Boost your online sales
Whether you’re selling boots or houses, your online sales strategy has room for improvement, even if you’re Nordstrom. Times change and consumers’ expectations shift, and keeping up is a challenge for everyone.
We dug into the mind of Steve Weber, President and CEO of nChannel, the leading provider of multichannel management software that simplifies selling for retailers. He has over two decades of software industryexperience, and is a 13-year veteran in the retail space. He is the former VP of eMarketplace Outsourcing Services for Sterling Commerce, a division of IBM. More recently, he was named Microsoft Partner of the Year for Dynamics Retail and awarded Microsoft Retail Independent Software Vendor (ISV) of the year.
He offers unique insight into online sales, offering his top five tips in his own words below:
“For today’s retailers,” Weber notes, ” online sales aren’t what they used to be – it is imperative that sellers deliver a smart, intuitive process that engages customers and keeps them coming back for more.”
“Luckily, there are some simple improvements that can make a world of difference,” he adds. Below are his actionable tips you should pay close attention to.
1. Create an Endless Aisle
Give the impression that you carry infinite inventory, in other words, an “Endless Aisle.” Of course, no one literally carries infinite inventory, but with drop shipping (outsourcing fulfillment for some or all of your orders to your suppliers) implemented, it’s possible to avoid ever having a customer see that “out of stock” message. With an endless aisle the customer experience is improved on by way your inventory management and supply chain teams.
2. Show Real-Time Product Availability
Customers want product availability information instantly. Weekly, daily, or even hourly updates don’t offer enough accuracy. Being able to reflect inventory status in real-time improves the customer experience and keeps users informed every step of the way – helping to better manage expectations about product availability and timing.
3. Communicate About Orders
To keep customers happy (and wanting to shop with you again), give them accurate and up-to-date order information. This means centralizing order data across all systems. This empowers the support, sales, eCommerce, and store management teams to give customers accurate updates about their pending orders. It also allows for smooth handling of changes or cancellations, the ability to split orders for individual item fulfillment, and close tracking of order status. Customers want to know the details of how their order is progressing.
4. Merchandise Smarter
Make information about each product comprehensive and easily searchable. Helping customers navigate products with a variety of criteria ensures they can find what they need and you can more easily manage inventory. Multichannel management platforms, like the one nChannel delivers, can help retailers organize products by region, brand, season, promotion, etc. to simplify updates and merchandising. It can also perform bulk updates to help sellers manage pricing and promotions, as well as enable them to search keyproduct data more easily.
5. Treat B2B Customers Like Retail Customers
When you sell products to other business (wholesalers and manufacturers, for example), they should get the same experience as a shopper. B2B expect the same integrated, multichannel experience. Anticipate B2B-specific challenges, like credit account management, customer-specific pricing, and complex account management teams and be sure the right processes and technology are in place to properly support their needs.
Retailers and shoppers alike need their online shopping experience to be easy and efficient, so taking steps to lay a stronger foundation for your overall online sales strategy, will in-turn improve your online sales.