As an e-commerce seller, there are hundreds if not thousands of tasks that you have to complete on a regular basis.
From emails to social media to inputting pricing and data on many products (across every channel you’re on), these tasks can be time-consuming, even if they don’t offer a lot of value in exchange for completing them.
Figuring out where you’re spending your time, or where your employees are using theirs, allows you to improve your workflow and your business, helping you to delegate tasks and work smarter, not harder.Learn how to put your ecommerce business on a growth trajectory by automating and delegating tasks Click To Tweet
You need to identify repetitive tasks, so you can see what and where to outsource, delegate and automate.
The result should be that your time is better spent on the things that matter, so your business can continue to grow and improve.
You’re the average of the 5 places you spend the most of your time.
1. Rethink Your Daily Grind
Most entrepreneurs start businesses either on their own or with just one or two employees. This causes a lot of tasks to fall on a limited amount of resources.
You could be spending your time more efficiently. And, because time is your most valuable asset, increasing your productivity is crucial to your success.
‘E-Commerce Sellers are focused on building a great product, but their thinking needs to be shifted to building a great company that builds a great product.
If you’re not spending time on efficient workflow, you’re probably spending much of your time on things you don’t have to.
Taking a day, or even a week, to monitor your time expenditure, and note down how long you spend doing each task, will allow you to see how and where your time is going.
If you can separate HVA (High-value activities) from low-value tasks, you can focus on the items that offer the most value to your business, and look for ways to automate or outsource the low-value ones.
- Create a list of tasks you perform every day
- Separate high value from low-value tasks
- Delegate these tasks to ensure that they’re being handled efficiently, through outsourcing, or automation
Automate Your E-Commerce Backend
At Skubana, we are all about automation & focusing on HVAs for your e-commerce business. Skubana allows you to automate tasks like purchase order generation, setting inventory minimums, inventory allocation rules and much more.
Utilizing our OrderBots™ allow you to designate if / then statements to accomplish low-value tasks without you needing to be hands on. With our automation features, you can eliminate backorders, prevent mistakes and ultimately accelerate sales velocity.
By having these time consuming and repetitive tasks automated you and your employees can focus on high-value tasks such as optimizing your listings, product research, and increasing your marketing efforts. These are the tasks that are going to make you money.
2. Build a System of Automation and Efficiency
Once you’ve analyzed your time, you can start improving your workflow with automated apps, programs, software, and outsourcing.
A perfect system should be able to run without you, otherwise, it won’t save you any time. Here are a few apps/programs that save time, automate processes and allow you to focus on HVA’s.
- Boomerang – Automates emails process w/ scheduling & response reminders
- Evernote – Upload and track documents, ideas, goals, and more
- TurboScan – Turns your iPhone into a multiple page scanner
- Dropbox – Cloud data storage to help synchronize your team
- Shake – Allows you to create and sign legal documents using your phone
- Hootsuite – Integrates social media pages and chat into one platform
E-Commerce Platform Tools
- Appeagle – Automates repricing on Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, and offers intelligence on competitors
- Jungle Scout – Amazon database for finding the most profitable products per category
- Terapeak – Offers eBay data based on pricing and competitor monitoring
- BQOOL – Compiles product reviews to resolve issues quickly
- Skubana – All-In-One ERP solution with all services and analytics after the checkout
Shopping Cart Tools
- CartRocket – Creates call to actions intent on reducing cart abandonment
- Klaviyo – Creates customer profiles for email, with analytics
- Windsor Circle – Email app for customer retention, with list segmentation, analytics, & more
- Help Scout – Customer interaction optimization tool
- MailChimp – Email marketing solution
- Zopim – Live chat service
- Blinkist – 1000+ Notes on popular nonfiction books to learn quickly
- Headspace – A meditation & mindfulness app. First 10 days are free
- Pocket – Bookmarking tool for saving and reading web pages later
- Quicksilver – Mac Spotlight upgrade. Remembers your favorite and most used apps
- Feedly – Collectively displays all of your RSS blog follows in one place
- Hello Alfred – Digital personal assistant & organizer
- SoundCloud – Audio & Podcast hosting site, features useful radio shows & more
By building an efficient automation system using these tools you can ask yourself, what would I do with four more hours in my day?
- Take your list of daily tasks and figure out which ones you can use an app for to save time
- Select and test out your chosen apps to make sure they work for you
- Keep in mind that a few highly functional tools are much more valuable than a dozen semi-functional tools
- Get started with automating your tasks and monitoring
As an entrepreneur, your well-spent time will translate into growth for your e-commerce business.
3. Utilizing Your Automation System with a Virtual Assistant
Unfortunately, you can’t automate every repetitive low-value task. In some cases, you may have to outsource, and a virtual assistant (or two) is the perfect low-cost solution to having to bring on additional employees.
A virtual assistant can provide many services including:
- Screening emails
- Managing calendars and appointments
- Screening phone calls
- Helping organize other freelancers to outsource more tasks
- Monitoring your automations so you can focus on HVA’s for your business
Some platforms for finding, hiring, and utilizing a virtual assistant include sites like Upwork and Freelancer.com. And, when it comes to managing any kind of remote team, you have a tool like Hubstaff at your disposal, which provides in-depth reporting on tasks completed, time spent working and as well as budgeting – allowing you to make sure efficiency is the main goal.
There are only so many hours in the day. As an online seller, you need to be sure to utilize and optimize the time you spend operating your e-commerce business for the better. When you dedicate your time to tasks that are out of your core competency, are time-consuming with little ROI, or can easily be automated with the right tool, you’re only hurting your business and profits.
Take control of your business, your life, and your time by implementing these tools into your e-commerce business.
This post was contributed by Chad Rubin, a TOP 250 Amazon Seller, CEO of Crucial Vacuum and Skubana. Skubana is an all-in-one ERP system that integrates with e-commerce businesses, 3PLs and warehouses, providing profitability and multi-channel inventory management. Try Skubana free for 14 Days.