The temps are heating up, and consumer demand is slowing down, which can only mean one thing: Summer is here. With the season being popular for vacations and experiences, it’s common for ecommerce businesses to have the “summer slump” with less website traffic and fewer sales. But instead of sitting on their laurels, savvy retailers and brands use this time to catch up on industry trends, the latest best practices, and new technologies to leverage. It’s the perfect opportunity to prepare for the back half of the year—especially the holidays, which will be here in the blink of an eye.
Finally emerging from the pile of work that buried you during tax season and spring promotions? Good. Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ve missed.
Things to Remember Heading into Summer 2022
If you read one section of this post, make sure it’s this one.
While tax season has already passed, it’s important to stay up to date on incoming changes to tax law that may impact your business. Here are some of the most important obligations to keep in mind right now:
- Economic Nexus Laws – All states that collect sales tax have nexus laws. This means that the only states excluded are Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. For the remaining states, if you trigger nexus in it, you must register to collect and remit sales tax there. What triggers nexus? Presence. The dollar amount threshold is established individually by each state. Here’s a great resource so you can understand when you reach it.
- Marketplace Facilitator Laws – All states that collect sales tax now also have marketplace facilitator laws, meaning marketplace facilitators are responsible for collecting and remitting sales tax on behalf of third-party sellers. This is in addition to collecting and remitting for direct sales. Now the responsibility for collecting sales tax is no longer on the seller, but the platform where the sale occurs.
- Webgility Sales Tax – Based on updated tax laws, Webgility will begin collecting sales tax in September. This doesn’t affect any sales as a business, only the monthly subscription paid to Webgility.
While ecommerce continues to take a bigger piece of the retail pie, what trends are driving new buying habits that you need to be aware of so your business can take advantage of and implement?
- Social Commerce – Consumers are now browsing social media platforms to purchase products, influenced by individuals across various channels. In fact, 71% of consumer buying decisions are driven by social media. So, if you haven’t already – now is the time to build and implement a social commerce strategy.
- Buy Now, Pay Later – The initial appeal of buy now pay later was aimed at Gen Z and Millenials. But now that’s not the only generation taking interest. With inflation continuing to rise and a familiarity with payment plans, the transition for other generations to installments for their purchases during uncertain times is an easy one.
- Sustainability – Today’s shoppers are increasingly expecting brands to utilize environmentally friendly practices — 45% of shoppers buy exclusively from brands that concentrate on sustainable practices. Do you have a strategy that integrates sustainability into its long-term vision?
Key Metrics You Should Be Tracking
You have a lot of data, and more is being added each day. So, what metrics should you focus on to help drive decisions for your business? Here is where to focus to gain a holistic view of your ecommerce business.
Online Store Metrics
- Conversion Rate – This is the percentage of visitors to your site who make a purchase in a specific time period. The average conversion rate is 1-2%.
- Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate – This is the percentage of customers who add an item to a cart, but never complete the purchase. Nearly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned.
- Repeat Customer Rate – These are your customers who purchase more than once. Keeping a customer costs up to 5x less than acquiring a new one, so it’s important to work to turn these customers into fans.
- Email Opt-In Rate – This is the percentage of site visitors who submit information to an opt-in on your site. Being able to reach current or potential customers directly can make a big difference for your business.
- Net Promoter Score – Measure customer satisfaction and loyalty with a survey to understand how likely your customers are to become brand advocates.
- Customer Acquisition Cost – Define a specific time period, then divide your marketing costs by the number of new customers to determine the cost to acquire one.
- Overall Gross Profit – Just how profitable is your business? This is the difference between your revenue and your expenses and is vital to determining overall financial performance.
- Gross Profit by Sales Channel – Determine which sales channels are your most profitable, then make decisions to drive growth around these specific channels.
Five Ways to Boost Store Profits
Every dollar counts when it comes to maximizing your profit margins. Increasing your profitability doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact with so much data and AI driven analytics tools you can make small actionable changes that have a big impact.
1. Find your most profitable products and focus on them.
2. Track relevant keywords to understand how often people search for keywords that align with your business.
3. Focus your marketing on the right channels and prioritize time and resources there.
4. Compare marketplace fees to maximize profitability.
5. Avoid stockouts and overstocking.
See more: 5 More Ways to Boost Profits
June’s Must Reads
How can you scale your D2C business? Get ahead of the curve with strong resources, attract and retain digital talent, build a visionary customer experience, then go beyond the transaction itself.
As ecommerce businesses continue to grow, it’s important to simplify your approach and choose an archetype so you can build an organization that aligns directly with your goals.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few of our favorite podcasts for insights on the go – from advice on how to scale, fresh industry perspectives, and platform specific roadmaps, listen at your leisure.
The pandemic accelerated retail’s transition to Ecommerce by years. What trends are going to have the most impact in the near future? From the elimination of third-party retailers and digitally native brands opening stores, to mobile payment adoption, big retailers owning transportation assets, malls as logistical hubs, the metaverse and more.
What’s New with Webgility
We broke down our latest product updates in a recent blog post, but here’s a recap:
- Wix Restaurant Orders Support — Take online orders, without the commission.
- Enhanced Inventory Sync — Get more context to avoid stockouts and overstock.
- New Etsy Features — Customize how you manage your Etsy operations.
A New Library
Are you a visual learner or do you prefer to read? Either way, we’ve got you covered. Our Help Center is now updated daily with new guides and documents to help you in building your workspace. And we are excited to announce the launch of our new training library. Plus, our ReCap Video Series takes you step-by-step through various integrations and automations in the platform.
ShopTalk Europe, June 6-8, London, United Kingdom
CRMC, June 8-10, Chicago, Illinois
CommerceNext, June 21-22, New York, New York
By guest contributor Lauren Farrell