he holidays might look different this year, but that doesn’t mean online sales are going to slow down. Last year, sales in the US alone hit $137B. That’s a staggering 13.2% increase from 2018. While many research organizations are debating on the overall consumer spend this year, every sign points to online sales continuing to rise, especially on popular platforms like Walmart and Amazon.
Not selling on Walmart yet? Check out our recent blog to see if Walmart is the right next step for your business.
While holiday planning started months ago, there are some critical adjustments your online store should be making to maximize your revenue this season.
You worked hard to build robust listings, obtain a 4+ star rating, and maybe even won more Buy Boxes/listing ownerships. The worst case scenario? You run out of inventory. That loss of a sale simply can’t be recovered. Your customer will move on to a competitor's product and never look back.
Inversely, some product sales will skyrocket, then drop after the New Year. Improper forecasting also results in over ordering, causing heavy storage cost at Amazon or 3PL Warehouses.
While we don’t have a magical crystal ball, we recommend pulling year-over-year sales across SKUs/ASINs, analyzing past holiday sales with general growth trajectories and changes in search volume history.
For those in the Automotive market, Hedges & Company offers insights into consumer search patterns in their recent blog.
If you rely primarily on dropshipping, evaluating inventory is no different. It’s time to double down on your best selling items from last year and make sure your suppliers can have steady inventory that is being pulled into (and updated) across marketplaces throughout the day. If you are reflecting out of date inventory, you also risk oversells. If inventory is regularly out of stock, you risk losing the buy box on Amazon.
There are a lot of ways to boost your listings visibility, but many require years of good reviews and on-time deliveries. Understanding your keyword search (SEO) strategy is one thing every online seller needs TODAY to drastically improve hits and conversions. While we recommend every seller use listing keyword planner tools like Helium10 throughout the year, consider how these might shift for the holiday season. In fact, you might consider positioning some of your listings specifically for gifting.
FeedStation Clients: Give us a call to learn how to quickly make these updates across thousands of listings in minutes.
It’s hard enough to drive a customer to your page. You want to ensure you do everything you can to convert customers to a purchase. According to webfx, the average conversion rates on Amazon range from 10-15%. Getting above average for many customers relies on quality descriptions and product photos. If you are selling your own branded products, you can leverage tools like Fiverr to get quality, 360° images. If you are purchasing products wholesale, you should evaluate industry 3rd parties or speak with the brand directly to gain access to images from their catalog.
For those in the automotive market, we recommend looking into sources like the SEMA Data Co-op to obtain listing descriptions and fitment data for MILLIONS of listings.
Regardless of what marketplaces you use, you are expected to provide shoppers with the lowest possible price. For Amazon, that cost directly relates to your ranking within search results. If sellers are offering an item with the same ASIN, this could contribute to winning (or losing) the Buy Box. In other words, price not only influences consumers, but Amazon itself. If you believe repricing is central to your business, we are happy to connect you with some of our favorite repricing tools.
One of the worst things that can happen during your holiday surge is to destroy the work you have done to obtain positive seller reviews. The most common culprit? Customers receiving packages after the anticipated arrival date.
This year, delays are incredibly likely due to challenges in supply chain, warehouse closures, and carrier delays. To help manage these challenges, we suggest increasing handling (lead to ship) time. If you are doing fulfillment, this can help you to manage your own demand. If you are using a 3rd Party for fulfillment, expect they will have the exact same bottlenecks.
Our sellers are ready for whatever this year has to throw at us, and you can be too. With the right tools and automations, this year could see a huge boost to your bottom line without late nights and weekends.