It’s said we have the Ancient Babylonians to thank for our tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions. Whilst we can safely assume 4,000 years ago it consisted of rather different pledges than the #10YearChallenge and half hearted promises to go to the gym more and finally get round to doing Veganuary….. One thing’s clear, the new year offers us a chance to take stock of what’s important. For us in retail, that’s a case of re-aligning priorities and focusing on new strategic initiatives.
Let’s face it, online sellers have A LOT to remember. Between keeping up to date with the latest functionality, trend spotting and listening to customer feedback, to finding time to optimise and fix errors — it’s not easy.
To help you out, here are five retail resolutions we think you’ll want to stick to (and we promise no mention of tofu or aerial yoga in sight!):
Resolution #1: “I will experiment with our advertising strategies on Facebook and Instagram.”
Facebook, Instagram (and increasingly Amazon) are three of the most effective digital marketing channels for e-commerce companies. They’re also among the most competitive.
Consumers are increasingly heading to social media to discover products, brands and read reviews. Did you know that 8 in 10 accounts follow at least one business on Instagram, and 3 in 10 have purchased products from brands after discovering them on Facebook. In fact, over one-third of consumers say social networks have become as important as other shopping resources. In a world where 7 million advertisers are vying for attention, how do you create campaigns that stand out?
- Try Story Ads. These slideshow-style photos and videos are currently some of the most effective methods for creating meaningful connections with consumers.
- Consider Collection Ads. This format makes it easier for people to discover, browse and purchase products in a visual and immersive way — all without leaving Facebook or Instagram.
- Operate Offer Ads. Are you looking to run a seasonal special or limited-time promotion? That’s what Facebook offer ads are for. Whether you need to unload excess inventory or want to expose more shoppers to your products, this ad format is a particularly strong one for brands.
This list is just just a snapshot of the types of ads you could be experimenting with. For a deep dive into exactly what’s available to you, check out this handy eBook: The Essential Guide to Facebook and Instagram Advertising.
Resolution #2: “I will explore curated or emerging marketplaces.”
Destination marketplaces are becoming big business. Over the past few years we’ve seen an explosion in exciting marketplaces popping up to offer shoppers something new. Many of these marketplaces are filling a key demand, driven by consumers, for specialised, expert-offering shopping destinations. In these cases, price isn’t always the deciding purchase factor. Customers expect to see advice, inspiration, rich product information (including video content) and detailed customer reviews.
We support over 140 marketplaces around the world and are experts in helping you identify the best platform opportunities for your brand. A good starting point could be this useful resource detailing how to Expand and Grow on European Marketplaces.
Resolution #3: “I won’t let marketplace errors cramp my style.”
Finding and fixing marketplaces errors could be the most effective way to see a surge in sales. It’s one of the top recommendations we make to ChannelAdvisor customers every day. We know it can be very overwhelming at first, but stick with it and you can sail into the new year with confidence. Use our foolproof seven steps to success.
- Break your errors into smaller groups
- Prioritise error types
- Use business rules
- Leverage lookup lists
- Use default values sparingly
- Know where each error is coming from
- Use the template preview to see SKU-specific errors
Need more help with getting started? Download How to Find and Fix General Marketplace Errors.
Resolution #4: “I will become top of the class with A+ Amazon Content.”
Adding Amazon A+ Content to your listings used to be a paid option but the good news is it’s now free for all vendors and unlimited! Amazon reports that this feature has been known to boost sales up to 10%.
What does A+ Content entail?
In a nutshell, A+ Content is Amazon’s way of letting you enhance your product descriptions and page details with high definition videos, enhanced images, comparison charts, robust FAQs and more.
Here are some of our top tips to help you master A+ Content:
- Make it easy to scan. You can do this by using subheadings, short paragraphs, bolding and other HTML formatting options, the goal is to make it easy for consumers to understand the biggest benefits of your product at a glance.
- Combine text and images. When describing a key feature or selling point, accompany that text with a relevant image — and vice versa.
- Use consumer feedback for inspiration. Consumer-generated content is incredibly powerful. Use your customers’ compliments and highlight them with comparisons charts or descriptions. Likewise, the customer questions and answers section can be a great place to gather intel for an FAQ module.
Looking for more advice? Take a look at this handy blog post for more tips and tricks.
Resolution #5: “I will take advantage of international sales peaks”
It can be hard to keep up with the ever-changing peak seasons in retail. For example, we just got through the end-of-year peak and it’s already time to start prepping Valentines Day search terms! It’s important to look outside your domestic market to ensure you’re taking advantage of every sales opportunity out there.
To help you stay organised for the year ahead, we’ve updated our highly popular, biannual e-commerce calendar — Your Essential 2020 E-Commerce Calendar: January-June. It’s the ultimate e-commerce checklist to ensure you never miss out!
In the meantime, here are some key 2020 dates for your diary for the first half of the year:
20th January: Blue Monday (entice shoppers out of their winter gloom with feel-good promotions)
25th January: Chinese New Year
14th February: Valentines Day
8th March: International Women’s Day
17th March: Click Frenzy (Australia)
22nd March: Mother’s Day
20th March: Spring Equinox
1st April: April Fools Day
21st April: The Queen’s Birthday
10th – 13th April: Easter Weekend
16th May: Eurovision Song Contest Final
25th May: Spring Bank Holiday
21st June: Father’s Day
21st June: Nordic Midsummer Celebration
29th June: Wimbledon Starts
All of July: Independent Retailer Month
13th July: Prime Day
20th July: School’s Out For Summer
We’ll be here to support you every step of the way, happy new year and bring on 2020!