E-commerce Fulfillment Technology That Improves Business Revenue and Customer Satisfaction

Entering the e-commerce industry can be a little daunting at first. Once you have found the perfect product, you need to figure out how you are going to get it to your customer. You have to consider things such as:

  • Space: where are you going to keep your inventory?
  • Shipping: what is the best way to get it to your customer?
  • Packaging: how do I package it effectively?
  • Inventory Management: how do I register all of my sales and keep track of my orders?
  • Time: when will I have the time to do all of the above and run a successful business?

 

Elite Ops has technology and resources to perform all of the logistics and shipping services you need; from storing your product in a state of the art warehouse to getting your product out to your customer in a timely manner, packaged and labeled.  A personal account manager can partner with you to design a customized plan that is right for you and your business.

 

You’re in Control

Elite Ops uses a real-time online inventory management software that lets you know exactly what’s going on at all times. By logging on to the system, you can check inventory reports, review order status, and track orders. You have all of the necessary information at your fingertips, and the best part is that it is all up to the minute. Elite Op´s software allows you to maintain control of your business and make better decisions. When you partner with Elite Ops, we’ll handle the heavy lifting part, and you can focus on running your business.  

By taking advantage of our Utah shipping, logistics, and supply chain services, you can be sure that your business will be in excellent hands. Contact our office to start discussing how we can help your business thrive.

4 Simple Mistakes You’re Making With Your Online Business

The internet has opened up tremendous opportunities in the marketplace. Online businesses are simpler to start than ever, and potential customers are easy to access. So why is it that eCommerce can be so challenging? Here are four common mistakes that lead to the downfall of online businesses.   

Miscalculating Costs

One of the biggest pitfalls to new businesses is failing to properly estimate costs. Many entrepreneurs approach eCommerce with flawed expectations, and as a result they either over- or underestimate the financial challenges headed their way. Accurately calibrate the costs of your business by starting with good information. Take the time to research everything, and then do the math. When you have done your research, you can catch mistakes before they cause problems that affect your wallet. You will also be able to make informed, smart decisions that will make your business strong and profitable.  

Ignoring Competition

No matter what kind of business you open, there is bound to be an existing market with eager competition ready to steal your customer base. Underestimate them at your own risk. Watch their strategies, and don’t get taken advantage of; use competitive analysis regularly. Be the business that outmaneuvers and confounds competitors. Launch new products and services. Have smart giveaway strategies. Keep a robust social media presence. Most of all, always put your customers first.

Misunderstanding Customers

Giving customers what they want is one of the keys to building revenue, yet a lot of entrepreneurs fail at this because they don’t accurately understand the wants of their customers. Rather than making assumptions about your customers and risking failure, listen to them. Spend the time to research your customers with surveys and other methods. Develop a buyer persona, and keep it updated. When you do this, you greatly improve communication with your customer. You can effectively target your audience with appropriate advertising. You can address the correct topics that concern your customer. And you can create an optimal product or service that meets your customer’s wants.

Trying to Do It All

The fourth and final mistake that entrepreneurs make with their online business is trying to make it alone. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon because he had a team of astronauts at his side and a host of scientific experts at NASA. Harriet Tubman conducted the Underground Railroad and saved hundreds of lives because she had a network of people to assist her. Henry Ford built the Model T and the Ford Motor Company because he had support from other mentors, inventors, and entrepreneurs.

Great accomplishments don’t happen in a vacuum. Reach out and choose a team that will watch your back and grow your business, a team made of friends, family, employees, and other businesses that are interested in seeing you succeed. Get the support you need from a partner like Elite Ops: contact us today.

How to Choose a Business Model That Will Give Fuel to Your Startup

Every startup begins with a product and a vision, but without a realistic plan, it’s going nowhere. This is where a good business model comes in. If you’re thinking about opening your own online business, it might feel intimidating to start, but don’t worry. Here are some of the basics to start building with.

To illustrate the process for choosing a business model, imagine a musician who wants to start an online business. He must ask himself two simple questions: What am I selling: a product, a service, or information? And how will I sell it?

Once he knows exactly what he’s selling, he can then choose an appropriate method of selling.

Selling Products

Let’s say that our musician decides he wants to sell CDs of his original music as well as t-shirts and merchandise showcasing his brand. These are considered physical products that have to be designed, manufactured, warehoused, shipped, and distributed. Because of the nature of these kinds of products, it comes with certain risks, and some business models will work more successfully than others.

A traditional method of selling physical products is through the Merchant Model, for example, through wholesalers and retailers. But online businesses are increasingly using the Manufacturer Model, in which the manufacturers of a product can sell directly to their buyers through platforms like Amazon or Etsy in order to reduce the distribution channel and maximise profits.

Selling Services

Maybe in addition to selling his CDs, our musician decides that he also wants to start teaching music lessons in his local city. This would be considered a service, an intangible act that is performed at the point of sale. The most common method of selling services like this online is through websites. Sites can be used for marketing offline services, or they can be used to directly sell services. The most traditional model here is the Advertising Model, where the site provides content combined with advertisements (typically banner ads). But our musician used the Brokerage Model, where he used the website to bring him (the seller) together with students (the buyers) interested in taking his lessons (the service).

Selling Information

Let’s say our musician decides that he wants to start a Youtube channel and publish his own website that offers exclusive content in exchange for a monthly subscription. Both of these would be considered forms of selling information. In the case of the Youtube channel, it would be a Community Model of business in which revenue is generated through voluntary contributions from viewers and from advertisers. In the case of the website, exclusive and valuable information could be repeatedly exchanged for periodic profit–the typical Subscription Model.

Even if you’re not a musician trying to make it in online business, the above principles still apply. Once you choose a model for your business, there are steps you can take to ensure that it succeeds. Be proactive in building and protecting your business; learn more about business models and services that can boost your distribution and shipping.

For more information partnering with Elite Ops, contact us today.

4 Tips for Warehouse Facility Management

Managing a warehouse is an important part of running a business. Inefficiencies within your warehouse can cost you thousands of dollars or more every year. Use the 4 following tips to keep your warehouse running smoothly.

Get Organized

All the inventory in the world is worth nothing if you can’t find it and ship it to customers in time. A disorganized warehouse will cost your business money in overstocked and understocked products as well as wasted time.

Organization is more than simply knowing where to find your product. The best warehouses include logic and sales information to guide its design. The fastest selling product should always be the most accessible.

Set Up a Proper Receiving Routine

With the right receiving routine, you can avoid larger problems later on in the process. As you receive products and materials, verify and inspect the incoming items. Take note of damaged products; you don’t want to end up sending damaged goods to a customer.

An efficient receiving process allows for a more accurate inventory count. Items often show up as available in inventory systems once they’ve been delivered. If a product is stuck in receiving due to an inefficient system, you might mistakenly assume there is a shortage based on empty inventory shelves.

Invest in the Right Software

Software can make or break your warehouse. Technology moves at a rapid pace; if you’re still using an old system, you may be missing out on opportunities for greater efficiency and accuracy.

Many management systems offer programs for inventory control, maintenance, shipping, tracking labor, etc. Evaluate the needs of your warehouse to see if your current system is truly meeting your needs.

Prioritize Safety

Accidents and injuries cost businesses time and money every year. Whatever small gains you might get from cutting corners are not worth it in the long run. The only acceptable goal is zero safety incidents, so invest in regular safety training to protect your employees.

If you work with heavy machinery, lay out clearly marked traffic lanes; train both machine operators and other warehouse staff to observe these lanes. Invest in proper lighting for increased safety.

With our Elite Ops’ warehousing services, we take care of all of this for you. As a trusted Utah distribution company, we have the experience, knowledge, and resources to exceed your warehousing expectations. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your business.

5 Must-Haves Every Fulfillment Service Should Offer Your Business

When you’re looking for third-party logistics to help you with order fulfillment, it can sometimes be hard to know if you’ve found a good company to work with. While price will always be a factor, you also need to consider just what the company has to offer you in the way of services and features. If they don’t meet your needs, you’re going to be wasting a pretty penny by partnering with them. So to help you determine if the service you’ve found is a good fit, here are 5 must-have features/services that you should expect from them.

Kitting and Assembly

If you sell products that are complicated and require a little bit of assembly prior to shipping, but don’t want to do it yourself, find an order fulfillment team that offers kitting and assembly. That way, you can ship them the raw inventory, and have them put it together when it comes time to ship out an order.

Reverse Logistics

This one is critical. Odds are, you’re going to have some returns, and those returns can be a hassle to deal with. Having experts on hand who know how to handle and process those returns will keep you from tearing out your hair in frustration.

Customized Reporting

Every business is tracking different metrics, so don’t automatically expect that the ones you track are run-of-the-mill. You need a logistics team that’s going to be feeding you the data you need, not giving you numbers and figures that you don’t care about. So look for customized reporting, especially if you’re tracking some unique metrics.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

EDI is the system that allows electronic forms of different formats to communicate and share information. Your order form for your products are likely different from what the order fulfillment team are using, and you don’t want to enter all that information manually. So pick a team that uses EDI, and minimizes time-consuming paperwork.

Web-Based Inventory Tracking

Nothing’s worse than telling a customer that an item is in stock and on its way, only to find out they’ll have to wait two weeks while you order new inventory. That’s why being able to login to your account with a logistics team to check your inventory is so important. You need access to those numbers from anywhere, and with web-based solutions, you have it.

For more information on third-party order fulfillment, and how it can help your business grow, contact our Utah distribution company today

A 5-Step Plan to Grow Your Business Online

The great thing about doing business online is that there are so many people online. The challenge of growing your business is that there are so many people online. How do you cut through the noise and set yourself apart? If you are ready to turn your business into a functioning online store, take a look at these five steps to help make it happen.

1. Break ground

The first, and painfully obvious step, is to build your website. If you have a website and domain already up and running, you need to make sure it can support the functionality of an online store. This includes having enough capacity to run commerce applications and plugins quickly and reliably. No one wants to shop on a site that stalls or crashes during transactions. Your web hosting provider will offer packages sufficient for your needs.

2. Get people’s attention

Once you have a website and the capacity you need to operate it, it’s time to get more customers. Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to growing your business. You have products or services to offer, and you need people to know about them. By building into your site the keywords that people will use to find the types of products and services you offer, you are more likely to land near the top of their searches.

3. Make a name for yourself

Marketing will be your focus from now until, well, forever. In addition to making yourself easy to find online, you need to find customers yourself. Email campaigns, strategic online advertising, and social media networking are key to building awareness of your brand.

4. Service, service, service

Have you ever gone to a store, gotten horrible service, and kept coming back for more? Me neither. It sounds so simple, but it is fundamentally important. By adding as many personal, human touches to your online store, you will win and retain customers. Follow up with emails, offer stellar customer support, seek out customer feedback, and you will set yourself apart from so many other online businesses.

5. Deliver the goods

The final key step is making sure that when people buy from your online store, they get what they buy quickly, reliably, and smoothly. To help you manage the process, you should consider an online fulfillment service. Top online fulfillment services, like Elite Ops, a Utah Distribution Company, combine the human touch you want with the reliability of an automated system. With strong transportation links in the state, a Utah logistics service provider can help you reach clients from the West Coast to the Heartland and beyond.

The Future Of Shipping: 3 Ways It Can Influence Your E-Commerce Business

As with virtually all business sectors, advances in technology have had a huge impact on the shipping industry. With things like automation and real-time package tracking, these tech advancements help e-commerce businesses offer shorter shipping times and lower rates. However, if you’re not prepared for the latest trends in shipping, your company could be left in the dust.

Here are 3 ways the future of shipping can impact your e-commerce business.

1. Real-time shipping tracking

The ability to track your package in real-time is getting even more sophisticated, with GPS tracking and updates on things like weather conditions, delays, estimated delivery times, and more. It will soon reach the point where customers will expect some kind of real-time tracking at the bare minimum. Increasingly, people will gravitate toward e-commerce companies that offer even more visibility into the shipping process.

2. One word: drones

Drones are poised to make a big impact on the shipping industry, especially when it comes to maritime shipping where some experts estimate it could cut costs in half. Transoceanic shipments could one day soon be exclusively conducted by drones, allowing more and more companies to offer reduced or free shipping rates to their customers.

3. Mobile outpacing desktop

Not only are online shoppers using their smartphones to make purchases more and more, they’re also switching back and forth between devices daily—in fact, 98% of people in the US use multiple devices throughout the day. You have to be prepared to meet the shipping needs of your customers, whether they’re using a desktop computer, smartphone, tablet, or voice-activated device like Amazon’s Alexa. Make sure they can easily checkout on any device and track packages in-transit.

To stay ahead of the latest trends and industry shifts, trust in the fulfillment experts at Elite Ops, a Utah shipping service. Contact us today.

The Face of Business: 5 Trendy Ways to Improve Your Online Store

The Face of Business: 5 Trendy Ways to Improve Your Online Store

Getting your online business off the ground often turns out to be more difficult than initially anticipated. With the help of these 5 simple tips, you can easily generate more traffic on your site and see an increase in business.

1. Make Things Pinnable

The internet is full of platforms that can help build your business if used properly, including Instagram and Pinterest, among others. Make sure your website has buttons that make sharing and pinning your content and products simple. This alone will greatly increase the audience you’re able to reach.

2. Utilize Reddit

Much of the online audience gravitates toward Reddit these days, making this a site you definitely want to be a part of. Create brief, catchy posts for the site that will help attract customers to check out your store, generating more traffic, and ultimately leading to more sales.

3. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

If you haven’t already, establish social media accounts for your store and make sure they’re active. Create regular posts and updates that highlight products you sell, draw attention to sales, and are pertinent to your store. Keep things fun and you’ll have people flocking to your site to see what your store is all about.

4. Customize Your Home Page

Create a homepage that stands out. Consider highlighting only one product or service that you offer there, as this has been proven to increase sales. Include lots of images on this page and make sure your content is attractive, creating enough white space on the page to maintain a clean and fresh look.

5. Reach Out to Bloggers

Blogs continue to increase in popularity and are a fun and easy way to get information and stay up to date on certain topics. A simple way to reach a new audience is by offering free products or services to a blogger in exchange for an honest review on their site. The positive review is priceless and will help spread the word about your business.

We Can Help!

Partner with Elite Ops and let us help you manage your business needs. Contact us today to learn more!

E-Commerce Strategy: 6 Reasons It’s Time To Take Your Business Online

Shopping trends and preferences have shifted significantly because of the internet, and more than ever consumers are taking to the computer to do their shopping. With a quick search and a few clicks, they can find exactly what they’re looking for and compare prices to get the best deal. The efficiency and convenience of online shopping will only attract more consumers, so it is critical for retailers to cultivate an online presence to stay relevant and competitive. Here are the top 6 reasons why.

1. Attract new customers

 

No longer is your business confined to the physical bounds of its geographic location and restricted to those who see your sign. By selling and advertising online, you can attract new customers both locally and abroad.

2. Offer fast customer service

 

An online platform allows you to communicate easily with your customers, answering questions and responding to concerns almost instantly. This is valuable for resolving problems and protecting your reputation from disgruntled customers by correcting mistakes quickly and providing a positive interaction between the business and the customer.

3. Save money

 

By selling products online, you can minimize costs needed for physical space and operation costs. E-commerce solutions companies can manage your inventory, processing, and shipping, management needs, saving you time and money.

4. Generate greater profits

 

Customers don’t have to wait in line anymore to check out. Now your sales can be limitless and only restricted by your inventory levels. Sell more, faster, and in a shorter period of time by selling online, and watch your company grow exponentially.

5. Maintain a reputation of expertise

 

Having an online presence demonstrates your ability to adapt with the trends and stay relevant. This shows customers that your company is cutting-edge and knowledgeable, ahead of the curve rather than trying to keep up. In order to maintain your reputation as an expert in the field, you must stay up-to-date on consumer trends and preferences.

6. Do business anytime, anywhere

 

Perhaps your own personal freedom is reason enough to take your business online. You can sell your products 24/7, and work from anywhere in the world when all you need is a computer and an internet connection.

Partner with Elite Ops for your e-commerce needs and you can have the financial freedom and all the time you need by freeing yourself from the demands of a physical retail location.