E-commerce for Enterprises with a large number of SKUs - Things you need to know

  • By :Shefali
  • Date :15-09-2017

You know you have a good problem in hand when you have a large number of SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) on your bustling E-commerce website. With lots of SKUs, you know you can offer your customers with plenty of products and have less chances of getting sold out. However, unless you have everything perfectly organized and a robust E-commerce platform, you are going to run into a number of issues in all probabilities.

Managing and organizing large numbers of SKUs is complicated and significant. All this without compromising on a compelling user experience, gets trickier. You need your customers to be able to search through that pile of SKUs efficiently and fast. Keeping them waiting for their results might drive them away instantly.

Some issues you may encounter and how to tackle them

As they say, the better prepared you are, the less of an inconvenience you will face. Some E-commerce companies outgrow themselves before they realize it. The number of SKUs can double or triple overnight. It is best to be ahead of the curve and welcome these good-to-have problems with open arms.

Can your E-commerce platform cope with your growth?

Outgrowing your E-commerce platform is a very common issue. Your SKUs can skyrocket within no time and your platform may not be scalable enough to accommodate this growth. Most pre-built E-commerce platform’s navigation management is pretty manual which can be a huge pain in the neck if you need to add SKUs in bulk. Moreover, configuring them is arduous.

Custom E-commerce platforms or E-commerce platforms built specifically for enterprises can handle these problems better. Since they are made to suit your large business volumes, it is easy to scale up to any level you wish and handle that kind of SKU load. Looking at what platforms your competitors are using will give you a better insight and help you decide better. Builtwith.com lets you check what technology a website is currently using.

Site Search efficient enough?

When your customer knows exactly what he wants to buy (which most of us do), he is going to look for your site search option and type away. Unless your search results appear fast enough, you have a high chance of losing that customer to a competitor. Having said that, when you have a large SKU catalog, it takes more processing time to show results.

An efficient site search can provide your users with a better UX, increase your site usage and average order value, lower customer acquisition costs, improves customer retention and loyalty and what not! Some best practices you can use –

  • Ensure your search box is well visible and looks good. Include the words “Search” or “Go” on or beside the feature.
  • Use a feature like Autofill that will populate the search box with relevant products based on the typed in keywords.
  • On the search results page, allow users to further narrow down their search by giving them many options to filter (for example, according to budget, size, brand, etc.) their results.
  • Let your uses search within the search results page. Your users would not like to navigate back to the home page to modify their search keywords time and again.
  • Tackle user errors better. If they have misspelt a word, try showing them corrections for their chosen keywords or similar results instead of a “NO RESULTS FOUND” page.
  • The faster the better

    People are always running out of time. More-so when they are online looking for a purchase. A latest research on consumer behavior says that even a one second delay in page load/response can result in 7% reduction in conversion rate. And with a large SKU catalog, it is a challenging task to get your E-commerce website to load fast. Every product will have its own set of images, pages, descriptions, etc. All this can slow down your website.

  • Using CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) can immensely help load your website faster as it delivers web content to the user based on the user’s geographic location.
  • Use compressed product images and videos– keep in mind that they need to be of good quality though. A software like GZip can help you compress the size of the data that is sent to the browser.
  • Make use of caching to avoid unnecessary trips to the database.
  • Try and determine available configurations in your E-commerce platform to improve page-load time.
  • Monitor your website speed periodically.
  • Overwhelming your customers with too many choices?

    When you give your customers multiple choices, it gets harder to choose and the frustration of not able to choose might force them to leave. A study shows that too many choices can be bad for sales. However, it shouldn’t matter if they are presented in an orderly manner.

    An optimized website navigation design is key to large E-commerce websites. Using the right E-commerce design techniques to optimize your navigation can help enterprises with a large SKU catalog to display their products methodically.

  • Organize products by broad categories and then followed by sub-categories.
  • Give clear and meaningful names to your labels and categories.
  • Your latest products should go under a Latest Collection or New Arrivals category.
  • Using common and tried-and-tested navigation design patterns is a good idea.
  • Don’t forget to optimize navigation design for mobiles and other devices as well.
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