Now is the perfect time to take a breath and enjoy the brief quiet. We advise not to wait too long, however. It’s crucial to gather your operations team quickly in the new year to discuss your peak season. How did it go? Were you satisfied or disappointed overall? What were the main pain points? Hashing this out while the memory and the stress of peak is still fresh in your mind is the best way to make positive operational changes for 2017.
According to the National Retail Federation, many retailers will do as much as 20-40 percent of their annual sales in November and December. More sales mean more opportunities to develop long-lasting consumer relationships, so it’s important that the season goes as smoothly as possible to minimize disruptions to the customer experience and maximize revenue. To be properly prepared for 2017, eCommerce brands like you should plan accordingly for what lessons to take from 2016’s struggles, or else risk history repeating itself for your next peak seasons. Here are some steps you can start putting in action now:
Social commerce continues to grow. In 2016, 60 percent of retailers implemented buy buttons on social, and that number will almost certainly grow by the end of 2017. Brands who don’t have social commerce efforts on their radar will see their relevance suffer as this trend picks up.
Preparing your eCommerce business for the new year? Looking ahead is both exciting and daunting. After all, there are always obstacles that force you to adjust your business strategy. One challenge that has become a regular update with each new year is carrier rate hikes.
As an eCommerce brand choosing a company to trust with your fulfillment needs, finding a partner that provides the standard technology needed for a successful integration and implementation is crucial. The right systems and technology will greatly impact the growth of your business and its revenue. When vetting a potential fulfillment partner, make sure your prospects offer the following solutions:
Returns account for a solid 8 percent of sales, yet many eCommerce retailers don’t always acknowledge the impact of returns on their operations and, ultimately, the customer experience. Without a solid process for returns management, brands risk upsetting customers and losing their valuable business and loyalty moving forward.
For years, brick-and-mortar retailers have invested in providing high-quality, engaging in-store experiences for their customers. Decor is continually updated, music adds to the atmosphere and consumers are drawn in with enticing product displays. While some aspects of the in-store experience can be imitated on an eCommerce site, the excitement a shopper feels walking into a store can be tough to replicate at home.
In 2018, eCommerce brands are continuing to grow in size in order to meet the increasing demand for delivered consumer goods. While growth is usually seen as a positive, there are some factors that you may find overwhelming as you lead your company forward. An important thing to consider when your orders ramp up is ensuring that your eCommerce fulfillment partner understands your needs and the importance of providing a unique customer experience.
As an eCommerce brand, having an online-only relationship with customers makes maintaining a unique and consistent brand experience all the more necessary. Developing and regularly updating an eCommerce style guide ensures that you are able to deliver the most optimal experience to customers even when they do not shop in person.
If you are in charge of your brand’s fulfillment operations, it’s essential to have a standard operating procedure (SOP) that clearly defines how customers’ orders should be packaged for shipping. This will systemize the packing process and also serve as a quality check.