How to Get Your Online Business in Shape for 2015

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday already upon us, each transaction leads to new lessons learned–here are a few takeaways for the holidays and 2015.

Preparing for the Holidays

It’s hard to believe that we are coming toward the end of this year and Black Friday and Cyber Monday are already upon us. With this in mind, we reflect on the past year and offer some advice to help you get your online business in shape for 2015.

Rise of mobile commerce

Organizations are allocating more resources than ever to their digital channels. John Lewis is one example of a large, high-street company investing heavily in digital creative properties, including Monty the Penguin.

According to Mark Lewis, John Lewis’ marketing director, “customers want to be able to shop seamlessly across all channels and mobile is now the go-to choice alongside visiting our shops.”

In China, Alibaba’s Singles’ Day highlighted the rise of mobile commerce with 43% of all purchases being made through mobile devices. Smartphones, tablets and phablets are being used by consumers globally to browse and complete purchases for goods.

Recent figures from Statista estimate the number of digital shoppers in the U.S. alone to be 274 million and growing. Therefore, responsive web-design across multiple devices is essential for any business looking to sell online.

Social media

Social media is a great tool for connecting with customers. These platforms are a cost-effective way to promote your business online and start conversations with your customers. You can help grow your number of likes and followers by including social links on your website and email marketing.

Businesses should be aware of the myriad segments, Generation X, Y and Z, and how they interact with social media differently.

Shipping tips

Customers want their products as fast as possible; Amazon has even started trialling deliveries through a taxi service to meet this demand. Getting your goods to your customer within your estimated time frame is important in helping to build customer loyalty and get repeat business.

Don’t forget to use appropriate packaging for the goods you are shipping and keep your hot products in stock.

Customer feedback

As a seller, you should be aware of the importance of gaining positive feedback from your customers, demonstrating you have met their needs. Ensure you use accurate product descriptions combined with high quality images that illustrate your products well. Positive feedback can be achieved by offering quality products, shipping them on time and responding to customer queries in a timely manner.

The price is right

Showrooming and webrooming continue to take place as customers become more price savvy and look to secure the best deal possible.

Consumers can very easily compare buying options from sellers and decide which deal offers the best in terms of price, delivery and customers’ feedback.

For merchants who sell on Amazon as well as their own web store, repricing software can help sellers increase their Amazon sales and profits—sellers can automatically compare their product prices to those of competitors’ and adjust them accordingly within their own floor and ceiling limits, 24/7.

Driving traffic

Getting the attention of consumers is an ongoing challenge for all online businesses. In addition to using social media, advertising through Amazon Products Ads or Google Adwords can help increase high-quality traffic that is relevant to your business.

Amazon Product Ads allow sellers to advertise their products on Amazon but drive customers to their own websites to complete the transaction. With Google Adwords, you choose which products you want to advertise, assign keywords and enter your cost-per-click bid.

Happy Holidays

Hopefully we’ve provided some guidance to help prepare your business for the holiday season and beyond, into 2015. As with any business, you have finite resources to employ in terms of driving your sales ever higher—experiment with different initiatives during the year and find out what’s working for you.

Every business is different and what works for one doesn’t always work for the other, but before we get to 2015, here’s hoping this holiday season is the best one yet.

Guest blog post by Chris from RepricerExpress

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