Comprehensive guide to Demand Forecasting

demand forecasting guide

Can you know the quantity of product you need for the next holiday? Do you know the capital you need to invest in stock? Can you prepare for the festive period to supply everything your customer requires? If you are still contemplating how to achieve that, demand forecasting is the solution you need. In this write-up, we will look at its definition, the different types, and the advantages that come with it. What is Demand Forecasting? It involves the process of making estimations on the future demand of customers over a period through historical data. Performing proper demand forecasting is helpful to any business since it provides valuable information about your current market and other markets. Moreover, managers can make decisive and informed decisions about growth strategies, pricing, and market potentials with it. For businesses that don’t use demand forecasting, it affects their decisions about market targets and products. Furthermore, the ill-informed decision has far consequences on customer satisfaction, inventory holding costs, profitability, and supply chain management. Types of Demand Forecasting Businesses can use several ways to do demand forecasting since we have different forecasting models available. However, in this section, we will look at the most popular types first. Passive demand forecasting For any business, this type of demand forecasting is the simplest to implement. It involves using sales data from previous sales to make predictions on future sales. In other words, you take previous data from a particular period to project the future sale for that period. This technique works best if you already have solid data. If you are looking to stabilize your brand in a particular area instead of growth, then this option is your way out. You don’t need any economic trends or statistical methods to perform this forecasting. Active demand forecasting Peradventure your business is in its growth, or you are just starting, you can use active method. It put into consideration your expansion plans, marketing campaigns, and market research. You would need external data in most situations since you have less historical data to draw relevant conclusions. Short-term and long term projections Short-term demand forecasting considers things within the first 12 months, whereas long-term option projects from one to four years. Both projections allow you to adjust to real-time sales demand based on your projections. For the long-term forecast, it focuses on you shaping the growth trajectory of your business. Advantages of Demand forecasting Reveal seasonal trends Reviewing historical sales data enables you to identify seasonal fluctuations. Aside from holiday seasons that tend to be busy, you can also know which months you have fewer demands from customers and apply necessary strategies. For instance, if your sales took a downward turn every January, you can decide to offer discounts. Plan your supply chain Predicting demand allows you to plan and meet customer needs. For instance, if you always have a high selling period in a particular month, you can also stock your products during those periods to afford a shortage. With this, you will also find out which product would likely be on backorders. Prepare for the future Demand forecasting keeps you prepare for unexpected weather. You have to prepare for the unexpected days. For instance, a natural disaster or you have a new company competing for your market share. With this, you can prepare your supply chain. Understand what influences your sales Demand forecasting uses previous data, which can help you determine what influences your sales. Forecasting can include data about the state of the economy, industry trends, and future market projections. All of these factors can help you adjust and grow your business.

Successful B2B eCommerce Business Model

B2B eCommerce model

A business model is one that everyone has their own opinion. For some, it is a combination of choices on how you operate a business, whereas others see it as how a business functions. However, another group says it comprises certain elements, including resources, processes, and customer value propositions. Notwithstanding your view, every business needs a business model to run effectively. More importantly, your B2B eCommerce business also needs such a model to run successfully. For eCommerce businesses, there are three essential business models that are proven successful. In this article, we will explore the masses, customer relationship, and hybrid model. Masses Business Model The Masses business models function excellently with B2b businesses with a vast product catalog that also wants to reach many customers. The model depends on digital marketing instead of a sales team. B2B companies that use this model mainly sell non-specific and general items that any customer can buy. Therefore, to ensure customers return to make purchases, the model utilities various strategies, including loyalty programs and email marketing. For the model to be successful when using for your eCommerce business, you need to have a well-competitive price, and your websites must be optimized for search engines. Customer-Relationship focused Model The model emphasizes personal customer relationships. Here, the sales team is an essential part of the business as it helps nurture customer relationships and answer any questions in their journey to make a purchase. Businesses that sell products and services in a personalized or specialized niche utilizes this model. The eCommerce platform makes it easier to create a personalized experience for every customer, display every item related to what they have already purchased. Furthermore, it also shows a specific pricing system and integrates with CRM and ERP systems to provide a personalized customer experience. Hybrid Business Model You can see this model as the middleman between the customer-relationship-focused model and the masses model. It includes a mixture of selling from an extensive online product catalog to server buyers and selling personalized products. This business allows buyers to buy directly from their website while giving them access to a specific niche. An essential aspect of this model is customer segmentation and integration with ERP and CRM. Conclusion Although business-to-customer businesses, investments, and brands have gotten massive attention since the introduction of the internet, business-to-business eCommerce businesses are here to stay. While their growth might be slow, it will certainly minimize the influence and dominance of the B2C market. Nevertheless, while everything seems promising for the B2B market, the solution is pretty complex. Frequently, it requires a mindset change of the people handling these small and medium-sized businesses. Additionally, these businesses make up a more significant part of the industry in every country. When choosing a particular model for your B2B eCommerce business, you need to find one that perfectly suits your business and website. However, whatever model you decide fits your eCommerce business, remember to optimize your website. After choosing your business model, it is essentials to find the right B2B eCommerce platform to start building your website. With each platform and model, there will be a variety of tools available to assist you. For example, inventory management, automation tools, marketing apps, etc. If you’re a BigCommerce merchant, 2 apps Atom8 and BackOrder are recommended to help your business. Atom8 automates repetitive tasks on the platform, while BackOrder prevents revenue loss due to zero inventory. The link of the two apps’ introduction here: Atom8 helps you automate repetitive tasks to save hours of working. With BackOrder, zero inventory will no longer be a problem.

5 key principles of eCommerce process automation

ecommerce process automation

Small business managers and eCommerce entrepreneurs are always preoccupied with several things such as marketing the business, improving sales and revenue, boosting their brand awareness, and much more. However, at a point, these will inhibit your growth as you won’t be able to handle every aspect properly as your attention will be divided. When faced with this situation, you need to re-strategize and look for a way to use eCommerce process automation. What is eCommerce Process automation? Business automation is a broad topic that is hard to define. However, for some businesses, it might mean automating every automatable process of a company. In contrast, it can also mean setting automated emails to respond to customers once a particular action is taken. In this article, our focus will be on key principles to eCommerce process automation. Key principles of eCommerce Process Automation Repetitive tasks Business automation is perfect when your business usually runs repetitive tasks. You can think of anything a small business manager repeatedly does without adding any significant thought or value. These repetitive takes include report creation, auditing, accounting functions, and email marketing. However, with an automation system, you can avoid these repetitive tasks and allow the software to automate the process. Specific tasks Your goal should be to automate some particular tasks instead of automating the larger ones. Therefore, focus on creating reports that display how works access the learning management system. You can either automate the creation or monitor the analytic data. Furthermore, you can create automated emails to provide information about your daily sales. Aim to save time & money For a small business, automation should save your money, time, or both. Small business owners often work longer hours than expected. It can be a great relief when you automate your business processes to have free time. Likewise, if you struggle with the issue of cash flow, automation can help you save money. Running an automated process that doesn’t provide any return on investment means your business is suffering. An important part of the eCommerce process automation principle is to measure if your automaton is saving your money or not. With this, you can know if to continue with the automation or stop it. Work with easy workflows first Once you start automating your business, ensure your workflow comes first. If you operate a small business, you can start with marketing since they are somewhat direct. For instance, a new customer subscribes to your emails, and you send them an automated welcome message. Today, several tools and platforms allow you to automate processes like this. Daily tasks first Once you start to automate your business processes, you should begin with the daily tasks. When you ask any time management expert, they will tell you the best way to save time is through batch activities. For instance, you save more time checking your emails in batches than flipping through the mails every minute. Furthermore, some weekly tasks might not contribute to your business growth, but automating daily tasks can help you understand where you are going.

How to optimize BigCommerce backorder experience

optimize BigCommerce backorder

Backorders have been in existence as long as logistics and supply lines. However, with the increasing competition in the eCommerce industry, maintaining stocks to avoid any backorder issues has become an integral aspect of meeting customer expectations. A backorder is an order, which is waiting to be filled. According to recent statistics, more than 35% of eCommerce companies experience backorders. Previously, it was hard to track backorder. However, today with automation software like BigCommerce, eCommerce store owners can automate their backorders to know what action to trigger when their inventory is running dry. Ways to Optimize BigCommerce Backorder Experience These are not the days you want to keep customers waiting for an order. Your competitors are also fighting for that customers. Therefore, to avoid frequent backorder issues, it is imperative to optimize your backorder customer experience. Here is how you can optimize your backorder. Clear CTA & availability on the product page The first step to optimizing your backorder experience is to get an accurate inventory of your inventory. Here, you need to employ the best integration tools to your eCommerce platform that will provide real-time alerts to avoid any backorder issue Showing Estimated Time of Arrival on product page When you have a backorder situation, you should show the estimated arrival time on the product to give customers an idea of when they will receive the product once it is available. For instance, if you have only one item remaining, you can indicate that more orders will be available for shipment on the page and state. When doing this, encourage your customer to order to assure that they will receive their product on the specified date. Notify on cart page/checkout page Furthermore, besides showing the estimated arrival time on the product page, you need to notify the customer on the cart or checkout page. At times, some customers are quick to order products without reading the description and information on them. Notifying them will help your brand in the long term. Show information on invoice/packing slip Another important way to optimize your backorder experience is to show information on invoices or packing slips. When customers receive these invoices, they can keep track of when their product will arrive. Keep customer updated on order status You need to keep your customers update on the product and its status. Keeping them informed or updated on the current status of their product will help strengthen your customer relationship and build trust in your brand. With this, they can comfortably order from your store again when you have a backorder situation. A comprehensive solution to Optimize BigCommerce Backorder GritGlobal’s BigCommerce BackOrder app will allow you to: Switch products to backorder instantly Customize your messages on buttons, cart warning, and packing slips Planning restock with thresholds If creating a flawless backorder experience requires too many tweaks and workarounds for you, be sure to give our app a try. We’ll get you started in minutes! Conclusion A backorder is an order to assure your customers to fulfill their orders despite not having them in your inventory. It usually involves a promise that a particular order will be fulfilled and delivered on specific data. For instance, you sell various products, and you receive an order for a specific shoe from four different customers. Further reading: Best practices for managing backordered items

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