For online sellers, Christmas comes in the form of three golden months of increased sales volume in the Q4 sales peak. But with the festive season now firmly in our rear-view, it’s time to set your sights on your 2018 strategy and start the new year with a bang.
Here are our top tips for ecommerce sellers looking for new ways to reach more customers, grow their brand and become better sellers in 2018.
Smart sellers in 2018 are sellers that sell everywhere.
When it comes to ecommerce, unpredictability is the only thing we can truly predict, and as safe a bet as the continued success for sellers on Amazon or Shopify or any other growing channel may seem, smart sellers are hedging their bets by going multi-channel.
3P sellers on Amazon know the threat of their growing private label range, and it’s no secret that they use data from 3P sellers performance to pick and choose the best markets to compete in. Add to this a host of other factors – risk of suspension, overcrowded niche and hijacked listings – and you have a pretty compelling case for choosing a couple of backup channels.
For Amazon and eBay sellers, starting your own online storefront with a platform like Shopify not only decreases the risk of having all your eggs in one basket, but it adds a level of authority and online presence that is become increasingly vital as customers trend towards product research and comparison shopping.
For those sellers focused on building their brand through their own online store, 2018 is the year to start tapping into Amazon and eBay’s built in audience to rapidly grow your reach.
The hard work you’ve put into sourcing and branding your products is your biggest asset, and in 2018 it’s time to start putting that asset to good use.
Amazon FBA combined with Amazon’s Multi-channel fulfilment means it’s easier than ever in 2018 to reach customers all over the world. With the rise of outsourcing platforms like Fiverr and Upwork making it easy to find cheap and reliable translation services, not even the language barrier stands in your way of reaching the lucrative European and Asian markets.
Every time you have to change a currency, you lose a little bit of your margin, and in the past, a big hurdle for cross-border trade was the number of exchange points between sourcing, shipping, selling and getting paid. Margin savvy sellers (translation: good sellers) can utilise a solution like WorldFirst’s currency conversion product for online sellers to set up local bank accounts in foreign markets and minimise the amount of money lost in overseas transfers.
The current benchmark for ecommerce innovation, 2018 looks to be another bumper year for Amazon as they continue to grow not only their marketplace offering, but also their logistics product (through FBA) as well as new on-platform advertising opportunities and even financial products and lending.
For Amazon sellers, the rollout of Amazon Australia at the end of 2017 to be joined by Brazil later this year is a sign that their global dominance won’t be slowing down any time soon, offering new markets and new customers to reach.
With more interactive content on listing pages, mobile optimizations, updates to Sponsored Products and more online shopping holidays all tipped for 2018, Amazon sellers will have even more chances to get the edge on their competitors.
One of the biggest trends we see taking hold in 2018 is personalisation of the user experience. This is particularly important for sellers with their own online store, with personalised messages and offers increasingly becoming a customer expectation.
You don’t need to be a big data expert to start with personalisation – getting started with an email marketing product like MailChimp will allow you to create ‘segments’ – groups of customers displaying similar behaviours – and create ‘personalised’ offers based on their past experiences with your brand.
Ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce are choc full of third-party apps that will help you to deliver a personalised experience based on keywords that customers use, user location, pages they visit and even on-site events like cart-abandonment.
If you’re looking for new ways to increase your conversion rates and average order values, 2018 is the year to start experimenting with personalisation.
The buzz around content marketing has dominated the digital marketing space for the last few years, and with good reason. A solid content strategy has a wide range of benefits – improving SEO, adding social proof to your brand and creating a more engaging customer experience just to name a few.
Whilst things like blog posts, link-building and social sharing are valuable tools, if you’re just starting out on the content journey there are a host of little steps you can take that can have huge impact on your performance.
Start 2018 by rewriting your product descriptions and updating your old product images. By understanding your target audience and producing unique and engaging content that showcases your products for that audience you can drastically improve both your online store and your marketplace listings.
If you’re ready to branch out into more advanced content marketing like blogging and social media, remember the golden rule for content marketing in 2018 is to focus on proving value and building your brand – not just aggressively promoting your product.
Reviews and Customer Service
These two are becoming more and more interrelated. As customers become more invested in multi-channel shopping, you need to control your brand image everywhere you sell, and everywhere you’re talked about.
Bad reviews and negative feedback hurt, so make sure you have the right processes in place to handle customer complaints.
Start 2018 by auditing your customer service flow. Do you have a good enough system in place so that negative experiences with your brand are dealt with in a timely manner and negative feedback is minimised? As your brand grows in 2018 it may be worth looking at an outsourcing solution to ensure your providing easy access to customer service representatives for all your customers, in whatever timezone you sell in.
If you’re confident that you have met that goal, next look at ways to encourage people to share their positive experiences. Good reviews are golden, and they are the best social proof your product can get, and the easiest way to get them is to ask. Make sure your customer service team are finishing every positive experience with a simple request for customers to leave reviews, and set up automated emails for marketplace sales thanking customers and requesting feedback.
What are your big plans for ecommerce domination in 2018? Let us know on the Codisto Super Sellers Facebook Mastermind Group!