In the year that the covid surge came to an end, ecommerce growth has cooled down. Now online retailers are facing a whole new challenge. In a world filled with turmoil it looks like we are entering a crisis. The sky high inflation increases your operational cost from electricity to procurement and salaries. At the same time it also reduces your revenue due to a decrease in consumer spending. Double trouble for your bottom line. What can you do to keep your online business afloat? Here are six actionable tips to help you do so.
From unlimited growth to reducing costs: 6 ways to start
During covid, online businesses had to rapidly scale their employee base to cope with the increasing demand. Now this same large team is one of your biggest liabilities. Especially during a crisis you want to run your ecommerce business with a small core team complemented by a flexible external shell that you can scale down (and up) whenever the need arises. With our experience in ecommerce customer service and fulfillment, we have identified six ways to do so.
Save on customer service
There are many ways to save on the customer service department without settling for a lower grade of service. Here is what you can do to reduce the amount of customer service representatives:
1. Reduce the number of customer service requests (so you can reduce your team):
- Create a clear self-service hub in your shop to help resolve customer questions.
- Automate your customer service operation by implementing a hybrid AI driven chat tool. This way only the most difficult cases require the help of your team.
2. Outsource overflow requests. The excess requests that your smaller customer service team can’t handle will be taken care of by an external provider such as ourselves. This option is also available for seasonal peaks only.
3. Outsource evenings and or weekend shifts. By outsourcing these shifts to an external provider you can take care of office hours customer service with a small core team.
4. Outsource your international customer care. Many internationally operating online stores will recognise this. To be able to serve your customers abroad, you hired one or two agents. By outsourcing the customer service to an external provider you reduce your fixed team and you will directly save on doing so.
This is why outsourcing certain parts of your customer service will often be cheaper
Often the amount of requests you receive during the evenings or weekends will be smaller than the amount during office hours. Yet you still need a couple of agents to be there during those hours. The same goes for your volume in other countries.
At Salesupply we offer our clients the option to use shared customer service agents for these moments. This way you share a well-trained agent with other clients. Your requests will always be attended but at far lower cost than having a dedicated employee in place.
Save on your fulfillment set-up
It is often easier and certainly cheaper to outsource your fulfillment to an external provider. Employees, warehouse space, equipment, software and the list goes on, by outsourcing your fulfillment operation, you can scratch a lot of fixed and variable cost of your books.
1. Save on shipping cost. The most important reason to outsource your fulfillment to an external provider is to save on shipping fees. By tapping into the large volume deals that fulfillment providers have, your shipping costs will decrease considerably.
2. Lower international return fees. Fulfillment providers such as Salesupply often offer international return addresses. This way, returns will periodically be sent to the ecommerce business in bulk, drastically reducing shipping cost.
How can Salesupply help you with the above?
Salesupply is a specialist in scalable international ecommerce customer care and fulfillment. We understand what it means to run (international) online shops, that is actually how Salesupply was founded.
In customer service, we distinguish ourselves from the rest by offering shared agents for lower volume time-slots or countries. This way you don’t have to pay for full-time agents when you don’t need them. Simply put, you pay for what you use.
With ecommerce fulfillment by Salesupply you are able to compete like a local everywhere.
In addition to all the fixed costs you are saving by working with our international fulfillment solution, you will benefit from our attractive volume deals with carriers and from our network of 15 ecommerce specialized warehouses around the globe. This means:
- Lower delivery cost
- Faster delivery times.
This is now more important than ever. Consumers have less money to spend and will do more research than they normally would. Chances are that your delivery fees and delivery times could be a dealbreaker.
Prepare your business for difficult times, contact Salesupply today.