1.Reflect on your USP
The New Year is a time for reflection, making new goals and developing the plans to achieve them. Look back on what you’ve achieved in 2018, where the business is heading and whether your current unique selling proposition still reflects this. Does your branding and content need to be reviewed to align with your new vision and position the business further ahead from the competition?
Important things to consider include product sourcing, manufacturing, design, pricing, shipping and returns process. Are there additional products or services that you could offer? Use your new USP as a benchmark for every step of contact you have with your customers, staff and even the wider community.
2. Personalise your customer experience
If you’re a seasonal retailer, selling gifts or decorations, you may find that a large portion of this year’s revenue peaked throughout October- December while the remaining months leave your site comparatively lonely. To increase profit in these periods, why not aim to increase repeat custom by setting up a series of automated behavioural trigger emails that provide independent product suggestions influenced by each customer’s order history. Although an investment in time and resource to set up, the results are definitely worth it; on average, triggered emails have a 152% higher open rate than emails containing a generic sales pitch.
While this great method offers a more personal touch to customer service (and is sure to become widespread in 2019, even for smaller retailers), this technique can also double up as a way to move unwanted stock and improve cashflow.
3. Refresh your website layout
Research has proven that consumers are less likely to buy from a site that looks the same month on month. To combat this, first, invest in user testing of your site in its current state. An extremely useful resource for ecommerce businesses, the feedback you’ll receive on how easy or not so straightforward it was to locate a specific product, filter results and make a purchase will direct any changes you may need to make to the layout of your site.
Just remember to make sure your changes look equally good on tablet, mobile, PCs and Macs and watch those conversions roll in!
4. Include your employees
If you’ve been used to running your company solo, making all important decisions on your own, then you run the risk of allowing things to go stale. We’ve all been there; longing for inspiration but coming very close to hitting a brick wall. Opening the floor to your employees may be your saving grace.
Arrange a team meeting, pose the problem you’ve been facing in 2018 and respect every opinion that your staff offer. After all, the talent of your team makes the company and a few fresh sets of eyes could spot a solution you never thought of. As well as solving the specific problem, it’s likely that including your staff in this way will motivate them to work harder towards the greater success of the business all through 2019.
5. Green eCommerce2019 will see a massive move by online retailers towards sustainable operations and you don’t want to be left behind. For consumers, it’s now more important than ever that they can continue to purchase with a clear environmental conscience, and equally important within the responsibility of the retail industry to facilitate this. Some important steps to assess include:
- Your products: are they made from ethically sourced materials? Do your business partnerships reflect a prioritisation for sustainable living?
- Efficient and sustainable packaging: is your packaging recyclable and packed in a way that decreases waste as much as possible?
- Green shipping and delivery methods: does your logistics network take reasonable steps reduce delivery miles and C02 emissions?
- A green community- Why not go a step further? Encourage working from home across your teams or encourage walking, cycling or car sharing to the office.
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