5 Traps to Avoid When Moving to an Online Store

Are restrictions due to COVID-19 and the rise of e-commerce forcing you to move to an online store even though you don’t feel ready? While selling online can expose your business to a larger audience, there are several traps to watch out for, which can cost you both money and time.

Trap #1: Selecting an e-commerce platform that is too much work or too expensive

Choosing an ecommerce platform is a long-term commitment for your business when you move to an online store. According to Growcode, the most important factors to consider when choosing a platform include:

  • -Mobile friendliness,
  • -Security features,
  • -Product management system,
  • -Order management system,
  • -Return management system, and
  • -Multi-channel integration.

The two main types of platforms are Saas-based eCommerce platforms, and open-source eCommerce platforms. Saas-based eCommerce platforms, such as ShopifyBigCommerce, and Squarespace, are popular among new ecommerce merchants as they can be setup in a few hours. If you want to have something set up quickly, this is probably a better option for you.

Open-source eCommerce platforms such as  PrestaShopMagento, and WooCommerce, require development, and are a good option for business owners who are willing to invest more work upfront to customize their online stores.

According to Ecommerce Guide, there are additional hidden costs that need to be considered when deciding what’s the best fit for you, so be sure to review all fees before choosing your platform.

Trap #2: Not marking up your pricing to cover all your fees

Not only do ecommerce merchants have to pay a variety of fees, they need to pay different fees on different channels, such as processing fees, hosting fees, inventory fees, and listing fees. When pricing their products, you need to make sure that you mark up your pricing to cover not just your merchant fees on your channels, but also labor costs for processing orders, and your shipping fees.

Trap #3: Lack of consistency between online store and QuickBooks

A common reason that businesses struggle with bookeeping is that their product SKU’s in their online store don’t match the Item Name in QuickBooks.

When the product names between the two systems don’t match, it’s impossible to automate the integration between the online store and QuickBooks.

In order to move to an online store, it’s important to match products SKU’s from all your selling channels with the Item Name is QuickBooks. Once the SKU’s on your website match the Item Name in QuickBooks, you will be able to automate syncing between the two systems.

Trap #4: Reconciling sales tax manually

Sales tax is levied at different rates in different states , since some counties and cities add tax. Merchants risk getting audited if they use the wrong tax codes, when entering sales tax data into QuickBooks. By integrating with tools such as Avalara, you can can automate tax compliance and avoid getting audited.

Trap #5: Mismanaging inventory

Mismanaging online inventory can lead to overselling and refunds. When inventory is not up to date in QuickBooks, their COGS is not correct. As a significant portion of capital is tied up inventory, it is essential that online business owners manage their inventories. By having a system that automatically syncs their online sales and inventory with QuickBooks, your clients will be able to make informed decisions and run profitable businesses.  

Summary:

With the right infrastructure for an online store in place, you will be able to:

  • Ship products on time and get good customer reviews and high seller ratings;
  • Track cash flow and make informed business decisions about staffing, marketing and partnerships;
  • Comply with taxes and keep their books up to date;
  • Use automation to save time and labor costs, and finally
  • Expand to multiple selling channels and increase profitability.

The more systems and automations you incorporate into your workflow, the easier it will be to transition to the online selling space, stay up to date with bookkeeping, and generate new revenue streams.  

 

This is an excerpt from a blog article first published on August 2, 2020 by Dora Farkas. You can read this article in it's entirety by clicking here.

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