The Secrets to eCommerce Success: 5 Tips to Making eCommerce Work
By Javier Rios
May 18, 2014
We’re a week into the release of eCommerce Products, and we love hearing all of the different ways that our partners are using the product to generate revenue and donations.
Many of our partners are using the feature to sell apparel and equipment, so we thought we’d offer a few tips on eCommerce fulfillment.
Michael Strashun, a new member of our Partnership Sales team worked as an Amazon merchant before coming to LeagueApps, put together his “Top 5 Tips to Making eCommerce Work for Your League.”
Here are some of the secrets of the industry that will help you to operate like a pro!
1) Manage Your Inventory!
It’s no surprise that if you’re going to be selling merchandise, you need to keep proper track of your inventory! Use the reporting tools built into the platform to track how much product you are moving. This information is crucial, as you will be able to know when you should restock!
It is always better to have people pestering you to restock your inventory rather than selling out and not having the items that they purchased! Use this to your advantage! People are more likely to buy when they see that you are running low!
LeagueApps even auto-generates a message on your products when your inventory drops below 10 units, letting your members know that supply is running low and motivating them to act quickly.
I would also recommend only listing 75% of your current inventory for sale on the website (i.e. if you have 20 shirts, only list that 15 are for sale). There are always a few problems that come up when fulfilling orders, the last thing that you want to do is get caught up in a jam.
2) Keep track of your sales!
Staying on top of orders that come in will mean less hassle for you in the long run. Getting overwhelmed with orders is a likely possibility (at least I hope so), especially when you are selling items through registration. Stay on top of orders as they come in to prevent things from getting lost in the fray!
Take advantage of the detailed reporting tools that allow you to keep track of every aspect of your eCommerce program.
3) Be transparent!
When people pay for something, they expect to be informed as to what is going on. Make sure to edit the fulfillment details to let your customers know when they should expect to receive their items. If you are planning on handing the gear out on the first day of the season, let them know!
If products are final sale (common in the case of custom apparel, unless there’s a defect), then make sure to include those terms of sale.
In the eCommerce Products admin module, you can include these messages in the Fulfillment Details field, which will be included in the product information that your members see prior to purchase.
If you are shipping your items, be prepared for inquiries about the shipping status. Use the LeagueApps communications tools to keep your customers updated on the status of their order. Just like before, use the product notes to set expectations on when their order will be fulfilled!
4) Don’t freak out when problems arise!
Every eCommerce program runs into its set of challenges. There are bound to be some problem orders that come up. Don’t freak out! Most problems have a simple solution. If you followed my inventory tips above, you should never have to worry about not having an item to complete a sale. The inventory tips will also help out with exchanges (people don’t always order the correct size).
The second most common problem area is an angry customer inquiring about their order. Follow tip #3, stay transparent. If things are running late, just let the customer know. They are much more likely to be understanding if you inform them sooner rather than later. No one likes being hung out to dry!
5) Use eCommerce to your advantage!
This is a great opportunity for all of our partners to increase their revenue and create a more convenient and fun experience for their members. Even if you’re a non-profit organization, there are always projects left on the backburner because they just don’t fit into the budget. Use these new tools to generate more revenue and get things done!
If you are finding success selling merchandise, don’t be afraid to try to expand. A great way to test out demand for a new item is to list it with a note saying, “If we have enough demand for this product, we will order a batch. You can expect to have the item by ______. If there is not enough demand, expect to see an email with confirmation of your refund by ______.” This will properly set expectations and avoid you the hassle of ordering product and having little to no interest in it.
You can also test demand for a product, and fulfill it through Amazon or Walmart, before deciding you want to take on the inventory risk.
Not Interested in Doing All the Work?
If after reading all of these tips, you decided that you’d rather explore having LeagueApps do the work, then contact us and let us know if you’re interested in participating in LeagueApps commerce programs by emailing email@example.com.
How Are You Using the eCommerce Products Feature?
We’d love to hear how you are using the eCommerce Products feature. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and share your story, and we’ll highlight your efforts in next week’s blog post and social media posts.
If you have any more questions on how to become more efficient with eCommerce feel free to reach out.