Whether you are using Shopify, WooCommerce, or another platform for your online sales, each one will provide lots of data for tracking of your orders. After all, those orders coming in are just the first step. Once you receive them, you have to do the groundwork of shipping those products off to happy customers. And hopefully, those orders start coming in at a consistent rate and keep you busy.
(Still trying to decide the right place to host your online shop? Click here to read more about how to make that decision.)
All the platforms we have discussed for e-commerce stores will have robust, useful reporting of sales. You will be able to login to your dashboard to see all the orders you have received. You will also be able to explore overall sales and profits, as well as filter by month or other time periods, types of products, values, items shipped, items delivered, and items still being processed.
If you need more detailed reporting or need to integrate your data, you may need custom features from a web developer. Some of our clients, for instance, have requested that their tracking data be exported to a CSV file or sent to their Quickbooks account to reconcile their numbers. To allow for more advanced reporting, you may need someone to configure it for you.
Shipments and Deliveries
Here’s where things can get a little more complicated. After all, you not only need the data, you also need a system that makes sense for you. People get most overwhelmed when they think of the process as a whole. We recommend you break it down into modules and consider each step:
1)Customer Is Charged For Shipping
Do you want to charge a flat rate for shipping? Or do you want to charge based on exact pricing? The first is straightforward and can be added to the price upfront. For the second option, you will need to connect your e-commerce store with the website technology of USPS, UPS and/or FedEx. (We or another technology integration expert can help with that.)
2) Shipping Label Is Created
Now you have to decide how you want those shipping labels created. Do you want to login and create them each time? This is possible whether you choose a flat rate or real rate option. Do you want the shipping label to be created automatically? If so, you will need to set that up with USPS, UPS, or FedEx, depending on which you integrated into your store.
3) Mail Goes Out
Until we have robots on hand, this part remains manual. You will actually have to fill boxes and get them in the mail. You may want the explore pickup options if you are processing and sending lots of mail on a daily basis.
4) Notify Customer
Looking back to your integrations, if a shipping label is created automatically, you can also choose to have a tracking number sent to the customer. If not, you will have to send that tracking number yourself.
We know that when you take that step back, and look at all the options, things can feel complicated. But we recommend taking that view, and considering how you want each step to work. As sales pick up, as we hope they do, a well thought-out system in place will keep things running smoothly.
Ready to dive in and learn more about marketing technologies that can drive online sales? Click here to read the whole e-commerce series, including tips for ads and social media.