US online retail sales to grow 10% YOY
Experts predict US online retail sales will reach $1.14 trillion this year — a 10% YOY increase. And almost half (42%) of the growth will come from ecommerce. The stakes are high for retailers and online merchants who are counting on this time of year for a financial boost.
Spend less time on manual, time-consuming tasks that take away from fulfillment. Accounting automation tools can download and post orders, refunds, and other transaction events to your accounting solution as often as every 15 minutes.
Sellers who don’t need a detailed record of every transaction or sell primarily digital goods can automatically download payouts and settlements as they receive them to easily match bank deposits and close the books.
Sales and discounts to entice majority buyers
71% of retailers are afraid inflation will cut into holiday spending. On average, 57% of consumers will buy items on sale and use more coupons during the holiday shopping season. And consumers will gladly share their data to get those deals and offers.
Experts say that sentiment is likely to endure. So merchants should lean into their sales, discounts, coupon, bundling, freebie strategies to move products, especially among return buyers.
Automation that has multichannel inventory sync capabilities can keep item counts up to date wherever you sell a given item or bundle. Plus, it can sync one less item than you have available and alert you when you’re running low, so you can avoid stocking out on deal-savvy customers.
In some cases, you can set rules to temporarily change item prices in bulk. And if you plan on using multiple discount codes, automation can track its use whenever you download and post orders to your accounting solution.
A shorter peak season to put prepared sellers on top
October is the unofficial kickoff of the holiday buying season, with 38% of consumers shopping before Halloween and 44% shopping before Thanksgiving. Yet 43% of retailers expect a lower peak season this year.
Experts suggest sellers who are prepared for a shorter season can edge out the competition. That preparation includes analyzing sales and inventory trends from last year to make sure popular items are ready to ship earlier.
Automation solutions can analyze business analytics for your entire ecommerce operation. Seeing the whole picture can give you a better idea of seasonal trends and forecasting overall.
Focus your energy on the products and channels giving you the most return amid rising materials and storage costs. And reviewing marketplace and platform fees in one place can reveal where to change strategies and reduce overall costs.
Search optimization will drive product discovery
As of March 2023, half of consumers say they start product searches on Amazon. Less than a third start with a Google search. Experts suggest other ecommerce platforms are following suit and focusing more on product discovery.
Platforms are doing their part, but to keep up, merchants need to be ready to optimize their product listings on each marketplace as well as for social media and traditional search engines.
Automation can help you transfer product listings (and essential details like SKUs, descriptions, and other media) to new channels, making it easier to get up and running and find new buyers.
Just remember that the more organized your catalog, the faster automation can update products and prices across your stores and marketplaces.
Ecommerce automation get-started guide