Selling online is a great subject to write about as it is constantly changing and evolving. Each month new start-up businesses bring in new ideas. There are lots of opportunities to improve your online business for B2B or B2C. If you have any questions about eCommerce try our FAQs and Ideas Center or just send us a comment or email.
Understanding your business plan and continually re-assessing your business’s performance against that plan is a necessary, but often overlooked, part of managing a business. Your business plan forms the core of how you should track success in your business, so ensuring it is meaningful and relevant on a regular basis is critical.
Every year we hear of stories about retailers who leave the preparations for the Holiday sales and Christmas to the last minute and then wonder why they don't do well. Christmas is the biggest retail sales time of the year for the vast majority of businesses. Sales increases related to holiday spending start around late September and peak late November to early December. There are heaps of issuses to think about so start early.
This year it is expected that the latest that you will be able to order online and expect delivery before Christmas will be Tuesday 20th December for most Australian deliveries. Australia Post have already advised for the international sea-mail cutoff dates however they have yet to announce the Australian dates.
Our advice to make the most from the opportunity of great retail holiday sales is to plan and prepare now. How long does it take you to pick, pack and ship? That will determine the last date for selling online and delivering by Christmas. Remember there may be backlogs in delivery so check with your shipping agent. What are the peak number of orders that you can handle each day and still get the deliveries out? Maybe you need some temporary staff to help you get through the holiday rush.
Being prepared is as simple as asking a few simple questions about your business.
Every year Christmas is the dominant retail sales period in Australia and New Zealand if not worldwide. Worldwide trends have been favourable for online shopping and the latest can provide some new confidence for online sellers. The trend is for more people to buy online being driven by many factors and this is unlikely to slow.
It might be a good time to review your overall eCommerce strategy and to look at how you can develop a more successful online business.
You can take some time to consider how you will deal with;
Spending a little time developing your plan and strategy can deliver better short and long term sales results and higher margins. It might also be a good time to look at promotional micro-sites to target the Christmas traffic.
Buying online for Christmas starts as early as September but the real peak starts from late-November. This year we will expect to see a busy and a longer buying period. The after Christmas, New Years sales, will still be important to sell off overstocked items at bargain prices.
Simple strategies to improve sales and conversions:
Check you website on your mobile
Over 50% of your potential buyers will come via a mobile this year. That might mean you can get more sales and more profit if those visitors can find and buy a product on a mobile. Don't expect your website to look the same on a mobile as a laptop or tablet. Your website needs to be mobile friendly. eCorner websites are mobile friendly but if you have not checked and optimised your content for mobiles it might need some work.
We are getting asked more and more regularly about issues and considerations when thinking about selling or buying an existing online business.
Whether it be a large, high transaction online retailer or a relatively small boutique web store, it’s important to remember that you are buying a business (not just a website). As such, there is a process that should be followed to ensure you know what you are buying and are paying a reasonable amount for that investment.
The end of financial year (EOFY) rolls around every year and yet, just like the arrival of winter, it catches business owners by surprise.
While getting to the end of the financial year can sometimes feel like a sprint to the finish line. If you run an online business, then the EOFY can be a great opportunity to take stock of your business and review the plan and strategy for the year to come.
We have included below some tips both for surviving EOFY and for accelerating your business into FY2016/7.
The report is a useful tool in improving your presence on search engines and improving your website quality overall. The report looks at over 40 factors that will impact your website results. The free Website Quality Quick Report is available for eCorner customers, and those running a 30 day trial store. It is created by crawling up to 3,000 pages of your website with an automated software system that analyses your website for any problems that may affect your search engine ranking. The report takes up to a day to complete and is delivered to you as a CSV file that can be opened in Microsoft Excel or similar.
Improving online sales should be a constant process for any online store owner. If you own and run your own online store then making positive decisions that can improve sales often starts with a mental roadblock. Time poor business owners sometimes think it is too difficult or complex to get a quick result. But it is the simple things that are easy to implement that can get results.
Coupon codes are a standard feature of every eCorner provided online store and most ecommerce software but how can you use them and get a quick result. Here are a few ideas. Coupons can be used to offer dicounts or even as gift certificates. Last year Australian's spent over $1.75 billion on gift cards and certificates. Often it is an easy gift option and a simple product to add to your online store.
On the evening of Thursday 7th April our systems will be taken off line so that we can perform a core software upgrade. There are numerous technical changes and improvements taking place many of which will not be noticed. These include additional security changes and a change to the version of the MySQL data base. There are also lots of new and improved features and we have covered a few of those below.
This upgrade will only impact those customers using the Cloud Web, Cloud Catalogue, Cloud Starter, Cloud Shop, Cloud Merchant or Cloud Enterprise packages. The upgrade will also impact all 30 day free trial websites. You will receive an email notification if your website is included in the upgrade.
We expect the system to be off-line from approximately 9:00PM AEST until 5:00AM AEST 8th April. During this time there will be a maintenance message displayed to all of the people that visit your website.
You may have noticed that Wagtail looks different. We have been working on a new version of Wagtail for sometime and released it to production today. The new version comes with some impressive new features and reports. But importantly we have enhanced and updated the technology for charts so that they will now be faster and smarter.
Let take a quick review of some of the new features.
If you intend to sell internationally then you will also need to ensure that you are able to calculate the correct shipping for international deliveries. Doing that with ePages is a simple process but does take a few steps to be completed successfully. Once setup then your visitors that have an international address will only see the shipping methods that relate to international deliveries. The shipping estimator in the product page will also allow the correct selection for international customers.
A lot of the time, customers arrive to a website and abandon it immediately. Why? Either because they don’t easily find what they are looking for or because the site does not meet certain standards. However, what are the standards that customers expect when visiting an online shop? To answer that question, we’ve prepared a checklist with the main elements customers and visitors expect in order to retain them in your site and ultimately reduce shop abandonment.