners.
In this beginner’s guide to creating shipping labels, we’ll explore the importance of shipping labels, their components, and the best practices to follow. Read along!
What is a Shipping Label?
A shipping label is a piece of documentation that carries key information about a package, such as a recipient’s information, sender’s information, tracking number, etc. It serves as a way for the carriers to identify and route the package to its intended destination. A shipping label is also sometimes referred to as a package label.
How does the shipping label work?
Every organisation uses a specific template for its shipping labels. After printing the shipping label, it is affixed to the outside of the package. These labels are scanned at the source, destination, and intermediate facilities, thus offering real-time tracking information of the package’s location and delivery status. Also, each label is unique, and one cannot reuse them.
Components of shipping label explained
A shipping label includes a variety of critical components that provide valuable information about the package. Let’s take a closer look at all these key components and why they are important.
The name and full address of the person or business who sends the package. This information helps the carriers to reach out to someone in case of any issues with the shipment or delivery.
The name and full address of the person who will receive the package. This information ensures that the carriers deliver the package to the right person.
The weight of the product in kilograms or grams. It helps the carriers determine how to handle the package at each stage of the shipping process. For instance, if a package is very heavy, it may require special handling or equipment to load and unload it from the truck or airplane.
Special handling information
This includes instructions such as “fragile” or “handle with care.” This is to ensure that the package is treated appropriately during transit and there is no damage to the product.
Routing and tracking number
These unique identifiers help in tracking the package throughout the shipping process, right from the point of origin to the final destination.
This is applicable only if the package is being shipped internationally. It may include the contents of the package, the value of the contents, and any other necessary customs documentation. This information ensures that the package clears customs quickly and easily.
Here is an example of a shipping label –
Different types of shipping label
Different types of packages need different types of labels. Here are some of the commonly used types of shipping labels -.
As the name suggests, these labels contain an arrow indicating the correct orientation of products during transit. Orders containing electronic items and hazardous materials use these kinds of labels.
These labels indicate that the entire content of the package is delicate and should be handled very carefully. The word “Fragile” is often written in bold and in large font with bright background for easy readability.
They are used for packages that contain flammable, corrosive, explosive, or poisonous products. These labels are extremely important to avoid any risk to life and property while handling the package. They are also printed in bright colors and have bold text.
International shipping label
Such labels are specifically designed for packages that will cross international borders. They contain important information required by customs officials and shipping carriers in different countries. It always includes the sender’s and recipient’s addresses, the weight of the package, the contents of the package, any customs declarations, and special instructions or warnings for handling the package.
How to Create a Shipping Label
There are two common ways to create a shipping label,
Creating Shipping Labels Through a Carrier
Most shipping carriers like DHL, UPS, FedEx, and USPS have software to create shipping labels. These in-house tools come with ready-made templates that fit their specific label requirements. All you need to do is enter the necessary shipping information, download the label, and print it at your home or office. You can then attach it to the package and drop it off at the carrier location or schedule a pickup. However, this is not the best method in terms of efficiency and cost, especially if you handle hundreds of orders daily.
Creating Shipping Labels Through Software Solutions
You can use specialized software designed explicitly for creating labels. These programs can be installed and integrated with your E-commerce platform, helping you automate shipping. For instance, it can directly connect with your E-commerce store, retrieve every order information from the database, and automatically create the label. This is the more efficient and cost-effective method if you are shipping large volumes of packages.
Shipping Label Best Practices To Follow
Here are 3 special tips you can follow while managing shipping labels for your E-commerce business –
1. Special Instructions
No amount of bubble wrap can protect your package if it is not handled properly during transit. And that’s why it is very important to mention special instructions such as “Fragile,” “Flammable,” “This side up,” etc., on your shipping labels. Adding these special requirements will ensure that your package arrives at your customer’s doorstep in perfect condition.
2. Label Placement
You should always place the label on the top of the package, preferably near the center. This makes it easy for carriers to scan the package. It also ensures that the label is easily visible throughout the shipping process – very important if there is a “This Side Up” or “Fragile” instruction. Also, make sure that the label is not folded over any edges and is affixed securely. This will make sure that it is not covering any important information, such as the recipient’s address.
3. Packing Slips
Make sure your order includes a packing slip, also known as “waybill”. A packing slip typically contains information such as the customer’s address, order date, order number, product details, quantity, customer service number, etc. This is usually placed inside the package or outside in a plastic wallet. A packing slip also sometimes serves as the receipt for the customer. This will help ensure that the recipient receives everything they were expecting and that they have a record of the items that were shipped.
Use Third Party logistic services to streamline the shipping process
As you have seen in this post, creating and managing shipping labels is a time-consuming task. It requires attention to detail, as well as an understanding of shipping carriers and their unique label requirements. Not to mention the added pressure of ensuring that packages are delivered on time and in good condition.
A prepaid shipping label is a label that has already been paid for by the sender, which means that the recipient does not have to pay for shipping. E-commerce businesses offering free shipping use prepaid shipping labels.
Can I print a shipping label at home?
Yes, you can print a shipping label at home. You just need access to a printer, label sheets, and dedicated software for creating labels.
Can I handwrite a shipping label?
Yes, you can handwrite a shipping label, but it is generally not recommended. Handwritten shipping labels can be difficult to read, which can result in delivery delays or even lost packages. You would still need to have barcode labels for tracking.
How much does it cost to get a shipping label?
The cost to print a shipping label can vary depending on the mode you use to create labels. Using softwares to print labels is usually cheaper than getting shipping labels from courier service providers.
Do shipping labels expire?
Expiry policies for shipping labels can vary depending on the shipping carrier. Most shipping carriers have an expiry date of anywhere between 2 weeks to 1 year for the labels generated through their software.
Are there size requirements for shipping labels?
Yes, there are size requirements for shipping labels, and they can vary depending on the shipping carrier. Generally, shipping labels must be large enough to accommodate all of the necessary information, including the shipping address, return address, tracking barcode, and any other required information.
Where should I put a shipping label on a package or box?
Place the label in a location that is visible and easy to scan. It is generally recommended to place the label on the largest flat surface of the package, such as the top or one of the sides. The label should be placed so that it is not obstructed by any seams, flaps, or edges and is positioned straight and flat.
If the package is a box, the shipping label should be placed on the same side as the opening or flaps of the box. This ensures that the label is visible when the package is opened and scanned during the shipping process.
The holistic E-commerce process involves more than just making a sale— it includes everything, from product development to marketing, operations, fulfillment, and more.
But do you know what’s the most challenging of them all— Order Fulfillment.
The reason is that as an E-commerce store, you need to be careful about inventory management and fulfilling the orders in time without compromising the quality.
Failing to do that can hamper your business profitability significantly.
In fact, if an order fails to reach its destination within two days of the estimated delivery date, 69% of shoppers are likely to avoid shopping from that retailer. This is why meeting and exceeding customer expectations is crucial.
And in this article, we’ll cover everything about E-commerce fulfillment services. Starting with the definition.
What is E-Commerce Fulfillment?
E-commerce fulfillment is the end-to-end process of fulfilling an online order. It involves managing inventory, picking products from the warehouse, packaging them securely, and shipping them out on time to the customer’s specified destination.
Here are the steps of E-commerce order fulfillment:
Types Of E-commerce Order Fulfillment Models
Here are the types of E-commerce order fulfillment methods that you can choose from-
In-house order fulfillment
Assuming the responsibility of E-commerce fulfillment in-house can be a wise decision in some cases. By managing the process in-house, brands can earn a higher profit margin on each sale and maintain complete authority over the process. However, it requires substantial initial investment and recurring expenses.
Even though managing the fulfillment process by yourself will provide you with better control over the process and quality, it can be complex and tiresome as the business grows and orders increase. Here are some reasons to avoid maintaining order fulfillment by yourself,
High upfront costs: In-house e-commerce fulfillment requires a significant initial investment in equipment, software, and personnel, which can be a barrier for smaller businesses.
Increased workload: Managing the entire fulfillment process in-house can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, potentially detracting from other important aspects of the business.
Logistics complexity: Managing the logistics of e-commerce fulfillment requires expertise and knowledge that not all businesses may possess.
Risk of errors: With in-house e-commerce fulfillment, there is an increased risk of errors such as shipping delays, incorrect orders, and inventory management mistakes, which can result in negative customer experiences and damage the business’s reputation.
Under the third-party fulfillment model, E-commerce brands delegate the responsibility of inventory storage and transportation to a third-party provider. While the business retains control over the product quality, the expenses associated with shipping and handling are passed on to the external vendor.
When you opt for a third-party fulfillment model, you get the following benefits:
Reduced upfront costs: Outsourcing E-commerce fulfillment can save businesses a significant amount of money by eliminating the need to invest in equipment, software, and personnel required for managing the fulfillment process in-house.
Access to expertise: Third-party providers specialize in E-commerce fulfillment, which means that they have the necessary knowledge, expertise, and resources to handle the entire process efficiently and effectively.
Scalability: As the business grows and order volume increases, third-party providers can easily scale up their operations to accommodate the growing demand without requiring additional investment from the business.
Streamlined logistics: Third-party providers typically have established networks of warehouses and distribution centers, which can help reduce shipping costs and streamline the logistics of e-commerce fulfillment.
Time-saving: By outsourcing e-commerce fulfillment, businesses can focus on other critical aspects of the business, such as product development, marketing, and customer service, which can help drive growth and profitability.
Lower risk of errors: Third-party providers are experienced in managing the e-commerce fulfillment process, which can help reduce the risk of errors such as shipping delays, incorrect orders, and inventory management mistakes, resulting in a better customer experience.
However, just like any other model, there are a few disadvantages to this too. Here are some of the difficulties you might face while working with a 3PL service provider:
Communication challenges: Coordination between the business and the third-party provider can be challenging, particularly if the business requires real-time updates on order status, inventory levels, and delivery tracking.
Dependency: Outsourcing E-commerce fulfillment can create a dependency on the third-party provider, making it difficult for the business to switch providers or bring the fulfillment process back in-house if necessary.
Additional costs: While outsourcing E-commerce fulfillment can save on upfront costs, businesses must pay for the services provided by the third-party provider, which can add up to a significant expense over time.
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method in which a store doesn’t keep the products they sell in stock. Instead, the store acquires the product from a third party and arranges for it to be shipped directly to the customer. Consequently, the seller is not responsible for handling the product directly.
This method is often adopted by startups and small businesses seeking to sell products without incurring substantial upfront costs. It is easy to start and has low overhead costs, although profit margins are generally lower due to the additional costs of working with a third-party supplier.
Why do you need an e-commerce fulfillment service provider?
If you are contemplating partnering with a third-party E-commerce fulfillment service provider, here are a few reasons for you:
You don’t have the fulfillment expertise in-house
Managing inbound and outbound logistics can be challenging, and running an E-commerce business requires managing multiple interconnected processes. From managing orders and inventory to preparing for peak seasons, fulfillment companies have the expertise to handle it all.
A single fulfillment center can handle operations for numerous E-commerce businesses and ship millions of orders regularly. This extensive experience and high volume make them valuable strategic partners.
Moreover, fulfillment companies can help E-commerce businesses achieve greater efficiencies in various areas, such as negotiating lower shipping rates with carriers and strategically placing their inventory to reduce delivery time and costs.
You aren’t prepared to handle larger volumes during peak seasons
For many E-commerce businesses, demand can fluctuate greatly throughout the year, with peak seasons often resulting in a surge of orders that can be difficult to manage.
Fulfillment providers have the capacity and expertise to handle these fluctuations, ensuring that businesses can meet customer demand without having to worry about the added complexities of managing inventory and fulfillment operations during busy times. They can scale their operations up or down depending on demand, making it easier for businesses to manage inventory levels and avoid stockouts.
You can’t compete with Flipkart & Amazon in fast delivery
Amazon has already set a standard for a fast and reliable delivery time, and keeping up with this standard is a huge challenge for small businesses.
Today’s customers are busy and look for instant solutions. They don’t want to wait for days just to receive their orders. This is why most fulfillment partners have strategically placed fulfillment centers around the country, which can help businesses make faster delivery at lower shipping costs.
You are not using the right technology
Another advantage of using an E-commerce fulfillment service provider is that they have access to advanced technologies and systems that may not be available to individual businesses. These technologies can be used to streamline the fulfillment process, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency.
For example, fulfillment providers use warehouse management systems (WMS) to keep track of inventory. WMS can help manage inventory levels, process orders automatically, and reduce errors caused by manual data entry. Making managing a warehouse much easier and more efficient.
You’re unable to focus on strategic tasks
Using an E-commerce fulfillment service provider can free up time and resources for businesses to focus on more strategic tasks, such as product enhancement, marketing, and customer service.
For example, a business focusing more on product development can launch new products to the market more quickly, leading to increased revenue and market share. Similarly, a business investing more in marketing activities can drive greater awareness and demand for its products, leading to increased sales.
What to Look For When Choosing an E-commerce Fulfillment Service?
Now that you understand the benefits of having an E-commerce fulfillment service, you should also be able to pick the right one. There are several fulfillment services available in the market, but choosing the wrong one can negatively affect your business and revenue. To pick the right one, here are a few key points that you need to keep in mind-
Location of the fulfillment center
Customers expect speedy shipping, and the proximity of the fulfillment center to the customer is a crucial factor in achieving this. The closer the warehouse is to the end customer, the shorter the distance the products have to travel, resulting in faster deliveries.
When selecting a fulfillment partner, it is essential to consider the location of their fulfillment warehouses. Identify areas from where you are getting maximum orders and ensure that your fulfillment partner has warehouses in those locations.
Additionally, if your business operates globally, it is vital to confirm that the fulfillment company offers global shipping before partnering with them.
Shipping speed/ Speed of delivery
With the arrival of Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery speeds, fast shipping has become the norm, and customers now expect faster delivery than ever before. And if you don’t stand on this expectation, you may start losing money in no time.
This is where a fulfillment partner comes handy.
A good fulfillment company should have streamlined and effective fulfillment processes that ensure quick delivery to customers.
Features of order fulfillment software
As an E-commerce business owner, you already have a lot on your plate, with various digital tools, applications, and platforms to manage. The last thing you need is to add another software that is slow, disorganized, and difficult to navigate. That’s why it’s crucial to research not only the fulfillment company but also the order fulfillment software they use.
Different fulfillment companies use different order fulfillment software, each with its own features and capabilities. It’s essential to understand your business needs and goals and select a fulfillment partner whose software aligns with them. Additionally, you want to ensure that the order fulfillment software is easy to implement and use daily, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors.
Although fulfillment companies aim for perfection, errors can occur during fulfillment and shipping, such as damaged, lost, or stolen packages. However, the support provided by the fulfillment company during these situations can significantly impact the customer experience.
Fulfillment companies offer various tools and guidance to help E-commerce businesses and depending on the order volume, a dedicated account manager or a team can support the business. Transparency and visibility into the fulfillment company’s performance should also be expected.
Branding & packaging options
With the vast number of E-commerce businesses in competition, it’s crucial to stand out and make a lasting impression on customers. Sending generic brown boxes won’t do the trick anymore. This is where branding options from an order fulfillment company can make all the difference in building a strong brand and generating buzz for your business.
Personalization is key to engaging modern consumers, and a custom-tailored and exciting user experience can create loyal customers who return to your business. Neglecting branding potential when selecting a fulfillment partner can be detrimental to your user experience, especially when 89% of digital businesses invest in personalization and 51% of digital marketers prioritize it as their top goal. So, choosing a fulfillment company with branding options can help create a positive, memorable experience for your customers and drive business growth.
It’s crucial for a fulfillment center to not only ship products, but also provide returns management, as approximately 30% of online orders are returned. While some returns are unavoidable, a reliable fulfillment company should work with you to reduce controllable returns through better forward logistics.
Additionally, your fulfillment partner should offer software that enables you to identify “serial returners,” customers who frequently make purchases only to return them. By identifying these customers, you can adjust your marketing strategies to prevent unnecessary returns. For instance, you may choose not to send promotional emails to these customers during sales or email them after the purchase with positive reviews from satisfied customers to increase their confidence in their purchases. A fulfillment company that helps you reduce controllable returns and identify serial returners can significantly benefit your business by improving the customer experience and reducing costs.
Evaluating order fulfillment services: 14 questions to ask
As the owner of an E-commerce fulfillment center, it’s important to choose the right e-commerce fulfillment service provider that meets your business’s needs. However, it can be difficult to know where to begin or what questions to ask. Here are some key questions to ask while evaluating fulfillment service provider for your business:
Picking And Packing Questions
What kind of products do you ship?
If your products are bulky or weighty, choosing a fulfillment service provider specializing in handling such items is crucial. They will offer you the most appropriate guidance on how to pack and ship your products with utmost care. Conversely, a fulfillment center that predominantly handles large items may not be ideal for smaller products, delicate merchandise, or hazardous materials. Selecting a fulfillment center that caters to your product type is prudent, as this can significantly lower your packaging and shipping costs.
What value-added services do you offer?
Having a warehouse that offers kitting services can be a valuable addition to your E-commerce business. Fulfillment services for E-commerce can involve customized labeling or just-in-time assembly to enhance the value of your merchandise.
What are your customer service practices?
It’s important to ensure that the fulfillment service partner has efficient systems in place to promptly address customer inquiries.
Fulfillment Cost Questions
What is the charge for setting up accounts and integrating sales platforms?
It’s crucial to inquire about all fees associated with your account from start to finish. Concealed fees can transform an initially reasonable quote for fulfillment services into an expense that could harm your business.
Who pays for fulfillment mistakes?
Does the fulfillment center provide any guarantees in case of incorrect packing or shipping of an order? Do they waive fulfillment and shipping fees in the event of an error? Such a guarantee is a good indicator of a high-quality e-fulfillment provider.
What is your policy on inventory shrinkage (loss of products from warehouse)?
Beforehand, determine the shrinkage allowance. A first-rate E-commerce fulfillment warehouse will offer an inventory guarantee, shielding you from expenses related to inventory shrinkage and damage.
Shipping Cost Questions
Do you offer shipping discounts?
As most fulfillment service providers are volume shippers, they may be eligible for reduced shipping rates from freight companies. Make sure that you are receiving the benefit of such discounts.
Do you offer international shipping?
While you may currently sell exclusively to domestic customers, why restrict your future prospects? The E-commerce industry has vast potential for global sales. Opt for an e-fulfillment provider that can assist you in elevating your online store to the next level.
What is your system for shipment tracking?
Ensure shipment notifications are sent directly to both you and your customers and contain tracking numbers. This will allow you and your customers to monitor the shipment and address any issues that may arise.
How fast can you ship my orders?
Inquire about the fulfillment provider’s ability to deliver to at least 70% of the country within two days or less. Additionally, ask about the order turnaround time, such as whether they can ship orders received by a specific cutoff time on the same day.
Questions Related To Maintenance & Technology
Does your warehouse have backup power?
Customers in other regions anticipate their orders to be delivered on schedule, regardless of your fulfillment center’s circumstances. They are unconcerned about any blizzards or power outages. It’s important to inquire about the last time the fulfillment center tested their backup systems. A generator that is not functional will not be beneficial when faced with severe weather conditions.
What inventory management and inventory control services do you offer?
To prevent inventory shrinkage, seek out a fulfillment center that offers real-time inventory management. This method is more precise than periodic spot-check inventories.
Do you have ISP backups in place?
Although the power may be functioning, an internet outage can render a warehouse inoperable. Without the transmission of orders from your E-commerce sales channels, orders cannot be shipped. It’s crucial to ensure that your E-fulfillment service provider employs multiple ISPs, guaranteeing uninterrupted internet service.
What are your security procedures?
This pertains to both internet security and the protection of your merchandise. Determine the controls that the fulfillment service provider implements for access to sensitive and confidential information. They should also perform employee background checks and utilize security cameras to deter theft.
Experience the best fulfillment service with ANS Commerce
Spread across pan India, we provide fully equipped storage facilities with cutting-edge warehouse management systems (WMS) and order fulfillment capabilities: pick, pack, dispatch, and return management.
Have you ever ordered something online and been blown away by how quickly it arrived at your doorstep? That’s the power of immaculate E-commerce warehousing!
Without reliable warehouse logistics support, even the most innovative E-commerce businesses would struggle to keep up with customer demand. In this post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of E-commerce warehousing and how it can help you take your business to the next level. Read along!
What Is E-commerce Warehousing?
E-commerce warehousing is the process of storing and managing goods before they are sold online. Effective E-commerce warehousing ensures that the products are safely stored and accurately delivered to customers on time. It also involves keeping track of where the items are located, how long they’ve been in storage, and how much inventory is available at any given time.
What Does E-commerce Warehousing Management Consist Of?
If you are managing E-commerce warehousing yourself and have not partnered with third-party services, these are some of the activities you might have to handle on a day-to-day basis:
Training and management of warehouse staff
Maintain strong relationships with logistics handlers
Forecasting inventory and shipping volume
Obtain all the necessary certifications and licenses to operate
Ensure that your warehouse is adhering to local safety regulations
Recording incoming and outgoing shipments
And, of course, you need to keep the products secure and ensure that delivery is happening on time.
What Are The Types Of E-commerce Warehouses?
E-commerce businesses can choose from several types of E-commerce warehouses depending on their specific needs and requirements. Here are some of them:
Private warehouses are owned by large businesses, wholesalers, and online marketplaces to handle their own inventory needs. As a result, these warehouses are highly customized and tailored to their needs. For instance, if the business sells perishable goods, the warehouse will be equipped with a cold storage facility. Warehouses owned by Amazon and Flipkart are prime examples of private warehouses.
Public warehouses are owned by government agencies. They are less advanced and well-equipped than private warehouses and may have limited facilities to store your goods. Government agencies rent these warehouses at highly affordable rates. Due to their minimal functionalities, they are only suitable for short-term storage requirements and ideal for sprouting startups.
These E-commerce fulfillment warehouses collect goods from multiple suppliers, group them into larger shipments, and then deliver them to different destinations within the same city or area. They act as both the collection center and distribution centers for brands.
As businesses are sharing transportation but get their own storage space, it is an economical solution for small and medium businesses with limited inventory.
Bonded warehouses are managed by customs authorities, providing storage facilities for imported goods before the business pays the customs duties & taxes.
It is common knowledge that a business that imports goods must pay import duties immediately after delivery. However, a bonded warehouse bypasses this rule by letting the business owners pay when they take the goods out of the warehouse.
P.S: Some interesting facts: the name “bond” comes from the customs authorities issuing the businesses a “bond” when they begin to rent the warehouse.
Smart warehouses use state-of-the-art technologies like artificial intelligence, drones, robotic arms, and automated vehicles to manage everyday warehousing operations. Because of the automation offered by these cutting-edge technologies, these E-commerce warehouses are highly efficient but equally expensive.
Cooperative warehouses are owned by multiple businesses from the same industry or selling similar products. They share the warehouse because they have similar storage needs. Cooperative warehouses are almost like private warehouses, except that multiple businesses own these warehouses.
Members of cooperative warehouses pay a small fee for using this facility, while non-members shell out more.
Better than the traditional warehouse, E-commerce fulfillment centers are designed to not just receive and store your inventory but to pick, pack, and ship orders to your customers too.
E-commerce businesses often use fulfillment centers by outsourcing their order fulfillment to third-party logistics (3PL) providers like Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) services.
Don’t Let These Factors Stop You From Outsourcing E-commerce Warehousing
Most emerging D2C businesses, despite the benefits of warehousing, do not consider outsourcing their warehousing and distribution. Don’t let the below factors stop you from outsourcing your warehousing process:
1. Your business operates from home
If you are operating from home due to the convenience it offers, it is natural to feel apprehensive about outsourcing your E-commerce warehousing. What if the outsourcing partner asks you to move out to a larger location? What if your staff can’t commute to the new warehouse? What if you have to give up some of the control you had over your business? Such questions are inevitable.
We have good news for you. By outsourcing your E-commerce warehousing, you can still operate from home without losing any control over your business. In fact, the outsourcing provider will only handle the redundant and manual tasks involved in warehousing and storage, allowing you to focus on more strategic and mission-critical aspects of your business.
2. You feel you’re too small to outsource
There is a common misconception that outsourcing is only for large businesses. This is plain wrong. In fact, small businesses have more to gain from outsourcing than large enterprises because they get instant access to expertise and technology that large enterprises would have waited for several years to build.
Also, outsourcing your E-commerce warehousing can help reduce your business risks – you don’t have to worry about the liabilities associated with managing your own warehouse anymore. It will be taken care of by the service provider.
3. You think it is a huge investment
E-commerce warehousing might seem like a huge investment, but it turns out to be quite cost-effective in the long run. For instance, when you outsource, you don’t have to worry about purchasing and maintaining equipment, hiring and training staff, or managing inventory. Instead, you pay the provider a fixed cost, which is way more affordable than managing everything in-house. Additionally, outsourcing allows you to scale up or down your demands, so you can adjust costs based on your business needs.
Benefits Of Using Warehousing Services
Regardless of your scale of business, using E-commerce warehousing services have many benefits:
1. Faster shipping
We are living in the era of 10-minute delivery. So consumers naturally expect all their orders to reach quickly (if not in minutes!). To reduce delivery times and improve customer satisfaction, you can use warehousing services that can expedite your picking, packing, and shipping process. Also, it gives you an opportunity to store your goods in multiple warehouses. This ensures that your inventory is always close to your customers and can be delivered quickly.
2. Better inventory management
Warehousing services can improve the accuracy of your inventory monitoring process and prevent the loss of items. Most warehousing service providers offer advanced inventory tracking and management systems, which let you keep track of your stock levels, monitor product performance, and identify trends and patterns in customer demand. It will help optimize procurement, reduce wastage, and avoid stock-outs or overstocking.
3. Less stress
Managing a warehouse comes with a lot of baggage. You need to monitor the A-Z of your inventory without errors and ensure no delays. Doing this daily can be tiresome. Third-party E-commerce warehousing services take a considerable chunk of these responsibilities off your plate. They have the means and experience required for inventory management.
4. Time savings
For E-commerce business owners, time is money. By freeing up your time for day-to-day supply chain management and analysis, you can better concentrate on business-critical operations.
What Happens Without E-commerce Warehouse Management?
Without a proper warehouse management system in place, E-commerce businesses can face a lot of operational issues that can negatively impact their reputation and sales. Here are some of the consequences of not adopting effective E-commerce warehouse management:
1. Inventory gets lost
Without investing in E-commerce warehouse management, you may find it challenging to keep track of your inventory. As a result, there are high chances of losing, misplacing, or having products expire, especially when dealing with an extensive catalog.
2. Wrong inventory gets shipped
Without proper processes in place, there are high chances of manual errors creeping into your warehouse operations. You may end up shipping the wrong products to the customers, which can result in dissatisfaction, returns, and additional costs for your business. Even worse, it can damage your reputation and drive your loyal customers away.
3. Stock-outs or over-purchasing inventory
By not adopting E-commerce warehouse management, you will never know how much inventory you should have on hand. This can result in early (and unexpected) stockouts or over-purchasing of inventory. Stockouts can lead to lost sales, while over-purchasing can lead to outdated inventory that you can no longer sell. Not to forget the additional cost of management.
How 3PL services can help you with warehouse management
Outsourcing your warehouse management to third-party logistics (3PL) providers let you enjoy benefits like improved efficiency, better scalability, and reduced costs. Here are some other ways in which 3PL services can benefit you:
Ship easily on major marketplaces
Many 3PLs offer direct integrations with major marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Nykaa etc. By partnering with such providers, you can seamlessly fulfill all your orders and manage inventory across multiple sales channels from one centralized location.
Customers hate to be in the dark when it comes to their orders. They want to be in the loop from the moment they place an order till the time it arrives on their doorstep. This is made possible through 3PL providers, who provide advanced order tracking systems. It enables the end users to monitor their order progress in real-time, resulting in customer satisfaction. As an E-commerce business owner, that’s one key responsibility you don’t have to worry about.
Just like order tracking systems, most 3PL providers offer sophisticated inventory management systems that let you optimize your inventory levels. Apart from the real-time status of your inventory, these systems monitor trends and historical patterns, helping you predict demand and build stocks. In brief, you can avoid the pain of overstocking and stockouts.
Scaling up operations
With rapid growth comes the demand for more space to store your inventory. This is where 3PL providers help. They offer scalable warehousing solutions that adapt to your business’s changing needs. Whether you need additional storage space or expanded shipping capabilities, 3PL service providers offer everything at an affordable cost.
Faster order fulfillment and return management
Location can no longer be an excuse to deliver orders late in this hyper-connected world. Today, if you don’t deliver fast, your competitors will. This is where the need for a 3PL provider arises. They normally own multiple warehouses spread across the country. This lets you ship orders and manage returns quickly as your distribution centers are closer to the customers, and the orders have to hop across fewer shipping zones.
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According to a report by Statista, the revenue generated by the Indian E-commerce market was estimated to be 64 billion USD in 2020 and is expected to reach 200 billion USD by 2027.
Also, a report by the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) states that the number of online shoppers in India is expected to reach 220 million by 2025, up from 140 million in 2018.
These stats reflect that the Indian E-commerce industry is proliferating, and Indians are inclining more toward online shopping than offline.
But here’s the thing— it’s still difficult for local retailers to start their E-commerce store. The reason behind this is a lack of experience and resources, which makes them take the easy route.
As a result, they end up selling only on known E-commerce platforms, also known as marketplaces.
But these platforms aren’t Enablers. There’s a fine line between a marketplace and an E-commerce Enabler.
And we will discuss everything about E-commerce Enablers.
Starting with the basic definition.
What Is An E-commerce Enabler?
An E-commerce Enabler is a company that provides comprehensive solutions to brands to operate their online stores. These solutions include website hosting & optimization, digital marketing, customer service, warehouse & inventory management, and logistic support.
It is important to note that E-commerce Enablers are different from E-commerce platforms like Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal, and Amazon, which only provide a platform for businesses to sell their products, and for consumers to shop online.
On the other hand, an E-commerce Enabler can assist a brand from start to finish. By offering a solid digital strategy, E-commerce Enablers can help businesses successfully run their E-commerce operations. Retail companies can also opt for full or partial solutions from E-commerce Enablers keeping the cost in control. Also, brands can focus on expanding their business by delegating non-core business operations to outside parties.
What Does An E-commerce Enabler Do?
Here are some of the basic offerings of an E-commerce Enabler-
Online Store & Catalog Management
In order to ensure that your online store is operating efficiently and generating sales, there are several tedious tasks that need to be executed well. These tasks include setting up the online store, managing product listings, running promotional campaigns, managing orders across multiple marketplaces, as well as gathering and reporting insights such as customer feedback.
These tasks are the core focus of E-commerce Enablers, who deal with them on a daily basis and help you manage storefronts on marketplaces, social media platforms, and your own website and mobile application.
Below are some examples of services provided by E-commerce Enablers like ANS Commerce:
Manage product listing and optimization on marketplaces
Track active and inactive SKUs and manage inventory
Build pricing strategies and promotional plans to increase sales
Provide logistic & warehousing support
Provide order management and last-mile delivery support
Ensure exceptional customer service by answering their queries
Digital Marketing/Performance Marketing
Every E-commerce store needs to leverage digital marketing to build brand awareness and reach potential customers. There helps an E-commerce Enabler. With digital marketing experts on their team, E-commerce Enablers can help you plan exhaustive marketing strategies for various channels, including ads, content creation, social media, and more.
With an E-commerce Enabler by your side, you can reach your potential customer effectively, resulting in increased traffic, higher conversion rates, and better sales.
Warehousing & Supply Chain Management
Managing the E-commerce supply chain is challenging, as it involves several stages, such as inbound logistics, warehousing & inventory management, and outbound logistics. These processes require considerable investment and expertise to manage effectively.
Businesses can rely on the competence of E-commerce Enablers to handle E-commerce logistics. These service providers, often in partnership with third parties, offer a range of services such as inventory management, order fulfillment, and return processing to streamline the E-commerce supply chain process.
End-to-end Customer Support
Delivering an exceptional customer experience is a crucial factor in converting store visitors and prospective customers into actual purchasers, as well as retaining them and ultimately turning them into loyal customers. As the traffic and demand on a brand’s online store increases, it becomes challenging to respond to every inquiry or feedback promptly without dedicated resources.
This is where E-commerce Enablers come in. With their experienced customer service teams, E-commerce Enablers offer the perfect solution to this challenge. They can support your business by responding to all your customer inquiries in a timely manner and maintaining a great customer relationship experience.
Brand Store Hosting Tech Platform
E-commerce Enablers understand the need for a robust brand-hosting platform in this technology-driven world, and so offer a brand store tech platform to help you deliver an exceptional E-commerce experience. These platforms typically provide various tools and features that enable businesses to design and customize their online stores to reflect their brand identity and manage all aspects of their store’s operation, including product listings, inventory management, order processing, and customer engagement.
Brand store tech platforms may also offer analytics and reporting tools to help businesses track their store’s performance and make data-driven decisions to improve sales and customer satisfaction.
Our brand tech store, Kartify, has helped over 100 D2C brands improve their digital footprints and grow sales. Here are some benefits of hosting your E-commerce store with Kartify:
Seamless Integration: With Kartify, you can integrate with more than 50 third-party tools and systems, which makes it easier to manage all aspects of your E-commerce business, including payment gateways, marketing automation tools, SMS & email providers, and order management systems.
Managed Support: Kartify offers comprehensive support throughout the migration process and beyond. The dedicated account team, in-house dev-ops, and design experts make it a hassle-free migration.
Highly Customizable: Kartify is a highly customizable, fully mobile responsive platform. You have complete control over the look and feel of your store, including user flows, layouts, menu, and filter options.
Data Security: Kartify takes comprehensive measures to keep your store and customer data secure by adhering to ISO/IEC 27001:2013 security standards, performing regular security audits with vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, and encrypting all data on the platform with access control.
Made for India: Kartify has been designed to the tastes of the Indian audience and offers many India-specific features like login with OTP, automatic pincode & city detection, GST invoicing, and more.
Omnifriendly: Kartify enables the fulfillment of online orders from offline shops, providing a unified and convenient experience for customers. You can also conduct offline surveys and offer cash returns, further enhancing the customer experience and building loyalty.
The Industry’s Blind Spot: E-commerce Enabler Is More Than What You Understand
Marketplaces are not E-commerce Enablers
A marketplace is an online platform that enables businesses to sell their products or services to customers. Examples of marketplaces include Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, etc.
While marketplaces offer a new channel for businesses to sell their products and facilitate transactions online, they function merely as intermediaries connecting suppliers to buyers. They do not provide end-to-end support for businesses like E-commerce Enablers, who can manage a business’s operations from start to finish.
E-commerce platform alone is not an E-commerce Enabler
Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopline are examples of E-commerce platforms that furnish the necessary digital infrastructure to establish an online store, BUT THEY ARE NOT E-com Enablers However, although these platforms are useful in launching your online business, they typically do not offer ongoing operational assistance that is provided by E-commerce Enablers.
A payment gateway solution is not an E-commerce Enabler
An online payment gateway serves as a digital substitute for a physical credit or debit card reader and is responsible for handling customer payments when integrated into your online store. Numerous payment gateways are available for digital vendors, including well-known options like PayPal, Stripe, and Square.
However, it is important to note that payment gateways primarily address your payment processing requirements and differ significantly from E-commerce Enablers.
Third party logistics are only part of what E-commerce Enablers represent
Third-party logistics (3PL) providers offer a range of services related to E-commerce logistics and order fulfillment, which typically encompass warehousing, product picking and packing, and return processing.
E-commerce Enablers offer comprehensive services throughout an online business’s value chain. However, it’s worth noting that 3PL companies mainly handle inbound and outbound logistics aspects, and do not typically address operations, marketing, or other related services. After all, they are third-party logistics companies.
Marketing platform is a tool and not an E-commerce Enabler
Numerous marketing platforms are available to help you streamline and analyze data, as well as automate marketing tasks. For instance, you might utilize MailChimp to send electronic direct mails (EDMs), SEMrush to build your SEO strategy, or HubSpot to manage sales, customer relationships, and other business-related aspects.
However, it’s important to recognize that these are merely tools and software that enable your marketer to perform more efficiently. They automate repetitive tasks and provide data analytics for additional insights, but they do not replace the marketer’s role.
Why Should You Partner With An E-commerce Enabler?
Partnering with an E-commerce Enabler offers numerous benefits for businesses that operate in the online space. Here are some reasons why you should consider partnering with an E-commerce Enabler:
Get a team of E-commerce experts (cover tech, marketplace, and digital marketing experts)
Partnering with an E-commerce Enabler gives businesses access to a team of E-commerce experts, including tech, marketplace, and digital marketing specialists. These experts can help businesses set up and optimize their online stores, connect them with various online marketplaces, and develop and execute effective digital marketing strategies. By leveraging the expertise of an E-commerce Enabler, businesses can improve their online presence, increase sales and revenue, and stay ahead of their competition.
Additionally, E-commerce Enablers provide comprehensive services, that are
Cost-effective: Doesn’t need a huge budget to get started.
Flexible: Works as a part of your internal team.
The best part is they come with a panel of experts with years of experience to guide you in each step. This makes it easier for businesses to focus on growing their operations, as E-commerce Enablers can provide support across the entire value chain of an online business. Overall, partnering with an E-commerce Enabler is a smart choice for brands that want to succeed in the online space and achieve their goals efficiently and effectively.
Get proprietary tech solutions
E-commerce Enabler companies offer powerful toolkits for online businesses to accelerate their growth. These tools and software are easy to use but are expensive and challenging to develop. E-commerce Enablers have invested years of experience to build these technologies. Working with an E-commerce Enabler gives online businesses access to these valuable resources that they may not be able to develop internally.
Free up your time for business growth
E-commerce Enablers offer comprehensive support to help online businesses grow, scale, and succeed in the E-commerce industry. They assist with various aspects of business operations, develop an integrated digital strategy for the brand, and provide tool sets for automation and analytics.
Partnering with an E-commerce Enabler is like having a flexible growth partner that can share the load of your online business operations. By outsourcing your E-commerce value chain to an Enabler, you can save valuable company resources and focus on core activities that drive results. This approach enables online businesses to focus on their strengths and create a streamlined, efficient operation that maximizes growth potential.
Ultimately, partnering with an E-commerce Enabler can help businesses stay competitive, adapt to market changes, and achieve long-term success in the ever-evolving E-commerce landscape.
How to identify the perfect E-commerce Enabler for your brand?
Choosing the right E-commerce Enabler for your brand is an important decision that can impact your business growth and success. Here are some key factors to consider when identifying the perfect E-commerce Enabler for your brand:
Services and capabilities: Consider the services and capabilities the E-commerce Enabler offers. Do they align with your business needs? Do they have the expertise and experience in the areas where you need support?
Industry experience: Look for an E-commerce Enabler with experience in your specific industry. This can provide valuable insights and help you stay ahead of the competition.
Technology and tools: Evaluate the technology and tools that the E-commerce Enabler provides. Do they offer the features and functionality that your business requires? Are the tools user-friendly and easy to integrate with your existing systems?
Customer support: Consider the level of customer support the E-commerce Enabler offers. Will they be available to assist you when you need help?
Third-party partnership: Third-party providers can offer comprehensive support for various processes such as logistics, supply chain management, and more.
Cost and flexibility: Finally, consider the cost and flexibility of the E-commerce Enabler. Is the pricing structure transparent and reasonable? Are there flexible options that can grow your business?
By carefully evaluating these factors, you can identify the perfect E-commerce Enabler for your brand that can provide the necessary support and tools to help your business grow and succeed in the E-commerce landscape.
Kartify Brandstore: A proprietary platform that is fully customizable and integration-ready to support your brand’s online store.
Performance Marketing: Experienced team to lead performance marketing efforts on platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook, and marketplaces, striking a balance between sales and return on ad spend (ROAS).
Marketplace Management: Skillful planning and execution of sales strategies on more than 10 marketplaces, including Amazon and Flipkart.
Warehousing and Fulfillment: Nationwide warehousing and fulfillment infrastructure with 3PL support tailored to your specific logistics requirements.
If you need help in setting up your online store or scaling your business in Indian markets. Book a free consultation with our E-commerce expert today!
As an E-commerce store founder, you must be aware of the importance of setting sales and marketing goals to grow your business. However, to truly understand what’s working and identify areas for improvement, it’s essential to align your E-commerce KPIs and metrics with the customer journey.
By doing so, you’ll gain a better understanding of how your customers are interacting with your brand, and identify opportunities to improve their experience and drive revenue growth. In this blog, we’ll explore the E-commerce KPIs and metrics you should track for business success, aligning them with the customer journey. But let’s cover some basics first.
What are E-commerce KPIs?
E-commerce KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are measurable values that indicate your progress towards specific business goals. It gives a comprehensive view of how your e-commerce business is performing.
For example, conversion rate or cart abandonment are classic examples of E-commerce KPIs. They are different from metrics, which highlight your progress towards specific business objectives. Number of visits, page views per session, bounce rate, etc., are all examples of metrics.
There are hundreds of different KPIs you could use to track your e-commerce business, but not all of them are equally important for your success. Hence, when choosing KPIs and metrics you should focus on the ones:
That directly impacts your bottom line and supports your business strategy.
That is easy to measure and provides valuable insights.
Are aligned with the stage of your business
Follows business specific needs and not just industry trends.
Lastly, are meaningful and actionable to keep your processes agile.
20 E-commerce KPIs you should monitor for business success
We have mapped the most important KPIs with the customer purchase journey to make things easier for you. Here are the metrics you should measure at each stage:
Let’s dig deeper into each stage and it’s corresponding metrics in the next section:
Product Discovery Metrics
Generating brand awareness is crucial to attract visitors to your website. Even though it may appear to be a simple concept, without building awareness, your brand may remain undiscovered, and you may lose out on potential revenue. Here are the metrics you should track to measure your brand awareness efforts:
Impressions help you measure the number of times your ad or content is displayed to someone on any platform such as third-party sites, search results, or social media platforms, regardless of whether the viewer clicks on it or not.
Even though impressions are not a direct measure of engagement or conversions, the metric provides valuable insight into how many people are potentially exposed to your brand, making it a useful metric for evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Reach is the number of unique individuals who viewed your product or visited your online store during a specific period of time. Reach is a crucial metric for e-commerce businesses because it provides insights into how many potential customers have been exposed to your brand, products, or services.
Don’t get confused between reach and impressions. Reach focuses on the unique individuals who have viewed your content, and impressions refer to the total number of times your content is displayed to customers, including multiple views by the same user. For example, if a person views a product page on your website ten times, this will be counted as ten impressions but only one reach.
To improve your marketing campaigns’ reach, ensure your brand voice is defined and messaging resonates with your audience.
Engagement shows how many viewers interacted with your content. It may include both acquisition-related metrics, such as CTC (click-through rate), and non-acquisition-related metrics, such as likes, comments, and shares.
To gauge engagement on your e-commerce site, keep a close eye on the average session duration and bounce rate. Average session duration is the average amount of time a user spends on a particular channel. A high average session duration indicates higher engagement with a channel. Bounce rate is the percentage of users who visited your website but left after viewing a single page. A high bounce indicates lower engagement.
Consideration or Acquisition Metrics
There are multiple ways by which you can reach your potential customers. It could be emails, paid media, and social media, to name a few. You must use all these channels to get your potential customers to consider your products. The following metrics determine whether you were successful in enticing customers to visit your website or not.
Organic acquisition traffic
Organic acquisition traffic measures the number of visitors reaching your site organically. These visitors come from channels like search engines, social media, and even blogging sites. The catch here is that these visitors reach your website through their own research and not explicit paid promotions or advertising. This metric helps you gain insights about your SEO strategy, social media presence, and the overall results of your content marketing efforts—allowing you to improve and optimize these strategies accordingly.
Email Click-through rate (CTR)
In simple terms, this is the percentage of email subscribers who received your email, opened it, and clicked through to your site. It is a valuable indicator of the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns. To improve email CTR, create visually appealing and well-designed emails, including mobile-friendly design, clear and compelling calls-to-action, and engaging subject lines that encourage recipients to open the email and explore the content.
Cost per acquisition (CPA)
Cost per acquisition measures the total cost of acquiring a customer. It is an important metric to measure because it points to the profitability of your marketing efforts.
Cost per acquisition should always be measured in the context of AOV (average order value). For example, having a CAC of Rs 150 and an AOV of Rs 6,000 is a good sign for business, whereas a CAC of Rs 40 and an AOV of Rs 60 means the business is not sustainable.
Social media engagement metrics
E-commerce sales on social media is expected to reach $474 billion by 2024, hence it’s important to have a strong social media presence for D2C brands. To measure the effectiveness of your social media presence, keep track of likes, shares, clicks and comments on posts.
E-commerce metrics during conversion
Now that you have visitors to your site, measuring how well you convert them into paying customers is important. Our goal here is to identify transactional funnel drop-offs and prevent them. These metrics can help you do just that.
Website bounce rate
It is the percentage of visitors who leave a website after viewing only one page. Measuring bounce rate is important because it shows how relevant and engaging your content is. For instance, a high bounce rate indicates that your visitors are not finding what they are looking for. It could be either due to irrelevant content or that your website is difficult to navigate.
Shopping cart abandonment rate
Shopping cart abandonment rate is the percentage of visitors who add items to their cart but do not complete the purchase.
Abandonment rate could indicate that the visitors are experiencing issues with the shopping cart itself, such as a confusing layout or a lack of clear CTA. It could also mean issues with the checkout process, preventing customers from completing the order. We suggest setting up a cart abandonment email sequence to convert these lost sales.
Average order value
Average Order Value or AOV measures the average value of each order placed by a customer. It is calculated by dividing the total revenue by the number of orders. Measuring AOV is important as it helps in understanding the buying patterns and preferences of your customers. This, in turn, will help in identifying and fine-tuning upselling or cross-selling strategies to increase revenue.
Sales conversion rate
The sales conversion rate is the total number of sales divided by the total number of sessions. It helps in determining how much traffic is needed to achieve your target sales. However, this is a granular metric and you need to analyze it at micro levels. You can dissect it by channel, category of products, campaign, etc.
Product delivery metrics
Most D2C brands forget to measure metrics related to product delivery, which can negatively impact their customer experience and might lead to loss of repeat customers. To ensure that your logistics are fool-proof, we suggest keeping track of your Delivery TAT and Return & Refund TATs.
Delivery TAT is the time taken to process and deliver an order to the customer.
Return & refund TAT is the time to process and complete a return and refund request of a customer.
Retaining an existing customer is five times cheaper than acquiring a new customer. Also, repeat customers tend to spend more and refer others. Here are the metrics you should track to know how well your brand is retaining customers:
Customer retention rate: It measures the percentage of customers who continue to do business with your company after their initial purchase.
Repeat purchase rate: This measures the percentage of customers who make a second purchase from your brand. A high repeat purchase rate indicates that customers are satisfied with your product or service and are likely to continue doing business with you.
Customer lifetime value (CLV): This metric measures the total money a customer is expected to spend on your products throughout their relationship with your brand. Customers with a high CLV are valuable to your business and should be prioritized in your retention efforts.
Churn rate: It is the percentage of customers who stop purchasing from your e-commerce store over a specific period of time. A high churn rate indicates that your brand may be struggling with customer retention.
Refund and return rate: High refund and return rates can plague your business. It can be either due to issues with your product or because of impulse buying from customers. To minimize the impact, set up clear return and refund policies. Additionally, provide detailed product descriptions, accurate sizing charts, and high-quality product images.
Customer Advocacy metrics
Now that you have acquired, converted, and retained customers, it’s time to convert them as your brand ambassadors. The customer advocacy metrics quantify the degree to which your customers support and promote your brand and products to their friends and family. Here are a few metrics you should consider tracking:
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS measures customer satisfaction and loyalty and is a widely used metric for assessing customer advocacy. It asks customers to rate on a scale of 0 to 10 how likely they are to recommend your brand to others. Customers who score 9 or 10 are considered promoters, while those who score six or below are considered detractors. You can calculate NPS Score by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.
Customer referral rate
It is the percentage of customers who refer new customers to your business. When you measure customer referral rate, you will understand the effectiveness of your referral marketing efforts. In addition, it will help you identify areas where you can improve your referral programs, such as by offering better referral incentives or providing an easy way for customers to refer others.
Email marketing is one of the most promising marketing channels today. As a result, it becomes important to measure the subscription rate or the percentage of your visitors who opted-in for your email lists. When the subscription rate is high, it shows that customers find your products promising and want to keep purchasing from you.
Lastly, you should also monitor customer reviews and ratings to ensure that you are providing exceptional customer service.
Other E-commerce business metrics to track
Apart from the above metrics, E-commerce businesses should also track last-mile delivery and product-related metrics to ensure they can optimize logistic services and make the right decisions about their product.
Last mile delivery metrics
Last-mile delivery metrics are a set of KPIs used to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the final stages of your delivery process. It mainly involves the delivery of the product to your customer. This stage is often referred to as the “last mile” because it is the final step in the delivery chain and significantly impacts the customer experience. Here are some of the metrics that fall under the last-mile delivery segment:
Delivery accuracy: The percentage of deliveries that are made on time and to the correct address.
Delivery success rate: The percentage of deliveries that are successfully completed without any issues or complications.
Customer satisfaction: The degree to which customers are satisfied with the delivery process and outcome.
Delivery cost: The total cost of the delivery process, including transportation, handling, and other expenses.
With the increasing competition in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) space, it’s essential to continually monitor your products’ performance and make data-driven decisions to stay ahead of the curve.
Some of the essential product metrics that you should monitor are:
Product views: Keep track of the number of times a particular product page is viewed. This metric can help you identify which products generate the most interest amongst your potential customers.
Add-to-cart rate: Monitor the percentage of visitors who add a product to their cart after viewing it. This metric can help you understand how well your product pages and pricing resonate with your target audience.
Product reviews: This metric can help you understand how satisfied your customers are with your products and identify areas for improvement.
Time to sell: Monitor the average time it takes to sell a product after it’s added to the inventory. This metric can help you optimize your inventory management and pricing strategies.
Inventory turnover: Keep track of the rate at which you’re selling through your inventory in a specific category. This metric can help you identify which products are selling well and the ones that may require adjustments to their pricing or marketing.
In addition to these quantitative metrics, you should collect qualitative feedback from your customers through surveys, focus groups, or other feedback channels. The feedback can help you understand your customers’ preferences, pain points, and product expectations, which can guide your product development and marketing efforts.
Finally, it’s also essential to closely monitor your competitors and their product offerings. Analyzing their best-selling products and identifying any emerging trends in your industry can help you stay ahead of the curve.
How to measure e-commerce KPIs success
Start by creating an index that summarizes your performance across specific marketing channels. For instance, let’s say you have selected five metrics which performed at:
Two metrics performed at 80%
One metrics performed at 60%
Two metrics performed at 100%
The index will be calculated as
(2*0.8 + 1*0.6 + 2*1)/5 = 0.84 or 84%
Now you need to focus on how to improve this index. Rather than fixing the lowest performing metrics, identify which of those metrics is most important for your business growth at the time and focus on that.
ANS Commerce is here to help
We know that improving these metrics can be a lot of work and might seem overwhelming, especially if you’re already juggling multiple aspects of your E-commerce business. That’s where ANS Commerce comes in.
As a Flipkart group company, we are India’s #1 Full Stack E-commerce Growth Partner, trusted by over 200+ brands. We offer end-to-end E-commerce services, from creating your online store to running profitable performance marketing campaigns, managing marketplaces, order fulfillment, and warehousing – all tailored to supercharge your brand’s growth.
A whopping 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a good customer experience. Also, after a poor customer experience, 76% of consumers will stop doing business with a brand.
What do these stats depict?
The role and importance of Customer Experience in modern E-Commerce.
And one of the most important pillars of modern E-Commerce Customer Experience is Conversational Commerce.
What is Conversational Commerce?
Conversational commerce refers to the use of messaging and chatting applications for improved customer service. It involves the digitalization of customer service and allows for simultaneous communication with thousands of potential customers via social media, messenger apps, and websites. The conversations can be carried out by live customer service agents or chatbots, or a combination of both. It’s important for E-Commerce businesses as it provides a convenient and efficient way for customers to get the information and support they need.
Using conversational commerce, E-Commerce businesses can improve customer satisfaction, increase sales, and build stronger customer relationships. Additionally, since many customers prefer to communicate through chat or messaging, it helps businesses meet their customers where they are and offer support in the channel they prefer.
Examples of Conversational Commerce
TataCliq utilizes Whatsapp Commerce to facilitate their customers’ shopping journey. Many customers add items to their cart and create wish lists but fail to complete the purchase.
To reduce cart abandonment, TataCliq sends abandoned cart recovery messages via Whatsapp as a gentle reminder. These messages sometimes even turn into a conversation, allowing TataCliq to better understand their customers’ requirements and provide personalized recommendations.
It’s safe to say that Whatsapp plays a significant role in recovering those lost sales and enhancing customers’ overall satisfaction since it’s the most used and accessible conversational platform in the world.
Why it works:
Attention grabbing copy to divert the user’s interest back to their abandoned cart
Use of offers and discount to convince the user to make their purchase
Direct link to checkout and place their order–making the process convenient for customers
Platform: Whatsapp Commerce
Westside makes the best use of Conversational Commerce by incorporating Whatsapp Commerce to build customer loyalty.
They offer exclusive deals to its members on Whatsapp, enticing more people to add to its sales revenue. Here is an example of sending personalized offers on their birthdays. This approach creates a sense of inclusivity with the brand and leads to increased customer satisfaction.
Why it works:
Use of brand and campaign specific visuals helps in building awareness
Detailed messaging with validity dates prevents any undue confusion
Use of easily visible CTA makes helps in making the choice
Platform: Mobile App
Starbucks has utilized its app to tackle a common problem for busy customers: long lines for coffee. With their app, customers can place an order with a “virtual barista” through messaging and customize their morning beverage just as they would with a real barista.
The streamlined message-based ordering system allows customers to use voice commands, text, and payment through their devices. Upon completion, they receive a notification when the order is ready, allowing them to bypass those long lines.
Why it works:
Makes mornings easier for customers
Allows multiple ways to order, including texting and voice commands
Payments are integrated for added convenience
Connects you to nearby stores before making an order
H&M has elevated its conversational commerce approach and serves as a prime example of personalized customer service. They’ve developed a virtual assistant that provides fashion guidance, enhancing the customer’s experience and presenting potential upselling opportunities.
Why it works:
The chatbot enables extensive user interaction, enabling the E-commerce brand to gather more data for targeted marketing.
Its personalized touch creates a human-like virtual shopping experience for its customers.
Additionally, the relaxed tone of the chatbot conversations makes it convenient for users to shop at their own pace, even during a busy day.
Platform: Website chatbot
Clinique has adopted conversational commerce to provide supplementary product assistance, exemplifying how E-commerce brands can utilize conversational commerce tools for personalized product suggestions. Given the premium prices, this service has become a customer expectation.
Customers have the choice of using Facebook Messenger, text messaging, or video chat. The inclusion of video chat holds significant power, making the experience more personal and ideal for imparting skincare and makeup advice, given the nature of the products sold.
Why it works:
Multiple chat platform options make it easier for customers to choose the best fit for them.
Human assistance makes it more personalized and easy to chat.
Why is Conversational Commerce Important?
Conversational commerce improves the shopping experience by making it an easier, more personalized, and a fun experience for the buyers. According to a recent study by PwC, buyers look for speed, convenience, consistency, and friendliness while shopping online.
How Does Conversational Commerce Really Work?
Unlike intrusive pop-ups and banners, conversational commerce involves using messaging or chat interfaces to facilitate transactions and interactions with customers.
It provides online stores an opportunity to engage with their customers at every stage of the customer journey.
One of the most sought-after tools for conversational commerce is the WhatsApp messenger app, so much so that since its launch in 2021, more than 5 million businesses have been using WhatsApp to engage with their target customers.
Using the WhatsApp messenger app, you can use conversational commerce to build customer relationships at each stage of a buyer’s journey, here is how:
The customer journey starts with recognizing the need for a product or service, leading to a search for fulfillment. During this process, customers may come across your brand and seek to engage with you.
Here, you can use Whatsapp Commerce to raise awareness about your products and generate leads through targeted ads and text on the messenger app. The personal, one-on-one communication demonstrates that you care about your customers, contributing to better customer retention and conversion rates by increasing consumer confidence in your brand.
At this stage, customers have already conducted initial research and gained some knowledge about your business. However, their quest for information continues as they compare your offerings with competitors and read customer reviews. This is where Whatsappcommerce can provide customers with additional insights to deepen their understanding of your offerings.
With the help of Whatsapp Commerce, you can:
Suggest personalized product recommendations based on customer preferences and past behavior.
Share information about the product, like fit and available sizes, warranty, exchange policy, etc.
Help customers by sharing nearby store locations for in-store purchases or guide them online for the type of product they want.
After obtaining information about the products and services under consideration, customers evaluate these options based on factors such as price, quality, benefits, performance, and brand trust.
Direct communication with customers at this stage strengthens their trust in the brand and increases the chances of acquiring a loyal customer. It also presents opportunities for making the sale by providing different pricing options, highlighting features, and reassuring customers of the quality through a personal and credible conversation.
You can use Whatsapp commerce to:
Keep your customers informed about stock availability and payment options
Share catalog links for similar products that they may be interested in
Utilize messenger app to share order and payment confirmation, as well as tracking information post-purchase
If the customer has reached this stage, you have met their requirements thus far. However, this does not mean you stop striving for excellence. Providing exceptional care for customers during this stage is highly advantageous as it’s much easier to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one.
With Whatsapp commerce, you can provide post-purchase support, such as tracking order status, accepting return orders, answering customer queries, etc. You can also use Whatsapp to gather feedback and reviews from customers.
This is the final stage of the customer journey and the most challenging to achieve. At this point, the customer should have become a brand advocate who actively promotes your products in their network.
By continuing the conversation with customers, you can also request testimonials or product reviews, making them feel like a valued part of your team. This reinforces the relationship and enhances your business’ credibility amongst potential customers.
Types of Conversational Commerce
Here are the four major types of conversational commerce:
Conversational AI Chatbots
Chatbots are software programs that assist users by answering their questions through text messages. They have the ability to communicate with multiple users at the same time and provide information quickly, 24×7.
Chatbots can be integrated into E-commerce sites and messaging platforms, offering a seamless experience throughout the customer journey. These capabilities have made chatbots a widespread form of conversational commerce, enabling brands to engage with customers with minimal effort.
Live chat applications provide customers with the ability to communicate with a real customer service representative. The days of cumbersome customer service forms and phone numbers are a thing of the past. Live chat apps can automate common responses to frequently asked questions, freeing up human customer service agents to assist customers with more complex issues.
According to Facebook, 64% of customers prefer using a chat app over calling customer service, and live chat enables customer service to handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously, improving efficiency and enhancing the customer experience.
You can easily reach your customers by allowing them to talk to your brand through messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram messenger to name a few. There are many more, but you don’t have to use all of them. Instead, think about the ones your customers use the most and focus on those. Messaging apps create an interpersonal connection between your business and your customers, making them a good way to provide customer support and offer product suggestions.
Shopping with voice technology like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant is another part of conversational commerce. Many online shoppers, especially millennials, use these voice assistants to make purchases.
According to a survey, almost half of the online millennial shoppers (47%) have used a voice assistant for shopping. Marketers should anticipate common questions or orders from customers and make it easier for them to purchase by enabling voice commands.
This way, they can simplify the buying process and make it more convenient for the customer to just ask their voice assistant to make the purchase, instead of manually navigating through the product pages.
Benefits of Conversational Commerce
Now that you understand the role of conversational commerce in modern E-commerce, here are a few benefits you get from leveraging it:
Reduce Abandoned Shopping Carts
The ecommerce industry experiences significant loss of revenue due to abandoned shopping carts, with an estimate of $18 billion annually. The implementation of conversational commerce strategies can help address this problem by sending reminders or nudges to customers who have abandoned their carts, inquiring into the reason for abandonment and gaining valuable information, and providing automated links to specific products sought by the customers.
People are busy, and waiting for responses can make them abandon your brand immediately. This is where implementing conversational commerce strategies helps. With the help of an instant customer query addressing system, you can be available for your customers 24×7 and instantly help them in resolving their issues.
Help Close Potential Leads or Provide Upselling or Cross-Selling Opportunities
With the use of chatbots in conversational commerce, you can:
Schedule sales calls more efficiently and reduce missed appointments through automated booking via chat.
Suggest additional products of interest to customers through messages for upselling.
Easy to Gather Customer Feedback
Your interaction with a customer doesn’t have to stop after they make a purchase. Your chatbot can follow up with them to gather reviews or feedback, freeing up time for live customer service agents.
Additionally, you can send automated follow-up messages to increase the likelihood of receiving a review. Research shows that 63% of customers are more likely to provide personal information if they had a positive experience.
Improve Customer Loyalty
Maximize your first impression opportunity by offering a warm welcome to new customers in-store.
Establish strong customer relationships and gain trust by guiding them through their journey.
Utilize a chatbot to share promotional coupons and increase customer engagement.
Incorporate a voice assistant to make information search and product ordering easier for customers. Personalize it with a friendly name and brand-reflecting personality.
Challenges to Conversational Commerce
While conversational commerce comes with a lot of benefits, there are also some challenges, including-
Can Feel Dehumanising
Automation tools can sometimes result in a dehumanising user experience, especially if the AI is outdated or lacks empathy. To prevent this, businesses must ensure that their tool effectively recognizes keywords and can detect frustration or the desire to speak to a human. Avoid frustrating customer interactions by ensuring your chatbot effectively understands your customer base.
When you have different departments or ways to communicate with customers, it’s important to keep the data organized. If the data is not kept together, it can cause problems. For example, a customer may start talking to you on one platform, but then switch to another platform, like text or email.
If the information they shared on one platform is not transferred to the other platform, they might have to repeat themselves and become frustrated. To avoid this, make sure to choose a tool that can easily integrate with other tools.
How to Start Using Conversational Commerce for your Online Store
Your conversational commerce strategy will not be established overnight. To attain exceptional outcomes and differentiate yourself from the competition, it is essential to focus on even the most minor details.
Here are three steps to help you leverage conversational commerce for your E-Commerce business:
Analyze your Business Needs
Prior to implementing your conversational tool, assess the challenges faced by your team and customers. Establish achievable goals that you aim to attain.
Your goal may be to boost sales, which can be accomplished by reducing shopping cart abandonment.
Alternatively, you may aim to provide faster and more convenient customer support, which can enhance brand loyalty. You decide your objectives.
After outlining your desired outcomes, categorise and prioritise them to determine the ones that are most vital to your business. It may be better to introduce changes incrementally and assess their effectiveness rather than attempting to overhaul all processes at once.
Do your Research and Identify The Right Tool
Before selecting a specific solution, establish your benchmark. Study how other companies within your industry are harnessing the power of conversational commerce.
Next, make a list of the available solutions and request demonstrations or sign up for free trials to evaluate the pros and cons of each option. If you have a preferred solution or channel in mind, familiarize yourself with popular and exceptional examples that you can draw upon.
Also, consider your customers’ perspectives. Review customer feedback to identify areas for improvement in your services. Consider conducting interviews with customers to gain a better understanding of their current needs.
Launch your Tool and Measure KPIs
After selecting your conversational tool, it’s important to establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Examples of KPIs could include the number of customer conversations, customer satisfaction scores, or conversation rates.
Having KPIs in place will help you track your progress, identify which solution is delivering the best results, and suggest areas for improvement. Once you have established your KPIs, you are ready to launch your conversational commerce strategy.
Once you’ve launched your strategy, it’s crucial to monitor the important growth metrics. Utilizing quality, real-time metrics can assist in evaluating your performance and continuously enhance your conversational activities throughout the customer’s journey.
To reap the benefits of conversational commerce, brands must adopt real-time communication tools like bots, messenger apps, and voice assistants. Though creating a strategy and managing conversations can be time-consuming and challenging, treating conversational commerce as a personalized, empathetic experience can foster a sense of comfort and familiarity with customers. Monitoring performance with quality, real-time metrics can also help evaluate and improve interactions throughout the customer’s journey.
If you’re looking to optimize your sales funnel and expand your e-commerce business, ANS Commerce can help.
With the rapid growth of online shopping, having a platform that can keep up with customer demands is more important than ever. But what do you do when your current platform just isn’t cutting it anymore? The answer is simple: E-commerce migration and re-platforming.
Moving your online store to a new platform may seem scary, but the benefits are worth it. A new robust platform can offer improved uptime, a better user experience, increased scalability, and the ability to make improvements with ease.
But we know you’re thinking, “Isn’t E-commerce migration just going to be a hassle?” Yes, it can be, but with the right E-commerce migration strategy in place, you can make the transition smoothly and effectively. That’s why we’re here to help.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about E-commerce migration and re-platforming so you can set your business up for success. Let’s get started!
What Is E-commerce Migration?
In simple terms, E-commerce migration is the process of moving your existing E-commerce store (both front-end and back-end) from one CMS to another. The goal of such a transition is to improve your online store performance by leveraging the advanced features of the new platform. The process can involve migrating product catalog, customer data, orders, and other critical information and redesigning website’s look and feel to align with brand identity.
E-commerce migration can also involve upgrading from older versions of a platform to a newer version or switching from an in-house solution to the cloud-based one. In general, there are three main types of E-commerce migration:
Platform-platform migration involves migrating your E-commerce store from one platform to another. For instance, moving it from Magento to Kartify.
Phased migration involves transitioning your store in stages rather than all at once. This approach eliminates the risk of downtime and data loss, making the transition smoother and easy to manage.
Monolithic to Microservices migration involves moving from a monolithic platform to a microservices architecture by layering platforms and third-party apps on top of one another. It is done to improve scalability and make it easier to manage your E-commerce store.
E-commerce Replatforming Success With Kartify
E-commerce re-platforming is a delicate process that requires thorough planning and execution to ensure success. While the benefits of re-platforming are significant, it also introduces various risks and challenges that, if left unaddressed, could result in a loss of sales and negatively impact your business operation.
That’s why working with an experienced E-commerce solutions provider is essential. For example, with our E-commerce platform Kartify, we have helped over 200+ D2C brands improve their digital footprints and grow sales.
Here are a few benefits of hosting your E-commerce store to Kartify:
Seamless Integration: Kartify has integrated with more than 50+ third-party tools and systems, including Payment Gateways, Marketing Automation tools, SMS & Email providers and Order Management Systems, making it easier to manage all aspects of your E-commerce business.
Managed Support: We offer comprehensive support throughout the migration process and beyond. It includes hand-holding during the onboarding process with a dedicated account team, in-house dev-ops, and design experts making it a hassle-free migration.
Highly Customizable: Kartify is a highly customizable, fully mobile responsive platform. From user flows and layouts to menu and filter options; you have complete control over the look and feel of your store.
Data Security: We take comprehensive measures to keep your store and customer data secure by adhering to ISO/IEC 27001:2013 security standards and performing regular security audits with vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. In addition, all data on the platform is encrypted with access control.
Made for India: Kartify has been carefully designed to the tastes of the Indian audience and offers many India-specific features like login with OTP, automatic pincode & city detection, GST Invoicing, and more.
Omnifriendly: By enabling the fulfillment of online orders from offline shops, Kartify provides a unified and convenient experience for customers. With Kartify, you can also conduct offline surveys and offer cash returns, further enhancing the customer experience and building loyalty.
Four Signals That Announce It’s Time To Start Replatforming
In an ideal world, replatforming and website migration projects would happen with months and years of planning, clear-cut strategies, and defined goals. But in the real world, replatforming decisions are not proactively taken. Instead, most of the time, underlying issues force online stores to migrate.
Below we have listed the common problems driving E-commerce businesses to migrate to a better platform. So check out for yourself, and decide if it’s time to re-platform your online store.
Technical signals for upgrading platforms
The following technical signals indicate that it may be time to switch to a more advanced platform:
Lack scalability: If your existing platform is not able to handle the growing number of SKUs or does not provide omnichannel integrations, it’s time to upgrade your platform.
Subpar site speed & performance: Perhaps your page load speed is low, taking more than 5 seconds to load, then customers are bouncing from your site, impacting the conversion rate. It would be best to start looking at scalable and more reliable platforms.
Difficult to manage: If your IT team finds it difficult to make small changes on the website, such as it takes too long to customize or it is not possible to integrate the third-party tools you wish to partner with; it’s time to look for a new advanced platform.
Here are the cost-related signals you should look out for while analyzing your existing E-commerce platform:
Escalating maintenance cost: Over time, maintaining an outdated E-commerce platform can be increasingly expensive due to security vulnerabilities and compatibility issues that require constant upgrades and patches.
Dependency on costly third-party plugins: If your existing platform lacks the necessary functionalities, integrating third-party plugins can increase your operating expenses.
High Total Cost of Ownership: A high TCO, which includes the cost of site infrastructure, design, and maintenance, can indicate that it’s time to consider a more cost-effective platform solution.
Marketing & Sales Signals
Here are the sales and marketing signals that indicate the need for replatforming an E-commerce site
Poor customer experience and low conversion rates: A low conversion rate is a strong indicator that the current platform is unable to meet your sales and marketing goals. In other words, the outdated platform with limited features can result in a poor customer experience that will keep your customers away from making a purchase.
Not optimized for mobile devices: 70% of E-commerce purchases happen on mobile, and Google also has transitioned to mobile-first indexing; this means the mobile-optimized online stores will rank higher on SERP ranking. So, make sure your platform is fully mobile-optimized!
We have already discussed operational issues like slow site load, difficulty with customizations, and poor customer experience, indicating time to look for re-platforming. In short, if your team is spending more time fixing platform issues, instead of focusing on business-impacting decisions; it is time to consider a better, advanced platform.
3 E-commerce platforming options that you can choose from
When it comes to setting up an E-commerce store, you have a few options to choose from. Each platform has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to select the one that best suits your business needs. Here are the three options to choose from:
An on-premise E-commerce platform is installed and runs on your organization’s own server. This means you get increased control over your infrastructure, which includes security, data management, and customizations. However, the advantage ends there. On-premise platforming has lost its popularity because of the higher costs involved in setting up and managing it. Complex hardware and specialized technical expertise to manage significantly add to the cost.
A cloud E-commerce platform is hosted and managed by a third-party provider. The platform provider is responsible for managing the end-to-end software, right from infrastructure to security. This is quite beneficial for store owners as they can focus on other areas of the business instead of being bogged down by the technicalities of the software. The best part about cloud E-commerce platforms is that it is very easy to manage and update the store, even for non-technical users. Our E-commerce platform, Kartify, is a classic example. It offers all the above benefits to its users. In return, you need to pay a small monthly subscription.
With a self-hosted E-commerce platform, you purchase and manage a cloud server from the solution provider and host your website there. The solution provider is responsible for maintaining the server and its security. Unlike on-premise platforms, you don’t have to purchase hardware or set it up on your premises, which means you don’t have to make large investments in technical expertise and resources. Examples of self-hosted E-commerce platforms include Magento, Opencart, and Woocommerce.
Things to consider before switching to new E-commerce platform
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself while evaluating an E-commerce platform
How user-friendly is the new platform?
Does the platform let you customize your store to match the brand voice?
Does the platform integrate with other tools you use, such as payment gateways, shipping providers, order management systems and marketing automation tools?
Can the platform scale along with your business and accommodate rising traffic?
Does the platform have any hidden fees, transaction charges, and associated expenses?
How much effort and cost is involved in migrating your existing customer, product, and order data to the new platform?
How is the quality and availability of customer support for the new platform? Do they have a repository of resources available for training and troubleshooting?
Is the platform optimized for mobile devices? Does it provide a seamless mobile shopping experience?
Does the platform have strong SEO features?
Does the platform provide reporting and analytics to help you make informed business decisions?
Steps to create an E-commerce re-platforming strategy
Once you have determined the need for replatforming and have chosen the type of platform, it is time to develop a plan for the migration process. Here are the steps you should follow:
1. Identify your business needs
The first step is to identify the current and future requirements of your E-commerce store. This includes understanding your business goals and how the tech platform will help you achieve those goals. A few important goals for an E-commerce store include the following-
Improving sales and revenue
Elevating user experience
Building a competitive advantage
Streamlining data management
Enhancing the efficiency of staff
2. Write the RFP
The next step is to draft a comprehensive request for proposal (RFP). The RFP should clearly outline your business goals and the expected features. This will help you evaluate and compare different E-commerce platforms for your needs. Here are some essential components to include:
A brief overview of the project and your business.
A clear definition of your business goals or the reasons for re-platforming
A detailed section covering technical requirements for the new platform. It must include system architecture and security requirements.
Current roadblocks and barriers to success
A list of all the features and functionalities expected in the new platform
A transparent timeline and budget for the project, including milestones
A clear explanation of all the evaluation criteria used for evaluating the proposals.
A description of the format for vendor responses.
By including all the key components, you will make sure that you receive the right proposals from vendors to meet your specific needs.
3. Estimate cost & timelines
When considering the cost of re-platforming an E-commerce site, it is vital to take into account not only the upfront purchase price of the new platform but also the additional investments required to get the site up and running. These investments can include: infrastructure, maintenance, an in-house development team, surcharges for traffic spikes, ongoing fixes and testing, hosting, security upgrades, performance testing, and custom checkout options, to name a few.
In addition to these initial costs, it is also important to consider the cost of migrating data, maintaining website design and structure, and ongoing site maintenance and security. The cost of re-platforming and ongoing maintenance will vary based on the type of E-commerce platform you choose.
4. Understand 3rd party integrations and other must-have features
The next crucial aspect to consider in your E-commerce replatforming strategy is evaluating the must-have features and compatibility with existing third-party softwares. This is critical to ensure that the new platform supports your business operations successfully. Must-have features could include any necessary functionality like product management, order management, shipping and tax calculation, customer management, etc. The easiest way to do this is by noting down all the features you use in your current platform plus the features you missed the most in it.
Similarly, you must also ensure that all the existing third-party tools work with the new platform. The last thing you want is to change these tools and increase the cost of replatforming.
5. Develop a content and data migration plan
The last step is all about clearly charting out the process for transferring data from the old platform to the new one. Here are the different sub-tasks involved in this –
Start by cataloging all the data that needs to be transferred, including product categories, image catalogs, product descriptions, order data, and customer data.
Understand the data format of the new platform and make any necessary modifications to your existing data. This will ensure that the data can be easily transferred without any hassles.
Find out what are the different transfer options available. You can either opt for fully manual data entry, use automated tools, or a combination of both. Choose one based on your budget and the time available.
Before you transfer the entire data, perform a test migration of a small set of data to ensure that there are no errors.
Develop a detailed plan for preventing data loss during the migration. It should also involve backup procedures and other contingency measures.
Create a rollback plan in case the migration doesn’t go as per your plan.
6. Plan for SEO after E-commerce migration
After an E-commerce platform rebranding, it’s important to pay attention to your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) to improve its visibility and ranking on SERP. Here are some steps you can take to maintain the SEO after the migration:
Redirect old URLs: If you have changed the URLs of any pages on your website during the rebranding, make sure to use 301 redirects to point the old URLs to the new ones. It ensures that any incoming links to your site will still work and will not hurt your website’s ranking.
Check for broken links: Broken links can negatively impact your website’s ranking and user experience. Use tools like Screaming Frog or Ahrefs to identify broken links on your site and fix them as soon as possible.
Update your sitemap: A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on your website and helps search engines index them. After rebranding, ensure your sitemap is updated and accurately reflects the new structure of your website.
Re-optimize your content: Look at your website’s content and make sure it is optimized for the keywords you want to rank for. It involves updating your page titles, meta descriptions, and other on-page SEO elements to better match your target keywords.
7. Monitoring site performance after replatforming
Even though your E-commerce site has been successfully migrated to a new platform, it’s important to stay vigilant for a couple of weeks to ensure everything is working smoothly after re-platforming. During this time, closely monitor your Google Search Console and look for indexing issues like 404 errors, excessive redirects, and 500 errors, which can negatively impact your search ranking.
Despite thorough planning, there are chances that some minor issues may slip through, so it’s important to monitor crawl errors immediately after the migration and for about a week after that. For example, while you may see a spike in crawl activity immediately after the migration, if this activity continues at high levels, it may indicate the creation of infinite crawl spaces, which can occur when the on-site search function creates auto-generated URLs.
In addition to monitoring crawl activity, it’s also important to pay attention to load speed and response times. Online shoppers don’t want to wait for a slow-loading site, and if your pictures aren’t optimized for fast loading or your CDN isn’t handling the new site efficiently, you may lose potential customers.
E-commerce migration checklist
You can use this, E-commerce replatforming checklist for a successful migration process:
All existing SEO links are redirected correctly to the new platform
All important elements, such as meta titles and descriptions, header tags, and alt tags, are properly transferred
The URL structure remains consistent and does not harm existing link equity
There is no major change in the new website’s search engine rankings and visibility
All customer data, including names, addresses, and other details, are properly transferred
All product data, including descriptions, images, and pricing, are properly transferred
Al existing order history is properly transferred
The new website’s navigation, layout, and overall user experience are optimized
The new website’s pages load quickly
The new website is optimized for mobile devices
The payment system is properly integrated with the new platform.
The shipping module is properly integrated
CRM is properly integrated (If available)
The accounting system is properly integrated (If available)
As technology and customer expectations continue to evolve, it is critical for online store owners to regularly evaluate and upgrade their E-commerce platform and remain competitive.
To ensure your migration goes as planned, consider switching to a platform that matches your business needs and offers complete tech support throughout the process.
The world of e-commerce is growing fiercely every year. In fact, according to Statista, the value of the Indian e-commerce industry is 74.8 billion US dollars. And it’s forecast to reach 350 billion US dollars by 2030.
The reason behind these growing numbers is simple— consumers love the ease of e-commerce shopping while sitting in pajamas, in the comfort of their homes.
And thanks to all the no-code tools, building an e-commerce store has become as easy as buying from it. But here’s the thing— while it looks all rainbows and unicorns from the outside, it’s actually challenging to run and grow an e-commerce business.
One of the challenges that could lead to the downfall of any e-commerce store is the high cart abandonment rate.
Nearly 70% of people abandon their carts while shopping online. This means a whopping 7 out of 10 people will add something to their carts and will exit without buying them.
Fortunately, cart abandonment does not have to spell the end of your sales. By implementing an effective shopping cart recovery email strategy, you can potentially bring back a significant percentage of abandoned carts (10% or more), without any additional effort beyond the initial setup.
And in this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about setting up a full-proof abandoned cart recovery strategy.
But first, let’s understand the basics.
What is an Abandoned Cart Email?
An abandoned cart email is a follow-up email e-commerce businesses send to the people who abandoned the cart. This email is for 7 out of 10 shoppers who didn’t make the purchase. With an abandoned cart email strategy in place, businesses can recover around 10% of the lost revenue.
Abandoned cart emails remind customers of the items left in their cart and encourage them to complete the purchase. It may include a special limited time offer or promotion to incentivize the customer to return and complete the purchase.
Alternatively, the email can have the option to order within it so the customer won’t need to return to the website. It makes purchasing easier for customers and increases the chances of conversions. For example, if they choose cash-on-delivery (COD), you can redirect them to a new page, or if they choose a prepaid option, you can take them to the payments page directly.
Abandoned Cart Email Sequence you Should Follow
Studies suggest a series of emails work a staggering 63% better than just one email for recovery.
Here’s an abandoned cart workflow that could help you recover the lost buyers-
Email 1: Friendly reminder email
The first abandoned cart email is sent within 15 to 30 minutes to remind customers of the items they missed buying. To improve the chances of conversion, you can give them the option to purchase within the email.
Email 2: Urgent follow-up email
The second followup email is sent as a reminder of the items waiting in the cart. This email is typically sent within 1-2 hours of cart abandonment.
Email 3: Second follow-up email with offer
If the customer still did not make the purchase, you can send a second follow-up email with an offer or incentive within 6-8 hours of cart abandonment. You can also use category promotion as a hook to upsell similar products.
Email 4: The final attempt email
The fourth cart abandonment email is your last attempt to make the conversion; usually, by this time, the intent of purchase is very less, so focusing on category or bestseller promotion can be a route you can take while drafting the email. This email is usually sent after 24 hours of abandoning the cart.
If the customer still does not make the purchase, we recommend not sending any more abandoned cart emails rather adding them to your nurture email sequence list.
Basic Elements of Abandoned Cart Email
In order to influence the readers to go back to your website and buy the items in the cart, you need to make sure that your email gets opened and is compelling enough. This is where a few elements of high-converting abandoned cart email will help. Let’s discuss these in detail.
Abandoned cart email subject line
A subject line is the first impression that you make on your potential customers. After all, it’s the first thing that they read. Therefore, the subject line should be compelling enough for potential buyers to open the email.
To make it irresistible, try using a combination of your store’s name and a friendly reminder. Phrases such as “Look what’s waiting for you” or “Did you forget something?” can be informal and cheerful. On the other hand, you can use a more formal approach with a subject line like “You left products in a cart.” If offering a discount coupon, it’s a good idea to mention it in the subject line to grab customers’ attention.
Credit: Juicy Chemistry
The text following the subject line, known as the email preview, also plays a role in determining the open rate of your abandoned cart email. To maximize engagement, the preview text should complement the subject line. And the preview and subject lines should not be too similar. Also, using emojis in the subject line can make it stand out in the inbox.
Some examples of abandoned cart email subject lines are-
“Don’t miss out on these items in your cart”
“Your cart is still waiting for you”
“Complete your purchase and save [insert percentage or amount]”
“Your dream items are still available”
“Don’t let these deals slip away”
“Don’t forget about your forgotten items”
“Your cart is calling, come back and finish your purchase”
“Don’t leave empty-handed, complete your purchase now”
“Don’t miss the chance to own these items”
“Your cart is lonely, come back and complete your purchase”
It’s important to note that these are only examples, and the best subject line will vary depending on the tone of your business and the products you sell. Also, you should always A/B test your subject lines to see which performs better.
Including a brand logo in business emails is an effective way to appear professional and legitimate. Logos also help customers quickly identify the sender of the email. For abandoned cart emails, it is important to include your logo at the top of the email as it serves as a reminder of the purchase the customer almost made in your online store.
Here’s a fact— your email isn’t the only abandoned cart email that your customer is receiving. So to increase the chances of customers clicking the call-to-action button, your copy should be unique and attention-grabbing.
To achieve this, begin by highlighting the value of your abandoned cart email to the customer. This could include a friendly reminder that their cart has been saved for their convenience or an exclusive offer, such as a discount coupon. Creating a sense of urgency by mentioning it’s a limited-time offer can also help increase the chances of the customer taking action.
The key here is to make the copy as conversational as possible. You need to be polite, write like a human, and make it clear and concise. Don’t use jargon or complicated words. Use simple and easy-to-understand words instead.
No customer dislikes a discount, and offering them with a coupon increases the chances of making a purchase.
But here’s the catch— Some customers may habitually abandon their carts in anticipation of receiving discounts via abandoned cart emails. To prevent this from impacting profits, it’s best to avoid offering excessive discounts, such as those typical of Black Friday deals. A small discount, like 5%, may be sufficient to motivate customers to complete their purchase.
Another powerful strategy here is to add information about the current deals and discounts in your store instead of offering a discount on the items left in the cart.
You should enlist all the items left in the cart in your email. This will help the customer remember what products they thought about buying. The product photographs in the email will remind them why they added the product in the first place. Also, if the customer isn’t looking to buy everything, they might at least buy one or a few of the items.
A CTA, or call-to-action button, is the key element of an abandoned cart email. The content before the button should be persuasive enough to encourage clicks. The design and text of the button should also be attention-grabbing and clear. Testing different CTA phrases, such as “Complete my purchase,” “Finish checkout,” or “Get it now,” can significantly improve conversion rates.
Credit: Go Daddy
When a customer is close to completing an order but has concerns about delivery timing, coupon validity, or other questions, it’s important to have a clear and easily accessible means of addressing those concerns.
Include a phone number, email address, or contact form in your abandoned cart email so that customers can quickly reach out with any questions or concerns. This will help to increase customer comfort and confidence in completing their purchase. For example, in the image below, the brand has subtly integrated the ‘contact us’ CTA at the bottom.
Additionally, adding links to your business’s social media pages or a store address can provide customers with additional information and resources to make an informed decision.
Abandoned Cart Email Best Practices
Here are some of the best-abandoned cart email practices that can help you improve the retention rate-
The best time to send abandoned cart emails is shortly after the item has been abandoned. A good baseline is to send the first message one hour after abandonment. This allows you to take advantage of the customer’s initial shopping urge. It’s also important to keep the timeline condensed, without being overly pushy. A suggested schedule would be to send the second email 24 hours after the first email and the third one 24 hours after the second email.
Email Subject Line
A subject line is the first thing someone reads when you send an email.
And that’s why it is important that it grabs enough attention and pushes the reader to open the email.
The length of the subject line does not have a significant impact on the open rate for most users. However, for those who read your emails on mobile devices, shorter subject lines may perform better. The best approach is to experiment and determine what works best for your specific audience.
No matter what kind of email you’re sending, personalization is crucial. It reflects that your brand is human and knows the customers.
Personalizing abandoned cart emails by including the specific items left in the customer’s cart and addressing them by name can increase the chances of the customer returning to complete the purchase. This is because the customer has already shown interest in the items by adding them to their cart, and seeing them listed in the email may remind them to complete the purchase.
Using customer reviews and testimonials in your abandoned cart emails can help to enhance your branding and create a sense of FOMO among customers who have left items in their cart. For example, including positive reviews of specific products in the abandoned cart email can entice customers to complete their purchases.
Call to action (CTA)
In order to encourage customers to take action, it is important to include bold and attention-grabbing calls to action (CTAs) in abandoned cart emails. The desired action in this case is for the customer to complete their purchase. To make it easy for them to do so, place a clear and conspicuous CTA near the product image, using button text such as “Go back” or “Buy it now.”
In order to effectively persuade customers to complete their purchase, the copy in abandoned cart emails should be engaging, concise, and persuasive. Good copywriting should be interesting enough to encourage customers to return and complete their purchase, while also reflecting the brand’s voice and tone.
17 Best Abandoned Cart Emails to Take Inspiration From
People don’t have time to go through a big copy with lots of details. Instead, they need short, attention-grabbing, and on-point emails. This email from Nykaa is one of such amazing emails where it has put out everything without making it look bulky and lengthy.
Using a bold image as the heading of the email to grab the attention.
Enlisting all the items left in the cart. So that the customer remembered what they missed buying at the last stage.
Adding coupons and social media links to engage the customer in case they don’t want to buy the enlisted items.
Flipkart uses graphics to reflect the target audience for their emails. For example, the above email reflects that this email is for people who love food blogging and are interested in buying food blogging-related products. The email also shows that Flipkart focuses on safety very much. This, in turn, makes people trust the brand when it comes to safety in a time when a pandemic has just passed.
Visually attractive copy.
Categories to make it look clean.
Less but creative use of text.
Online shoppers may not always know exactly what they want, but they may be open to suggestions. Including product recommendations in abandoned cart emails can guide customers toward items they may be interested in, but may not have noticed before.
An example of this is Timberland, which cleverly suggests alternative related products in their abandoned cart emails while keeping the focus on the original item. The layout of the email also plays a role, by highlighting a few similar alternatives, keeping the attention on the originally viewed product.
Adding product suggestions.
Focusing on the original item.
More images than text to make it look more appealing to the eyes and easy to scan.
Effectively targeting emotions and the appropriate audience is crucial for abandoned cart emails. Barkshop, for example, effectively targets dog owners, who are the intended audience for their products, in their abandoned cart email.
By tapping into the emotions of dog owners and emphasizing their pet’s happiness, the email is more likely to be successful. This is a great example to follow when crafting your own abandoned cart emails.
Creative images to trigger emotions.
Asking for feedback shows that your brand cares about the customers.
Creating unsubscription messages to reduce the chances of unsubscription.
5. Whiskey Loot
Credit: Whiskey loot
Customers may have concerns or objections when considering a purchase. It’s important to anticipate and address these objections in abandoned cart emails. You can use customer research and conduct usability testing to understand the customer’s concerns and address them in the email. Take an example of abandoned cart email from Whiskey Loot, which goes to great lengths to anticipate and address potential objections a customer may have. By doing this, it increases the chances of recovering lost sales.
Lengthy but great email copy.
Addressing the objections is a unique idea that makes the email stand out.
This abandoned cart email by Dyson effectively incorporates all the necessary elements and has a polished, clear design that makes it easy to read.
Short, engaging and fun to read.
The intelligent use of showcasing their USP’s helps build trust.
Creates a sense of urgency to push the customers to make a decision.
Clear CTA button.
Humans are inclined to return favors when given one, and that’s why the principle of reciprocation is commonly used in persuasion. An example of this is Quip’s abandoned cart email, which highlights the importance of oral health and offers a free refill as an incentive for customers to return to their cart.
An image that reflects the brand and highlights a message that the reader can relate to.
Discount coupon to encourage the reader to buy.
User reviews to improve trust.
This abandoned cart email is a great example of an effective email as it has all the necessary elements: compelling copywriting, clear call-to-action (CTA), personalization by displaying the customer’s cart, and creating a sense of urgency. The language used such as “Going, going, (almost) gone” and “Our popular items sell out fast” engages the customer and creates a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). Additionally, the email ends with a CTA to answer questions and subscribe to product updates, further emphasizing the idea that the customer should not miss out on anything.
Creating a sense of FOMO.
Adding a touch of personalization by showing what’s left in the cart.
Feedback option to show that the brand cares.
Flexibility for readers to connect on chat or call.
9. Thrive Market
Credit: Thrive Market
This abandoned cart email from Thrive Market stands out among other examples by highlighting the cost savings customers can achieve by purchasing from them compared to other retailers. The email also features a clear and prominent green CTA button, which stands out against the otherwise neutral color scheme.
The email is straightforward and not overwhelming, focusing on the key information. Additionally, it lists the products in the cart and how much the customer can save on each item. To further encourage the customer to complete the purchase, a coupon code is offered at the end of the email, with an accompanying copy that emphasizes the value of the offer.
Prominent CTA button.
Easy to scan and check the items at once.
Coupon code to push the reader to buy the products.
Adding the cost-saving point to show how much they’re saving.
Online reviews are a powerful influence on purchasing decisions, with ~90% of people reading them. Social proof, as outlined in the book Influence by Robert Cialdini, is one of the six principles of persuasion and plays a major role in online shopping.
Customer reviews improve trust in the brand.
Discount coupon to improve the chances of buying.
Some services or products may not be immediately clear or easy to understand, leading to visitors leaving a website without making a purchase. To address this, an abandoned cart email can be used to provide a brief explanation of the product or service, and how it works.
An example of this is Hungryroot, which uses a series of images to create a simple, yet effective step-by-step narrative that effectively demonstrates how their product works.
Images grab the attention and support the copy.
Coupon to push the reader to make a purchase.
Clear CTA button.
Bloomingdale is well known for their iconic big brown bags, and this abandoned cart email effectively leverages this brand recognition by prominently featuring the bags and using the phrase “My Brown Bag.” This creates a strong brand recall for the customer and speaks to them on a personal level. This email is a great example of how to effectively use branding in abandoned cart emails.
Language that creates a sense of urgency and the added incentive of free shipping encourages the customers to buy immediately.
The use of “brown bag” instead of “showing bag” is a smart way of standing out and creating a unique brand value.
In their abandoned cart email, Target adopts a different strategy by providing a discount on the items in the customer’s cart. The use of phrases such as “New price alert” and “Time to check out” creates a sense of urgency and makes it hard for the customer to resist the offer.
Enlisting all the items in the cart with original and discount prices.
Adding more options for the reader.
Contact us and a clear unsubscribing option.
Including a discount code in an abandoned cart email is a valuable tool for many brands. These coupons can be highly effective in helping customers overcome the hurdle of making their first purchase.
While indiscriminately offering discounts may not always be the best strategy, abandoned cart coupons are particularly useful because they are the last opportunity to win back a potential customer and the customer has already demonstrated interest by adding items to their cart.
Amazing graphics to grab the attention.
Very title text makes it easy to scan.
Captivating and unique CTA.
Using humor can be an effective way to increase engagement and encourage customers to take action. In this example, Casper’s abandoned cart email opens with a comedic phrase “Come Back to Bed” that captures the customer’s attention. The casual and humorous tone of the copywriting makes the email feel more personal and less formal, making it more relatable to the customer.
Using humor to make the copy unique and attractive.
User review to improve trust.
Very little text to make the copy concise and clear.
Simple Modern’s abandoned cart email design is minimalist and contemporary. The subject line “Your cart is about to expire” creates a sense of urgency from the start. Additionally, they include an offer or promotion (Free shipping on orders over $25) at the top of the email which encourages customers to reassess their cart and potentially add more items in order to qualify for the free shipping.
The placement of the product image is unique, the product is a hero here.
Minimalist and simple design.
Funny and engaging text is an effective way to connect with customers. Dote excels at this by using humorous copywriting in their abandoned cart email. For example, they use phrases such as “Your shopping bag has abandonment issues” and “Save these items hours of therapy and give them a loving home” which adds an entertaining touch and makes the brand more appealing to customers.
This email is a great example of how to use abandoned cart emails to showcase a brand’s personality and create brand enthusiasts. Additionally, it’s short and to the point, making it easy for the customer to continue shopping.
Engaging text with a pinch of humor.
Simple design with minimal text.
5 Abandoned Cart Email Templates that you can Use Right Away
Email #1 A friendly nudge
Subject Line: OOPS! Did something go wrong? 🙂
Headline: Your cart’s loneliness is hurting us! Take it home with you.
Hi [First Name]
Looks like you were checking out stuff but couldn’t take the final step.
Don’t worry! We have saved your cart.
[CTA: Take me to cart]
Not satisfied with your cart? Check out our other best sellers.
Don’t hesitate to hit us up at [Enter contact details] for any queries.
We won’t rest until you find what you’re looking for. 😊
[Enter Sender’s Name]
Email #2 The traditional reminder
Subject: Don’t forget about the items in your cart.
Hi [Customer Name],
We noticed that you left some items in your cart. We wanted to remind you that these items are still waiting for you:
[List of Items]
We know how easy it is to get sidetracked, so we’ve included a special offer just for you. Use the code “GET10” at checkout to receive 10% off your purchase.
Don’t miss out on these great deals. Complete your purchase today and enjoy your new items soon!
P.S. If you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service team. We’re always happy to help.
Email #3 The trendy copy
Subject Line: It’s me! Hi! I am the cart you left behind.
Headline: Meet us at midnight, or anytime.
Hi [first name],
Hope you are all too well. The amazing items you picked out are eager to meet you in 3-5 business days (with free shipping, of course).
[Item with image and its price]
Let’s not waste another second.
Grab them while you can. We’re also throwing in a discount code just for you. Use code TAYLORSWIFT at checkout.
[Link to cart]
Looks like you are already on the website.
Email #4 Customer service at its best
Subject: Your [Brand] Cart is Waiting for You
I hope this email finds you well. I noticed that you had added some [Brand] items to your cart on our website, but haven’t quite finished your purchase yet.
I wanted to make sure that all your questions have been answered and that you’re not experiencing any issues with the checkout process. I am dedicated to helping you in any way I can. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reply to this email.
Otherwise, you can complete your purchase by clicking here:
[RETURN TO BASKET]
I look forward to hearing from you soon, and thank you for choosing [Brand].
Email #5 Subtle but clear ultimatum
Subject: Your Wishlist Items are Still in Your Cart
We hope this email finds you well. We noticed that you left some items from your wishlist in your cart on our website.
Now is your chance to complete the order before it’s too late. The demand for these items is high and we can’t hold them for you any longer. Don’t miss this opportunity to purchase your favorite items.
Here’s a reminder of the items you added to your cart:
Don’t let this chance slip away, click here to restore your cart and complete your purchase now:
[RESTORE MY CART]
If you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service team. We’re always happy to help.
[Your Name/Company Name]
There are various strategies for crafting an effective abandoned cart email, and A/B testing different variations can help you determine what resonates most with your audience. Some customers may respond better to personalized emails, while others may be more inclined to take action in response to a discount or humorous tone. It’s crucial to experiment with different approaches to find out what works best.
When executed well, abandoned cart emails can be an excellent opportunity to build brand loyalty and delight customers at every touchpoint. By incorporating strong branding and persuasive copywriting, you can establish trust and foster a positive relationship with your customers.
Want to convert your lost customers to successful sales? ANS Commerce, a full-stack E-commerce growth partner, can help you recover lost sales by setting up robust email marketing campaigns with personalized communication for every stage. To know more about how we can help you improve CLV, book a free consulting session with us today!
Amazon has become the go-to E-commerce marketplace for businesses and consumers alike. More and more businesses have started using Amazon as their primary sales channel due to its vast customer base, strong reputation, and convenience in selling their products. This also means that it has become extremely important to optimize your product listings for Amazon search so that it appears above other sellers.
In this article, we will dive deep and understand how Amazon SEO works and the different ways to improve your product rankings on Amazon.
Understand How Amazon Search Works
Amazon’s search is quite similar to other search engines like Google in most aspects. For example, it enables users to search for products by entering keywords or phrases in the search bar that can be found at the top of the Amazon website and mobile app.
Whenever a user enters a search query on Amazon, its in-built search algorithm, called the A10 algorithm, will process the query instantly and return a list of all the relevant products matching the keywords. Users are also given the option to sort and filter the results based on various factors such as price, brand, ratings, and other category-specific factors.
Here is how the search result looks for “laptop query” on the Amazon website
What Is Amazon’s A10 Algorithm?
The A10 algorithm is the logical successor of the popular A10 algorithm of Amazon. Based on powerful and proprietary technology, the A10 algorithm gauges various factors of product listing, including product description, the images used, embedded keywords, product title, and many more to determine the rank for each product.
Now, Amazon A10’s primary goal is to help buyers shop. Hence, it will prefer high-performing ANIS over others. That is why your product must convert well for customer queries. We will talk more about how you can optimize for Amazon SEO later.
Amazon’s A10 Algorithm Example
Here is an example of how Amazon’s A10 algorithm works –
A customer enters the query “Tennis Racquet” in the Amazon search bar. The A10 algorithm instantly processes the two keywords and begins to match them with all the indexed products in the catalog. It checks whether the keywords “tennis” and “racquet” are present in the product title and description. It then checks the sales history of the product, customer reviews, and performance of the brand over time.
Finally, it includes all the relevant products in the search results and also considers the customer’s browsing and purchase history to display relevant products.
What factors influence Amazon A10’s search rankings?
Here are two major factors that influence product ranking on Amazon –
Product: The A10 algorithm analyzes how relevant your product is to the user’s search query. To gauge the relevancy, it checks for the keywords in the title and description of the product.
Performance: The A10 algorithm analyzes the performance of your product and the brand. Key performance parameters include pricing, sales history, click-through rates, and conversion rates.
In the next section, let us see in detail how to improve the above two factors.
Amazon SEO: How To Improve Product Rankings On Amazon?
Here are some tips to optimize the Product factor of Amazon A10 algorithm and improve its overall rankings –
1. Map the products to the correct node
Amazon uses nodes to categorize products based on their unique characteristics. Due to the presence of millions of products on Amazon, categorization becomes important because it simplifies browsing for customers. But, mapping the products to the right node is even more important for the sellers because it improves the findability of the products. Even though mapping products to the correct node might seem trivial, its importance in improving the rank of your product cannot be understated. Let us understand this with an example.
Credit: Vega Atom on Amazon
The above product is categorized as Cars & Motorbikes > Motorbike Accessories & Parts > Helmets. Now, the category “Cars & Motorbikes” is the root node and is very generic. It also means the competition is extremely high in that category. Therefore, the chances of a new product ranking high in this category are almost nil. However, if you map it to the branch node “Motorbike Accessories & Parts” or the leaf node “Helmets”, you will have a better chance of ranking higher.
Best Practices to follow
In case you’re not sure how to categorize your product, see how other sellers have categorized similar products.
Always use your knowledge of the product’s features to decide the categorization.
Do not over-categorize. If the product matches the branch node better than the lead node, place it in the branch node.
Keep testing your categorization. Eventually, you will reach the perfect categorization for your product.
2. Optimize your Amazon product title
The product title is the first thing that customers notice about your product. It is important for you to optimize the product title and make it A10-friendly without compromising readability. It should also cover all the key elements of the product, such as:
Here is an example of an excellent product title on Amazon
Credit: Samsung on Amazon
You must also know which keywords to use for your product. Stuffing of the keyword is a big no. Since the title has only a fixed number of characters, you need to be frugal in your keyword usage.
Use keyword management tools to identify the most important keywords for your product. Also, keep an eye out for keywords used by other sellers selling the same product and make your own improvisations in the title.
Best Practices to follow
Use three to four keywords in your title and place them at strategic points.
Place the most relevant keyword first.
Make use of special characters as breakpoints, and then add the next keyword.
Capitalize the first letter in each word except connecting words like “in”, “and”, “for”, “the”, and “an”.
Use numbers instead of words (e.g.: 8 instead of eight)
State the number of items included, size, and color feature in the title
3. Write Amazon product features in bullet points
Amazon has been quite liberal on the product description front. It has given a considerable amount of space to write about your product and its features. But many sellers use this freedom of space to write huge paragraphs about the product. Yes, you must provide all the details about the product, but you mustn’t overwhelm the customers with too many unwanted details.
Also, using paragraphs will make it difficult for readers to consume the content. Many users like to skim through most of the features and read in detail only the ones that they really care about. We suggest using bullet points for writing product descriptions – this will make the content easy to read. Optimize your product description for your target keywords.
Here is an example of a good product description –
Best Practices to follow
Use a two-tiered bullet approach for writing product description.
Besides features, include the benefits of the product in the description. This will give the users a better context of how the product will fit into their daily lives.
Avoid using common adjectives like “best,” “high-quality,” “durable,” “efficient,” etc. in your product descriptions. Not only are these words overused, but they are also pretty meaningless.
Highlight the main feature or benefit of your product in the first bullet. You can follow it up with a more detailed explanation to make it comprehensible for the users.
Limit each bullet point to 500 characters.
4. Don’t forget to utilize backend search terms
We have highlighted before that it is not wise to overuse keywords in the title and description section. We also know that keywords have an important role to play in your product ranking. So what’s the best way to use keywords if we can’t utilize them fully on the product details page?
The answer is “Backend.” Yes, Amazon offers you a 250 characters space for every listing to include all your keywords. The best part is this content is not visible on the product page. You can list all the keywords that you missed in the product page. If you have many keywords, you can also upload them in .XML or .CSV files.
Best Practices to follow
Include misspelled keywords here. This will cover you for all the misspelled search queries.
Don’t repeat the keywords that you have already listed on the product page. Irrespective of the importance of the keyword, Amazon expects you to list it in only 1 place.
For backend keywords, use spaces between the keywords to separate them. No need to use commas.
Don’t use competitor names or any ASINs as keywords here.
5. Use A+ Content
A+ Content is a part of Amazon’s product description that allows sellers to share their brand story or product features with the help of rich media such as images and videos. Some sellers also use it to offer comparative product information and product setup instructions.
Besides the chance to add keywords to the A+ content, you can use the A+ content to improve your SEO score by offering a lot of additional information. This enhances the UX of your product detail page drastically, leading to improved conversions and better sales.
Here is an example of A+ content.
Credit: Dermafique Amazon Account
Always proofread your content before sending it for review to Amazon. It takes around 7 days to get your A+ content approved. In case of any mistakes, you have to wait another 7 days to get it live.
You can talk about your competitors in this section. This will help users compare your product and make an informed decision.
Never use any links that redirect users outside of Amazon. Amazon doesn’t allow this.
Performance Optimization Strategies for Amazon Listings
You must understand that Amazon is mainly a buying platform. Ultimately Amazon’s primary goals are sales and conversions. It values all those products with a higher propensity of getting sold and rewards them by ranking them higher. And as a seller, you must improve your sales numbers to show that you have a winning product. So here are some key Amazon SEO strategies that you can adopt to improve your sales, which, in turn, will have an impact on your product rankings –
1. Keep a competitive price
When determining the price for your product, it is crucial to take into account the prices of similar products offered by your competitors. Your goal should be to either match or beat the competition’s prices, and even consider lowering them more for higher sales.
If you price your product higher than your competitors, Amazon’s algorithm will automatically deduce that it won’t sell as many as others. It will push your listing to the bottom of the SERP. Interestingly, Amazon also uses pricing as one of the key factors to award Buy Box to the seller.
You need to ensure that you have sufficient inventory levels all the time. If you do not have enough stock, you will not be able to fulfill orders on time. You must remember that Amazon wants purchases to happen. The last thing it wants is a customer visiting a product page with no stock or limited stock resulting in no order placement. That’s why Amazon consistently ranks products with sufficient inventory higher over those with little or no inventory.
3. Gain positive reviews and ratings
As a customer, one will always prefer a product that’s liked by others. It gives them social proof that this product is reliable and is working fine. As a seller, you need to work on getting positive reviews for your brand and for your product. Positive reviews can drastically improve your visibility in search results. It can give an impression that your product is popular, leading to a higher chance of conversion.
4. Set up warehouses in all 4 locations (North, East, West & South)
When you have warehouses in all four corners of the country, your shipping speed drastically improves, as you can ship items from the warehouse closest to the customer. For inventory management at each location, we suggest looking at buying patterns & shipping data and storing more inventory where most of your customers are located. It will avoid stockouts, thereby improving product availability for your customers.
5. Use Amazon PPC to increase sales
Amazon Pay-Per-Click is an advertising program that allows you to bid on keywords and display your products in the sponsored search results section. This is a great way to boost your visibility, especially if you are unable to improve your search rankings. You can target very specific keywords, products, and customer segments to ensure that your products always reach the right audience.
6. Adopt Amazon’s DSP ads
Amazon’s DSP (Demand Side Platform) ad is another effective way to boost your sales. With these ads, you can reach customers through targeted and data-driven ads by leveraging Amazon’s rich repository of customer data. DSP ads drive shoppers to your product page from outside the Amazon platform. However, these ads can be managed only by Amazon and not by sellers.
Few more Amazon search engine optimization strategies to help rank
Here are some additional ranking factors that have an impact on rankings –
1. Bring additional traffic to your Amazon product page
Bringing additional traffic to your product page is all about directing customers from other sites to your product page or brand store on Amazon. This will generate more traffic and sales to your product, which will ultimately have a positive impact on your rankings. You can also drive traffic to your Amazon page through PPC ads, email marketing, and social media campaigns.
2. Ship through FBA
Fulfillment by Amazon lets you store your products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Also, Amazon will handle the shipping and customer service process for such products. Using Amazon fulfilled shipping not only ensures timely delivery but also increases your chances of ranking higher on SERP results and winning Amazon buy box.
3. Use brand names in your Amazon product listings
When you use brand names in your product listing, it can establish credibility in the minds of your potential customers. It can also help them in finding the product through Amazon search. Adding the brand name also differentiates your product from your competitors, making it more recognizable. A word of caution, you must use your brand accurately and legally. The last thing you want is to get into a legal issue.
Is there anything I shouldn’t do with Amazon SEO?
Here are some major no when it comes to Amazon SEO –
Do not copy content from other listings or websites. Plagiarism can result in penalties and affect your rank negatively.
Do not use irrelevant keywords in your listing. Make sure you select appropriate keywords for your product to rank.
Do not ignore Amazon’s guidelines for product listings. Doing this will result in penalties or the removal of your listing.
Do not use blurry or low-quality images. It can make your products appear less desirable, resulting in lower conversions and poorer rank.
Do not ignore the backend keywords, as this is the best way to add all the relevant keywords for your product listing.
Do not ignore reviews and ratings, as they are one of the key factors in determining your product listing’s rank.
Navigating third-party marketplaces like Amazon can be challenging for E-commerce businesses without the right knowledge and expertise. If you’re having trouble maximizing your sales and profits on Amazon, ANS Commerce can help.
Our team of experts will offer you comprehensive marketplace management services, including account setup, optimization, management, and ROI-driven performance marketing. With our support, you can establish a strong brand presence and increase your sales potential on the platform.
If you need further help in setting up and optimizing your Amazon marketplace, reach out to us by booking a demo.
FAQs About Ranking On Amazon
How often does the Amazon search ranking get updated?
Amazon updates its search rankings on an hourly basis. But for a new listing to come up in the ranking, it can take anywhere between 24 to 48 hours.
What are some of the best Amazon SEO tools you can use?
Some of the popular Amazon SEO tools include Amazon Pi, Helium 10, Ahrefs, SellerApp, and AMZOne.
What is the Amazon SERP?
Amazon SERP(Search Engine Results Page) is the search results page that a user sees after submitting a search query on Amazon.
What is Amazon’s Featured Offer? And how does it work?
Amazon’s Feature Offer is nothing but your Amazon buy box. It is a section on the product details page that enables customers to add the product directly to their cart with a single click. The Feature Offer works by assembling products from different sellers, identifying which of those among them are reliable and offer the best deals, and finally, recommending that seller and offer as the default purchase option in the product details page.
Does Amazon A+ content affect SEO?
The short answer is Yes. A+ content does affect your SEO score. After all, it is an additional space for you to embed relevant keywords around the product. Also, the rich images help by offering more information to the customer. This can improve conversions, drive sales, and hence a better SEO score later on.
As a business owner, you might be tracking multiple metrics to identify what is and isn’t working for your business. However, among all metrics, one special metric that can tell you the value a customer brings to your business is “Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).” Understanding CLV can help you identify and target your most valuable customers, predict future revenue and make informed marketing & investing decisions.
In this blog, let’s find out what Customer Lifetime Value is, how to calculate it, its importance, and some effective strategies to improve customer lifetime value.
According to Gartner, Customer Lifetime Value is defined as –
“The total revenue or value of a customer relationship over a lifetime”
In simple terms, Customer Lifetime Value or CLV measures the total value a customer will bring to your business over the entire duration of their relationship (with your business). CLV is a critical metric to measure because it will help you predict future revenue and long term business success.
For example, knowing the lifetime value of a customer helps you get answers to these questions:
How much should you spend on sales and marketing?
What revenue and profits can you predict in the future?
How can you optimize customer acquisition cost for maximum value?
How much money should you spend on customer acquisition?
In other words, once you have a fair idea about CLV, you can make much more informed decisions about resource allocation and optimization of your sales and marketing efforts.
How To Calculate Customer Lifetime Value?
Before we dive into the formula of Customer Lifetime Value, you must know about the two models to measure the value of your customers. They are:
Historical Model: This model uses historical data to estimate the value of your customer over their lifetime. It is calculated based on past spending patterns, retention rates, and other factors that have been observed for the customer.
Predictive Model: This model applies regression and machine learning techniques on new and existing customer data to predict future customer behavior. This technique helps in forecasting the future lifetime value of the customer.
Customer lifetime value formula
The Customer Lifetime Value can be calculated by multiplying the Customer Value by the Customer Lifespan.
Customer Lifetime Value = Customer Value X Average Customer Lifespan
Let’s break down the customer lifetime value formula,
Here, Customer Value is the revenue that a customer is expected to generate throughout their relationship with your business. We can calculate customer value by multiplying the Average Purchase Value and the Average Purchase Frequency Rate.
Customer Value = Average Purchase Value (APV) X Average Purchase Frequency Rate (APFR)
Average purchase value
Further, you can calculate Average Purchase Value by dividing the total revenue of your company in a particular period (usually a year) by the number of orders in the same period.
Average Purchase Value = Total Revenue/Total Number of Orders
Average purchase frequency rate
The average Purchase Frequency Rate can be obtained by dividing the number of purchases by the number of unique customers during that period.
Average Purchase Frequency Rate = Number of Purchases/Number of Customers
Average customer lifespan
In the customer lifetime value formula, Average Customer Lifespan is the length of time that a customer is expected to remain with a business. You can calculate this number by averaging the number of years a customer keeps buying from your company.
Average Customer Lifespan = Sum of Customer Lifespan / Number of Customers
Customer Lifetime Value Example
Let us consider a simple example to explain the above customer lifetime value. Imagine you own an eCommerce clothing store.
Your customer spends INR 1000 per visit on average (this is the Average Purchase Value).
He visits your store approximately two times a month (this is the Average Purchase Frequency Rate).
So the Customer Value is around INR 2000.
On average, your customer stays with your business for around four years (this is your Customer Lifespan.)
Using the above formula, the Customer Lifetime Value for this consumer will be INR 2000 x 12 months x 4 years = INR 96000.
Why Is Customer Lifetime Value important?
It helps you optimize your marketing spend
The whole point of calculating the CLV is to optimize your sales and marketing spend. When you understand your CLV, you will be able to focus your efforts on acquiring and retaining the most valuable customers of your business instead of wasting it on customers with a lower value. You will be able to optimize your budget so that you get the most out of your efforts, which, in turn, will improve your bottom line.
It creates a steady cash flow for your business
A steady cash flow is crucial for your business as it ensures you have the resources to meet your company’s financial obligations as they come due. You need a steady cash flow to pay bills, make payroll, and invest in new opportunities. With the help of CLV, you can identify your repeat customers who will continuously pump cash into your business, resulting in a steady cash flow. You can attract customers with better offers and more personalized experiences so that they continue to purchase from you.
It helps you make better decisions about pricing and promotions
The price you set for products and the promotions you run can significantly impact your profitability and competitiveness. When you understand the CLV of different products and categories, you can make better decisions about product pricing and promotions. For example, if the CLV of a particular product is high, you can charge a higher price, not run any promotions, and still sell.
Increasing CLV can help reduce customer acquisition costs (CAC) and churn rate
When your CLV is high, your customers are more likely to remain loyal to your business. This not only translates to a lower churn rate but also means you need to spend less money on acquiring new customers to replace the existing ones. Also, higher CLV customers are more likely to bring more new customers through word of mouth, which can further help reduce CAC. A higher CLV customer may also be less sensitive to pricing. This means there will be minimal impact on the churn rate when you decide to increase the prices or make some other changes.
CLV helps identify areas of improvement
CLV is a valuable tool for identifying areas of improvement in your business. Different values and trends in CLV can highlight various issues in your business. For example,
Low CLV indicates that your business is not retaining customers or you are targeting low-value customers.
Declining CLV indicates that your business is slowly falling prey to rising competition, changing customer preferences, or even declining product quality or customer service.
Uneven CLV indicates that some segments of your target audience are less valuable than others. Which means you are not effectively targeting and serving your most valuable customers.
Long story short, by analyzing your CLV, you can identify different areas of improvement in your business and take necessary steps, like changing customer acquisition and retention strategies or adjusting product offerings, to solve them.
How To Improve Customer Lifetime Value?
Here are 5 simple hacks to improve the CLV of your business –
Create a great onboarding process
Customer onboarding is the process of introducing a new customer to your business (and your products) and helping them become familiar with it. The goal of customer onboarding is to ensure that the customers can get the most out of your brand by understanding what your brand does, why it matters, and why they should stick around with your business. A smooth onboarding customer experience will increase their likelihood of becoming long-term and loyal customers.
Why does this work?
By creating a great onboarding process, you make your customers feel welcome, supported, and valued. It will directly impact customer satisfaction, which, in turn, will result in a higher CLV.
Craft a loyalty program and reward your customers
A loyalty program is a rewards program that incentivizes customers to continue doing business with your brand. The goal of a loyalty program is to build customer loyalty and encourage customers to make repeat purchases by rewarding them for their patronage. Here is an example how Super Hair Pieces are using reward program pop-up on their website to incentivize repeat customers and referrals,
Credit: Super Hair Pieces
A well-designed loyalty program can provide customers with a reason to spend more money with your brand than your competitors, as they can unlock rewards and special offers that they can’t find anywhere else.
Why does this work?
A loyalty program increases customer spending, bolsters customer retention, and enhances customer loyalty, all of which are key ingredients to improve customer lifetime value. A loyalty program also offers valuable data about customer behavior, which can be used to tailor your marketing efforts and improve the overall customer experience. This, again, will have a positive impact on the CLV.
Amp up your customer service
Enhancing your customer service can make the customers feel that their needs are being met and their concerns are being addressed, that too in a timely and satisfactory manner. This will encourage them to continue doing business with your company. In other words, it can result in repeat purchases and a longer customer lifetime. Good customer service also helps in reducing customer churn, as a satisfied customer is less likely to switch to a competitor. You can improve your customer service by offering personalized services, omnichannel support, and a seamless return or refund policy.
Why does this work?
Good customer service can make the customers feel valued by your brand. It clearly communicates that customers are more important to you than sales. This results in more repeat purchases and, finally, better CLV.
Encourage cross-selling and up-selling.
Upselling and cross-selling are extremely important for any business because they can help increase the Average Transaction Value (ATV) and the revenue. In addition, cross-selling and upselling also improve the customer’s perception of your business. For example, if a customer buys a pair of shoes from your online store, you can also recommend a pair of socks to go with the shoes, improving the customer’s overall experience with your store.
Why does this work?
When you carefully select and recommend products that are relevant to the customer’s needs and interests, you can build trust. As a result, it improves the customer retention rate and results in a longer customer lifetime.
Keep engaging your customers through email marketing
By sending targeted emails to your customers, you can stay on top of their minds and encourage repeat purchases. For instance, you can send personalized emails with special offers or recommendations based on the customer’s past purchases. This can help increase the overall value of that customer’s relationship with your business.
Why does this work?
By regularly sending emails that are relevant and personalized, you can bring your customers back to restock supplies, check out new products and offers leading to better CLV.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a key metric to understand and optimize for any business. By calculating the expected value of a customer over their lifetime, you can identify the most valuable customers for your business and focus your efforts on retaining and maximizing the value of these customers. Thereby, building a profitable and successful business.
But we understand improving CLV takes a lot of time and effort and might not be possible for all due to limited resources. And that’s where we come in.
We have worked with more than 200+ brands helping them achieve long-term sustainability by improving the Customer Lifetime Value. To know more about how we can help you improve CLV, book a free consulting session with us today!