The new year is full swing, and with it comes new budgets, new planning and new projects. It’s time for a gut check: Have you thought of everything and optimized for new sales in 2019?
Here are some quick recommendations to ensure you’re watching some of the key e-commerce trends as you enter a new year of selling.
Call on Voice Commerce
One of the latest trends for online purchasing is voice commerce. If you’re not sure what this means, you’re probably not alone. Think about a scenario where you would ask your Echo/Google Home/Name your device to order detergent as you’re starting your last load of laundry with the final drop of Tide! While it still may seem a little far-fetched for some, it’s becoming more of a reality over the past couple years.
Marketplaces like Amazon and Google Express are very easy ways to make your products available to this type of transaction since they both have created voice-activated devices that sync nicely with their respective marketplace. As a seller, you just need to make sure your product titles are optimized with words that shoppers will verbalize, so that your listings are among the first to be heard.
Follow the Revenue
If you look back on your 2018 performance, which channels thrived this past year — and which declined? Even though certain marketplaces may have been rockstars in the past, are there any smaller players that deserve some renewed attention? Up and coming marketplaces like Rakuten, Overstock and Google Express have been racing toward the top of many of our sellers’ marketplace portfolios.
Stay on Top of Advertising Opportunities
Each marketplace has its own way of promoting your products. Amazon is investing more and more into Sponsored Products, Headline Search Ads and other paid opportunities. Are you investing as well? eBay has great opportunities to help get your products more visibility, like Promotions (discounts on items) and Promoted Listings (pay-per-conversion advertising). Make sure you’re aware of the advertising opportunities on each of the marketplaces you’re participating in.
Find New Marketplaces
ChannelAdvisor is constantly adding new marketplaces to our mix. Over the last year, we’ve added some big names to our list, such as Google Express (Shopping Actions), Facebook Marketplace, Houzz and Walmart Canada. We always recommend evaluating your marketplaces to see if you can add more diversity to your online presence. The more places you are, the less reliant you are on any one single channel to drive your success.
Refine Your Delivery
Have your shipping and delivery methods evolved with the times? Consumers are no longer settling for paid shipping that takes more than two or three days. Thanks to Amazon, the expectation has been that products should be easy to get in a quick and convenient way. Walmart is evolving its fulfillment strategy to include more Buy Online Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) options. Some stores even have lockers and pick-up stations dedicated to this method (especially with groceries). The marketplace also started a Two Day Badge for sellers that qualify. The easiest way to qualify for this opportunity is to integrate with a partner like Deliverr. Third Party Logistics (3PL) partners in general are another consideration for those sellers who can’t meet two-day shipping standards themselves. If you need help, don’t be afraid to open up to new partnerships!
Plan Your Inventory
Plan for your long-term demand of products. You want to make sure you have enough products in stock to avoid selling out — especially during peak selling season — but not too many so you’re left with an abundance of products you have to sell at clearance levels. Many sellers use that “gut feeling” and some will use intelligence platforms to help. Luckily, ChannelAdvisor has the Demand Forecaster, a popular feature included in all accounts! Be on the lookout for potential enhancement to this and other features this year as well!
ChannelAdvisor is always here to help you implement any of these strategies. If you’re a ChannelAdvisor client, feel free to reach out to your account manager at any time to help with your ongoing 2019 planning! If you’re not a current ChannelAdvisor customers and would like to see how ChannelAdvisor can help optimize your marketing, selling and fulfilling efforts, sign up for a quick demo of our software.