After peak season is over, it’s the perfect time to take a look back at what worked well and where your e-commerce business can improve. If you haven’t formally evaluated your e-commerce peak season fulfillment before — this is the year you should.
The number of online shoppers in the US alone increased by 30% in 2020 — and this trend is expected to continue. Even as brick and mortar stores reopen, online shopping is forecast to gain more than one percentage point of total retail sales each year through 2024.
So what does that mean for your e-commerce business? Opportunity! Here are our top 5 tips for analyzing your peak performance and developing an improvement plan:
1. Review Customer Complaints
What internal metrics give you the most accurate picture of your operational performance? Comments from your customers! If they’re frustrated by shipping costs and added fees — you may need to consider adding more shipping options and offering free shipping if possible. Your customers will let you know if your shipping methods are reliable and timely, if your fulfillment facility is handling your parcels well, and if your returns process is up to snuff. Improving your user experience is the best way to maintain repeat customers and grow your business.
2. Analyze Shipping Costs
Are you spending too much on shipping? It’s the number one cost of order fulfillment — so it’s essential to understand what factors can drive up your costs and why. We could write a whole blog about ways you can save money on shipping — and we have. You can check it out here: How to Get Discounted Postage and Save Your Business Money. Keep in mind that higher than anticipated shipping costs could be due to other operational issues, like many back-ordered items sent separately.
3. Assess Workflow, Storage Needs, and Operations
Are your facilities running smoothly, or are they congested and inefficient? You may want to consider outsourcing your e-commerce fulfillment so that you can spend less time and resources on operations and more on business development.
From warehousing and staff to IT systems and planning for changes in product demand — Asendia USA has you covered with worry-free, fully-integrated order fulfillment services. We offer full visibility of your stock position, orders processed, tracking numbers, and returns via online reporting. Plus, you can grow your product range and order volumes knowing we can gear up to handle it. Expand internationally and sell your products worldwide across multiple platforms with optimum flexibility, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.
4. Adjust Your Marketing Strategy
Many online retailers focus most of their attention on online marketing. It seems like an obvious choice — but customers appreciate unexpected small, tangible, and personalized touches from e-commerce stores. Consider retargeting your peak season shoppers with direct mail marketing materials to get their attention. Whether it's a simple postcard with a discount code or a high-end catalog, Asendia USA can help you hit your target with customers and prospects.
5. Develop an Improvement Plan
The most important part of developing an effective improvement plan is to prioritize areas where you have the opportunity to get the highest return on your investment of time and resources. This could mean working with a new shipping partner or fully outsourcing your fulfillment operations. Wherever you can improve, Asendia USA is here to help.
Many other suggestions aren’t new, but are worth revisiting. Audit your website to ensure you’re providing a user-friendly experience, ensure you offer high-quality customer service, and be transparent with your shipping and return policies to avoid cart abandonment.
BONUS: TREND ALERT
Want to know the fastest growing trend in e-commerce right now? Subscription commerce!
Whether you offer a subscribe & save auto-ship program on your most popular items or you want to start a subscription box gift service — this is one of the biggest trends of 2020. In fact, experts predict that two-thirds of all direct-to-consumer e-tailers will offer some kind of subscription service by 2023. While these options may or may not be for you — it’s crucial to stay ahead of the trends to expand your market share.
We hope we’ve inspired you to think critically about your strengths and weaknesses after peak season. If you have any questions about how Asendia USA can help you improve for next year — reach out to us for a consultation with our experts!