The holidays are right around the corner and for ecommerce fulfillment and retail companies, this is the time of year to shine. According to Deloitte LLP, the consulting firm is projecting 13.5 to 14 percent increase in non-store sales during the 2014 holiday season. This is an extremely exciting projection to see for ecommerce companies, but it can only benefit you if you are prepared for what is to come. This blog will help give you several tips on how to get the most out of your ecommerce website through your fulfillment operations this holiday season.
- Deliver on Promises
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, Mike, ‘deliver on promises’ like I am going to lie to my customers?” Well I am not exactly saying you are going to lie to your customers, but make sure that you can meet expectations. If you are telling the customers on the website that shipping transit times are between 3-5 days, make sure that you can truly get the product there in that time frame. If you are telling the customer your product will ship in 24-48 hours, just make sure that even with the increased order volume in the holiday season, that you are still able to meet those expectations. This will save on a lot of customer service calls if you are ensure that you can deliver operationally on what you are telling your customers.
- Promote the Holiday Experience
Many websites will add holiday graphics to the website and have special promotions, but taking it a step further and carrying the holiday marketing into the fulfillment operations can go a long way. You can do something as simple as a new Christmas promotional insert, a special holiday box or some different gift packaging. These promotions do not need to be complicated, but can go a long way to making those first time shoppers become long term customers by giving them a bit of that Wow Factor.
- Have Sufficient Stock
This may sound obvious, but holiday sales are projected to be higher this year than last year. Making sure you have enough stock to take you through the holidays is key. Stay on top of your inventory levels and as product gets low or runs out make sure that you take it off the website. The last thing customers want to do is think they have found the perfect gift only to find out after they purchased it that it is on back order or out of stock.
- Clear Returns Policy
Since many of the purchases made during the holiday season are gifts, returns are inevitable. Have a clear return processing or exchange policy on your website can be extremely useful for those gift givers. Place a link to your returns policy or make a quick statement about your returns at checkout can help shoppers. How easy or difficult you want to make your returns is up to you, but be sure to at least give the customers a clear understanding of your process.
These are just a few tips to help get the most out of your website this holiday season. If you have other ideas that have helped your ecommerce site get the most out of the holiday please feel free to post in the comments.