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OK…so you think you might want to own an ecommerce business, but you don’t yet know exactly what that may look like. I suggest imagining what a typical day may be. You probably want to know the things you’ll need to do on a daily basis. Well, let me see if I can paint that picture for you…
It’s morning and you’ve just finished your cappuccino, croissant and fruit. You’ve caught up on the daily news portals you love to browse and read some information on the latest search engine optimization techniques. What’s next? As an ecommerce owner many things don’t need to be done on a time schedule, hence you have flexibility during the day for other things. Very nice, right?! You may be able to fit in something fun today. Let’s see what that might be…sightseeing some ancient ruins, taking the children for play in the park and ice cream, going to the fitness center for a yoga class…you get the picture.
Being a successful ecommerce owner, you need to have a calendar to keep things from falling through the cracks. You know that there are certain activities that must be done continually in order to have a vital site and successful business. The following activities fit the criteria:• Processing transactions
Of all these, only processing transactions needs to be done during a specific timeframe each day. For the other activities, you many need to do some daily, every other day, or a couple of times a week. You know your business and you have created a schedule that works for you. Did I mention that it includes flexibility to do your “other life” things too?
So here is your day today…
You begin with checking the orders that have come in. Next, you check on your inventory. Are any items out-of-stock or discontinued? You’re on top of inventory because you check it a couple of times a week at the very least. However, today is not the day on your calendar for the routine inventory update, you’ll do that tomorrow. But, you do check the inventory with each order just in case an item was sold out since your last update.
Next, you know that your vendors (this is a “drop-ship” business, did I mention that?) need orders before 2 p.m. EST in order for them to be shipped same day, so you go ahead and push the orders through to meet that deadline. You had quite a few orders overnight, so that takes a little time in your day to process. During the day, you will continue to check orders up until the “drop-dead” time to make same-day shipping. You send out communication to your customers in “order receipt” and “thank you” emails. For the most part, you are done with processing transactions, unless others come in. As I mentioned before, you will keep checking for those periodically throughout the day.
Well, the rest of the day may be pretty loose in terms of what you have to do and when you need to do it. Let’s look at the categories of activities: Servicing customers, updating the site, monitoring Key Performance Indicators, and building traffic.
On your schedule, today is the day for building traffic and updating the site. First, you schedule your social media posts for the next 7 days, beginning with reviewing your running list of topics for posts and picking enough to have at least one post a day on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram. As you’re looking at the list, you think of a couple more and add them. Thank goodness for the list because sometimes you can think of topics and sometimes you can’t. No worries for you because you have a constant supply of possible posts on your list! You need to do some quick research for a couple of topics and then use your posting scheduler (for example, HootSuite or SocialOomph) to create the posts and line them up for the next week. Ok, so that’s done!
Now, it’s time for an early lunch and some market shopping. Or, maybe you need to do some gardening. Or, maybe you need to pick up the kids. Or,…oh, the possibilities!
After the fun break, you sit down to write a blog. You’ve found that blogging really gets your customers and potential customers to know you and your business, and so it helps drive traffic. At first you found blogging to be daunting because you never saw yourself as a writer. However, over time it has become second nature to you because you don’t really think of it as writing per se. It’s your way of talking about your niche market as an expert in a conversational way, and connecting with people on the web. You write it, publish it on your site, and you never forget to set it up as a post on social media. Done!
The next thing you have on your schedule for today is to monitor the analytics of your website’s traffic. This isn’t building traffic to the site necessarily, but it is integral to knowing where your traffic is coming from, how much traffic your site has, and other important information that you use in marketing and advertising. As a successful ecommerce owner, you don’t have to do this every day. However, this is important to the profitability of the business so it is something that you stay on top of either daily or several times per week. Let’s say that you have some pay-per-click ads running on Google and Facebook and you want to monitor how effective they are.
Afterwards, you have some errands to run, or you have more play time with the kids, or you help them with their homework, or you meet a friend for a movie, or….you get the picture!
The last thing on your “to do” list for the day is updating your site. Later in the week you’ll be adding some new seasonal products, but today you just want to revise some web page content and catch attention by announcing the future sale and new products.
That’s it for today! It was one of the busiest on your weekly calendar with processing transactions, updating the site, building traffic through social media, and some review of Key Performance Indicators. You’ve been productive in maintaining and continuing to grow your ecommerce business, been productive in your personal life, and there was time for some fun too!
Tomorrow you’ll begin again with processing transactions and send communication to your purchasers. Then you’ll do a complete inventory check. Also, (and you don’t know this yet, because it hasn’t happened yet) you will have some inquiries from customers that you’ll need to respond to. Later, according to your calendar, you’ll spend time going into more depth on evaluating the Key Performance Indicators for your ads. Based on the analytics information, you may want to change your ads.
After that, you’re working on the newsletter that will go out tomorrow night to all of your customers and folks on your email list, informing them of some sales and special events coming up. Exciting!! By the way, you can do this most anytime, which will leave more free time for fun during the day.
Hopefully, I have painted enough of a picture for you in “a day in the life of an ecommerce owner” that you can start to imagine it for yourself. The days are busy and full of a variety of activities. For sure, you must be organized to get everything done. At the end of the day, you are definitely NOT bored, you are rewarded for your hard work, and you had fun doing it!