How to Manage an eCommerce Site Efficiently: A Helpful Article for Sall Businesses
Whether your business already has an eCommerce website or is looking to create one, managing an eCommerce site is no easy task.
From managing product listings to constantly working to improve site performance and fulfilling online orders, there’s always something to get done.
These tasks may be easy for larger businesses with dedicated teams and a large budget, but for most small businesses managing an online store along with working on other aspects of the business can become very time consuming and can get complicated fast.
However, this shouldn’t turn you away from the thought of having an eCommerce website.
Expanding your business online is very important in today’s digital age and can bring your business a handful of opportunities to grow.
It all comes down to knowing how to manage your eCommerce site both efficiently and effectively in order to limit the amount of maintenance needed to manage the website itself.
In this article we’ll be walking you through a number of ways you can make managing your online store a whole lot easier while still working towards your desired goals.
Ready to get started?
1. Create a strategic plan
Although this “strategy” seems basic, it’s essential that your business has a digital marketing plan which details your goals, timeline, and budget among other things.
Now you may be thinking to yourself, “How exactly does having a plan help me with managing my eCommerce website?” Well this is a simple answer…
Having a plan to follow will help keep you and your efforts focused on achieving your specific goals.
This can make managing an eCommerce website easier since you know the exact goals you’re working towards and have a plan to follow, making you less likely to get sidetracked.
To recap, a digital marketing plan is simply a document detailing some of the following…
- Short, medium and long term business goals
- The strategies to achieve the goals at the digital level
- Action and development plans
- Investment and budget
- The timing and roadmap
Tailoring your digital marketing plan towards your eCommerce website specifically, will allow you to have a clear vision on what needs to be done, how it will be done, and when it will be done by.
2. Implement “The Eisenhower Box”
While having a digital marketing plan allows you to look at the big picture, The Eisenhower Box drills down into specific tasks that need to be done on a daily or weekly basis.
Tracking the tasks needed to be done on your eCommerce website with The Eisenhower Box, will help you decide the urgency and importance of each task.
Doing this on a daily or even weekly basis can help you become more efficient in managing your website as you’ll know the tasks that need to be done immediately, ones you can do later, tasks you can delegate to a team member, and neither important or urgent tasks that can simply be deleted.
As an example, some tasks I have added into my Eisenhower Box in the past include…
DO: Fulfilling product orders
DECIDE: Product image SEO, Updating product listings
DELEGATE: Update website plugins/apps
DELETE: Sort through blogs spam comments
Now obviously these tasks will be different depending on your situation but the main idea to take away from this is that The Eisenhower Box can help you become more efficient when managing your eCommerce site on a day to day basis.
3. Make things easier with plugins
There are thousands and thousands of plugins/apps out there to help make managing your eCommerce website easier.
With these plugins you can put some aspects of your website on autopilot, leaving you more time for urgent and important tasks.
Below we’ll list some helpful plugins/apps that we recommend you check out.
1. Yoast SEO
Whether you’re a business owner or blogger, a content creator, a developer or an SEO expert: Yoast SEO helps you keep your website in perfect shape and makes managing your SEO easier.
Some key features of this plugin include:
- Tunes the engine of your website so you can focus on creating great content.
- Has a bulk editor so you can make large-scale edits to the titles and meta descriptions of your website.
- Translates your content to structured data where possible to help search engines understand your website.
To recap, Yoast SEO can help alleviate the amount of time you need to manage SEO by making things more efficient.
Autoptimize is a plugin that makes optimizing for site speed really easy.
Site speed impacts your user experience making it an important area to improve.
However, manually improving your site speed can take a certain level of expertise, not to mention being time consuming.
What this plugin does is concatenates all script and styles, minifies and compresses them, adds expires headers, caches them, and moves styles to the page head, and scripts (optionally) to the footer.
It also minifies the HTML code itself, making your page really lightweight.
Doing this automatically with Autoptimize, you can spend less time optimizing for site speed and more time working on more important aspects of your eCommerce website.
Akismet Anti-Spam is a great plugin to use if you have a blog on your website.
This plugin checks your comments and contact form submissions to prevent your site from publishing malicious content.
This can help eliminate your need to delete spam comments and automates this area of managing your site.
Some key features of this plugin include:
- Automatically checks all comments and filters out the ones that look like spam.
- Each comment has a status history, so you can easily see which comments were caught or cleared by Akismet and which were spammed or unspammed by a moderator.
- A discard feature that outright blocks the worst spam, saving you disk space and speeding up your site.
This image SEO plugin can make your life much easier when it comes to editing hundreds of product image ALT tags, sizes, and file names.
If your eCommerce store has a large inventory, you know the pain and time it takes to edit each product image for SEO (which is highly recommended that you edit your product images for SEO.)
Using a plugin like this, you can do that within minutes.
Some key features of this plugin include
- Improve SEO by optimizing image sizes, alt-text and file names. Better site load speed and SEO -> higher rankings, more traffic and sales.
- Bulk square, resize, or crop images to fit any social media or sales channel listing -> professional looking listing, and generate more sale.
- Add watermark to your product and theme images in bulk -> protect your images from being used by your competitors.
Excelify is a app that can help you in managing product data.
This app makes it easier to export, import, and manage product data without the time consuming manual work.
Some key features of this app include:
- Bulk update specific fields while keeping existing data intact. E.g. update Product inventory by the SKU number. Schedule and auto-repeat.
- Update your existing store data by individual fields, without having to re-import everything.
- Schedule and auto-repeat imports or exports.
- Backup your whole shop.
Tidio Live Chat is an excellent way to offer quick support to site visitors.
If not already aware, Tidio allows your site visitors to chat with a manger (or an automated bot when your not around) directly on your website.
You can set Tidio up with automated messages to auto-send to potential customers who are looking for quick support.
This can mean less support emails from confused customers and can make make managing your eCommerce site easier (we’ve used in in the past and we definitely recommend!)
4. Set time aside
If you’re tasked with managing an eCommerce website along with marketing and other aspects of your business then things can definitely get confusing fast.
One minute you may be fulfilling orders then all of a sudden you find yourself sidetracked and working on SEO wondering what happened.
To combat this, set a specific amount of time aside each day solely focused on your website.
Setting an hour or two aside each day for the sole purpose of managing your eCommerce website will help keep your eCommerce website separate from any other business tasks you need to get done.
This combined with using The Eisenhower Box will allow you to get exactly what needs to be done finished, efficiently, and without distractions.
Conclusion: How to manage an eCommerce site
We hope after reading this article you have a better understanding of ways you can manage your eCommerce site more efficiently so you can balance it with all the other tasks you need to do.
To recap, creating a strategic plan, implementing task delegation (The Eisenhower Box), using plugins, and setting time aside are all ways that can make managing your eCommerce site less stressful and more efficient.
Write a comment and let us know if you’ve found these strategies to work for you!
Let’s work together!
We’re one of the leading full service eCommerce agency in Toronto. Our passion is in helping small to medium size businesses reach their goals through eCommerce. We’re looking forward to speaking with you, contact us today or check out the eCommerce management company services we offer here at Verdure Digital.