Tips on E-tailing Survival

Online holiday shopping is in full swing. As an Ecommerce site owner, you’ve pondered these questions and adjusted your business plans:

  • How will the current economic crisis affect sales and the future of your e-commerce business?

  • What can you do to survive the recession?

  • Will business profits in December carry through the slower months of January and February?

Some e-tailers used free-shipping offers, e-coupons and deeper discounts to get shoppers to buy on Cyber Monday. Others pitched Black Friday to get a head start. Did these plans work?

Last year, online sales on Cyber Monday were up 21%, $730 million. While full numbers aren’t in and analyzed yet, states that this year’s reported online Cyber Monday sales are expected to grow 2.4% over last year.

Reports from some of those getting the jump on Black Friday did see an increase in business; but, then had slower than expected sales on Cyber Monday. The early responses for Cyber Monday show high volumes of traffic, but fewer conversions to sales. Lower spending per order, compared to 2007 is also a trend reported by a number of the e-tailers.

The good news is that more consumers are using the Internet to shop, not just for holiday gifts. Their reasons are greater choices of product, time savings by eliminating traveling to a store and they expect to find bigger savings. This increase is tempered with lower spending.

Be Prepared for the Holidays and the Recession

Despite the current financial outlook, you still need to be prepared. If any page or section of your site is not optimized, get it done. Quick answer is clear original content, error free pages (no broken links), and careful keyword placement on each page.

If you sell products, make sure your images are current, product descriptions are complete, your shipping and return policies are clear. Site navigation and your search feature must be easy to use. Finally, make sure you have enough bandwidth to handle the extra holiday traffic.

Marketing Tips to Survive the Holidays and the Recession

  • Customer Service is key to survival. Offer the best service you can. It must be professional, courteous and respectful. Great customer service may be the key that sets you above your competitors.

  • Provide a feature for customer feedback. Consider and respond to each entry. Everyone likes to be heard and you may get tips that increase your business.

  • Advertising can really pay dividends. Place banner ads on related, not same theme sites, or do reciprocal link exchanges after checkout. These are opportunities to boost sales and help build customer loyalty for each site. Pay per click on search engines like Google Ads can be very effective and still allow you to control your budget.

  • Place offers on special items right on your homepage or have the landing pages with sale items link from the pages of other related product page or key internal category pages.

  • Use email broadcasts to your customer base when you are having specials sales or promotions. Always monitor which subject line causes the most people to open your email and adjust your email subject line to insure higher open rates. Always be sure to give them the option to opt out or change the email address they wish to receive them.

  • Offer seasonal specials, including holidays like Father’s Day, Fourth of July, etc. Don’t limit specials and promotions to just the December holidays. Everyone likes to feel that they got a deal. If you made a great buy, pass the saving on to your customers. It can increase their loyalty.

  • Offer a wish list program for your customer’s family and friends. It will deliver new potential customers.

  • Create a recommended gift page that is categorized for ease of navigation.

  • If you can, offer free shipping or free shipping on orders of a dollar amount spent that will allow you to cover the shipping cost.

  • Offer multiple item discounts, like buy 1, get 1 at a discount.

  • Include a coupon in the delivery toward their next purchase. It can be packed inside their package or be placed on the shipment tracking email.

If you want to turn a profit, you need to stand out from competitors. Consider implementing any or all of these tips – protect your online business. If you need assistance, please contact Crystal Coding Concepts.


One Response to “Tips on E-tailing Survival”

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