The number of people buying Christmas gifts online is rapidly increasing each year and one of the best ways to make your products stand out is to enable your customers to personalise them. Everyone loves a gift that’s been specially created just for them, besides leaving the receiver with a warm fuzzy feeling, it also gives your business a unique selling point.
However, the additional steps in your fulfilment process can make life tricky unless you are organised, especially during the busy festive season.
Case Study: How Printed Boutique process their orders with Zenstores
Despite the advantages of selling personalised gifts online, it also comes with a unique set of challenges. We’ve taken a look at how personalised gift seller, Printed Boutique, uses Zenstores to solve these problems.
Keeping on top of order statuses with flags
Selling and making personalised gifts isn’t as simple as other online sales where the order is received, the item is packaged up and dispatched. For personalised gifts there are many different stages in the order process and it can be hard to know where each one is. With Zenstores, we use custom flags to keep track of the status for all of our orders and ensure they’re all processed and shipped on time. Here’s how we track the status of our orders using flags in Zenstores.
Requested Info: Quite often a buyer will place an order and not send the personalised text or image that they want printed on the canvas or mug, and this means the order can’t be processed until the customer provides that information. In the run up to Christmas buyers want their orders quickly, and adding this flag to an order in Zenstores enables us to see exactly which buyers we need to chase up.
Image to small: This is a common problem with personalised photo gifts. The buyer sends the photo that they want printed onto the canvas, but the image is too small to be printed. This is another case where we have to get in touch with the buyer - we use a flag to highlight which orders need larger images.
Printed: This enables us to filter for all orders that have been printed, enabling us to see right away what needs to be printed, and avoid duplicate prints being sent to the printer. This was a big problem for us because our margins are tight, so using this flag in Zenstores has stopped us wasting time and materials on duplicate prints.
Orders can then be filtered by flag, as shown below.
Adding Notes to orders
Knowing the status of orders can be confusing when there are so many different elements to the order process. Zenstores imports notes left by the buyer when they place an order on eBay, this enables us to see what text they would like printed on the canvas. We use notes in Zenstores to keep a paper trail of communication with the buyer and any issues with the order. For example a buyer sends some custom text to go onto a print but it is way too long to fit, using notes in Zenstores enables us to keep a record of this and cuts out a lot of miscommunication and confusion, allowing us to process orders efficiently.
We sell a range of personalised printed gifts from canvas prints to mugs. And, as we only have a small 3-person team, during busy periods like Black Friday and Christmas, we all need to be clear about who’s working on what. In Zenstores you can assign users to orders, which enables us to assign certain types of order to each team member to be dispatched. For example, on a Monday morning we could have 200-300 orders to despatch, Zenstores enables us to assign all orders for personalised mugs to Joe, and all canvas print orders to John - it’s just a much more efficient way of working as you know exactly what is being worked on, by who and what status the orders are at. You can take a big list of orders and break it down into smaller chunks so its more manageable.
See how orders can be filtered by user and then a job sheet printed.
Christmas is a very stressful time for online sellers, so it’s worthwhile investing in order management software to help you deal with the increase in orders. To avoid a pre-Christmas meltdown, Zenstores will help you to manage and despatch your orders, by providing one place to find all your orders and print labels, as well as lots of helpful tools to streamline your shipping process.