The latter part of the year provides plenty of opportunities to boost sales for online retail businesses. With back-to-school, Black Friday and the holiday season including Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are plenty of reasons for consumers to be spending their money on your products.
In fact already a quarter of Brits start their Christmas shopping in August, according to a report from eBay Ads UK. With heightened demand bringing an increase in orders, it’s important that all retailers, especially online sellers, get their business ready now to ensure fulfilment success and brilliant customer service. Here are our top tips for season eCommerce success:
One of the great things about selling online is rich shopping data. The digitisation of selling means that you’ll be able to see previous years performance including sales volume, peak buying periods, and what products proved popular. This data can help you plan numerous things, such as what stock to order in and the volumes in which to do so.
If you’ve only just started trading, you won’t have enriched sales data from previous years to call upon. However, there are a plethora of third party statistics and data sources that can help guide you to better estimate the stock you’ll need and when by.
Even with the reopening of the High Street, online shopping is predicted to remain as by far the main channel for consumer spending during the peak season. It’s critical therefore to ensure your customers receive a brilliant experience each and every time they order. By future-proofing your software you can help create a shopping experience that customers enjoy and means repeat business is more likely.
When considering your software stack, you’ll need to think about each point in the customer’s order journey. Choosing the right software to manage your sales channels, warehousing, and fulfilment and delivery partners is key to eCommerce success. To ensure a scalable business that grows in line with rapidly increasing consumer demand, investing in the right technology is essential.
Industry experts are anticipating a “perfect storm” of economic pressures this year driven by a combination of pandemic-related delays and heightened consumer demand. A mix of displaced shipping containers, a slump in the production of shipping containers, and higher shipping costs could cause delays in getting goods to customers.
Some of the bigger brands now are already hoarding stock, but this also brings their own pressures – full warehouses with little or no room to hold additional goods. To combat this, some of the bigger retailers are looking at flexible storage and fulfilment options, such as part-fulfilment and seasonal fulfilment.
The benefit of this is that they do not need to take on more staff to cope, they simply outsource to a 3PL who will manage the end-to-end fulfilment process for a desired period or product range. At Huboo, we have both deep storage facilities and fulfilment centres ready to handle seasonal demand effectively.
If you haven’t already got a fulfilment solution in place, now is the time to do so. Working with a scalable third party fulfilment provider can help ease demand pressures when it comes to order fulfilment, not only for the busy peak season but also as your business grows.
Choose a fulfilment provider who has the ability to grow with you, they’ll become your growth partner for the long term and can help you expand into new territories. With an expanding fulfilment network in the UK and mainland Europe, Huboo are perfectly placed to help your business cope with both seasonal demand and realise long term ambitions.
Every shopper you convert during peak season will either become a repeat customer, or a disappointed deserter. In this year’s peak, it’s not just the shopping experience that counts – or even the product itself – but also the process of waiting for the order to arrive. It’s just as important to offer speedy delivery, easy-to-follow tracking, and options for returning the item.
Even before the coronavirus outbreak, 57% said they would be more likely to choose a retailer with a simple returns policy, and a further 69% said tracking was one of their top three considerations when shopping online. Huboo work closely with Zigzag to handle returns quickly and efficiently. In short, retailers must invest in their post-purchase experience to keep customers coming back well after peak has passed.
Online retailers have more choice than ever when it comes to channels and marketplaces to maximise sales. The rise of online shop website builders like Shopify and Wix have helped retailers create online stores inexpensively, and combined with marketplaces like OnBuy, Amazon, Ebay and Google Shopping, a multi-channel sales approach is now easier than ever to achieve and run.
Managing multi-channel sales can be quite challenging, however providers such as Linnworks and Channelengine offer multi-channel management software solutions to help you keep on top of your sales. On top of this, Huboo’s multi-channel fulfilment solution means you only need one eCommerce fulfilment platform to accurately pick, pack and post your products from each one of your sales channels and marketplaces.
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