3 Small Ecommerce Mistakes That Can Cost You Big
Your success as an ecommerce seller relies on a number of critical elements functioning in tandem: your products, your logistics, your staff, and your omnichannel marketing strategies. However, a simple error in any one of these areas can quickly evolve into a chain of issues across your entire online retail operation. It’s all in the details.
But let’s face it; mistakes happen. You need an e-commerce platform that makes it intuitive and speedy to identify and correct these errors before they negatively impact your bottom line. Not only does the Sellercloud omnichannel growth platform give you that ability, it also empowers you with the tools to prevent some of the most common and costly ecommerce mistakes from happening in the first place.
Any time you rely on manual data entry—whether it’s on a clipboard, a smart device, or a computer—you run the risk of an error. While a misplaced number or an extra letter is a small mistake by itself, as that mistake propagates through your records and workflows it can snowball into a much bigger problem.
For instance, if a product is received into your warehouse using an incorrect lot number, this could disassociate that product from critical data like its expiration date. It could also make it impossible to correctly connect the product to its lot for auditing or recall purposes.
Skustack, Sellercloud’s warehouse management solution, includes lot number and expiration date tracking. Of course, this feature is only useful if products are assigned to the correct lots in the first place. Thankfully, Skustack gives users the option to rename a lot number in a single field and instantly apply the correction across all of the related records—fixing the error.
Another area where typos and human error tend to occur is during inventory audits. Many businesses still treat warehouse inventory audits as an annual, all-hands-on-deck chore. Items are counted and recorded by hand and data is then input into a centralized database. Throughout this process, there are numerous opportunities for input mistakes that can lead to overselling stock or inaccurate order calculations.
Sellercloud and Skustack make it simple to correct these errors as well, but first you need to catch them (or better yet, avoid them altogether). By employing regular inventory cycle counting, you both reduce the tedium associated with manual inventory counts while also ensuring a more consistent and accurate record of what you have and where you have it. What’s more, Skustack’s reliance on barcodes and intuitive scanner technology helps reduce the chances for recording and input errors happening in the first place.
Setting ecommerce prices is not a “set it and forget it” proposition. Competition, seasonality, customer behavior, and economic climate changes can impact the optimal prices for your products and bottom line.
When setting your prices—either initially for a new SKU or repricing an existing listing—it is critical to do so purposefully and carefully. Miscalculating the ideal listing cost can result in several costly issues:
- Products priced too high will likely sell through at a significantly slower pace than products that are priced well. This means lower sales, increased carrying costs, and potentially increased fees for long-term inventory storage with 3PL providers and services like FBA and WFS.
- Products priced too low may sell quickly, but they do so to the detriment of your profit margins. While there are times when steep markdowns are the right fiscal move, unintentionally low prices hamper your ecommerce business’s success and growth potential.
- Products priced way too low or way too high are usually the result of an aforementioned typo. A misplaced decimal point can lead to a $199 product selling out immediately at a mistakenly steep 99% discount price of $1.99. On the other hand, a $2.49 accessory is likely to sit unsold if mispriced at $249.
Rather than relying on manual pricing strategies to both set and adjust the prices across your ecommerce catalog, consider using a third-party repricer to optimize your pricing. These tools allow you to set thresholds and pricing rules to ensure that your products remain both competitively priced and profitable. Sellercloud integrates with several repricers to help you automate your pricing strategies and avoid expensive pricing mistakes.
Failing to Reorder Inventory on Time
There are few ecommerce sins greater than running out of inventory. It leads to missed sales opportunities in the short-term while you wait to restock, and it can lead to order cancellations, backorders, and customer complaints—all of which can result in marketplace suspensions or even bans.
Preventing out-of-stocks must always be one of the most fundamental goals of a successful omnichannel ecommerce business. Sellercloud makes it possible to eliminate this costly oversight in several ways:
- Sellercloud’s inventory management platform can notify you when stock levels are low. This way, you can create a purchase order and replenish your stock before overselling across your sales channels, canceling orders, and/or having to offer backorders. It also can help ensure that your 3PLs and fulfillment partnerships like FBA and WFS have sufficient inventory quantities on hand as well.
- Sellercloud’s predictive purchasing feature can prevent low inventory levels before they become problematic. Predictive purchasing utilizes your omnichannel sales patterns and inventory data to track and forecast when to order more inventory and how much you need.
- Predictive Restocking for FBA makes maintaining sufficient FBA inventory simple. Similar to predictive purchasing, Sellercloud gives sellers the ability to calculate the amount of stock required to meet the expected order volume for a particular SKU over a specified range of days. These calculations include considerations for inventory currently reserved by FBA orders, inventory currently in transit, the Sales Rank calculation for the SKU according to Amazon’s daily analysis of recent and historical sales, and the current profit margins for each product.
- Sellercloud’s Safety Quantity feature allows you to set a buffer inventory level to prevent out-of-stocks. For an extra peace of mind, you can opt to always carry a quantity of merchandise and stock to defend against purchasing errors, shipping delays, and unexpected sales surges. Sellercloud provides you with the data and tools to both calculate the optimal buffer levels for your inventory and also ensure that every channel where you sell is adequately stocked.
The entire Sellercloud family of products is designed to help your omnichannel ecommerce business run as smoothly as possible. Our powerful tools help you identify and eliminate the costly mistakes that could potentially derail your success across the different channels where you sell.
At the same time, our over 120 integrations with industry-leading ecommerce partners make it possible to scale your business and continue to reach new customers and markets. For more, contact us directly for a free demo and see for yourself how our dedication to versatility, accuracy, and innovation can take your online sales to the next level.