Onboarding is really just a professional-speak for “making sure you are successful on our platform.” We want to make sure that your business benefits from the value that CrystalCommerce offers, but (like a lot of things) your success will be relative to the amount of effort you invest into learning. In your first look under the hood, the CrystalCommerce admin can feel a foreign and intimidating. Getting an omni-channel inventory management system, integrated POS, and web presence all at once is a lot! In this post, we have worked hard to simplify things so that you tackle the most critical objectives first, and lay the groundwork for success in your future.
1. Straighten out basic store information
This is a simple, but often overlooked step in the onboarding process. Basic information like store name, address, and contact information are required all over the place, from shipping materials (like printed invoices, POS receipts) to the pages of your website (think store name and address). The categories of products that you sell are visible on your site homepage on day 1, and if you get a new template for your site it’s important that those are already set up so that your template is ready as quickly as possible. Check out how to edit your basic info here, and how to adjust your categories in this article. A more exhaustive list of skills can be found in the Onboarding Table of Contents.
2. Strategically add your inventory
You want to take advantage of online and channel sales, but your inventory is actively turning over! How do you get inventory into our system while keeping that stock information up to date with your living store inventory? This is one of the biggest hurdles, and we have two different strategies that will help you select what sections of your inventory to add, and how to keep it inventory totals accurate while you make the transition.
- Have an elephant party
Everyone has heard the common call and response, “How do you eat an elephant?” and “One bite at a time!” Sounds great, but let me ask: if you were a villager and you had a real elephant in front of you that you had to eat, would your best plan really be to just eat that thing bite by bite? That probably wouldn’t be realistic. It would probably be easier if you got your whole village together, chopped that thing into pieces, and had a party! Call in favors, rope in family, do whatever you can to engage the “many hands make light work” approach when it comes to getting updating your inventory. If that isn’t possible, your approach will still be pretty similar: chop the task up into manageable chunks and tackle them one at a time while you leave the rest on ice.
- Start with your highest impact products
When adding in your inventory to the CC system, your best bet is to start with the products that will make the highest impact. Our research shows that TCG/CCG Singles in the $2-$5 price range drive more sales and have a higher turn rate than products in any other pricing segment. That means that products within this price range are the most important to add to your stock right away. Additionally, TCG/CCG Singles with a sell price of less than $1 have a far slower turn rate and very low margin, so these are less important to add to inventory immediately when compared with those TCG/CCG Singles in any other price range.
- Set your “Go-Live” inventory aside
If you aren’t running all of your in-person and online sales through CrystalCommerce, it can be pretty tough to keep your invetory numbers accurate. For a brief moment though, most new members find themselves in this position while they transition fully into using CrystalCommerce inventory management. We suggest to set aside a portion of your inventory to inventory into CrystalCommerce, and use only your new website or the CrystalCommerce Point of Sale system for transactions involving that section of your inventory. Be extremely diligent with keeping that inventory segment up to date if you add to it or remove products from it! Use this inventory as the seed for your online and CrystalCommerce POS sales — this will allow you to learn more about using CC with a manageable portion of live inventory. From there, you can systematically add more inventory in a manageable fashion.
3. Polish up your new online store
Every new CC member comes with a standard two-column template with a homepage banner space and featured product display. Included with your new membership, you get a chance to spruce up that template — a $50 design credit good for 40 minutes of time in our design department. If you want to take your new site to the next level, take a look at any of our eCommerce templates in the design section of the design store! Our eCommerce templates are designed with your clientelle in mind, and offer a good balance of product and free and premium versions. We package up additional time for both free and premium templates, so that our designers can tailor the colors and feel of our site to your existing branding!
4. Fire up your marketing engine to get ready for launch!
Take advantage of the brand-new web presence you get as a member of CrystalCommerce! Your new site should feel like an extension of your store, something that is consistent with your store’s brand. It should also act as both a destination and a generator of marketing traffic for your business.
- Understand brand presence
80% of consumers are more likely to evaluate solutions from the brands they follow on social channels. But _don’t mistake this to mean that more contact is better_ — in fact, there’s no correlation between interactions with a customer and the likelihood that he or she will be “sticky” (go through with an intended purchase, purchase again, and recommend). The takeaway? Do keep an active presence on social media, and any newsletter lists you have. Just make sure that you’re actually adding value for your customers when you post.
- Use your CC site to build your community presence
By now, your new CrystalCommerce site should have meaningful inventory and an appearance that is consistent with the feel of your brand. With a few small adjustments, you can unlock even more potential — your eCommerce site can be the hub for your store entire customer community. Enable an Events Calendar that connects to any Google calendar to show events in your store, or link up the Newsletter Sign-Up field to mail services like MadMimi or MailChimp to build your newsletter mailing lists. Your eCommerce site gives you the tools to be more effective with your marketing efforts.
Learning all of the ins and outs of how to use CrystalCommerce will take time! These four tips give you the framework for how to get up and running as quickly as possible. Do you have methods that you found useful that we haven’t covered here? Let us know on CrystalMembers.com!