If you’re running an online store, there’s no doubt that you’re busy. But taking the time to develop systems and streamline store management can open up your schedule, ease stress, and even help you increase revenue. All of this, amazingly, without endless to-do lists and sticky note reminders on your desk.
Here are some easy store management tricks, hacks, and tools that can boost your efficiency and work for you:
Answer questions before they’re asked
You don’t want to leave any potential customers hanging, but instead of constantly monitoring live chat or checking emails, be proactive by addressing commonly-asked questions and concerns ahead of time.
An FAQ page is your first line of defense against excessive phone calls and emails, and it creates a more user-friendly experience as well. Informational blog posts are also a great idea, particularly for more complex topics. These can include things like product and service descriptions, software tutorials, return policies, or anything that customers might want to know more about. You can even link some of your FAQ topics to your blog content, when relevant.
All of this helps keep buyer queries at bay. Plus, when customers can easily find answers to their questions, they’re far more likely to make purchases.
Manage payments and refunds from your store dashboard
WooPayments is a great time-saving tool because it enables you to manage payments and refunds right in the WordPress dashboard. Instead of having to log in and out of multiple accounts, you can handle your business finances in the same place that you handle products, posts, analytics, and more.
Plus, it’s a great tool for improving your overall checkout experience. Customers can make a payment directly on your website instead of being redirected to a third-party payment gateway. And you can even accept multiple currencies.
Streamline inventory management
Inventory management can be time-consuming and isn’t the most fun part of running a business. So instead of trying to manually update inventory from your warehouse or physical location to your online store, automating the process just makes sense.
Of all the things that can slow down a budding store’s growth, inventory management is near the top of the list. Employ some tools and those worries will be a thing of the past.
Print shipping labels with one click
Have you ever wondered how some stores can charge such low shipping rates? The secret is that they’re probably not paying full price.
WooCommerce Shipping saves you a ton of money (and just as much time) by allowing you to print labels directly from your dashboard. And specially-negotiated rates from USPS and DHL allow you to save up to 67% on domestic and international shipping.
Easily drop off prepaid packages without having to wait in line at the post office, or simply have USPS pick them up right at your door.
Transactional emails are a great way to let customers know that their order was received, shipped, or delayed for any reason. WooCommerce provides a suite of default order emails that automatically go out to each customer. And with the help of an extension, you can even include tracking information.
Take things a step further by creating additional automated emails. With WooCommerce Order Status Manager, you can create new order statuses and send emails when each step is fulfilled. For example, if you handcraft wooden furniture, you might add a step for “assembling” and another for “staining.” This keeps customers in the loop the entire time and means that they don’t have to call you to learn about their order status.
You can also use tools like MailPoet to customize transactional emails to your brand specifications and send marketing messages like abandoned cart emails and newsletters.
Batch social media and blog content
It’s amazing how, when it comes time to post on social media, your mind can just go blank. So you either give up on posting or settle for a less-than-stellar idea.
Instead, scheduling posts in advance helps you find work-life balance and allows you to capitalize on the times when you’re most creative. And if your ideas are all variations of the same thing — like placing a customer review on a similar style of image — that’s okay! Create as many as you can and spread them out over time.
Remember that only a (small) portion of your social media audience will see each post. So you can reshare former posts if enough time has passed between them.
You might also consider repurposing pieces of content across all marketing channels. Let’s say, for instance, you have a blog post on a featured product or service that you’re promoting. If you’ve already created something great about this topic, just tweak it to fit your various channels. Did your witty tweet prove popular with your audience? You can also share it on Facebook or turn it into an image for Instagram. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you’ve already crafted great content.
Get rid of comment spam
Enabling comments on your site is a great way to build community engagement, but it’s likely to also encourage spam. That doesn’t mean, however, that you need to manage that spam yourself. You can stay two steps ahead with tools like Jetpack Anti-spam.
Not only is it time-consuming to address spam comments yourself, it’s also risky because spammers can be sneaky — you may not always be able to spot a fake. But Jetpack Anti-spam learns from millions of sites and knows exactly what to look for, eliminating comment spam before you even have to see it.
This saves you time and your reputation while providing a vastly improved customer experience.
Let your online business work for you — not the other way around
When you can efficiently manage your store and run your entire online business using one dashboard, the future is bright. Put yourself high on your to-do list, and let automated solutions do the heavy lifting. Here’s to seamless integrations, more sales, and ample time!