This peak season is expected to reach higher heights than ever before. But whether you’re an independent seller just starting out or an established enterprise company, you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, there’s strength in numbers and by partnering with orgs that specialize in every single aspect of the holiday season order of operations.
Conversions during peak season start with your business’s prep work. Preparations for peak season ought to start months with the all-important, massive undertaking of making sure your store is optimized. We’re not just talking SEO keywords — although that’s part of it.
It’s about everything: Design, checkout, shipping, inventory management and more. But you don’t have to rely on a behemoth spreadsheet or frantic, bleary-eyed research. You can simplify the process by utilizing agencies, third-party partners and eCommerce apps. Below, we’ll guide you through the areas you need to optimize for and let you know about some of the best-selling apps that can elevate your season and sales.
This handy infographic will help you get the most out of peak season and get the lay of the land when it comes to the apps. Download a pdf version here.
Are you on all the marketplaces? There are several eCommerce apps merchants can use to supercharge their sales and provide top-notch customer service. This makes your goods more readily available and allows for a more pleasant overall customer experience.
These days, there are multiple channels and platforms where you can interact with your customers. It’s more than display ads and email marketing. Nowadays, social media, content and influencers are part of the game, too. Managing these touchpoints can quickly overwhelm small operations, especially if they have aspirations of scaling their business.
If you want to scale your eCommerce business efficiently in 2020, you’ll need to implement an omni-channel strategy to reach your customers wherever they spend their time online. Apps like BrightPearl and ChannelAdvisor are great options to help you connect your channels, like social media, eCommerce, SEO and ads, providing actionable insights and analytics.
Whether you're an eCommerce brand looking to push your holiday merch through eye-catching deals or a crowdfunding campaign preparing to launch a new, innovative idea, the right partner is out there.
If you’re focused on eCommerce and are looking to up your email and SMS output without increasing spend, you can create a free Klaviyo account. Klaviyo is a powerful eCommerce app that’s helped SMBs earn billions with targeted campaigns. Mailchimp allows you to speak directly to your customers through highly polished newsletters and sales outreach. Plus, you can add GIFs to your content in its easy-to-use design suite!
Google Ads and Facebook Ads allow you to meet your customers where they are — online — and share your sweet deals through hyper targeting. Get your keywords right and the ROAS will have a big impact on your bottom line come EOY.
As they say, time is money. Cliche, sure, but it's true. Time spent managing inventory, whether you do so on your own or you work with a third-party logistics provider (3PL), having a high-tech automated inventory management system will improve your overall efficiency by cutting down on time spent keeping stock of, well, stock — even if you’re following best practices like cycle counting or inventory reconciliation.
Luckily, there’s an app for that. SkuVault, for example, allows you to expedite the warehouse and inventory management process — making picking, packing and shipping across marketplaces simple. Or, if you operate on a larger-scale, Singapore-based Tradegecko (Quickbooks Commerce) is a SAAS company that works with SMEs on inventory and order management remotely.
Trust & Reviews
The customer-business relationship is built on trust. Rust is established through reviews, which have been made public. Social proof is critical — whether the reviews are published online to the PDP or on social media. Think of it like this: When customers make a purchase, they’re placing their trust in your business to deliver your product on-time and in the condition promised.
If a customer has made it to checkout, you’re nearly across the finish line and through the funnel. But, let’s be honest: hiccups at checkout happen. Processing screens that never process, lengthy forms or even complicated instructions. During peak season especially, the sales landscape is competitive. Even the most minor deterrent or roadblock in the process could send someone — and their dollars — packing for a different business. But when you’ve come this far, losing conversions stings especially. Making payments easy is a simple way to keep your customers engaged.
If you don’t have the facilities to build proprietary tech on your own in time for peak season, these eCommerce apps have you covered. PayPal is a universally recognized third-party platform that many consumers have a positive relationship with. Stripe has a similar functionality. Designed with techies and eCommerce in mind, the best-selling app offers a full suite of credit card payment APIs to suit the needs of businesses of all sizes — and their consumers.
Afterpay, a payments service from Australia allows your customers to buy now and pay later with their checkout app, making it easy for them to seamlessly purchase your products. If you’re looking for new financing, companies like Clearbanc and Aspire offer services for merchants looking for a cash infusion.
Appearances aren’t everything. But they do count for something. UX and, in particular UX design, can have a major impact on the customer journey. Consider that professional and brand persona are conveyed via design. Ahead of peak season — when you want to make the best impression possible — you may want to undergo a redesign or design update that follows modern design trends, visual hierarchy and shows off your products through high-quality images and videos.
Don’t have the in-house bandwidth to make your eCommerce mobile app or website beautiful on a tight deadline? It’s no sweat. You can turn to eCommerce-focused agencies for support. Overdose Digital works with startups and enterprise companies in the consumer and B2B spaces to up their strategy, creative and UX. Roswell Studios specializes in design for eCommerce mobile apps, with their focus and expertise in stores hosted on Shopify. Make your store beautiful. And if you’re looking for assistance with a crowd-funded campaign, turn to Kickstarter partner Agency 2.0, a full-service agency that specializes in buyer-backed product launches.
Shipping & Fulfillment
Online shopping is poised to be more popular than ever this peak season. eCommerce rose 43% in September due to the ongoing pandemic and numbers are expected to continue soaring into the already-busy holiday season. You can supercharge your shipping by offering options like multiple couriers, last-mile delivery or international shipping.
Logistics companies like Easyship make shipping easier for merchants of all sizes whether they work with consumers or are a pre-launch crowdfunding campaign. In addition to shipping, the logistics eCommerce app also offers services such as 3PL partnership, label printing and custom packing slips, to elevate your packages and delivery experience.
In the realm of picking and packing, you’re not doing things willy nilly. Items ought to be packed with care and following all domestic and international. Step up your packaging game even further by swapping genericcourier brands for custom,branded materials, giving your customers a holistic, delightful post-purchase experience. Plus, it will make your parcel stand out from the holiday haul on your porch.
When you’re looking to take your packaging to the next level, consider partnering with these eCommerce apps. Packhelp, Packlane and PackMojo encourage brands to rethink the branding on your package’s exterior to something truly standout.
This peak season, the motto is: plan, prepare and plan some more. That’s because optimizing your store can help you increase sales. Instead of trudging through the season alone, take advantage of the free tools available to merchants of all sizes.
Sign up for a free Easyship account today to streamline your shipping!
If you found this guide useful, you might enjoy the following articles:
Previous Post:USPS Customs Forms: How to Fill Them Out