Prime Your Profits

Prime Your ProfitsHow 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!

Originally published in eCommerceBytes. Learn how Webgility’s Unify platform can simplify your retail operations.

Keep Calm and Jingle On

Keep Calm and Jingle On5 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.”

Read more.

Holiday Planning: Your November Checklist

Holiday Planning: Your November ChecklistIt’s go time!

November is already here, which means two of this biggest shopping days of the year are quickly approaching: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now’s the time to take your planning from September and October and put it all into action. This month, focus on launching some key campaigns to prepare your customers for the holiday season and get them to your checkout!

Read on for more tips about the campaigns that will make the most out of your holiday shoppers. Continue reading

Your 2016 holiday ship-by dates

Your 2016 holiday ship-by datesBig thanks to ShipStation for this helpful graphic

Can you believe it’s that time of the year already? Thanksgiving and Black Friday are a month away and Christmas is here in under two months. It’s practically 2017!

But wait. Pump the brakes. Hold your horses. Put the bunny back in the box. Before we get to all that, there’s a lot of shipping that needs to happen. The one-two punch of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Christmas looming on the horizon means business is about to pick up.

Our friends at ShipStation want you prepared right now. So for all our U.S.-based sellers, they’ve collected the holiday ship by dates for UPS, FedEx, and USPS—in one convenient, easy-to-read infographic. Share it with your fellow entrepreneurs, print it out and pin it in your warehouse, or bookmark it.

This year, ShipStation has made the infographic the perfect fit for a standard laser printer, at 8.5 x 11. Click here to download a printer-friendly PDF version. You can also save this as a desktop background and always have it available.

If you plan on using USPS services this year, get ahead of the game and order your supplies now. For ginormous orders, call (800) 610-8734. You can also use that number to set-up standing monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly orders so you don’t have to use USPS.com or drop in to the post office. Of course, these aren’t the only dates that matter.

APO/FPO/DPO & US TO INTERNATIONAL
If you ship to or from military addresses or internationally in general, Stamps.com collected the recommended ship by dates directly from USPS. Click here to see those dates.

CANADA
For our Canadian users, see Canada Post’s suggested ship by dates by clicking here.

AUSTRALIA
If you’re in Australia, shipping with Australia Post, check out their standard delivery timetables using their Parcel Post service by clicking here.

If you’re intersted in streamlining your holiday sales workflows even more, check out Unify for ShipStation. Happy selling!

Severe Weather Alert: How to Prep for the Holiday Storm

Severe Weather Alert: How to Prep for the Holiday StormHere’s how to stay centered in the midst of the chaos

It’s September, which means it’s time to batten down the hatches for holiday sales. But if you’re like most e-tailers, you might never be fully ready. Truth is, busy small businesses just don’t have time to project and plan for additional holiday inventory and fulfillment or even streamline workflows and minimize shipping costs. At best, sellers are just guessing at the expected velocity of sales. It’s no wonder that, although online retail continues to grow at an exponential rate, profits continue to diminish. Why? Because selling on multiple channels online is inefficient without the right tools. Retailers try desperately to increase order volume, but quickly become overwhelmed by confusion around both finances and logistics when sales do surge. And there’s a price to be paid for all that incongruity—for every dollar made, businesses could be spending more than a $1 on shipping and fulfillment.#eCommerce weather alert: How to prep for the #holiday storm @ShipStation #Shipping #Unify #Inventory Click To Tweet

Imagine an online retail world where all of your stores, marketplaces, and business applications actually work together to optimize workflows and profit margins. An order—or even a whole batch of orders—comes in from a store or marketplace and syncs directly with a central shipping hub like ShipStation. You instantly compare and choose a carrier based on price and delivery date, seconds later, you click to print a branded shipping label, then confirm and send the customer tracking information. Meanwhile, all that sales data—including customer and product information—syncs with your accounting software, so you don’t have to type in jack diddly squat. Your inventory quantities update accordingly, all fees, expenses, and sales tax are recorded, and you go enjoy some coffee and a glazed donut.

Taking into account time limitations, there are four simple things you can do right away to get ready for the coming surge. Continue reading