Use your Off-season: how to get ready for the ‘shopping’ season

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Optimize Online StoreIt’s ‘holiday’ season for most of the retailers; no long queue outside the store, no yelling customer over the phone for replacement, no capitalized email for delayed delivery – there is a lull everywhere these days. It’s the off-season – the same fanatic buyers simply not interested to buy anything these days! So, what do you plan to do these days? Watch soccer? Watch Wimbledon? Go fishing? Or do you have something else to do that would give you robust PROFITS during the coming shopping season? Well, it’s time to think seriously about your business!

The off-season gives you the time to assess your business capabilities and plan for the shopping season. In fact, most of the successful online retailers analyze, plan and act during this period; thus, just before the shopping starts, they launch something completely NEW and end up achieving ‘record-sales’ by the time the shopping season is over. Forget those game-changing marketing ideas of online giants, even a few simple and yet organized steps can do wonders for your business.

Automate the online store:
If you are using POS software like Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS), it’s time that you integrate it with your online store. Integrating your Dynamics RMS or the POS system with the online retail store will save more than 50% of your data-entry and order-processing time.

Revamp the design: Do you compare the design of your website with your competitors? Does it look pale? Or is your competitor has a new design-element or a catchy animation that has the potentiality to woo more customers? Check out now! But please note two things – 1) You SHOULD never copy someone else’s design to build your online store and 2) Just for the sake of beautification never cut-down on navigational ease. Your online retail store should look unique, aesthetically designed and yet it should offer the complete freedom to find out the products comfortably.

Work on your categories: Your product categories are like the departments or the ‘floors’ in your retail store and the sub-categories are like shelves or racks. So, arrange your categories as neatly as possible. If you are planning to add new products, add the categories and sub-categories. Experts say that the top selling categories or products should come first so that the customer’s eyes zeroes on those the moment he arrives at your online shopping cart.

Recheck the pricing: Last year’s pricing structure may not work this year. Note down your best and worst performing products. Find out what others charging for the same product. Remember, a product that performed well last year may not necessarily do well in the next year. So, keep your pricing competitive.

Plan your search-engine marketing activities: Search engine marketing is a long process and if you start it now, you will get the results right at the beginning of the holiday season.

Rewrite the product description: Researchers say that the 70% of the reasons behind shopping cart abandonment are inadequate or incomplete product information and product details written in “sales language”. Your customers were not born yesterday; they know what they want to buy. So, find out the products whose descriptions are incomplete or unnecessarily exaggerated and make the changes.

These are not everything that you should do during this off-season. Explore new business possibilities, ask your shopping cart vendor to help you and even more, if you don’t get a suitable answer, it’s high-time that you change your online shopping cart provider and go for a reliable before the shopping season begins.

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