In order to be a successful entrepreneur on the internet, you need to have an efficient plan in place for tracking sales. Not only do you need to track sales for tax and inventory purposes, but for customer service as well. You must keep track of your customers so that you can follow-up with them as well. Keeping track of what sales and what doesn't sale will help you make pertinent decisions for your business.
Here are a few tips for keeping track of your sales:
Identify your specific needs. What is the volume of transactions you complete daily? Weekly? Monthly? If you have a small, home-based business then your volume of transactions is probably low. You might be able to get by with a spreadsheet. Just make sure you keep a digital copy saved on your computer and at least two hardcopies printed out and saved in your cabinet files. Update the spreadsheet regularly.
When you create the spreadsheet, set up a column with labels such as "Date", "Item", "Price", "Quantity", "Customer Name", and "Email". The more details you can include about each transaction, the better. As your online business grows and you see an increase in transactions, you might want to hire a data entry expert to help you.
Medium to large size online businesses need a more complex system. Software is available to help automatically track sales. Keep in mind that just because you have an automated system doesn't mean that all your work is cut out for you. You will still need to monitor the sales and follow up with each and every customer within ten days after they make a purchase.
There are a few different ways you can go about gathering information on the people who visit your website. If you ship your own products, you'll need to ask for their addresses and emails anyway. If you run a mailing list, you will need to ask for their emails.
Another thing you need to do is implement a tracking system. Java scripts are available for tracking each visitor's movements to your site. It's non-invasive in the sense that it doesn't provide personal information. What it track is geographic location, duration of visit, the page they landed on, the keyword(s) they used if they found your site via search engine, and whether or not they made a purchase. Knowing how a person came to be on your site, and whether or not they made a purchase will help you understand which of your marketing efforts are successful.
You might want to consider selecting a sales tracking system that offers flexibility. That way, you can change the settings as you see fit. You will be able to customize the software to align with your company's sales processes and terminology.
Save a copy of every single correspondence between your company and each and every customer. This includes inquiries, order totals, receipts, follow-up correspondences, refunds, etc. Pay for extra email inbox space if you have to. Also, if you offer customer support via live chat, save a copy of the chat - or at least take a screenshot of the entire conversation.
Most companies accept payments through PayPal. PayPal now offers monthly statements, which include payments received, payments sent, the names of the individuals and companies with whom you do business, etc. These statements can be downloaded in PDF form, and you can go through and make comments if you need to.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to keep track of your sales and customers. It may seem like a lot of hard work, but it will save you a lot of hassle and even money in the long run if you take the time to do it correctly.
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Lina Stakauskaite works at Click2Sell (www.click2sell.eu) Affiliate Programs Network. Click2Sell provides you all the merchant tools with a built in affiliate network to sell your digital, material or subscription based products. Run affiliate program, 100% control and manage all your affiliates. Accept payments, control refunds, customers and run your affiliate marketing business successfully.Sell products at Click2Sell and generate high income online.
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