5 New Year’s Resolutions To Ensure Your Ecommerce Site Moves Forward This Year

A new year is a great time to make sure that your ecommerce business moves forward and achieves the growth that you would like. By setting out some resolutions for the year and sticking to them, you can ensure that your site stays up to date, utilises the key selling opportunities and draws in more customers to convert to sales.
5 New Year's Resolutions To Ensure Your Ecommerce Site Moves Forward This Year

1 – Declutter Your Inventory

It goes without saying that your warehouse or physical stock room should be kept organised and tidy and the same goes for your digital inventory.  If it’s not kept tidy then you could be wasting time and money.  An organised, decluttered and up to date inventory will allow you to easily manage your stock levels and orders efficiently.  This is definitely a process that will help you to start the new year right. 

A good first step is to clear your inventory of old stock, products you no longer sell, so that you can invest in new ones.  If you have no intention of restocking old products, then it’s probably good practice to delete them from your management system. This could prevent mistakes from occurring, for example, accidentally publishing a product you no longer stock or a member of staff ordering stock that you do not require. 

Another efficient way to declutter your ecommerce inventory is to group similar products.  If for example you sell a line of sweatshirts all with the same design but in 3 different sizes and 4 different colours, this could lead to a large amount of individual listings.  Whilst each size and colour will need its own stock entry, this range of products could be grouped so that it can be more easily managed and will tidy up your inventory.  

It is not unusual for many retail businesses to build up unhealthy stock levels.  In the world of retail the ideal scenario would be to only keep products that sell regularly in stock and avoid those that don’t.  Keeping unhealthy levels of stock leads to unproductive capital, which could be spent on new products, sitting expensively on the shelves. Some ideas for decluttering include running discount sales, operating a loyalty scheme, selling your stock at the right time and monitoring stock levels almost every day so that poorly selling stock does not build up.  Increased stock levels can be caused by a range of factors so another important lesson is to know your brands, suppliers and your stock run rates really well.

2 – Know Your Business & Your Data

By analysing data – clicks, traffic, conversions and revenue, you will be able to learn more about your website and its visitors. This information can help you to understand any strengths and weaknesses, identify the factors that could improve performance and utilise this to maximise sales growth.

You can’t argue with data, it’s unbiased. When making changes to your website, you can’t be sure of the effect of these changes unless you look at the website analytics. This data is important to help you:

  • Make future decisions that will have a positive impact.
  • Identify and resolve any issues that may occur.
  • Maximise your ROI by recognising your marketing spend for each campaign.
  • Understand and identify your audience.
  • Identify your customer base and engage with them.
  • Optimise and improve user experience.
  • Analyse performance data to optimise your business processes and avoid ineffective strategies.
  • Forecast future sales, this is especially important for peak retail periods.

3 – Optimise Your Platforms

Whether you only sell your products on your own website or you also use third party channels, you will need to make sure that your platforms are optimised. Carrying out regular integrity checks will assist with identifying anything that could be improved. Every product and category page on your website will need a description. These descriptions should be up to date, unique and include keywords to enable shoppers to find your products. Remove old or poor quality images and replace them with better quality ones. Good quality images will help your customers to make their final decision.

Your website and other selling platforms need to be accessible, interactive, engaging and user-friendly. They should be easy to navigate otherwise your potential customers could lose interest and then you risk losing sales. Another key factor to consider is mobile site optimisation. Online business is ever increasing and more and more people are using their mobile devices to make purchases. It’s crucial to enable your site to be adaptive to accommodate mobile devices.

4 – Optimise Your Brand

By optimising your brand and building trust with your audience you will see an increase in conversions. It’s incredibly important to give your customers reassurance about what they are buying from you and the type of company you are. You can do this by promoting your brand message, trust signals and reasons to buy. Your customers need to trust that they will receive the product they have purchased within the expected time frame, that their payment will be processed using a trusted portal and that they will receive excellent customer service.

In order to build that trust, your website must have the following:

  • Company & VAT number – both will provide reassurance that your website is authentic and that you are trading in compliance with UK law.
  • Registered Address & Telephone Number – this information will inform customers that you have a registered premises and can answer calls – preferably from a landline.
  • Reviews – shoppers often seek out customer reviews when making a new purchase. You could include testimonials from customers as well as more specific product reviews.
  • Spelling & Grammar – even small spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can look unprofessional. This could lead to poor conversion rates and credibility. Proof read your website content and correct where necessary.
  • Professional Design – if your website looks professionally designed then this will build trust too. Your site should be easy to navigate, should not be too complex and you should avoid too much text. Your website will also need to have a quick load time.
  • A Clear Payment System – your ecommerce website should detail accepted payment methods, any guarantees and warranties as well as your returns and refunds policies. This information should be clear and easy to understand and could give you the edge over competitors.

5 – Plan Your Ecommerce Marketing Calendar

Using your decluttered inventory and your newfound knowledge and insights from your website analysis you can create a plan for your marketing campaigns.  Use a calendar to pick out the key events of the year where you can focus your attention to push your marketing strategies and drive sales.  It is good practice to plan your marketing campaigns early so that you can get the most out of them.  You’ll need to understand how your products can relate to these key calendar events and your customers in order to plan accordingly.  For some ecommerce businesses, the most important events may be Valentine’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day and Christmas, whilst for others it could be the changing seasons, national awareness months or even something else. 

By adhering to these 5 New Year’s resolutions your ecommerce website will be able to move forward for the new year ahead.  These quite simple, focal points could become best practise and when carried out on a regular basis will help to improve your website traffic and conversions.  If time is restricted or you just don’t know where to start, then Vertical Plus and our team of ecommerce strategists can provide all of the above as part of our all in one ecommerce solution.