Every company wants to save money and they want to do so in the simplest way possible.
Unfortunately, every eCommerce business owner knows that there’s rarely an easy way to save. It often comes as the result of much planning and lots of tough decisions, ones informed by clear data that shows the sense in making them.
Tracking software isn’t an easy answer to this problem but it does make the process easier by collecting the data you need to make money-saving calls for your company.
We’ve highlighted three examples of tracking software that’s applicable to every eCommerce business and gives any owner the information they need to make decisions that will save them money.
Many online business owners will have at least a casual familiarity with website tracking. It tells you who is visiting your online store, which pages they’re using, how long they stay on them, and a range of other useful things.
How can you use it to save money? By finding out if you’re investing time, resources, and cash into the right pages/products.
There are many examples of website tracking tools you can use but Google Analytics is the essential one. It shows you the following data:
- Users: who has visited your website
- Sessions: the number of interactions a user makes
- Bounce Rate: how many visitors leave your site/pages without interacting
- Session Duration: the time a user spends on your site
- Active Users: who is on your site right now
This lets you see if you’re selling products your customers aren’t interested in — if they don’t visit the pages or leave without interacting with them then you know you’re wasting money by putting time and resources into them.
Google Analytics is a free tool. So, not only does it save you money but it doesn’t cost you anything to get the benefits it offers.
If you sell physical products (as most eCommerce businesses do) then inventory management is something you’re well aware of. It’s the items you sell and how many of them you have at a given time.
How can inventory tracking software save you money? It’s simple. It tells you if you’re needlessly topping up your stockpile.
There’s a huge number of inventory tracking tools on the market. The best one depends on both your business needs and the CMS you use. Rather than highlighting a specific tool, we list the things you should expect from your inventory tracking software:
- Track goods across your entire supply chain
- Barcode scanning for your products
- Multi-location management for all of your goods
- Notifications for when items are received/sold
- Recognition of any items that have been returned
The last two are perhaps the most pertinent for saving you money.
First, you can use the reporting feature that comes with your software to tell you the time gap between when an item was ordered and when it was sold. This shows you if your business is wasting money on buying products people aren’t buying. It then saves you money by giving you the data you need to make items obsolete.
Second, you can establish if any products have a high return rate. This is important because returned items waste money, as it costs your business to list, order/create and deliver them. If items are being returned then it may be you need to either change your supplier or alter your product assembly process, so you’re selling higher quality goods.
Investing in the right inventory tracking process could save your business serious money. So, review the options that are compatible with your CMS and then select the one that works best for your company.
What separates eCommerce businesses from brick and mortar stores? Plenty of things, many of which can be broadly defined as customer convenience. And what’s most convenient about online retail? You order your item and it’s delivered to your door.
This is why delivery tracking is so important to ecommerce. Because if you’re not delivering goods in the timeframe and standard expected by your customers then what’s the point of them using your business?
Delivery tracking saves you money by helping you to retain your customers, giving you the tools you need to make good on the promises you made when they made their purchase(s).
eCommerce businesses are incredibly diverse but their deliveries fall into two categories:
- Third-party distribution: You outsource product fulfillment to an external courier
- In-house distribution: Your drivers take your products to your customers
It makes sense for most online retailers to use third-party distribution, as they’re a cost-efficient way of delivering your items that keep costs low. But let’s be clear on this, if you pick the wrong company then it’ll lead to waste and reputational damage.
Using courier tracking software helps you avoid this. You can get a live feed of where your couriers are, what they’re doing and how efficiently they’re working. It gives you all the information you need to know if you’re getting value out of your third-party distributor.
How does this save you money? It helps ensure your customers get their goods when they need them and how they expected them, safeguarding you against reputational damage.
In-house distribution is often a necessity for online businesses that make bespoke items and offer a same-day delivery service (construction is an area where this is really important). It’s a sensible approach, but only if your goods go to the right place at the correct time.
Using vehicle tracking software is a way of avoiding this. You know exactly where your drivers are at all times and can see where they’re headed. This data tells you if they’re going to the right destination and if you link it to your inventory tracking software you can be sure they’re delivering the right items.
How does this save you money? Let’s return to the construction equipment example.
Say your eCommerce business creates a bespoke item and then sends it to the wrong location (an easy mistake if the company works on multiple sites). By the time it gets there the job might be over. You’re in a scenario where the customer receives an item they no longer need and that they’re unwilling to pay for. Not only do you have to lose money on an item you might not be able to sell to another customer but you’ve wasted cash delivering it.
With all these things in mind, tracking software is a wise investment for all types of ecommerce businesses as it can save money on lost delivery time and item creation.
We won’t lie, tracking software won’t save you money in the same way you do from making budget cuts or moving to a smaller office — tangible savings that you can do the math for before you opt for them.
Tracking software is an investment into your business that gives you the tools to save money in the long run. It does so by highlighting where you’re wasting money and provides the information you need to tackle these issues.
This might not be the answer you hoped for when you began reading this article, but the reality is that there’s a dearth of quick-wins in eCommerce. Most of the savings you make come from making smart decisions that are informed by data.
That’s exactly what you get from tracking software, so try our suggestions today and then review the savings you’ve made 6 months to a year down the road.