As published in Internet Retailer
This holiday season, some of the biggest online retailers are ready to give Amazon a run for its money. Giants like Wal-Mart, Jet.com, and Costco, along with Facebook Inc. and other social media platforms have created alternative channels for marketplace sellers. These new channels are not only creating more avenues for listing products, amd pushing promotional offerings, but also an expansive marketplace to get more exposure.
“Online sellers should be selling on at least one online marketplace to increase reach,” says Parag Mamnani, CEO of Webgility, a provider of ecommerce automation software for multichannel ecommerce companies. “But in order to compete, merchants really must be selling on several different channels at once.”
According to Mamnani, online retailers are often intimidated by the prospect of selling on these different channels. But he says there are several steps they can take to fully leverage the different channels available to them. First, they should firm up their entire technology stack. “Stress test your operational workflows, make sure you don’t have any break-points in your orders management, inventory tracking, shipping or bookkeeping,” he says.
Then, Mamnani recommends, online retailers and their teams should discuss replacing any inefficient tools or processes. “Now’s the time to clean up that inventory spreadsheet and create a better system to organize it,” he adds. “Is someone doing full-on forensic research every time there’s a return or exchange? Examine your return system and do a bit of research on return optimization and automation. I promise, trimming those inefficiencies now will pay off during peak selling season.” Continue reading
Most online retailers are never fully ready for holiday sales. In fact, most sellers just
guess at the season’s projections. It’s no wonder that, although online retail continues to grow at an exponential rate, significant profit margins continue to elude independent sellers. Why? Because without the right tools, selling on multiple channels is a losing game
Imagine an e-commerce ecosystem where all of your stores, marketplaces, software, and business applications actually work together to optimize workflows and profit margins during the potentially game-changing peek holiday sales.
Our new guide explains how automating your e-commerce sales, shipping, inventory, and accounting will prepare you for fair skies through the holidays, new year, and beyond.
There’s no time like the present to get ready for the selling season.
By creating a strategy now, retailers can take advantage of the holiday retail peak with optimized cross-channel experiences, initiatives aimed at customer retention, and marketing focused on the entire season (not just a few key days).
According to Justuno, the Holidays are the most important time for retailers. If there’s one time of the year to put forth all your marketing efforts, it’s now. In fact, holiday sales accounted for 24% of total U.S. ecommerce sales in 2016 and are expected to increase by 16.6% in 2017. This is a massive opportunity to gain new customers, drive repeat purchases, and ultimately increase sales for 2017. But this can only happen effectively if you start preparing today. Here are some useful tips and ideas that will help you get started.
1. Build your staff now for the busy period. As we know the holidays can be chaotic for retailers. Even if you are a one person operation, there will likely come a time during this period where you will need help. Even hiring holiday staff for a few months or weeks can make a difference. And there are plenty of folks looking to make a little extra money over the holiday period. Continue reading
How Amazon merchants can learn from Prime Day and prep for the holidays
It’s no secret that Amazon Prime Day 2017 set new records for both Amazon and its merchants. In fact, sales soared over 60% compared with last year’s Prime Day. Granted, all that exposure is great, but when merchants forfeit such significant portions of their margins to Amazon in fees alone, what other ROI can they glean from selling on the world’s largest marketplace on its biggest day of the year? At the very least, merchants can learn from their Prime Day data and adjust their strategies to fully maximize sales during the upcoming holiday season. Here’s a 5-step plan for priming those profits:
1. Get a sense for overall profit:
- After deducting marketplace fees, shipping costs, and promotions, calculate the profits (or loss) of your top-selling items
2. Learn what the optimums were:
- For each SKU you sold, plot out all your final selling prices and units sold at each price — the results should look like a cloudy curve.
- Now, take those sales prices and remove all the costs associated with each product (cost of the product, shipping, marketplace fees, etc.) and you’ll get a new curve that shows profit per item and units sold.
- Multiply the units by the price for each of the curves and you’ll be able to find price points that drove maximum revenue (first curve) and maximum profit (second curve). These should be your book-ends for future pricing of the SKU.
3. Fix issues before the holidays:
- Check in with your logistics team or provider to figure out where things broke. Were there late shipments? Out of stock items? False alarms because data wasn’t updated between systems?
- Understand what caused those problems. Maybe a disorganized warehouse, orders got lost, technical difficulties, system delays, under-staffing.
- Find a solution and a backup before the holiday rush.
4. Be better prepared for the Holidays:
- Take results from steps 1 and 2 and use them to update your projections for the 2017 holiday season.
5. Once you’ve optimized the third step, update again and enjoy feeling prepared for a great holiday season!
Hungry for more? Check out our webinar where we reveal insider secrets for identifying your MVD (most valuable data) on Prime Day and how to glean actionable insights from the world’s largest marketplace.
5 quick wins for a successful holiday season
By now, your holiday marketing plan is likely up and running, but with competition at an all-time high, consider a few of these effective strategies from Bronto‘s industry partners to give your efforts an extra boost.
Use Your Post-Purchase Data
Make it as easy as possible for your existing customers to come back and purchase again,” says Robert J. Moore, Head of Magento Analytics. “More than any other prospective customers, you know who these people are and what they like, such as product types, price points, and even what time of day they shop. Use this data to create special promotions and announcements that cost you very little to deliver but can have a major impact on your sales.”
Target Lapsed Customers
“The holidays are the best time to target your lapsed customers,” says AgilOne’s Laura Corbalis. “Identify everyone who hasn’t bought from you in over a year, and send them a holiday-focused ‘We miss you!’ message with a special deal. These customers are familiar with your brand, so sending them something that beckons them back can be a very quick win.”