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Learn from your Christmas Experience

Its January. The Christmas rush is over. The Christmas money was spent, and the site sales are gradually dying. The amount of orders have dropped off the proverbial cliff, as anticipated. Now’s the time to examine the web site. Taking into account the prior year’s business and how well it handled the Christmas rush, what needs updating or changing?

There are two primary factors, firstly what could be done to make everything go better, and second what has to be done with the look and feel of the site?

You’ve effectively pressure tested the site in the past couple of months. There are naturally two sides to a web site, the customer experience and the management. Both have to be considered. Due to the hopefully substantial volumes of traffic, you have the greatest possible chance to analyse what happened.

Whilst the management side of a site is important, it should not be changed at the expense of the consumer experience. The admin should be as invisible as possible to the client.

The important metrics I look for is how many orders processed every day, how many weren’t processed on the day of birth, how many desired stock to be ordered and how many couldn’t be done and had to be cancelled.

No stock control is ideal. There’s a cost associated with making it true. The more man hours you throw at it, the more accurate it could be. Yet on fast moving items which may be replenished overnight, it can be better to invest those man hours on choosing and packaging, as opposed to getting the inventory count perfect.

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That is why I take and analyse the metrics. In a perfect world all orders will be processed and despatched on the day that they arrive in. When an order must slip to the following day, then it’s advisable that it is because you’ve sold out (and have re-ordered), instead of you didn’t have adequate time and tools to process it. Clearly the thing to prevent is not having the ability to fulfil an order because your provider has also come to an end.

Your back office systems should make all this as easy to do as possible. An efficient order management process ensures that you have the right amount of inventory, and the right amount of people processing the orders. A fantastic system can easily save tens of thousands of dollars. In taking a look at the metrics, you will need to determine whether yours is good enough, or if there’s room for improvement. If you will set up a new system, you need about nine months to perfect bed and it it in.

With Magento and Amazon, I use a system called Linnworks. It isn’t cheap, none of those systems are cheap, but the man time saved, and the inventory level savings, more than compensate for this cost. The system enables me to perform hundreds of orders per day with minimal staff. The interfaces are effortless, and in addition, it interfaces directly in my chosen postal supplier (The Royal Mail).

Your post shipping method also has to be reviewed. What’s your customer feedback? How many parcels went missing? How many were ruined? It isn’t just money here. A affordable shipping firm that looses or damages parcels can loose you not only the value of the order, but any future purchase from that customer.

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The customer satisfaction of this web site is more complicated. I have just begun to analyse the information. The amount of traffic are up, as anticipated, and the conversion rate can be up, again as expected. At this time of year more people are searching the internet with a view to purchase instead of just general interest, so it would be an issue if the conversion rate didn’t go up. This doesn’t mean all is always well however. Bounce rates will need to be properly looked at to determine which kind of pages people disliked and abandoned the website. The checkout funnel has to be researched for any leaks. Navigation is very interesting, to see how people found what they were looking for and if they gave up and moved on.

See also:

/how-to-gain-competitive-edge-for-business

what-causes-out-of-stock-how-to-prevent-it

market-research

top-4-wholesale-pos-system-options

magento-product-attributes

differences-between-inventory-and-warehouse

Magento has the handy feature of recording what searches were performed on the website. It lists the words used and the amount of products which matched the search. This shows what your visitors are interested in and reveals exactly what the search displayed. Keep an eye out for popular searches which didn’t show what you expected. Magento offers you the ability to modify the default search behavior on any particular search. This means you could tailor a particular search to give precisely what you would like. For the most popular searches contemplate building a landing page that offers useful content and decent action points (i.e. buy now buttons) for what the visitors were looking for. This should not just improve your conversion rates for traffic, but possibly enhance your SEO as you’re providing content that is more relevant. (Although be certain these landing pages are on your site map and are thus indexed, do not expect Google to do searches on your website.)

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Hopefully this vacation period has been rewarding. Hopefully you won’t currently be overstocked with seasonal products. Learn whatever classes you can from what went right and what went wrong. Plan this coming Christmas from NOW, so you can do even better. What you can’t do is sit back and assume that the forthcoming year will be better. Recall your competitors will be needing to improve also.


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