Running an e-commerce business requires the business owners to maintain professional standards and create delightful experiences for customers. One has to create a beautiful looking website and add unique product and service offerings, to lure customers and loyal audiences for the business. It is equally important to add the necessary support and services for the business to get the customers to be satisfied and stay for longer. The right set of cloud tools would help in providing prompt customer services and a professional approach, for the customer to appreciate the services and also recommend them to peers. Online invoicing is one such way of building a positive image with the customer. An online invoicing software to send quick professional invoices to clients is absolutely essential.
Here are the top 10 advantages of an invoicing solution for an e-commerce business:
Professional online invoicing integrated with your e-commerce platform, helps in sending automated invoices to the customer’s inbox, as soon as the sale gets completed. Sending manual invoices after tracking the sale manually, is time and resource consuming. The manual process is also fraught with risks of errors on the invoice. An integrated solution helps in both invoice generation as well as invoice verification. The solution also offers integrated payments, so the customer can make immediate payments, online. The whole process saves a lot of time and resources in sending out manual follow-up mails and payment reminders. The online invoicing solution also helps send recurring invoices for long term deals and subscriptions. This helps reduce the number of times a sale process would take place, thus adding to the productivity of the business process.
2. Get Paid Quicker
The primary business objective is growth and profits. But, if the profits are not followed by timely payments and cash flow, then it can be really detrimental to the progress of the business, in the long run. A professional online invoice solution provides automated transaction processing for quick payments for every single sale. Additional features like late fee and automated payment reminders help in motivating customers to pay up as soon as possible. Adding payment terms and due date on the invoice helps in giving clarity to the customer about the details of the payment process. Online solutions also provide detailed status of invoices, so one can send out reminders to those invoices which are due for long.
Outstanding and invoice aging reports help in finding out which clients are regularly paying late. These clients can be given appropriate warnings and dropped altogether, if they any not serving any business purpose.
3. Brand Identity
An e-commerce business has to engage with the customers on a regular basis. The more, the business showcases itself and the customers, the more is the recall and therefore better chances of conversions. A cloud solution helps reinforce brand identity by providing beautiful invoice templates for online invoicing. The business can add their logo, complete company details and other customised messages to improve brand presence and brand engagement with existing customers. Post-sale relationship, building and a word of mouth publicity is a result of such consistent efforts in making the customer feel important. A thank you message once the invoice has been viewed or paid by the customer, makes them feel that they are buying from a genuine company.
4. Cost Saving
Online invoicing helps the business save on costs of paper and manually couriering the invoices. This saves both man hours and material costs. The business can also get notified whether the invoice has been received by the client or not. Manual invoices may get lost in transit and this adds to the expenses, in tracing them and resending them to the customers.
Follow up calls for invoice receipts and payments are also saved while using an automated process. Online payments ensure that payments are done on time and the cost of repeated follow up for payments is saved. The costs associated with manual cheque deposits and cash collections is also saved in an automated invoice process.
5. Simpler Auditing
A cloud invoicing solution helps you to save all your invoices, estimates, expense receipts and other related documents, online. This makes the internal as well as external audit, extremely simple and a time saving process. A transparent mechanism of saving all documents on the cloud helps the tax authorities to view and analyze them easily. This also saves time and effort in providing the necessary details to the authorities. Internal audit and expense tracking becomes easier, with proper documentation of all expenses and receipts. Appropriate recording and saving of expense receipts online, helps in getting necessary tax deductions and tax savings.
6. Online Access
Online invoicing for an e-commerce business,makes it easier to access the invoices anytime, anywhere. The complete data is stored on the cloud and and can be easily managed by logging in from any device. This makes management of invoices and estimates really simple, and the process, really flexible. Resolving disputes by accessing invoices and account statements from anywhere, improves the level of services that you can provide to the clients.
Estimates and purchase orders can be sent to the client anytime, anywhere in case of an urgency.
7. Financial Management
An online invoicing solution helps in providing detailed financial reports for better management of company finances. Tax reports help in managing the cash flow for paying up the taxes on time. Client-wise invoice reports help in analysing the sales and revenue from the respective clients, over a quarter or half a year. Expense reports are useful in analysing the expenses periodically and keeping them under control. Ongoing financial management and control is absolutely essential for an e-commerce business. This provides long term stability and growth for the system. Analysing detailed outstanding reports helps in forecasting the expenses with ease and planning expansions accordingly.
8. Benefit From Subscriptions
An online subscription billing software helps you follow a subscription model with your clients and get repeat business. This is very helpful in retaining clients in the long run as their billing and payment system can be completely automated. There is no need for the customer to place their order repeatedly. This option allows for forecasting of inventory and other resource requirements, very easily. Subscription billing allows for maintaining better and long term relationships with clients and engaging with them on a regular basis. Forecasting revenue and cash flow becomes simpler and this helps in better financial management. Since the business gets regular customers, it becomes easy to scale it up without too many hindrances.
9. Environment Friendly
Online invoicing makes your business, environment friendly. Adding this as a social initiative to your business, adds to your reputation among your customers. Saving paper and sending and storing invoices online, helps in going paperless and making your business more environment friendly. This saves office space as well, as the invoices are stored online and there is no need to stack up different files related to invoices, estimates and purchase orders etc.
10. Reduced Errors and Invoice Disputes
Manual Invoicing to e-commerce customers may almost be impossible. The customers are looking for quick order placement and payments. Sending and verifying manual invoices may take a very long time and make the process cumbersome and unmanageable. E-commerce customers are looking for professional services and any sort of mistakes in the invoices are usually unacceptable to them. Sending invoices online and having an automated verification process in place helps in reducing any chances of invoice errors or disputes. An invoicing solution ensures better customer support by providing a single dashboard to manage all the invoices. Knowing the status at one place helps in responding to customer queries and quickly mailing invoice edits if any. .
The benefits of using an online invoicing solution for an e-commerce business really outweigh the cost of deploying one. The right invoicing tool with the appropriate features should be chosen, with careful planning and research. A tool that provides appropriate customizations and and integrations with the existing CRM and ERP solutions would be more suitable. A solution like this is absolutely essential for an e-commerce business in today’s time. It helps improve productivity of business processes and reduces the man hours in sending manual invoices. A CRM integration helps in constantly staying in touch with clients who are regular buyers and ensuring that they get the best support and services. Their invoices can be analysed well and they can be sent the most appropriate promotional communication improving brand engagement and repeat conversions. An integration with the ERP solution ensures there is always enough inventory in the system to fulfill the existing customer needs. This simplifies the supply chain process, reducing its resource burden in a big way.
There are numerous ways to benefit from an invoicing solution. The cost and productivity benefits are huge. Managing business finances is the most important aspect of any business and the right tool can simplify the process tremendously. Besides that, going paperless is really beneficial for the environment and adds to corporate social responsibility. Invoice errors and disputes too get reduced, increasing client satisfaction manifold.