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Ecommerce Business Consulting Services

Ecommerce Business Consulting Services

BUILDING YOUR FUTURE E-BUSINESS TOGETHER

E-Commerce businesses have traversed a long way from being subsidiary to the mainstream.

Your Retail Coach (YRC) shapes up your future business, right from “Concept” to “Execution” & “Launch” in an organized way. The process is crafted into phases which are inevitable for building a successful and sustainable eCommerce business.

YRC’s Team of E-Commerce Experts helps clients from ideation to implementation. Like doing any business is scientific, so is the Ecommerce business. There are steps you cannot ignore; there are steps you cannot miss. As pulling traffic once can be done through digital spends but the real ROI comes only when those customers come back to you. Building an e-commerce business is no less than building any offline business.

E-COMMERCE BUSINESS MODEL AND STRATEGY


Business Strategy provides direction to the company & helps in choosing the best foot forward

It includes defining your vision, mission & complete growth plan. YRC helps you in choosing the right business model for e-commerce, whether you are a b2b business, b2c business, c2c business or D2C business. YRC e-commerce business consultants identify your e-commerce niche, define eCommerce growth strategy and your way forward in the form of a detailed Gantt chart for all the stakeholders within the organization to be in the same league. Ecommerce strategy consulting provides direction to the company & helps in choosing the best foot forward.

 

E-COMMERCE BUSINESS PLAN

A sustainable eCommerce business cannot be built without preparing the numbers

Ecommerce Business Plan includes your detailed financial plan while considering your capital investment in setting up the eCommerce store as well as your operating capital. Ecommerce revenue model includes mapping your capital expenditure against the operating costs to derive at the breakeven sales & understanding the return on investment. Projections for the next 3 to 5 years are extremely important to know the growth required each year to reach a point of ROC. A sustainable eCommerce business cannot be built without preparing the numbers. Cash flow is prepared for the businesses to understand their inflow & outflow for the next 2-3 years. Cash flows are extremely important to understand the number of funds required by the business before they can sustain by itself. 78% of eCommerce businesses start without cash flow planning & run out dry in the midst of operations, in a position where they can neither be funded nor they can self-fund.

E-COMMERCE TEAM ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES


Define Job Description, KRA’s & KPI’s or internal & external team members, which help to align them to achieve a common goal

YRC Ecommerce Mentors define Organization Structure for the e-commerce business, the positions required in each function with their profiles, interview questions, KRAs, KPIs & reporting structure. Along with the profiles we define the level at which the team need to be recruited with their salary range which fits into the budgeting as noted in the Business Plan. YRC team assists in eCommerce recruitment by conducting interviews of shortlisted candidates to ensure they are the best fit for the eCommerce roles and responsibilities defined. Organization Structure help in quick turn-around-time for new employee onboarding, for assessing the performance of the existing ones, run by the tasks & follow the task calendar.

E-COMMERCE BRANDING STRATEGY


An area that has to be most thought upon as it would be giving the first impression to the customers…

An area that has to be most thought upon as it would be giving the first impression to the customers of whether the brand is affordable, luxury, value for money or exclusive. Ecommerce branding strategies include your logo, the brand colours’, brand story, e-commerce packaging, tag line, e-commerce photography guidelines & all the other tangible as well as intangible forms of brand communication. YRC Ecommerce Management Consultants define the detailed scope of the work of the e-commerce branding agency & manage the entire activity until delivery.

Responsibility of getting things done from the eCommerce branding agency would be the scope of YRC Ecommerce Business Analysts & we have been doing these activities for numerous clients across the globe.

E-COMMERCE UX DESIGN & WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT


UX helps in eCommerce customer journey mapping and design thinking entire process flow.

This part of the activity is divided into 02, selecting the right platform & creating a factorial wire-frame. Selecting the right platform for developing your online e-commerce store is of utmost importance as it’s not an easy task to shift in cases you have chosen a wrong one. There are several platforms available & YRC eCommerce website development services help you choose the best eCommerce platform after understanding the requirements of the features, product as well as the service. Once the platform is chosen then the next step is the most critical path i.e. developing an e-commerce UX & wire-frame. Ecommerce UX would include finalizing the eCommerce customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, eCommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, eCommerce payment system, cross-selling features & much more. It is observed that “68% of the customers abandon their cart just before checkout”. This indicates the importance of ease of navigation & minimal steps between browsing & checkout.

YRC eCommerce specialist develops the sitemap to include the number of pages that we intend to have on our website & all the interlinking features. Ecommerce ERP Masters would be finalized, to name a few, product master, logistics master, price master, etc.

The Ecommerce consulting experts help in designing the eCommerce terms and conditions like customer return policy, warranty policies, etc.

These services are invaluable considering the time, energy & efforts to deliver as committed.

E-COMMERCE STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOP’s) & BEST PRACTICES


Without SOPs in place, businesses generally tend to spend more on unplanned, unexpected & unrequired eCommerce activities and processes

Against the myth that Ecommerce businesses are cheap to operate & are a source of quick money, the truth is eCommerce businesses are capital-intensive & if the marketing, logistics, market place commission & packaging are accounted, they take up half of your profits.

In such margin-sensitive businesses, it is all the more important to keep a check over other operating expenses. Without SOP’s in place, businesses generally tend to spend more on unplanned, unexpected & unrequired things & fail to plan cash flows.

The key function in E-Commerce includes Sourcing, Warehousing, Order Fulfilment, Accounts, CRM, HR, IT & Inventory Management.

  • Sourcing, covers activities right from generation of Purchase Order, inward of goods, software inward entry, product category finalization, pricing, bar-coding, put away & stacking it, ready for delivery.
  • The account goes in line with purchase/ sourcing while collecting all the necessary documents like invoice, challan, Software entry slip etc. Accounts function SOP also covers the payments & reconciliation processes.
  • E-commerce order management process flow includes receiving the order to fulfilling the order as per the requirements of the end consumer.
  • Human Resource SOPs include defining eCommerce job description, e-commerce interview questions, eCommerce recruitment process, HR Policies for eCommerce remote jobs and onsite full-time team members, their incentive plans, performance appraisal system etc.
  • E-commerce inventory management process is the heart of the business. The business cannot afford to overstock or understock, inventory having more slow movers & such equivalent scenarios which directly hits the bottom line. YRC, Ecommerce consultants from India prepare a detailed eCommerce inventory management process, from production to sales. The lead times of every activity is accounted for, along with their requirements to build a sturdy “Inventory Model”.

 

E-COMMERCE TOOLS AND SYSTEM INTEGRATION


Selection of the right software for the smooth functioning of eCommerce backend processes right from “order receiving” to “last mile delivery” and “customer service”

Selection of the right eCommerce management software’s and enabling eCommerce integration with these eCommerce tools for the smooth functioning of eCommerce back-end processes would be executed by YRC.

YRC’s enterprise eCommerce solution defines the eCommerce process flow chart and creates a blueprint of all the features required in the enterprise eCommerce software & help in shortlisting & selection.

Multi-channel eCommerce Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with a real-time online store so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real-time across offline as well as online platforms. This helps in accurate eCommerce inventory management, maintaining the re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

E-COMMERCE ORDER FULFILMENT & INVENTORY MANAGEMENT


Order Fulfilment, Supply Chain & Inventory is the heart of the eCommerce business

Ecommerce Warehouse or eCommerce Fulfillment Center is the heart of the Ecommerce Business. YRC Ecommerce Consultants help in optimum utilization of space i.e. goods receiving area, goods processing area, walk-way, damaged goods area, staff area, office area & further. Apart from space allocation, we must define the infrastructure required to perform these activities, in regards to furniture & fixtures as well as IT equipment. Rack Planning helps increased storage capacity, better inventory control, and organized operations & goods maintenance. The Warehouse layout is defined in terms of hardware as well as software requirements. The size of the warehouse is determined based on eCommerce inventory management process to ensure you take up the right side of the warehouse so you are not left with excess space or “no space” situations. Warehouse Planning and supply chain management in eCommerce is done considering the entire business plan for at least 02 years. Warehouse Planning benefits in several ways including faster processing of goods, accurate flow of inventory, the optimum number of people allocated with appropriate activities & error-free e-commerce order fulfilment process reporting flow.

E-COMMERCE MARKETING STRATEGY


Invest time in strategy before investing in ad campaigns. Striking the balance between “driving traffic on website” and “customer acquisition” is important to win the battle !!

These activities are recurring & would decide traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target group is tapped, the likes, the reviews, the revenues & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for e-commerce marketing strategy right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the eCommerce marketing agency, shortlisting and selecting them to sign SLA’s would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them. SEO for an eCommerce website is another important activity which requires an organized approach to get desired results, thus hiring the right e-commerce SEO expert who can deliver results is another challenge.

Ecommerce CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is one of the most challenging activities for eCommerce business as the customer is remote & they can be understood only by their actions like purchase, review, return, like etc. All the existing eCommerce companies would agree the difficulties in attaining the customer delight standards by communicating with them indirectly v/s a face-to-face interaction in the offline businesses. YRC e-commerce sales strategy specialist incorporates their expertise here & build a robust eCommerce CRM strategy to not only delight the customers but to also to retain them for longer.

E-COMMERCE AUTOMATION


Ecommerce Businesses willing to scale must ensure that most of their processes should be automated and system-driven, not person has driven!!

The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors. In Ecommerce business, you get only one chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long. Ecommerce process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers. Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Ecommerce Management Consultants help to make the maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention. AI in eCommerce has taken personalization for e-commerce to the next level and penetration of AI is increasing by the rapid speed in the global eCommerce market with the help of few saas eCommerce solutions. YRC suggests solutions for process automation and BPR in eCommerce that benefits them for data management, eCommerce analytics & eCommerce fraud prevention.

E-COMMERCE LAUNCH STRATEGY


Get the final touch-ups, ensure website launch checklist is ticked, getting the entire business rolling and awaiting the successful launch day. It’s the most exciting phase !!!!

At the Pre-Launch Stage, YRC E-commerce Consultants help is the final User acceptance testing (UAT) of the e-store and mobile e-commerce application, get the final touch-ups & changes done from all the vendors, trial run the SOP of warehouse, order fulfilment, logistics & customer service.

For Launch, marketing campaigns are designed in coordination with the agency, web store launch checklist is ticked through, online store traffic management, order management and people management etc. is done.

Ecommerce Consulting Services provided by YRC not only gets you their experience but also ensures a single-point contact for the getting the entire brand up & running. YRC’s enormous experience in each of the functions can be leveraged to its optimum to build a robust, sustainable & profitable brand.

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PROCESS AUTOMATION

The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

IT INTEGRATION

Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

 

At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

UI & UX DESIGNING

This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

BRANDING

Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

CRITICAL PATHWAY

Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

MARKET RESEARCH

Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.