The holiday shopping season for online stores actually begins following Independence Day in America. While the summer sales slowly trickle in, ecommerce shopkeepers are best off beginning their preparations early on. Studies show that the greatest sales volumes of the year occur during the five month shopping window, for online shoppers, a time period that spans from July through December each year. It is during this timeframe that most online stores will do their greatest sales volumes. If you operate an online store, regardless of its size, these definitive three DIY tips can help you better prepare for the forthcoming holiday season.
Assess Your Inventory Levels
Take a good look at your sales records, and do this well before the shopping season begins. Look for trends that you noticed in sales the year before. Doing so can help you better prepare your inventory for the coming holiday shopping season.
- Make sure you are well stocked on your hottest selling items from the previous year.
- Check out what products are trending right now and see if you can acquire ample inventory of them so that you can cash in on the trendiest products.
- Make arrangements with your vendors in advance of the holiday season.
- Shop between wholesalers to get the lowest prices, so you can be as competitive as possible.
Plan for Shipping Costs in Advance
One of the greatest costs that any online store will encumber is their shipping cost. A comScore study, which was conducted on behalf of UPS, found that shipping costs can either make or break a sale. To counter these, you will want to have a few things in place before the shopping season commences.
- Look into discount postage providers like Endicia, Stamps.com and Express 1 to reduce shipping costs.
- Explore your options with weight and sized-based shipping rates to see which ones best fit your fulfillment needs.
- Assess your returns policy to appeal to shoppers’ desire to have a generous returns policy in place.
Increase Order Fulfillment Efficiency
The holiday shopping season will also mean that you can anticipate a lot of sales; a lot more than you normally get. This also means that you will have to have some logistics in place to best fulfill these orders as they stream in. After all, your online store can only sell as many goods as you are able to fulfill.
- Time how long it takes you to fulfill one order.
- Consider revamping your pack and ship process to make it more efficient.
- Try to double your daily fulfillment by bringing logistics into the picture.
- Explore your options with parcel shipping software solutions to expedite and enhance order fulfillment.
- Look into hiring seasonal help to aid you with the busy season, so you can get more orders out.
About the Author
Michael Jon Lazar is a Phoenix, Arizona, based Growth Hacker. He helps grow companies like TrueShip, which makes fully integrated package shipping software for ecommerce businesses. When Lazar is not at the office working hard, he enjoys family time and playing music and performing in his rock band.