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6 tips to achieve operational excellence for online businesses

( 6 min read )

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9 May 2023

Written by
Jigna Shah

Content Marketing Lead

The importance of operational excellence has become more prominent in recent times in building a sustainable and scalable business. Operational excellence is efficiently and effectively executing business processes, delivering high-quality products and services, and continuously improving operations. This helps you lower costs, save time, boost sales and increase customer satisfaction.

If you are an online business, here are some good habits you can adopt to achieve operational excellence.

Six surefire ways to improve your operational processes for your online store


1. Streamline your logistics

A healthy supply chain allows you to optimise profits, efficiency, and sustainability. Here are a few things to consider.

  • Decide between manufacturing locally or sourcing internationally. Manufacturing locally gives you cost advantages, whilst sourcing internationally offers you options. 
  • Consider outsourcing to a third-party logistics provider for warehousing, packaging, transportation and other areas of order fulfilment. Check their reach, flexibility and goodwill before you partner with them.
  • Choose between in-house, 3PL and drop-shipping for your order fulfilment, depending on your business model.

Dropshipping is an e-commerce business model where online businesses sell products without carrying any inventory. How does it work? When you receive an order from a customer, you contact a third party, who will ship the products directly to your customer’s doorstep. As per Statista, the global dropshipping industry is worth $159.08 billion in 2022 and is expected to surge to $476.10 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of approx. 25% over the period.

Global dropshipping market size

Source: Statista

2. Invest in automation

Managing and tracking multiple platforms can be time-consuming and increase operational work for your e-commerce business. Automation can help you reduce manual errors, save time, and focus on growth opportunities. Consider automating routine and critical tasks such as order processing, inventory management, and shipping to ensure accuracy and efficiency.

With Ebury, you can quickly build and integrate all of Ebury’s functionalities, such as payments, FX, etc., with your existing systems (ERP, CRM, accounting) with complete flexibility, control and ease.

3. Win suppliers’ trust

Building a solid relationship with your suppliers allows you to win their trust, get good deals and foster collaboration. Here are some ways to cultivate long-term relationships with them.

  • Identify and build a supplier network in countries you wish to expand.
  • Pay suppliers in their local (or preferred) currency to negotiate better prices.
  • Discuss your long-term plans to make them feel invested in your global success.
  • Pay suppliers on time, be transparent about your payment terms and ensure you meet them.
  • Inform them about inventory levels, sales forecasts, etc., that might affect them.
  • Maintain communication with them by responding to their emails and phone calls promptly.
  • Hire local staff to facilitate smooth communication if you set up your office in the target country.

Be mindful of the communication platforms, language barrier, and cultural differences to have meaningful conversations with your suppliers. For example, it is common for Chinese businesses to host you in their office for a team ceremony, whilst business deals are often discussed over a restaurant table.

4. Integrate with marketplaces

If you are a marketplace seller, consider connecting your cross-border payment platform to marketplaces to receive funds in your local currency. Plus, you will save on conversion costs and reduce friction.

With Ebury, you access local collection accounts in 10 currencies, which can be used to receive payouts in your local currency from marketplaces. Plus, you navigate global market complexities and manage your currency exposure to invest more confidently in your international operations.

Online marketplaces visits per month

Source: Webretailer

5. Focus on process improvement

Document every step of the process, including responsibilities, timelines, and expectations. Ensure your team understands the processes and has access to the necessary tools and resources to execute them. Regularly review and update the processes to reflect changes in the business environment.

6. Boost your delivery and packaging

After deciding the products you want to sell, think of effective delivery methods to offer a hassle-free experience. Find specific needs (packaging, temperature), local delivery and customers’ preferences (time, location) to elevate first-time delivery chances.

With this, it is pivotal to decide on the right packaging strategy. Transportation costs are also influenced by weight and cubic utilisation. Hence, getting the proper packaging that helps you save money, enhances user experience, and protects your products is essential.

Start achieving operational excellence for your online store 

There is no denying that streamlining your processes can help you save time and money and focus more on your business strategy and global growth opportunities. By focusing on customer needs, investing in automation, establishing clear processes, and continuously monitoring performance, online businesses can optimise their operations and succeed in the highly competitive e-commerce landscape.

Want to take your online business to new places and succeed in the year ahead?

To help you stand out in this competitive landscape, we have created an ultimate guide covering the latest trends to keep an eye on, easy tips to succeed and common mistakes to avoid.

The information provided herein is general in nature and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. The information provided here is not legally binding. The information, data or views expressed here is for the exclusive use of the recipient and is subject to changes without any notice. You may ask the support team or your dedicated relationship manager to provide additional information regarding Ebury products.