Three Quintessential Do-it-Yourself Tips to Prepare Your Online Store for the Holidays
Online stores start gearing up for the holiday shopping rush starting in early July, right after Independence Day (in the U.S.), when the shopping season begins. As early holiday shoppers begin to scour the internet for the gifts that they wish to give each year, shopkeepers should start getting their inventories, shipping processes and storefronts in order to best accommodate for the surge in sales that is sure to come. Knowing how you can better prepare for the craziness that is about to ensue will serve you well as the sales volumes increase. If you are looking to facilitate a boon in sales this year, the following three do-it-yourself tips can assure that your ecommerce business in prepared well in advance.
Get Your Inventory in Order
You are going to want to start with your inventory. Examine what you have in stock and what needs to be ordered to best prepare. There are some elements of this that you will want to specifically address, which will be covered in the following points.
- Find out what items sold the best the previous year. Make sure that you have these best-selling products in stock before the holiday season commences.
- Conduct some research on trendy holiday products. Be certain that you order plenty of these and offer them at a lower price than your competitors to earn customers’ business.
- Get tight with your vendors in advance, so that you can be confident that any products that you require will be easy to order and will be available during your busy season.
- Compare your options with wholesalers to get the lowest prices. Some may offer better prices on certain wares than others do. You may want to think about using multiple vendors to drive down your costs.
Supercharge Your Fulfillment Process
The one most important thing that you will want to do is assess your fulfillment process. That’s because you will be limited in the amount of sales that you can do by how many packages that you are able to get out the door each day. To enhance this process and speed things up, rely upon the following tips.
- Track your fulfillment process for a week to get an average number on the time it takes to fulfill each order; this is how many orders you can fulfill and ship per day.
- Look into options that you can use to increase your fulfillment. Consider dedicating space for your pack and ship process and streamlining the methods that you use to get more orders out more quickly.
- Check out resources like a multi-carrier shipping system – such software solutions can help you reduce order and fulfillment time exponentially.
- If your budget is permitting, explore your options with hiring help for the busy season, so you can fulfill as many orders as possible.
Prepare Your Shipping System
Assuredly, you will have to encumber high shipping costs this holiday season. To accommodate for this, you will want to explore your options with shipping providers. According to recent studies, shipping prices are directly associated with shopping cart abandonment rates. To counter this, you will want to offer low cost shipping with a fast delivery rate. A number of choices are available, look to the following points to get some sound advice.
- Cut down on your postage costs by using discount online postage services that include Endicia, Stamps.com and Express 1.
- Look into options with FedEx and UPS for flat rate shipping with size or weight-based shipping options.
- Advertise a competitive returns policy that helps you attract more shoppers; most shoppers want low cost, generous returns.
About the Author
Michael Lazar is an Arizona-based Growth Hacker. He helps companies grow and expand using education-based marketing. Currently, he has been focused on a company called TrueShip, which makes multi-carrier shipping solutions for ecommerce businesses (http://www.trueship.com/multicarrier-shipping-solutions). When Lazar is not working, he spends his free time with his family and friends and enjoys playing rock music in his band.