3 Strategies Retailers Should Focus On In The 2nd Half of 2015

2nd-half-2015

This past Tuesday, June’s sales numbers came out and it seems like it wasn’t retail’s month, but there a few things retailers can do to turn things around. Concerns about a slowing economy have been raised due to U.S. retail sales falling short of expectations in June. The Department of Commerce found that spending decreased 0.3 percent in June, compared to May’s large 1.2 percent boost. However, don’t lose hope yet! You still have the 2nd half of 2015 to improve and hit your goals. There are a number of ways to improve your online retail business, but here are the three aspects that deserve some attention.

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Leveraging Data

Management consultant and theorist Geoffrey Moore once said, “Without big data, you are blind and deaf in the middle of a freeway,” suggesting that in this day and age guesswork isn’t cutting it anymore. Analyzing and leveraging data can help you make sound decisions, thanks to evidence from past events. There are various ways you can leverage data, such as optimizing prices and managing inventory.

Price is one of the most important aspects in retail. Not only does it determine your profit, but pricing is also a factor that aids a shopper with their purchase decision. There are numerous aspects of pricing that you have to consider. Dynamic pricing can be your solution because it takes them all into account with automatic price changes.

Like pricing, your inventory is influenced by various factors. To ensure that your inventory stays competitive, consider using a competitive SKU analysis to determine how your inventory overlaps with your competitors’. This can help you fill in any gaps in your inventory and increase pricing on items that are unique.

Preparing for Black Friday

Thanks to a 15.4 percent increase in online revenues from 2013, Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2014 were part of the biggest online shopping weekend in US history. Thanksgiving is around the corner and there is no better time to get ready for it than now. No, you don’t understand. GET READY NOW! Here are a couple of ways to prepare yourself for the holidays:

  • Revamp your website. Your website is essentially the face of your business. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday being the busiest days in online retail, it is important to make sure that your website is top notch by preparing for heavy traffic and concise navigation. During this weekend in particular, you definitely want to prevent cart abandonment. One of the biggest reasons for cart abandonment is a long and confusing checkout process. Counter that with clear directions, just a few steps, and multiple payment options.
  • Go Mobile. Studies from Javelin show that mobile commerce has outpaced every other aspect of retail. That means if you haven’t gone mobile yet, you’re missing out. If you are already mobile-friendly or have decided to start, be sure to organize your site in an easy to use manner, with bigger buttons and straight forward navigations. Lack of mobile payment options is the biggest reason for mobile shopping cart abandonment, according to Hubspot. So when creating your mobile platform, put yourself in the shopper’s shoes to make sure that you’re organizing correctly.

Making the Customer Happy

In retail, the customer experience is key. A great customer experience can lead to stronger branding, improved customer loyalty, and higher conversions. Therefore, boosting your customer experience can really bring success in 2015 and beyond.

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A great way to start is by personalizing the customer experience. Fine-tuning your service to your customers’ unique wants and needs can result in a better shopping experience. One way to achieve this is to offer recommendations. With data, you can offer returning customers recommendations for items that complement what they’ve already purchased, which may incentivize them to shop more.

Another great way to improve your customer experience is with your website navigation. There are times when customers are searching for items that your store may not carry. Instead of leading them to a dead end, guide them to other products that are similar to what they are searching for. Another method you can use to attack this problem is with product titles and descriptions. Capture your customers’ attention by putting the most important details in the beginning of your description. By being straightforward, your shoppers won’t have a problem finding the products they’re looking for.

2015 started out a little rocky, but don’t lose hope yet. You still have half a year left to hit your goals. Stay optimistic and conquer 2015 by leveraging data, preparing for the holidays, and boosting your customer experience.

Contributing Writer: Don Dao

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Arie Shpanya

Arie is the COO, Executive Chairman, and Co-Founder of Wiser, a dynamic pricing and merchandising engine for online retailers and brands. He has extensive experience in business development with a focus on eCommerce (eBay and Amazon), and is a guest blogger on Econsultancy, VentureBeat, and more.