When it comes to successfully selling online, three of the absolute least sexy concepts are fulfillment, search functionality, and enhanced categorization. These back-end elements aren’t flashy like ghost buttons and lifestyle photograph (see Five Design Trends To Give Your Online Business A Boost) but—and this is really important—they can help you focus more time on building your business, reducing your costs, and improving your customer satisfaction.
Isn’t it time you learned more?
Order fulfillment can deliver big benefits.
Order fulfillment is what happens after a customer places an order. This is when you find the item, package it, ship it, and then manage the documentation of everything that just took place. Sounds pretty simple, right? Hardly! If you’ve sold even just a handful of items, you know that manual fulfillment is a time-consuming task that requires patience and tremendous attention to detail. For online businesses, the process can also include activating new accounts for online customers, maintaining client data, and managing inventory records.
This is where order fulfillment software can be a huge advantage for online businesses. With the right software, you’ll have a tool that automates many of the most time-consuming fulfillment tasks, making it easier to build your business and improve customer relationships. You’ll have help with:
• Inventory tracking
• Invoice updates
• Shipping notifications
• Package tracking
• Customer notifications and alerts
• Return updates
According to the DotcomWeavers team, the best order fulfillment software options on the market today are Fish Bowl, Stone Edge, Solid Commerce, ShipWorks. Each of these has a niche for themselves but with the right form of customization each of them can serve many fulfillment requirements.
Find better customer service with improved search functionality.
The idea here is to set up your site so customers can find what they’re looking for as quickly and easily as possible. At a minimum, your site should have these three search features:
•Superior Search Bar — Knowing that the search bar is often the first stop for many customers, be sure to make it easy to find. “Imagine how frustrating it would be to shop at a store where all of the store attendants were hiding,” explains Amit Bhaiya, CEO and founder of DotcomWeavers. “That’s what it’s like for shoppers who can’t find the search bar.” So, set off your search bar by making it a different color, adding an icon, or prefilling the box with the word “Search” or “Find”.
•Auto – complete—This is one of the best search bar innovations ever. With this feature, the search bar guides customers toward a sale by suggesting items as they type in the search box. The function can be taken to another level by adding images to the results. Here’s how the results might look for a person who searched the American Medical Depot.
•Quick View — Although this isn’t directly found in the search bar, it is a function that drastically improves your customers’ ability to find and order. As its name states, “quick view” allows customers to see details about a certain item without opening a new window. For even better service, the quick view mode should also allow an item to be added to cart. Check out Express.com (they refer to quick view as “Express View”).
It should go without saying, but your website’s information architecture (how your content is set up) should have categories that are broken into logical groupings. “Remember, customers have very little patience for stores that make them click and click and click to find the item they’re looking for,” Bhaiya says.
One simple idea is to make sure your high-level content categories lead to a broad—but relevant—product list within that category. Pump Products is a great example of high-level categories that lead to relevant sub-categories.
Another interesting idea that is taking hold among many eCommerce sites is cross-categorization. In this approach, your site’s information architecture is set up to offer complimentary products at the point of customer interest. For example, if a customer clicks on a pair of pants, the site would automatically show a shirt and socks that match that shirt. If the customer previews a TV, your site would show them items that other customers have purchased with that TV.
So, which of these site superchargers are you going to utilize? And are you taking these steps to build your business, reduce your costs, or improve your customer satisfaction? If you have a few minutes, add a comment to this blog to tell us more about your experience.
To speak with a professional about supercharging your website, contact DotcomWeavers at
[email protected] or 888.315.6518.