From initial setup to sales growth overview
Most companies go through the following steps:
- Carry out the initial branding and technology setup activities (7 & 8);
- Set up one or more groups with prices, settings and assigned customers (1 & 2);
- Do some test orders and run through the process of managing and fulfilling orders;
- Onboard some existing customers and begin accepting online orders (3 & 4);
- Onboard more customers and begin exporting management reports (6);
- Use iStockist as a customer acquisition and sales growth tool (5).
There’s three main types of activities that are carried out on a regular basis when using iStockist.
Admin activities are related to managing data, especially orders. These activities are often carried without direct interaction with the customer. The main admin activities consists of:
- Updating products/prices in iStockist;
- Uploading orders to the ERP;
- Maintaining groups and price lists.
Sales activities involve interacting with the customer and are carried out by or with the full knowledge of the sales team. The main sales activities consist of:
- Inviting and onboarding customers;
- Marketing and promoting products and offers.
Finance activities consist of extracting reports on products sold/order line items for month end and management reports. The main finance activities consist of:
- Accessing and downloading reports.
Branding & Technology
In addition, there are some less regular but very important setup activities, namely the:
- Branding setup;
- Technology setup.
1. Updating products & prices
- Can be done via a CSV import (click Here for a guide) or be automated with regular CSV imports via google storage or via a web service.
- Prices from one product catalog can be easily copied to another product catalogue within iStockist. Alongside the CSV uploader, it is easy to update prices via the iStockist Seller area (Dashboard).
- From the Groups tab you can update all prices for each group and from the Products tab, you can update all prices for each group per product.
2. Maintaining groups and price lists
A group consists of a product catalogue, settings for the group and the list of customers who can order from this product catalogue/settings. The settings, products and prices for each group can be completely different from one another.
Some of main considerations are:
- Price Lists & Customers: set up a group per region/currency, or even per customer. The choice is yours!
- Currency & VAT/Sales tax: you can set up different currencies and sales tax rates for each group;
- Delivery Dates: if you want customers to be able to select their preferred delivery date;
- Min Order Value/Volume: do you want to put a minimum value that must be placed for an order to be submitted? Do you have a minimum volume size for an order?
- Terms & Conditions/Signature: do you want customers to add their signature to the order, or accept your terms and conditions prior to placing an order.
- Bank Details: are they to appear on order confirmation/invoice.
3. Uploading orders to the ERP
Order notifications arrive via email and are available from the orders tab.
- Orders for a period of time (e.g. for one day, one week etc) can be exported to CSV for easier import to your ERP. This can be done from Reports > Products order lines in the Seller area (Dashboard).
- Orders can also be exported from iStockist on a scheduled basis via CSV or real-time via a web api.
4. Inviting and onboarding customers
When you invite a customer from your portal, this sends an email invite with your branding to the customer so he can login to your-domain.istockist.com & place orders with you. Click here for the basic steps for inviting new customers.
Onboarding customers with a personalised experience
A key factor to consider is how to make the customer’s initial experience as simple as possible. One thing we can do to assist with this is to set up individual shopping lists for each of your customers via a bulk import of your customers purchase history. E.g each customer would have an automatically generated, personalised shopping list consisting of the products they previously ordered from you.
5. Marketing and promoting products and offers
Shopping lists for all customers
Are a great way to promote a specific range or deal. You can create a shipping list via the Seller area (Dashboard) and share it with all customers and then remove it when you are finished with the offer. (Go live 2nd July)
You can create an email template and send it to all of your customers who subscribe to offers. This is compliant with best practice on email marketing and allows the user to unsubscribe/subscribe to offers at any time.
6. Exporting Management reports
The reports tab is located at the bottom of the left side menu. Both the products sold report and order lines report are available from here.
This report contains a summary list of the quantity and sales volume of each product sold.within a time period. The time period can be set using from and to dates. The report is downloadable to csv.
The order lines report contains the full details for each order line item over a period of time. The time period can be set using from and to dates.The report is downloadable to csv.
7. Branding setup activities
Your store can be branded with your logos and you can even personalised the images in the headers of the order confirmation, customer invite and other emails.
- Logos and personalized email headers
8. Technology setup activities
There are many out-of-the-box integrations available, alongside web apis and schedule csv import/export. Furthermore there are user security settings such as two-factor authentication using google authenticator app.