With a New Year comes new opportunities and challenges for online sellers. This year, let’s all do something to take a step forward and grow. In this article, I give 7 New Year’s resolutions for your business to explore in 2021!
Get Out There!
As a vaccine begins to arrive and things begin to reopen, I am optimistic that trade shows and other events will be returning in 2021. Trade shows and workshops are a great way to get out and socialize with others in the eCommerce community. These events offer opportunities to learn from experts as well as help foster introductions to new service providers and potential partners. After being cooped up inside all of 2020, I urge you to experience one of these events and get out there in 2021!
Create A Kit!
Kitting and bundling, in my opinion, is one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of an eCommerce seller. Kitting is when you take multiple complementary items and sell them together in the same listing. For example, I can sell a baseball, a bat, and a glove as a baseball starter kit on my store. These items can then ship in the same box and allow both my customer and myself to capture more value. In 2021, I urge you to create a kit and to use this strategy to expand your catalogue. You can create infinite listings from just a small assortment of products.
Improve The Customer Experience
Whenever I am talking about improving customer experience, I am often referring to packaging and inserts. With a shift to online vs in-store shopping, the customer experience has greatly changed. The way customers now experience a new product is through the process of opening the goods and interacting with them the first time. This is a key moment to make a big impression on your customer. While we are waiting on things to reopen and have a little extra time on our hands, it is time to revisit both our product packaging, inserts, and shipping box. Make sure that your packaging is representative of your brand and the experience you would like your customers to have with your products. Sometimes the first impression of a box is the “make or break” in closing a sale, so it is important to dig down and perfect your designs.
Improve Your Photos
Whether you are taking the photos yourself or hiring a professional, now is the time to update your images and possibly add additional images and angles to your listings. Photos are one of the most critical factors for consumers when making an online purchase so put your best foot forward. Make sure you have crisp high resolution photos on a white background. I highly urge sellers to explore professional photography especially if you have established a sales record, as every small detail matters when it comes to the most important part of your listing. Make sure your 2021 is picture perfect by upgrading your photos!
Develop A Plan B
As the old saying goes, “failing to plan is the same as planning to fail,” and this is true for eCommerce sellers. In 2020, we saw unprecedented Amazon FBA restrictions, everything from inventory caps to category wide gating. With these measures many sellers found themselves unable to keep their orders flowing. This is why I believe it is always important to have a plan B for your fulfillment and distribution. Have multiple ways in place to get goods to the consumer in case one of your fulfillment channels goes down. I recommend exploring self fulfillment or partnering with a 3PL in order to ensure you can continue shipping orders even when marketplace run fulfillment channels go down.
Find A Mentor
It is really hard to get where you want to go if you don’t know the path ahead of you. Identifying a mentor can be a great way to help you see where you want to go and learn what it takes to get there. Mentors can provide advice and guidance that can help you grow as both a person and a business. If you don’t know someone local or in your network who you think would be a good member, sometimes you can find an inspirational figure such as an author or content creator who you can learn from via books, videos, courses, or other outlets.
Explore Expedited Shipping
With ground networks expanding every year many sellers are missing out on an additional revenue stream. Many sellers do not currently offer expedited shipping, but they should. Customers demand ever increasing transit times and are willing to pay to receive the service. Someone who is already offering free standard shipping could sell a shipping upgrade to expedited for a few extra dollars say $7.99 to upgrade to 2 day shipping. Currently ground networks can reach about 1/2 the country in 2 days, so more than half the time you will not be paying any additional postage to meet the 2 day window. This is a great way to make your customers happy by allowing them access to faster transit times while also profiting a bit of extra money on shipments with a nearby destination.