The National Retail Federation has forecast that online holiday sales will reach $105 billion in 2015, an increase of 6% to 8% from last year. Ecommerce giant Amazon will own a significant chunk of this retail glory, expecting net sales of up to $30 billion for the holiday quarter.
Online sellers who want to take full advantage of this sales tsunami should already be knee deep into their preparations. Here are 5 tips to push your online selling this holiday season to its fullest potential:
Clean up your feedback: Remember the golden rule: For every bit of negative feedback you get online, it takes 50 positive reviews to cancel it out in the eyes of the customer. While asking happy customers to submit positive reviews is always a good idea, you need to focus just as hard, if not harder, on contacting unhappy customers. Make sure you resolve any issues they may have had, and ask them to remove their negative online comments.
Get your pricing right: People are willing to pay for quality. While some sites might need to price themselves down as low as possible to make sales, if you focus on delivering a strong customer experience you can maintain higher prices and still make sales. Getting this balance of price and performance right is very difficult, but critical to growing your online business.
Stay in stock: Sourcing products once the holiday season starts can be difficult, and extremely expensive. As a rule of thumb, items such as toys, cosmetics and jewellery sell between 2.5 and 4 times more in the holiday season than the rest of the year, so stock up to ensure you make the most of this critical period.
Be mobile: Mobile is no longer only for the cutting-edge marketer. It’s now easier than ever to build mobile-compatible webpages, and if you’re selling via marketplace channels such as Amazon or eBay, you’re already there. Over 50% of online shoppers made at least one mobile purchase last season, and this trend is on the rise, giving a clear advantage to retailers who are a step ahead.
Deliver on time: There is nothing more frustrating for your customers than to be told their item will be there in 24 hours, only to have it still in transit three days later. Your holiday shoppers are not the forgiving type. Those same shoppers who would gladly tweet how wonderful you are when you deliver on time will be the first to turn against you when your deliveries arrive late.
To avoid this nightmare scenario, knowing your shipping deadlines is essential. For sellers using Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) or their own mediums (FBM), keeping on top of the many cutoff dates can be challenging.
Your 2015 Amazon Holiday Shipping Calendar, produced by Feedvisor and ShippingEasy, outlines all the dates and deadlines Amazon sellers must stick to.
Happy holiday selling!
Gilad Komorov is Chief Revenue Officer of Feedvisor