Once the confetti is cleared, and the champagne is put away, the idea that another year has begun can elicit the warm glow of possibility. A new year means new opportunities and new ways to grow your business.
To help you plan for a successful year, we have put together some insights and ways you can set yourself up for a great 2023.
Look Back Before Looking Ahead
The past does not always dictate how the future will unfold, but it can help you find ways to make your life easier. For example, during the rush of the holiday selling season, were there any times when you were overwhelmed with stress? Could the stress have been avoided with either technology or more staff?
After the crazy, stressful rush of last month, it might be tempting to forget about the “fires” you had to put out to survive the big holiday shipping and selling push. But, the odds are that if you experienced those gray-haired inducing events before, you have a high chance to experience them again. So, help your future-self out by evaluating last year and see if there is anything you would do differently, and make those changes this year.
2023 Global E-Commerce Future Looks Bright
Though shoppers are starting to return to in-store shopping, the good news is that their e-commerce habits are set. Online shopping is part of our way of life now, and it does not look to be slowing down anytime soon. Experts predict worldwide e-commerce sales will soar from about 5 trillion US dollars to just over 8 trillion by 2026.
Check out the below chart to see how e-commerce retail sales have steadily increased since 2012:
Set Yourself Up for Success in 2023 &
All Years to Come
If the projections for 2023 hold, you can expect that this year, and the coming years, will be even more successful than 2022 regarding online sales. That is great when you think about increasing your bottom line and growing your company, but it can also mean that any headaches or stress you encountered last year will not be going anywhere. So, get ahead and start finding ways to help make your life easier.
Omnichannel Is the Future of Commerce
As e-commerce grows in popularity, the importance of omnichannel capabilities is becoming more and more apparent.
On average, 52% of e-commerce sites have omnichannel capabilities (and this number is only expected to increase.) Get ahead of your competitors and start thinking of ways to transition your business processes to be more omnichannel.
Omnichannel Strategies & BenefitsOmnichannel takes multi-channel to the next level and is considered the future of e-commerce. An omnichannel strategy not only includes having multiple channels but makes them more powerful by integrating them seamlessly to help keep track of interactions and activities.
There are two ways you can apply omnichannel strategies to support your business:
- Omnichannel sales funnel - Optimize your communication with potential customers to nurture them through your sales funnel no matter how they came into contact with your business (Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, etc.)
- Omnichannel inventory management - Manage and reconcile inventory across all your sales channels (online marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, etc.)
The major benefit of using an omnichannel strategy for your sales funnel is that it provides a seamless shopping experience to your customers when they shop online from their desktop, mobile device, or in-store.
Similarly, the most significant benefit of using an omnichannel inventory management strategy is that it provides real-time visibility into your inventory levels when a product is sold on an online marketplace like Shopify or Amazon, in-store, or online via a website. In other words, omnichannel inventory management makes it possible to manage and track your inventory from one central location.
Abandoned Carts = Lost Sales
Did you know that 80% of shopping carts are abandoned? Not cool. Especially if you created and ran ads to help entice the right customers to your website. All your hard work should result in more sales than just the 20% that completed the checkout process.
For those lost sales, you have two ways you can handle abandoned carts. You can either 1) take into account how many impressions, clicks, and “add to carts” you need to receive an order to achieve your targeted sales numbers and calculate your targeted numbers accordingly. Or 2) adopt a strategy for those that abandon their carts.
If you choose option 2, you’re in luck. There is a proven strategy you can implement to help you recoup some of those lost sales. The strategy in question? Follow-up emails. Make sure you are sending out abandoned cart follow-up emails because abandoned cart follow-up emails average a 45% open rate. (In comparison, the average email open rate is 18%.) So, use your highly interested potential buyers to your advantage and set up an email campaign to automatically follow up on all your abandoned carts and increase your bottom line.
Use Proven Insights to Make Your Product More Enticing
The most significant strength of e-commerce is that it is rooted in convenience. The ability to shop from one’s couch instead of having to drive to a store, hunt down the product, and stand in line is enticing in itself. However, the more you subtract from that convenience with shipping costs, unclear return policies, and a cumbersome checkout process, the more likely a person will abandon their online cart and go to the store.
You are in a powerful position right now because you have data to help you make your product more enticing than your competitors online and in-store. Let’s look at how you can make your product so appealing that your web visitors will have no choice but to click the “buy” button.
The Lure of Free Shipping
Did you know that free shipping can be the biggest incentive you offer to your customers? It’s true! According to Oberlo, the number one reason people shop online is free delivery. Therefore, by providing free delivery, you automatically make your product more desirable.
You can make this adjustment without eating into your bottom line too much by increasing your product’s price slightly.
Enhance Your Offerings to Win the Sale
Though free shipping is the biggest incentive, it isn’t the only incentive you can offer to win the sale. Other key reasons people shop online are:
- Coupons and discounts
- Customer reviews
- Easy return process
- Quick check-out process
Also, if you don’t want to offer free shipping, capture potential customers by providing fast shipping and hassle-free returns.
Technology: Your Greatest Weakness or Greatest Weapon
In e-commerce, the technology you use can be the foundation of your success or your biggest hassle. Making sure you are using the right platform, systems, and apps can be the difference between a well-oiled machine or chaos.
Reminder: Technology should always make your life easier, not harder.
To make sure your business can run smoothly, there are two main areas of technology you should continually evaluate.
It is imperative to evaluate your e-commerce platform and make sure it can support your company where it is now and where it is going. Make sure your e-commerce platform is adaptable and scalable before you need it to be.
If your operations processes are siloed and you have to use different platforms to manage and handle inventory, fulfill orders, ship, and purchase orders, it might be time to start thinking about implementing a tool that can be your source of truth for everything needed to run your business.
Remember: Evaluation Is Key
Technology is constantly changing. So, set some time aside each year to evaluate your current technology and decide if there are any areas where you can improve.
Cheers to the new year & new opportunities -
May 2023 be your best year yet!