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E-Commerce Logistics – Getting to know what you need when starting up 1024 683 Matthew Trussell

E-Commerce Logistics – Getting to know what you need when starting up

For any e-commerce start up, properly coordinated logistics are the key to your success.

You’ve taken the first big leap of faith, you’ve started your business and you’re ready to take on the world. However, if you are not prepared to properly navigate the challenges running an online business presents, you could very quickly find yourself on the fast road to failure.

Having Visibility

As your e-commerce logistics needs grow, the bigger picture can be forgotten in a flash. Companies that experience rapid growth may add logistics capacity in an ad hoc fashion, bolting on in a flash of panic to deal with a surge in orders or new products. Perhaps you’ve expanded to utilise several warehouses, drop-shippers or other logistics tactics.

Stock management is crucial; you need visibility of what’s in the warehouse if it’s being sold online. It’s truly a balancing act; keep enough stock on hand but not have excess inventory tying up cash and shelf space. It’s vital you partner with logistics providers who can help you develop the systems and operational discipline to make your inventory work smarter and harder for you. That includes your website, too!

Decentralised Warehousing

The latest trend of e-commerce is having the product as close to the customer as possible. This is best for reducing the transit time, and thus ensuring customers get their products in a timely fashion, keeping them happy.

This strategy shortens the last mile to the customer. These facilities could be mini distribution centres or dedicated fulfillment centers. Some offline retailers are converting retail locations into shipping centers, devoting some or all of the footprint to fulfillment, largely a result of the pandemic. 

Whatever you choose, it’s important that you have effective use of space, with the right pick and pack options and an optimised distribution network.

Develop a loyalty system

Having a loyalty system is very important to retaining new and existing customers. Many brands we work with opt for a rewards point system online, so repeat custom is rewarded with a small discount.

Even though having a loyalty system set in place could give you a little bit of a deficit in cash coming into the business at points, it will mean potentially fickle customers are encouraged to return, spending more money and over time, will even itself out and ultimately end in the favour of your company. Think about the lifetime value of your customers as opposed to short term profits.

Don’t Invest in paid ads too early

Having ads to increase the knowledge of your business can be great and when you’re small and up and coming it can be the perfect opportunity to gain more traffic for your business.

Spending too early when your website isn’t optimised can hurt you in the long run.

If you can find ways to get your business advertised for free or with a more sensible longer term investment, that would be the best option for saving money and getting your business out there.

The world at the moment is very online orientated so there’s no better time to get your e-commerce business up and running. As the world emerges from the pandemic, it’s vital that businesses improvise, adapt and overcome.

Logistics for E-Commerce 1024 438 Matthew Trussell

Logistics for E-Commerce

E-commerce logistics requirements differ from traditional sales channels. Often a more traditional warehouse is not optimised for dealing with online-based fulfilment operations, where a small volume of products need regularly picking and packing throughout the course of the day.

Businesses that were set up to distribute medium-sized or orders in bulk to retailers, who subsequently add-on e-commerce options direct to consumers, very quickly learn that the online buying habits of the consumers can severely impact the regular despatch operation of the B2B arm of the business. Compounded by the increase in returns as many internet shoppers take advantage of free returns policies by ordering variations of the same product to try, it’s imperative that your logistics partner is equipped to deal with this.

Business to consumer logistics is higher volume, quick-turnaround, whereas business to business logistics is often lower volume, higher quantity and controlled strictly by booked-in delivery times at their destination.

Quite simply e-fulfilment and e-commerce logistics is different.

There isn’t a right or wrong option, however, it pays to have an experienced logistics partner with competitive packages

It’s undeniably possible to have a combined facility for B2B and B2C order profiles, however, opinions on how to do it and its success rates vary; but there are logistics partners in Wellingborough and beyond that are equipped to deal with this and doing a great job of it.

Our Managing Director, James, has worked with many logistics operations, large and small, and has observed some of the following:

  • Fledgling e-commerce businesses with great products often grow, fast, often resulting in a hybrid of in-house (sometimes literally) fulfilment and some level of external pallet storage
  • The most optimised pick-face layouts are harder to curate when picking both consumer and business orders from the exact same pick locations due to disparity between fast and slow moving products. This can extend the travel and pick times in the warehouse for e-commerce orders, resulting in increased logistics costs
  • Some companies keep separate pick-faces for business to consumer and business to business orders, even if it’s for the same products. Factors in this are the range and mix of products, and the ratio mix of the business (B2B vs B2C).
  • Some companies bulk pick at the pick-face and then seperate B2B and B2C orders at a secondary location
  • Many businesses will outsource their complete e-commerce business to an expert e-commerce logistics partner with the knowledge that it needs a specialist picking regime and a partner that’s able to deliver value-for-money and quality service

It’s all about keeping the end-customer happy

Whilst it can be cheaper and with higher margins to move away from bricks and mortar and the associated overheads, it’s important to still consider the true costs of selling online. You will require a quality website, payment systems, admin and customer service facilities (for example there are tight schedules and strict rules if you also want to sell on the likes of Amazon), digital marketing agency in Wellingborough or elsewhere to get the volume of website visits and sales up. Then there’s the costs of storage, pick and pack, delivery fees… it can all add up, particularly if you are relying on a variety of different suppliers.

That’s about to change! Market Boosters is the one-stop-shop for e-commerce businesses looking for a reliable partner for their website development, digital marketing and logistics needs. We have decades’ experience in the industry and a track record for delivering high quality solutions at much more affordable rates. Contact us for a free no-obligation quote today.

Why use WordPress 1024 684 Matthew Trussell

Why use WordPress

As an agency, our clients sometimes ask us: Why should I use WordPress, why should we switch to WordPress and other related questions. If you find yourself asking these questions, we have compiled the following select reasons why you should use WordPress, ways you can use WordPress, and who is using WordPress.

 

WordPress is a very powerful Content Management System

Why use WordPress?

 

Before we begin, it’s very important for us to highlight the common mistake of classifying WordPress as ‘just a blogging platform’. Although that at one point did ring true, WordPress now is an incredibly versatile and robust content management system (CMS). While you can still use WordPress for simply blogging, it is also now a very powerful tool to create fully functional websites and mobile applications.

 

What is particularly great about WordPress is that it has an easy-to-use, multi-level backend interface, known as the ‘Dashboard’. That’s the main reason why WordPress has grown so much in popularity among businesses and individuals around the world. According to a recent survey, WordPress powers 22.5% of all websites on the internet.

 

Due to its robust and powerful features, many top brands use WordPress to power their websites – a handy way to check is to type in /wp-admin at the end of a site’s URL and you’ll see for yourself!

 

Let’s take a look at why you should use WordPress.

 

Why should I use WordPress?

 

WordPress is easy to use, once you have your website

 

 

WordPress is used by millions of people and businesses, and every day new people are joining WordPress, creating their first WordPress-powered websites. The reason why people quickly adapt to WordPress as a content management system is because it is fairly easy to use.

 

That said, it can still be difficult to build your website – why not check out our web development services to get that part sorted in the first instance?

 

WordPress website development is cutting-edge

WordPress website development

 

WordPress is extendable and flexible beyond any other CMS we know

 

Most people using WordPress aren’t website developers . As a matter of fact, most people start using WordPress without any prior knowledge of website design. The main reason for this is because companies often expect internal employees in different departments to take ownership of their respective sections on the company website.

 

The reason why WordPress is such an perfect candidate is because the Dashboard enables a modulated management approach, with different users having different access rights. This means for example that some users can simply post new blogs, for example, which are great for Search Engine Optimisation.

 

WordPress is really flexible and can be extended by using modules known as plugins. There are thousands of plugins available for use, which can add extra functionality to the core functions of most WordPress websites.

 

Blogging through WordPress

WordPress is often mistaken for being ‘just a blogging tool’

 

WordPress can be SEO-friendly

 

By design WordPress is very SEO-friendly, as individual elements can be configured with ease that can contribute to SEO optimisation of your site. That said, WordPress doesn’t do it for you, it just provides some of the necessary tools to make it easier. We often recommend and utilise the Yoast SEO plugin for our builds, for example.

 

WordPress is easy to manage and update

 

WordPress has a built-in updater that enables easier updates to plugins and site versions from within your WordPress administrator dashboard. It also tends to notify you when there is a new version of WordPress available, so you can update it by just clicking a button in most cases. You can additionally keep all your WordPress content safe by setting up automated regular WordPress Backups.

 

Why do Market Boosters use WordPress?

 

Market Boosters love WordPress. We truly believe it to be the ultimate CMS. So often we take on projects whereby businesses have been onboarded to a company’s own CMS. Without being an employee of the agency, it is very difficult to make the necessary updates and changes to a client’s website, especially versus the comparitive ease of WordPress. Additionally, we feel that WordPress is the most powerful in terms of solving the varying needs of our customers, on the basis we can customise literally any element and develop a truly bespoke solution.

 

We’d love to discuss your website development project with you – contact us today or find out more about our website design and development services.

Advertise your small business online for free
Free online advertising for small businesses 1024 683 Matthew Trussell

Free online advertising for small businesses

For businesses to grow, there’s no doubt you need to invest at some point in time. That said, there are ways you can utilise some free online advertising for small businesses right now.

 

 

[qodef_list_ordered]

  1. Free directory listings
  2. Content marketing
  3. Social media
  4. Search Engine Optimisation

[/qodef_list_ordered]

 

 

1)   Free directory listings

 

There are a number of different websites on which you can list your business, completely for free. Some of these free directory websites do offer premium options when you register, but it is mostly possible to skip through these and simply opt for the free listing. Not only does this enable you to pick up on traffic from people who still do things the old fashioned way, there’s also a valuable backlink created to your website – valuable for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

 

2)   Content marketing

 

Content marketing is a term used to describe leveraging content, that is used to connect with your audience, for the purposes of brand awareness, adding credibility, educating your customers and more. Most commonly witnessed is blogging – in fact, we would hazard a guess that you read a blog every single day when Googling answers to problems your business faces – perhaps without even realising. Like now, for example! There are also podcasts and videos too, but blogging is unquestionably at the top when it comes to content.

 

Marketers often quote the saying ‘content is king in marketing’, and that’s based on the understanding that content is often the difference between converting a website visitor into a customer, or not.

 

If you don’t have the time to research, write and publish regular blogs, there are a number of agencies and freelancers who provide these services. Check out our bespoke marketing services page for some further inspiration.

 

3)   Social media

 

Businesses of all sizes around the world are currently using social media to find and connect with potential and current customers. Whether it’s directly advertising products, promoting your business, discussing industry ‘hot topics’ to show relevance; social media is undoubtedly the tool for connecting with people in the digital world.

 

If you’re not currently using social media, it’s very simple to get started. Setting up a profile takes minutes, and you can very quickly start to build up a following. If nothing else, regular posts show anyone that looks for your company online that you’re still up and running, and it’s the perfect opportunity to display knowledge in your field.

 

It’s completely up to you how much you use it, or whether you use it at all. Sometimes, people can focus too heavily on social media, without making as much as a splash – paid advertising can help bridge the shortfall, so it’s worth researching too.

 

4)   SEO

 

SEO is by far one of the most powerful ‘free online advertising for small businesses’ tools, however, it is arguably one of the most difficult to understand and utilise. In simple terms, SEO is the process of aligning words and products on your website with words and products that are searched for through the major search engines. SEO in itself is a huge industry, with thousands of companies offering improvements in search engine rankings through their work. That said, it is possible to conduct some simple SEO for free. Find out how by reading this blog.

 

If you’ve already tried most of the above, and are looking to take the next step in boosting your digital marketing, contact us today.

 

 

Affordable web design is easier to find than you may think
Affordable SEO: Try these free quick fixes now 1024 952 Matthew Trussell

Affordable SEO: Try these free quick fixes now

As a small business, finding affordable SEO can seem difficult. You may have already emailed a number of companies, received quotes and been somewhat shocked at the price.

 

The difficulty is, unless you know exactly what you’re doing, there’s not much of an alternative. Well, there are some things you can do. Let us help!

 

Why not try these free quick fixes now, before you are properly ready to invest in affordable Search Engine Optimisation.

 

1) Carry out a quick audit

In order to reach your end goal, you have to know where you are currently. You can do this in a number of ways. Firstly, you can use the free variants of tools such as SpyFu, SEM Rush or even Website Grader from Hubspot. These tools enable you to understand approximately where you’re at, with some simple tips and pointers. You can even have a sneaky peak at what some of your competitors are up to – invaluable to help you eat up some of that SEO-based market share. There are paid options available with both SpyFu and SEM Rush, but the free functionality is sufficient if you want to do things cheaply.

 

2) Check your PageSpeed Insights

Seeing as it’s mostly Google people use to search nowadays, it makes sense to use them as the golden standard. PageSpeed Insights enables you to quickly and easily grade your website on both desktop and mobile devices. This simple tool then suggests some fixes you can make, in order to make further improvements to how quickly your webpages load. If your site is deemed to be horrible by this tool, there’s a fair chance your results may not be showing as high as they should be.

 

3) Conduct keyword research and check popular searches versus terms you use

Regardless of your SEO knowledge, if for example you’re an estate agency in Bedford, you may wish to research how often this term is searched for, as well as any close variations, to decide on which terms you should be aiming for. If ‘Bedford estate agents’ has 200 searches per month, versus 100 for ‘estate agency Bedford’, then it’s quite clear which you should be picking, right? A tool such as Ubersuggest can help with this. It shows localised data for your search terms, as well as suggesting a plethora of variations. A very powerful affordable SEO tip.

 

4) Optimise page titles, images, image alt tags and more

Once you’ve found your keywords, you need to optimise your on-page content to match them, as closely as possible. The key here is not to stuff a bunch of random words in, but to keep things quality. Create tailored landing pages if you need to use multiple strong-ranking keywords – this is often best practice anyway, as it is more likely to encourage a conversion on the basis you’re actually providing the closest possible match to the person’s search term. SEO professionals will often suggest optimising page titles, image titles, image alt tags and meta descriptions at the very least to focus around search terms/keywords. This is the strongest possible exposure you’re going to gain in terms of algorithms, and it’s one of the few parts that are free (if you know what you’re doing – best to leave it to web development professionals if not).

 

5) List your website on free directories

SEO is split into on-page and off-page. On-page is what you do on your own site, off-page is what is done on other external websites. Both are important, and you really need to do both in a combined, smooth and methodical manner. A very simple way to create backlinks to your own site is through free web directories, such as Yell. Not only does this generate a level of authority for your site, it also enables you to advertise your services to a site which is guaranteed to have a lot more traffic than your own – for the timebeing at least.

 

We hope you’ve found benefit in our simple guide! Why not contact us if you’d like some more affordable SEO tips today, or to discuss one of our premium packages.

 

 

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