Ringing in the new year is my favorite time of year. If there’s something I didn’t get around to the previous year - the fresh start of the new year feels like a second chance to reaching that goal.
For ecommerce storeowners, the ‘holiday hangover’ struggle feels real, as no doubt you busted your butt to do everything you could to build traffic and convert sales during the holiday season. However, while others are laying low, this is your time to capitalize.
We’ll have plenty of articles upcoming that will detail ways for you to hit the ground running in 2019, and to turn your business from relying on seasonal customers to being a full-on-year-round sales machine.
When people make resolutions for the new year, they are usually difficult or time-consuming tasks that we don’t want to do. However, these seven resolutions can be very easy goals to accomplish, and you’ll love the benefits. Putting these ideas in place will set you on a solid foundation to kickstarting sales for the upcoming year.
1. Target a New Audience
By expanding into new product categories, you can bring in a entire new customer base. Last year we saw a substantial rise in Pets, Kids and Baby products. For those that already sell items such as apparel, accessories, or mugs, this can be a profitable way to offer additional merchandise. Many designs and prints can easily be adjusted to work well for different products. For a minimal amount of work, you can see additional sales from new mothers to pet lovers.
All it takes to find your next potential audience is a bit of research. Dig through Google Trends, browse Instagram and Pinterest to see what’s taking hold, and find tools for market research that will help inspire your next foray.
Of course, you don’t want to abandon the audience you’ve already built up. A great idea when deciding on what new merchandise you want to offer is to directly poll your previous customers. Who better to tell you what will sell? Consider using SurveyMonkey, a well-known company where you can create surveys online for free.
2. Discover New Reasons to Have Sales
Consider holding sales focused on some of the other holidays that can easily be overlooked. Of course shoppers flock to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, but why wait until November to make that extra cash? Applying those same strategies and marketing ideas to other occasions, can really help to boost sales.
You should certainly target the obvious, such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, but try to think of those occasions not already marked in a calendar. Weird and obscure holidays are always a fun way to hold a sale. People love nerding out online to special days such as Pi Day, May the Fourth be With You, or National Donut Day. You can use these days as opportunities to run fun social media campaigns and take advantage of some trending topics.
Are there any charities that hold a special place in your heart? Let’s say you want to raise money to go towards breast cancer research. You can create limited-edition designs for products to sell during the month of October, for breast cancer awareness month. You can donate all or a portion of the proceeds to benefit breast cancer research. It’s a win-win situation, where more people will learn about your business while you are doing a good deed and giving back to society.
3. Optimize Your Store
A great way to find what your store is lacking in is to browse other online merchants for knowledge and inspiration. By looking through websites like Shopify or Etsy, you can get ideas on how to improve your search engine optimization (SEO), product ratings and customer reviews. See how others have achieved success with their online shops and think of how you can implement some of those same ideas to work for you.
We have a great list of 20 apps in the Shopify store that help you manage your business and increase sales.
While browsing other stores, take note of what they are charging for products to ensure you are not pricing yourself out of the marketplace. It’s also a perfect moment to make sure you are on top of all the latest trends.
4. Increase Your Fanbase
You can have the best products at the best prices, but if people can’t find you or don’t know who you are, how do you expect to make any sales? From companies just starting out to huge corporations, everyone can find ways for social media to work for them. Some ideas to increase your fanbase on places like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, can include featuring new products, promoting upcoming and exclusive sales, or showing behind the scenes footage. Remember to be responsive to questions or comments.
For those on a limited budget, social media is a great way to get your name out there, with or without purchasing ad space. If you do decide to purchase ad space, it is relatively inexpensive and easy to do. For those interested in learning more about purchasing ads on Facebook, AdEspresso has a terrific guide available.
You can also keep an eye on similar companies to get ideas. Engaging with their customers can help you to gain new followers or likes, as well.
And not just understand it, but to use it to your advantage. For people running their own business, it can be incredibly hard wearing all those hats, from creating new products to working as an accountant. One area that is easily skipped over is spending time on learning new technologies that can vastly improve various aspects of your business.
An important item to focus on is analytics. One way of gathering this information can be through robust tools such as Amplitude.
Analytics takes information that has been gathered and examines it to discover patterns and predict future events. This information can help to figure out what the best time to post on social media is, or the best audience for you to target your advertisements to.
6. Create Reasons for People to Come Back
Obviously, you can’t constantly make new products to promote, you can’t keep promoting the same products, and you can’t keep having sales. So how else can you bring customers back to your store?
If you don’t already have one, consider starting a blog. Most stores can find topics to post about that your patrons will want to read. For example, if you sell apparel, you can write articles about upcoming fashion trends – informing customers about a subject and promoting your products at the same time.
Hopefully this will result in more sales, but at the very least, it will keep your brand fresh in their minds. The next time they need to a gift, perhaps they will think of your store first.
7. Network and Create Partnerships
It can be tough to get your business going – there can be so much competition out there. However, by networking you can find new ways of getting your store noticed. To find some new friends, check out online forums related in some way to your business.
While networking, if you come across someone that you think would make a good person to partner with, don’t be afraid to ask. Before approaching anyone, think of how you can mutually benefit from one another. For example, if you are someone who sells apparel, you could possibly partner with a person who sells tote bags. Matching bags with clothing is a good way for your businesses to cross promote each other.
So there you have it - 7 resolutions to keep you focused on growing in 2019. Now is your chance to get ahead of your competition, and put pieces in place to scale your business for the long term. Remember, success doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient but be diligent.
We wish you good luck and greater success in 2019!