Retailers, social media influencers, and businesses in general are sharing the must-have gifts of this holiday season. We’re throwing our voice in the mix with our must-have technology categories for growing a successful e-commerce business both during the holidays and year-round!
Now, more than ever, customers not only want, but expect seamless communication with the brands they are purchasing from. This creates the need for a high-touch customer communication approach that leverages several forms of interaction including: texting, email, social media, blogs, chatbots, and traditional phone communication; just to mention a few. Some brands are even resurrecting mail catalogs to inform users on new product launches and sales.
Our advice for honing in on which channels within customer communication are best for your business? Study your target audience, study your competitors, and understand your objectives. From there, create a strategy that leverages a few channels very well, instead of trying to utilize every single channel.
Thankfully, there is no shortage of platforms available to your business that focus on customer communication. A few of our favorites are Instagram, Podium, and Mailchimp.
Marketing is critical to growing an e-commerce business. After all, customers can’t purchase your products unless they are aware of them. However, breaking through the noise of other online messaging is critical. This is largely where customer service/communication and marketing intersect to build meaningful customer relationships that bypass other online noise. Platforms we mentioned before like Instagram, Podium, and Mailchimp are ideal for this! Pinterest is also a rising star for e-commerce companies to reach a largely female audience.
Physical marketing is also a great arena to explore if it makes sense for your business. One of our favorite tools for this is Blip Billboards.
Shipping and Storage
Now that customers are aware of your product and have made a purchase, the logistics of actually getting that item to them come into play.
If you ever want your business to grow beyond your basement, spare bedroom, or storage unit, you must have means of organizing and storing your product and then coordinating shipping. This is where an integrated warehouse management system (WMS) and transportation management system (TMS) is the star. Seamless TMS and WMS tools, or a combination of the two, a TWMS, is really what levels up your business by handling every aspect of inventory management, inventory organization, label printing, shipping, returns, etc.
There are no doubt other critical technologies to growing an e-commerce business, however for consumers, seamless communication and excellent shipping is top of mind and should be a focus for your operation.