Importance of Inventory Management

INVENTORY MANAGEMENT

Inventory Management is crucial to prevent an “out-of-stock” situation that can lead to lost sales for ecommerce sellers and disappointment for customers. Inventory management controls the entire flow of goods from manufacturers to warehouses and from there to point of sale. It entails management of orders, returns, logistics, returns etc.

It is necessary to streamline the inventory management system as a mismanaged inventory can lead to retailers witnessing huge losses.

Why do you need Inventory Management?

It is imperative for ecommerce retailers to be aware of its inventory in order to achieve efficient as well as fast operations, at an affordable cost.

An efficient management of inventory results in reducing costs that further helps to keep accounts and finances of retailers in check.

It also helps in offering better customer service through fast delivery of goods and low shipping charges, thereby meeting customers’ expectations.

Benefits of Inventory Management: There are a plethora of benefits in having inventory management.

  1. Keeps track of one’s inventory and provides a centralized view of stock.
  2. Controls the costs of ecommerce sellers by creating stock reports in order to analyse the inventory.
  3. Enhances delivery by proper management of stock-outs and meeting the expectations of customers.
  4. Assists in planning and forecasting by properly analyzing the data trends.
  5. Reduces the time taken for managing the inventory by keeping one’s records in place.

 eVanik OneWorld Suite:  eVanik OneWorld Suite from the trusted eVanik Networks, which is the most awarded ecommerce solution provider in India, helps in effective inventory management. Over 12 thousand ecommerce sellers rely on eVanik OneWorld Suite to automate their back-office marketplace operations and skyrocket their online business on the best online seller sites in India.

eVanik OWS’s inventory management software is a centralized and synchronized inventory management software for multi-store, multi-channel businesses selling online and offline. This inventory management software manages common inventory for several channels and automatically reprice it to stay on “Buy Button” always thereby helping ecommerce retailers to keep growing their sales. It also helps to manage the order lifecycle. From procurement to warehousing, from order processing to shipping to returns, eVanik OneWorld Suite helps in the entire order lifecycle management. The software also provides Live/Out of Stock and Price Tracker. For brands selling through partners, dealers etc, one can get real time visibility on Live/ Out of Stock products and price change alerts with email notifications.  eVanik OneWorld Suite from the trusted eVanik Networks also provides ecommerce reconciliation, with  99.6% accurate reconciliation of payments, returns, commissions and inventory in real time, with no cumbersome excel uploads or downloads.

Benefits of eVanik OneWorld Suite:  Inventory management and Business profitability are interrelated and the biggest reason for the success or failure of a business is the way the inventory was managed. In the e-commerce marketplace scenario, inventory management becomes all the more important and hence it is imperative to have a seamless and centralized ecommerce inventory management software like the eVanik OneWorld Suite.
1.   eVanik’s inventory management software tool helps an ecommerce seller a great deal by automating the online sales and inventory management system.

2.   eVanik OWS is connected with all major e-commerce marketplace channels for inventory management. All one needs to do is set up the virtual common inventory once and the system will manage it across all marketplace channels for all products.

3.   eVanik OWS Inventory Management Software is a boon for ecommerce sellers as it helps to manage their inventory across Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, ClubFactory among others.

4.   eVanik’s inventory management software helps sellers to save valuable time so they can focus on growing their retail business while eVanik OWS Inventory Management Software improves visibility into their supply chain.

5.   It manages their online inventory by easily tracking and syncing product quantities across all online sales platforms in real-time. Every time a retailer receives an order from an online channel, eVanik OWS’s inventory management software apart from fetching that order, also automatically refreshes stock data to all online channels where the product is listed.

6.  Does not require any software to install

eVanik OWS Inventory is a fully web-based solution that is hosted in the cloud. As a result, retailers never need to install software, upgrade updates, or archive their data.

7.  Integration of multiple selling platforms

eVanik OWS Inventory has over twenty integrations with many selling platforms including Flipkart and Amazon, and will mitigate the headaches due to overselling. eVanik OWS automatically updates the selling channels in real-time with updated stock levels.

8.  Support High Transaction Volumes

eVanik OWS Inventory supports higher volumes of transactions so sellers do not face any problem.

9.   Free training and support                 

 eVanik OWS provides a free training session from the start, and on procuring the software, ecommerce retailers are assigned a dedicated customer relationship manager to handle all their queries.

 
Key Features of eVanik OWS’s inventory management software: Following are the chief features of the eVanik OneWorld Suite from the trusted eVanik Networks, which is the most awarded ecommerce solution provider in India.

   1.  Composite SKU’s (bundles/kits)                                                                           One can now combine SKUs to create composite SKUs that will depict the inventory of the underlying SKUs. Managing inventory with bundles will help to enhance your catalog by creating new offerings from your existing products with attractive pricing for higher-order values.

  1. Advanced Order Routing

The software further offers Advanced Order Routing based on geolocation, warehouse priority, and stock availability. You can now combine SKUs to create composite SKUs that will depict the inventory of the underlying SKUs.

  1. Custom Alerts

Ecommerce sellers can now set custom alerts for low inventory levels and create purchase orders.

  1. Product SKU Mapping

With our unique inventory mapping system, sellers can track their products with different identifiers.

  1. Multichannel Tracking

One can track product quantities and sales across boundless integrations. For retailers that have inventory in multiple warehouses, eVanik can allocate inventories and designate orders based on predefined rules, such as region, shipping method, or other special designation of inventory.

  1. Sell better, faster with eVanik OWS

With the best inventory software, you can turn inventory faster, maintain higher margins, and reduce manual inventory-related tasks, helping you focus on what you do best: sell.

  1. Centralize your inventory

Visibility across multiple sales channels, stock locations, and stages of the product life cycle within one simple inventory app.

  1. Sell flexibly

Take advantage of merchandising techniques like bundling and pre-orders.

  1. Low Stock alerts

Avoid overselling and stockouts with low-stock alerts, and automatic stock adjustments as sales orders are processed and purchase orders are received. Low inventory alerts make it simple and convenient to place a reorder from the appropriate supplier directly from eVanik´s.

  1. Automate purchase orders                                                                                        eVanik´s powerful capabilities automate and simplify your inventory management. eVanik automatically adjusts inventory through purchasing or vendor feeds. Product availability amounts are automatically updated across all marketplaces.
  1. Transfer and track inventory

eVanik´s end-to-end platform will automatically reserve availability when an order is first created and decrease it from physical inventory upon shipping.

  1. Cloud-based inventory management software

Modern Inventory software without the excruciating updates; available regardless of where a client or group is based.

  1. Integration with accounting software

Build and study Sales and Inventory Reports

eVanik OWS Inventory Management software thus is an efficient and affordable software that gives retailers a robust product that has a plethora of advantages that helps ecommerce retailers catapult their business and take it to greater heights.

Everything you should know about warehouse management systems.

It is believed that the journey of warehouse management started in ancient times when farmers thought to keep a record of grain from the crop.

All they wanted was to use the record so that they could prevent famine.

With time and technology, the process turned out to be fast and tracking became easier.

However, the basic concept of warehouse management never changed. Therefore, it can be defined as “managing everyday operations of a warehouse”.

The process includes arranging warehouse and physical inventory management, maintaining appropriate equipment, conditioning of product, managing new product, space management, packaging, stock receiving, and tracking.

Hence, improving overall warehouse performance!

 

And “an application or software designed to optimize the method of storage by controlling and administrating the operations in a warehouse is known as a warehouse management system”.

This was a glimpse of all the content that we are going to discuss in today’s blog. Let’s first start with understanding the basics of warehouse management systems.

 

What does a warehouse management system do?

A warehouse management system controls and manages the process of stock storage with the aim of providing consistent availability of the product.

It is a software supporting day to day operations in a warehouse, giving you a centralized system to control the process of storage.

 

There are many other benefits of using a cloud-based warehouse management system for your business growth.

 

Benefits of a modern cloud-based warehouse management system

With technically growing nations and advanced customers who mostly prefer digital mediums for all their purchases, it is the right idea to adapt the smartest technology.

cloud bases warehouse management

And a perfect match for that, in today’s world, is moving to the “Best cloud-based e-commerce management system”.

 

 

  • Connect you directly with all the leading e-commerce marketplace platforms, shopping carts, accounting ERPs, 3PL providers, and Payment Gateways.

 

  • It will help you to lower the upfront cost as you don’t need to hire an IT specialist and no longer need countless software or hardware.

 

  • With a cloud-based system, there is no upgrade or maintenance fee. And still, you can always use the most upgraded version.

 

  • You can now quickly expand your supply chain operation and meet all the market expectations with a modern cloud-based management system.

 

Therefore, the tool helps in providing digital support to all your warehouse management processes starting from receiving goods until delivery of the product.

process of warehouse management system

Warehouse management process

 

The process of warehouse management involves the following steps: receiving goods, put away and storage, order picking, packing, and shipping.

All these processes involve certain functions and you can always optimize your functions according to your business needs.

1.   Receiving of goods

The process of warehouse management starts with receiving the product and unloading it from the vehicle.

Here you have to ensure that you received the right product, in the right amount and right condition.

 

Don’t just receive but validate!

When the shipment arrives, make sure to check and validate the product, which means you have to check the quality of the product.

Quality control here can help you in making further processes smooth. It involves checking the goods you ordered thoroughly and then taking them forward to your inventory.

If any product is damaged, keep it aside and inform about it in real-time.

Unload the products and check if the number of boxes is the same as mentioned in the

delivery shipping notice i.e. you have to check the product count.

Check all the return documents such as invoice and packing slip.

After all these processes are done you have to prepare goods received note mentioning the details of the products you received.

The details include the description, quality, date of receiving, GRN number and so on.

This will help you to make entries in the inventory about the product and you can also cross-check that you received all that you ordered.

Finally, you are ready to arrange the product in your inventory accordingly.

Receiving a new product!

 With a growing business, it is quite obvious to expect a frequent rate of new products in inventory.

With new products, you have to play a little wiser!

Remember to mark enough space for newly arrived products in your inventory and guide your team about the product and its handling.

Add necessary labels and barcodes to the product at the time of putting away and don’t forget to update your inventory. As in this way your product will be ready to sell.

 

2.   Put away and storage

Similarly, for every product once received, you have to put away the product in the right, place and keep the product in the best suitable condition.

Doing them right can help you to get the most optimum results in the future.

Make sure to do the “material handling right” for this entire process.

As by handling the product right, there will be less damage leading to more satisfactory delivery and you know the rest.

Use this principle and optimize the process!

 

“Minimal touches of goods,” the principle states that you should directly put away goods to its final location.

 

The fewer the touches are, the less will be the probability of product damage.

Also, make sure to do the put-away process on the day you receive stock.

It is often seen that when the new orders arrive, the team turns to be busy working on it. Hence, the priority of that moment is picking and packing.

keeping the new stock aside. And this may negatively affect your warehouse.

The put-away process and storage go hand in hand, once you are ready with where to keep the stock, make sure to consider the storage required by your products.

The conditioning of products must be given a high priority depending upon the needs of the product.

 

You can also use the ABC tool!

 According to this tool, the products get classified into three sections.

1. A Item- These are the high-value products with low sales frequency.
2. B Item- These are moderate value products with moderate sales frequency.

  1. C Item- These are low-value products with high sale frequency.

 

You can keep C items closest to the packaging area and Vice Versa for A item.

You can also categorize the product according to its requirements.

For example, if the product is very heavy, try to place it with the proximity of the door, or if a product is required to be kept at a particular temperature, make sure to place it accordingly.

Rearrange the warehouse with time!

 No doubt the process is really time-consuming, but good management is all about investing the right resources at the right time for optimum future results.

 

Right?

 

So do not hesitate to rearrange your warehouse according to the need of time.

As there could be some products that are at high demand during summers and during winters no one wants them.

Once the put-away and storage are done to your product, you start getting orders and therefore the process of order picking starts.

3.   Order picking

As the name itself signifies its meaning, the process involves picking up the goods as per customers’ demand.

 

It is found that this process involves the highest percentage of all warehouse operational expenses, comprising 55% of it.

The process of order picking involves selecting the item from the warehouse to satisfy all the independent customer orders.

Therefore, it is recommended for you to follow a smart technical way to analyze the process.

Choosing the right order pick up system involves the requirements of your product by customers.

Since the requirement of every product is different, it is not necessary that one plan will work for all.

So, here are some of its types!

 

  1. Zone picking- In this method, the inventory is divided into zones and the order picker will only work for one specific zone.

 

The process of zone picking works best for businesses with high order volumes and multiple daily ships.

 

The process may take more days for shipping as products are passed around in the warehouse.

 

  1. Batch picking- A picking process that mostly works well for any business, that follows the motive to fast order fulfillment.

 

In this process, instead of working for a particular zone.

 

The team works for the orders to pick them up in batch and move for the packaging process.

 

The process is considered best for businesses with high order volume and has a common SKU.

 

  1. Discrete picking or single picking- In this process, the team works for one order at a time, the team will only move to the next order when the first order is entirely complete.

 

This is usually done by small businesses, businesses with a small team or business working for heavy goods.

 

  1. Wave picking- It is similar to discrete or single picking process, the only difference is, in this process orders from all the zones are picked and orders are then sorted as per requirement.

 

So these are all the picking techniques, you can choose or follow any of them.

 

But don’t forget to move to the next, till you find the best!

     4. Packing the product

Once the product is picked, packing is to be done for further shipment.

All you need to be definite about is, you are shipping the right product to the right customer and of course with the right packaging.

Packing is much more than just tossing your products in a carton.

You have to be sure about the box size in which the product is to be shipped, packaging material and have to make sure if the product is not damaged.

Don’t miss to check!

 

Before moving to the package, make sure to check the product once with the order slip.

Once you are sure about the product, move ahead with a light packaging so that the weight of packaging does not add more to the shipping of the product.

And also make sure that the packaging of the product supports its efficient transportation.

     5. Shipping

Shipping is the final and one of the most important steps of this process. Once the product is packed, it is now ready to be shipped to your customers.

Reports depict that 63% of customers buy more items if the delivery takes minimum time and has the option of free delivery.

Therefore, this process needs more tracking as you have to make sure that the right product goes to every customer without creating any hassle.

Successful shipping of products confirms that your process of warehouse management is right!

Make a right decision

things to check for warehouse management system

 

There are different ways to adapt a warehouse management system and choosing the best one increases your chance of right management.

Let’s have a closer look.

 

  1. Standalone warehouse: This management process involves managing the functions to the warehouse with some advanced functionality.

 

The functions that standalone warehouse manages are management of warehouse inventory, date tracking expiration, Recordkeeping, Inventory analysis and Directs putaway, order picking, and packing slip support.

 

It is interesting to note that it can be integrated with other systems and can be used.

 

Remember, if you have a small business this is an option to make a move!

The standalone warehouse system will take you ahead of traditional and manual systems without a high financial expenditure, unlike the supply chain and ERP.

 

2. Supply chain: The process helps in the coordination and integration of different supply chain processes.

 

To understand it better we can say that in this process all the manufacturers, material providers, transportation providers, distribution centers and retailers work together.

 

As communication and collaboration may become difficult when many companies work together, with the process of supply chain management, this is not a problem.

 

The process helps warehouses to integrate with suppliers, carriers and retailers.

 

If you are an e-commerce company or a company working with a large volume of orders from a different party. This process can be right for you.

 

3. Enterprise resource planning: ESP can be understood as an important system to manage everything in your business.

 

This system helps you in integrating your warehouse systems with many different tools and systems.

Like accounting and finance tools, human resources systems, point-of-sale systems or order managing systems, project management systems, and compliance systems.

 

Any business can go for ERP but is considered to be an expensive method as it could take a high budget to hire a consultant to hire with ERP procurement or sometimes a large IT team to manage it.

 

Using the right software for warehouse management!

The best way to manage a warehouse is by using good warehouse management software which will not only reduce the cost of your back office work but will also help you to automate and digitize all your work.

 

And yes, all the high growing retailers use one or the other automation tools. So if you want to be one, let’s find the right tool for you.

 

With warehouse management software you can make your work convenient and the workflow systematic, It can help you in many ways like;

 

  1. Control and track- With a warehouse management system software, it will be much easier to control and track the transfer and storage of your product in the warehouse.

 

With the software, you can scan and keep a note of all your products and inventory.

 

So, no paperwork and the data of your warehouse will be on your fingertips!

 

And you can anytime analyze data of goods shipment, payment, etc.

 

2.  Reduce risk- While working on your warehouse manually there are high chances of errors. The WMS software helps you work with minimal errors.

 

You can now trust technology!

 

3. Make your own plan – The warehouse management system software provides you a chance to create your own optimized process.

 

You can create a process that not only suits your business but also suits your product storage in the best way.

 

4. Branding – A quick and accurate delivery of products will help you in improving your relationship with customers.

 

This will help you to build up a good image of your brand.

 

5. Provides security – As we know, all the information traditionally was stored in hard copies with a high probability of loss in data but now you can easily deplete the paperwork and secure your information.

 

Also with the software, every employee will have a different identity to work with and make transitions, increasing accountability and decreasing the risk of theft.

 

6. Reduce operational expenses- With software, it is easier to manage all the processes in one go.

 

You can easily manage the process of warehouse management system i.e. receiving, putting away, picking, packaging and shipping from one common point.

 

It will also help you in understanding your product and its storage reducing the damage of certain perishable goods.

 

Even in the case of non-perishable goods, you will have an idea of the efficient use of space and labor for them.

 

7. Optimizing customer service- A good customer bond is all you need to grow your business, and right warehouse management software understands that.

 

It optimizes the delivery process right from the product order to shipping by accurately finding the item availability and exact delivery dates.

 

8. Better ERP, better you- The right software will help you to enhance the enterprise resource planning, making your outgoing shipment accurate and reducing chances of return.

 

So if you are looking for the right software with all the above features, eVanik is here for you.

 

Are “Inventory management and warehouse management systems” the same?

Whenever we talk about warehouse management, the term inventory management comes along.

 

But are they both the same?

 

The functions of inventory management and warehouse are somewhat similar, as both of them help in tracking parts and products, picking, packing, shipping and receiving the order.

 

But critical analysis helps in understanding the major difference in both of them.

 

We can say that inventory management is an initial step in the warehouse management system.

 

For example- If you want to know about the location of any product, the warehouse management system will help you to know the exact location.

 

However, the inventory management system will reflect that the product is somewhere in the warehouse.

 

Another way to understand the difference is that the warehouse system consists of multiple compartments and rows for a particular product providing the entire detail of it.

 

On the other hand inventory management can only provide information on how much is present here.

 

A final look over!

The warehouse management system supports managing the processes of the warehouse, starting from receiving the product to delivery.

 

A right system ensures less damage and high profit for your business, all you need to do is follow a smart management process in every step.

 

The system gives you convenience and provides your customer’s satisfaction. Moreover, you can always keep track of the work done and improvise accordingly.

 

Since change is what makes you better, a good WMS software will help you to understand and create a strategy to be better, actually to be the best.

 

How are online returns managed for competitive advantage?

In this world of electronic commerce, a huge percentage of online sales occur every year. The process of online retail starts from raising in demand for products from the buyer, the retailer initiates the process of delivering the product. Once the product gets delivered, everyone gets their share of profit.

But what if the customer says “I need to return this product”?

That’s where the process of online returns management comes in picture, Yes! There is an entire process of returns management. And learning about it is all it takes to step up and move ahead of the crowd.

 

The process of return management involves four major activities:

 

  • Return avoidance is all about controlling the return rate to the maximum extent by looking keenly into the product before delivery.

 

  • Gatekeeping involves screening of return goods to sort and analyse the product in a systematic manner.

 

  • Reverse logistics involves all the steps that occur in the process of product return.

 

  • Value maximization is the process of doing return management in such a way that it contributes to gaining high competitive advancement.

 

ERIM report series depicts that in many businesses return can be over 20% and can be very costly to the company. But with the right knowledge of return management, you can use it as a competitive advantage.
So before we talk about ways to use it, let’s first understand the reasons that cause high returns.

 

Reasons contributing to high return

 

5 D’s– To make the learning a little handy we have combined the major reasons together, now you only have to remember the five D’s and all the reasons can be seen at once. 5 D stands for:

 

Different Size

Different Colour

Different product

Damaged Product

Don’t need anymore

 

It is seen that there are high chances of delivering a different product be it in size, color or altogether another product.

Studies on E-commerce says that 20% out of all the returns are due to damage in product 23% of returns are due to difference in size and color, 23% received wrong product and remaining percentage counts in others category.

So now it is pretty clear that there are many reasons contributing to the return of the product and there is a huge percentage of sales that get returned every year, and therefore it is quite important to contemplate the management of product return.

 

How to manage product return?

 

The online returns management is considered to be a hectic task but it is true that the way you deal with all the process of returning the product affects your brand, if done in a positive way, it can also end up by providing your brand an additional competitive advantage.

But the interesting part is, by following a few steps you can manage your product return in an optimum way.

So here we go!

 

  • Research and analyze: The first part of management involves understanding the reason of return, because management is always about involving a process in such a way that we receive the maximum output.
  • So if you are an online retailer, make a habit of analyzing the product that has maximum return, with time invested in understanding and analyzing the reason of return, you can save your time and money in shipping and return of that product.

 

  • product with the order before shipping, a look in the product can save your efforts. This will help you to diminish the controllable returns like different sizes, colors, or if the product is damaged.

 

  • Recheck: Another remark is to recheck the Handle uncontrolled returns: It is true, that we can only control things that are in our hands.

 

So what about, uncontrollable returns?

Since the product has already reached your buyer and buyer wants to return it, so there is no way you can do anything but work on the return process.

And this is where return management comes to the picture.

This is the time to play smart, the time to create an image, and time for you to use it as a competitive advantage and save the financial impact on your business.

 

What financial impact does Product returns have on business?

 

There was a time when free delivery and return was a nice and additional offer to have for customers, but nowadays it is something that is expected by all the buyers.

A study reflected that out of all online retailers 57% of retailers said return management has a high impact in dealing with their day to day business.

33% revealed that they offer free return services but charge to delivery, and so try to offset the cost, however, 20% of online retailers prefer increasing the price of their product to cover these expenses.

The additional expenses that occur due to an order return are the cost of processing the return that includes the cost of resources, staff, shipment etc.

Along with that, there is always a risk that a returned product will not be resold easily leading to high impact in finance.

 

Return management for competitive advancement

online returns

As we have already discussed, a return management done in the right way can promise a competitive advancement for your brand.

So what are you waiting for!

Learn about the ways and make it a competitive advancement now, allow your business to grow with these simple hacks.

 

  • Easy return policies: Never ever miss that Customers satisfaction is most important”. And one way to win the heart of your customers is to provide them easy and convenient return policies.

For this, the best way is to add a direct link for return and refund in your website and application, also add the option for returning the product.
In this way, the customers can easily reach you without facing any hassles in the process.

 

To make it more feasible for you and customers, highlight the policies of return in your website and application like days valid for return.

Also make the acceptance policies clear along with the name of products for which you do not accept return, and don’t forget to add the criteria to credit refund.

 

  • Provide service: Always try providing the best services to your customers, especially the service related to pick up of product and refund must be “on-time”.

 

  • Acknowledge return: So now, since you got the product back. Is the return process complete now?

The answer is “NO”. Once you receive the product acknowledge the return reason and try working on it. You can even try interacting with your customers to understand their needs and provide them the best.

 

This will surely enhance your reputation in the market.

 

  • Attract customers by providing weekends return: Do not restrict your customers only to weekdays.

Let’s give them a little more!

You can provide them with a weekend return too, this will make the return process convenient for them.

 

  • Follow product return process: To channelize the management in the right path you can simply make a thumb rule to follow a product return process and stick to its management.

The process starts as soon as you receive the product back from the customer, now you have to sort the product into categories and analyze the reason for return.

Once done all you need to do is to make a decision to rather put the product back into store or back to stock.

The entire process demands high management and tracking of products that you need to look upon.

 

And by following these simple tips you can use return of product in creating competitive advancement, and there are many big companies following different return methods for the return management.

 

What successful companies do ?

 

Every company today has their own strategy to deal with online returns , here are some of them and their way to do so.

 

  • Myntra: A fashion shopping e-Commerce platform, stands number as they are found to receive the least number of returns every year, Myntra believes in checking the product before they ship.

Their policies say that any customer can return an order within the time period of 30 days, with free delivery and return policy, however the product must not have the tag removed or used by the user.

 

  • Amazon: One of the largest E-commerce platforms provides opportunities to customers to file a return within 30 days of purchase and take 2 days business days to refund the amount of buyers.

 

  • Exclusivelane: A home decor and craft-based E-commerce site has something different with their return policy, they offer to send the address and details of the retail seller along with the product and along with the product put a slip stating “in case of any issue or query contact”.

In this way the buyer directly contacts the retail seller and proceeds the return process accordingly.

 

  • Phuljhadi: A jewelry based E-commerce platform, it only offers a return if the product is damaged and is informed to the company within 24 hours of delivery. And the company will process the return in 48 business hours.

 

Something for you

This is for all the retailers out there planning to build their return policies different from others, always give preference to your customers convenience. Because this could only bring a customers’ purchase back to you all over again.

 

Also the return management requires high tracking of product and this could be a real problem, being an online retailer. For the process, you can use some ESP software that can keep the management process simple for you.

 

You could come up with some interesting policies that are product friendly, i.e. making policies as per your products and use it as a strategy to be different.

 

As customers appreciate and count your efforts in making their shopping experience wonderful, so invest your time in making easily understandable policies for your customers, never confuse your customers as they will always like it simple!

 

Remember, the most important work to do after return is management.

Yes, I agree, that is the most confusing and creates hassles in day to day business.

 

But for you we made it simple, now eVanik is here to manage all your returns systematically and provide you a clear vision of return.

 

With eVanik you can easily track your return at once, we also provide you a platform you claim to return and manage them. All your problems related to returns and be solved at one go.

 

We will help you to keep a detailed outline of returns so that you can work on your product accordingly. Try understanding the reason for returning and don’t miss to work on it.

 

Let’s work together to achieve this milestone!

 

Conclusion

 

Return management is the need of the hour today and if you are an online retailer the task is even hard for you, but a few steps towards the right direction can change the entire story.

You will not only get your customers attracted but can also boost your business by gaining a competitive edge.

 

However, the process needs high attention and tracking but it will eventually help you to understand the mindset of your buyers and you can act accordingly.

So here is a take away for you, if you are a online retailer:

“Understand and invest your time in creating the right return policy, and once done that we can promise to manage them for you” – eVanik

Benefits of e-commerce for small businesses

benefits of e-commerce

If you are an entrepreneur and have not started selling your products online, this is your time to stand up and go e-commerce friendly. Electronic commerce, basically known as e-commerce is a medium to process buying and selling of products and services online. 
The benefits of e-commerce not only includes introducing your product globally but also helps you in saving your time, money and other resources. 
So before we move ahead and talk about its benefits let’s go through the journey of the term.

Let’s travel to past

The term e-commerce was officially announced in the year 1991 as the internet was open for commercial use, the process at that time only supported the execution of commercial transitions electronically, that is the transition was only done between business organizations in order to send commercial documents electronically. 


The process of transition back then was done with the help of some leading technologies for electronic data interchange.
In the time span of 3 years the acceptance of the internet among the population of America. The general public turned towards a handy use of the internet and that was when the idea of e-commerce for buying and selling of goods evolved.


As it is rightly said, “Rome was not built in a day”, so even with the idea and a complete picture of plan the process took another 4 years. These years were invested in creating a security protocol like HTTP.
Finally, in the year 2000, many US companies represented e-commerce, especially by creating a web page on the world wide web.  
And since then the process is improving, being accepted and growing globally. E-commerce has been providing many benefits to growing businesses, just learn and earn them.

Benefits of e-commerce

In all these years e-commerce has been accepted and trusted by many organizations. Reports by India brand equity foundation (IBEF) depict that the Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow and reach up to US $ 200 billion by 2026. 
Therefore the foremost benefit of using e-commerce for your business is sustaining the market competitions and boosting your chances of success.  
E-commerce has evidently shown cases of many success stories but today we will only talk about the benefits of e-commerce for small businesses. 

  • Marketing

Marketing of a product has always been an important aspect of its acceptance in every domain. The process of e-commerce promises to make your work convenient. You can easily market your product on an online platform. 

With e-commerce, you can make your customers aware of your product, new launch and its features via online medium and attract a large mass in a short time.

More than this you can also attract your customers by providing a visual tour and with leverage content in different social media like websites, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

  • Provide datasheet

E-commerce not only markets your product but additionally, it helps in providing a detailed outline of your product to customers. 

You can now help your customers to go for the most appropriate choice as per their needs. The datasheet helps customers to get the right insight into your product at any time of the day and at any place. Customers now need not travel to the store just to see if this is the product that they are looking for.

For your customers, it is very important to get the right information in a convenient manner about the product and of course, this is another way for you to win their trust.

  • Retarget your customers

E-commerce helps you to keep an eye on your customers and their interests. You can now target and retarget your customers easily.

Retargeting your customers will market your product and boost the buying behavior of your customers. 

E-commerce helps the sellers to understand the buying behavior of customers and thereafter work accordingly. For example, if your customers select a pair of shoes and mark it as wish, so you will have data to retarget your customers accordingly. You can mail them with some discount offers or you can reach them again when you find that there is some attractive offer that your customers may like. 

On the other hand in traditional commerce, it was very hard for retailers to remember about the interests of all of their customers and then provide them the experience they are looking for.

  • Business never stops

Every shopper is different from their interests, buying patterns, shopping styles. Some shoppers shop for specific things others may shop because the product attracted. Some shoppers do shopping as a leisure activity while others may find it a hard task. Something that every shopper has in common is they shop according to their suitable time. 

And so e-commerce provides every business with a platform to work 24/7 for all 365 days. Now you can grow and expand your business with an unstoppable working culture.
Even if you are not physically available your channel will work for you. 

  • Reduces recurring cost

We all understand starting a business is really challenging, there are many challenges that cross the path of entrepreneurs. Out of all those challenges, one of the biggest challenges comes from finance. 

Since e-commerce is supporting your business in so many ways, how could it not help you here?

E-commerce helps a business by reducing the rent or lease cost of the store, maintenance of the store, personnel cost, store design, and personnel hiring and training cost. 
With e-commerce, you can work on an online platform making a virtual store. 

  • Offer details to your customer

Just looking at an advertising poster and buying it up! 

The buyers of today are smarter than this, they need details retailed to brand and product they are planning to buy and that where e-commerce comes in the picture, it helps retailers to not only to provide details to customers regarding products or services but it works in providing a detailed outline of the company.

There are times when customers want to know everything about the product including the brand and company and in retail stores, it is quite hard to give customers a detailed outline or answer to every question that a customer is looking for.

Therefore, e-commerce can help you there. All it demands is making a good profile of the company by making attractive and user-friendly websites.

So start giving your customers a little more.

  • Know review of your product

Nowadays every buyer follows the ratings by other buyers on the product before purchase and then accordingly initiates their step.

By the way, do you know how amazing your product is?

If you are saying “NO” then read what your customer says. Yes! With e-commerce, you get a chance to know the feedback of your customers and can also see and compare the ratings. 

It gives you a chance to work on your product according to customers’ needs and also make other buyers aware of your product features.

Now, this is clear that we need to use e-commerce portals for growth and success but how to avail them is still a question. Right!

Don’t worry, we have an answer for that too.

Is e-commerce just perfect?

No doubt, e-commerce comes with lots of benefits for your business and it has so much to offer you, but every offer comes with a cause. So here are some of the points to reconsider about e-commerce.

  • Reconciliation- being a part of commerce be it traditional or electronic you need to look upon the internal financial records and compare it with monthly statements of banks or other financial institutions. It is an important step to do, as it avoids fraud transitions, credit drafts, and many other similar issues. 

If you are an online seller and you sell your product on different platforms together, your task becomes more stressful, as now you have to download reports, look and compare, you may also have to recheck it.

Doing all these on your own is a real hectic task!

  • Accounting/ Return filing- The story of work pressure doesn’t end here, you need to send your excel sheets to CAs or do manual entries. 

The problem that most of the small and medium enterprises face is a lack of knowledge about GST that may end up with the loss of the company rather than generating profit.

  • Inventory management- It is amazing that you have registered your business in all the online channels to sell your product, but is it convenient to handle?

No, right. 

Registering to many portals is easy, even investing money in all of them becomes an easy task, but something that is not at all is managing them together. 

Switching between one channel to another and keeping an eye on all of them is not at all easy and even if you do that, the accuracy rate shivers. 

  • Return management- Did you give a thought of how you will manage the return of your products.

Things are easy when they go in favor but turns to be harsh when they do not move as planned. So yes, return management needs a lot of attention and you have to manage all those records and update in real-time. 

So the warning most of the time is about managing all the things together that make it hard for small and medium enterprises. 

  • TDS & TCS Compliance- The journey that you have to go through using e-commerce will also involve certain compliance issues. 

For every sale, the e-commerce operator will charge commission along with the other fee that includes handling, shipping, etc. The fee comes under Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) provision, which depicts that it is liable to deduct some percentage of your income tax (Income tax act, 1961). 

If the TDS does not get deducted and paid on these expenses, the online retailer will have to pay income tax along with TCS (Tax Collected at Source) for these expenses too.

So it is very important for an online retailer to manage monthly compliance of TDS records and keep a regular track on return filing and assessment of GST.  
And since this article has talked about and solved so many problems, here is a solution to this problem too. 

You can subscribe to eVanik and solve all these issues at once. You will have a complete suite to work at your convenience.

Conclusion

The benefits of e-commerce can go way beyond this. These are some of the glimpses of benefits that you can avail of moving to e-commerce. Since everyone in the world is looking for a place where they can shop with their convenience, without investing time on going to places and choosing among thousands of options. So this is your time to give your customers what they are looking for.

However, e-commerce needs high management and looks after but moving ahead with the right plan will always give a profitable result. 

Make e-commerce your choice with your existing retail store, don’t let boundaries stop you and give your customers more than what they ask for.

Because a happy customer is all you need to grow!

Precautions that e-commerce sellers should take during the coronavirus (covid19) pandemic


The Novel Coronavirus (nCoV19) outbreak has affected over 75% of the countries in the world since its outbreak in December 2019. The SARS-CoV-2 spreads mostly from person to person through close contact or from droplets that are scattered when a person with the virus sneezes or coughs. This means that the novel coronavirus is highly contagious, which means it spreads easily from person to person. The average incubation period of the virus seems to be around 5 days.

Millions of online shipments exchange hands every day. Right from the supplier to the warehouse staff to the courier delivery boys and finally to the end shopper. This gets multiplied as over 20% of online shipments get returned to the seller causing a much higher threat.

How can Coronavirus COVID19 affect the business and health of E-Commerce Sellers and their employees?

Studies show that its cousin viruses, SARS and MERS, live for a few hours on the surface of an object. They are spread most often by respiratory droplets from one person to another. Besides, no medicine or vaccination has been developed till date to fight this pandemic. The earliest probability of getting one as per various research organizations and scientists is one year from now.

The logistics providers have been experiencing a surge in orders from shoppers who are ordering online, especially after delivery commitments like “Same Day/Next Day” delivery promises from online retailers like Amazon and others. This leaves a certain possibility of the packets being a carrier of the virus from the origin to the shopper. And that’s quite a risk. 

To make matters worse, in the case of buyer returns, the packets come back from thousands of shoppers back to the seller through multiple delivery boys throughout the day, every day.

One theory is that after the outbreak of the pandemic, more people will stay indoor and order online instead of exposing themselves by going out and shopping in physical stores. While this may sound to be a boom for eCommerce sellers, the worry is far bigger.

Ecommerce sellers need to deal throughout the day with warehouse staff and courier staff to ensure timely delivery of orders to buyers.

Now, this poses a serious 2-way threat to eCommerce Sellers. Some of the situations and scenarios which are more akin to the business of eCommerce sellers and safe practices that one should follow are:

PICKING & PACKING

  • DefinitionOrder picking is the process of finding and extracting products from a warehouse to fulfill customer orders.
  • Conventional Practice – On receiving orders, picklists get generated and given to pickers to bring the items from different locations (Racks, Shelves, Bins, etc) of the warehouse to the packing area. Packers would then put the products in various packets/boxes, affix the shipping label, use adhesives and tapes and move to the dispatch area.
  • Hazard Threats
    • One Carrier (Picker) may transmit droplets to locations (Racks, Shelves, etc) from where it could transmit to another carrier in case he goes to the same location.
    • The coronavirus appears able to linger on plastic and steel surfaces for two to three days.
  • Safety Recommendation
    • Clean, sanitize and disinfect all high-touch surfaces and warehouse locations (tables, racks, shelves, bins, light switches, barcode scanners, desks, etc.) 2-3 times a day. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
    • Allow 1 person at a time to go to the warehouse location for picking and once he has picked the items, he should wash hands and/or apply sanitizer every time after the picking.
    • Ensure people wear safety mask especially those who are commuting through public transport. An added precaution would be that pickers wear disposable safety gloves and discard them properly at the end of every day.
precautions coronavirus
Picklist for safety precautions for e-commerce sellers

DISPATCH

  • Definition – Dispatch is the activity performed when the goods have to be delivered to the customer(s) or handed over to the courier
  • Conventional Practice – Once all packed items are kept in the dispatch area, they get physically handed over to various courier/delivery boys
  • Hazard Threats
    • The delivery boys from the courier company may be potential carriers of the virus.
    • In case any employee is infected, the virus could get transmitted through the surface of the packages.
  • Safety Recommendation
    • Keep courier wise packets in a separate area with a large display tag containing the dispatch information (Manifest IDs, no. of packets, courier name, etc.) so that the person coming to pick up the shipments can identify his consignments.
    • Keep a drop-box where the receiving person can leave the signed acknowledgments of the picked-up consignment receipts.
    • Wear masks when engaging with the external courier/delivery boys who have come to pick up the consignments.
    • Clean, sanitize and disinfect the dispatch area at the end of every day once all the consignments have been picked up.

RECEIVING RETURNS OR PURCHASED ITEMS

  • Definition – Inwarding is the process of physically receiving the products into the warehouse either from a supplier or through a customer/courier returns and doing a putaway into the warehouse locations.
  • Conventional Practice – Returns and purchased items are physically received and inward almost immediately when they land in the warehouse.
  • Hazard Threats
    • Returned packets may be a carrier of the virus through the person who has delivered them
  • Safety Recommendation
    • Keep a distinct covered area in the warehouse where the senders can keep the stock and a drop-box where they can leave the documents. Ask for suppliers to send a copy of the documents electronically to verify and respond with confirmation electronically. Mention the reason for doing this in the electronic email.
    • Disinfect all returns received
    • Wash hands every time after receiving returns and doing the putaway.
    • Since the virus lingers just for a few hours on the surface, it is advisable to make physical contact with the packets after 3-4 hours of their landing in the warehouse.

The safety of our business is in our hands. These small and simple steps will help us combat coronavirus. These will protect our business and the health and well-being of our employees.

Future of E-commerce in India

India is the second biggest online market across the globe, with more than 560 million internet users, positioned distinctly behind China. There are expected to be more than 600 million internet users in India by 2021.

At present India’s business sector for internet business areas is developing yearly at a fast pace of 51%.

India is jettisoning offline commerce at an alarming pace and switching to E-commerce for most, if not all buys.

From $15 million in 2016 to a whopping $200 billion by 2026, the E-commerce sector is slated to increase by about 1200%, according to a report by financial services expert Morgan Stanley.

Where India stands currently?

Evidently, there have been vivid efforts like ‘Digital India’, availability of smartphones at throwaway prices and affordable data packages, yet vast sections of India’s population have yet to come online.

India is developing at a rapid pace and if development is to be estimated, how might we overlook the role of E-commerce in it. The number of new contestants right now raising every day and with the development rate arriving at its pinnacle, it tends to be assumed that in years to come, standard retailers will want to change to online business.

There is no doubt that with the estimated statistics of the anticipated growth of internet users, the potential of the market is non-negligible. Yet, E-commerce remains exceptionally underpenetrated with only 50 million online shoppers and out of which not all of them are active shoppers making only 20 million purchasers every month.

Major concerns relating to E-commerce

If India has to maintain its status of a global e-commerce mainstay, a few concerns are needed to be tackled.

  • There is an inherent gap in the numbers and to bridge it, the corporate sector must join hands with GoI to make sure that transitions occur effortlessly and with as little disruption as possible.
  • An all-encompassing e-commerce structure should be built up, one that incorporates best governance practices while obliging the extraordinary needs of this huge new customer base.
  • E-commerce in India has endeavoured to streamline payments and logistics, yet returns and exchanges despite everything pose an issue. Since most e-commerce companies are liberal with customers showing dissatisfaction for products paid for online, swindling returns and exchanges are on the rise online.
  • Shift to a digital economy is a must. While GoI has ventured out the execution of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) framework, further endeavours are required by means of the development of formal banking and simple credit offices for the populace.
  • There ought to be an advancement of powerful information protection frameworks along the lines of EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), making everything fair among offline and online players in terms of indirect taxation and facilitating limitations on cross-border e-commerce transactions.
  • Internet is as yet unregulated in India with only a few cyber laws set up to check money frauds, which leaves Ecommerce companies unsure and watchful to completely immerse themselves in the Indian market. Banks must join hands with the governmental cyber cell to welcome financial safety on the internet so the Indian online customer can enter their payment information without stress and not need to experience dreary security checks.
  • Another major step is to cater to the needs of the future consumers who are to emerge from India’s tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
  • The key difficulties to defeat here are a differing exhibit of languages, a newness to computerized frameworks, and inclinations for a diverse cluster of items across micro-markets. Every one of these variables requests the usage of a fitting omnichannel system combined with a strong offline-to-online model, assisted sales and product curation, for a smooth integration of the new entrants into the wider e-commerce ecosystem.
E-commerce

Future trends of E-commerce

  • Mobile optimized: What we can envisage is there will be an improvement in mobile shopping experiences. It was first seen that sites were created that would run decently on mobiles. Now, it is anticipated that online store owners will be trying to build sites that positively run on smartphones and tablets.
  • Wearable devices: Many products such as Google Glasses, smartwatches, and other wearable devices though have not taken off in full swing are sure to enter the market in the future with greater momentum.

When these devices become increasingly popular, it will be seen that retailers, as well as e-commerce stores, will shower discounts, promotions, offers, and updates to their customers through these wearable devices.

  • Personalized ads: Prospective customers have been served personalized ads by online stores for years. It will be also seen that storekeepers put forth more attempts to offer a progressively significant personalization to clients when clients become increasingly comfortable with imparting some personal information to brands and confided in online stores.
  • Local marketing and branding: As bigger E-commerce sites offer more up to date offices and highlight and evaluate better approaches for drawing in clients, smaller stores will go to a neighbourhood base to survive. Smaller online stores will use SEO to target clients in a constrained geographic territory and consolidate it with online networking commitment to customize relations with nearby clients. Their marketing and promoting technique will spin around focuses that separate them from larger sellers.
  • Marketing automation: Most often online customers browse around for quite a while and leave the store without purchasing. Such customers can be converted into paying customers with the help of customized and targeted marketing. The pattern of using a solution like marketing automation will keep on rising by the day. Automated lead nurturing, remarketing, email personalization and analytics will help small online store owners convert more clients.

Investments so far in the Indian E-commerce sector

  • Amazon procured a 49 per cent stake in a unit of Future Group in August 2019.
  • To grow its broadband and E-commerce presence and to offer 5G services, Reliance is to invest Rs 20,0000 crore (US$ 2.86 billion) in its telecom business.
  • In September 2019, a super-app platform ‘Switch’ was launched by PhonePe to give a one-stop solution for clients integrating a few different dealer applications.
  • In tier II and tier III cities, Nykaa opened its 55th offline store in November 2019.
  • Flipkart is expected to launch more offline retail stores in India after getting acquired by Flipkart, to promote private labels in segments, for example, style and hardware.
  • 2017 was the year when the E-commerce industry in India had witnessed 21 private equity and venture capital deals worth US$ 2.1 billion and in the first half of 2018, 40 deals worth US$ 1,129 million.
  • To improve internet penetration among rural women in India, Google and Tata Trust have collaborated for the project ‘Internet Saathi’

The fate of E-commerce in India

The way India is headed straight toward development is a boon for E-commerce as the potential for online users turned shoppers is tremendous. In any case, losses have become nothing unusual for Ecommerce organizations attributable to the overwhelming heavy marketing and promotions that are done to serve the Indian Online customer.

The Indian Government is putting a valiant effort to help E-commerce in India. Despite everything, there are miles to cover before Ecommerce effectively surpasses offline businesses right now. Development is critical to changing E-commerce in India with the goal that it is irresistible to Indian shoppers. An expanded effort is additionally the primary objective that all E-commerce organizations in India must endeavour to accomplish. Universal Ecommerce mammoths like Amazon and Walmart are set to change the substance of Indian Ecommerce and are as of now working superbly.

The e-commerce industry in India provides means of financing, technology, and training to MSMEs which directly impacts them. It is expected that the Indian e-commerce industry will be the second-largest e-commerce market in the world by 2034 outperforming the US.

Small and medium-sized E-commerce companies can gain from large players by keeping customer care at the fore. That, alongside co-activity from the government, will take Ecommerce to its pinnacle in India.