Holiday Discounting for eCommerce- Seller’s Guide

Considering the upcoming holiday season, sellers across the globe are trying their best to come with the best discounting strategy, however, as per one of the recent article on DNA, a report by PWC India mentioned that Indian e-commerce companies have estimated a loss Rs. 1,000 crore due to heavy discounting practice.

On the other side- a survey conducted by PWC, out of total 1,005 respondents almost half of them prefer to shop from brands online that allow them with valuable deals and offers. With this, you can understand how discount is important for modern customers, but, blindly offering discounts can kill profit margin and reduce revenue for your ecommerce business.

Smart Discounting for Holiday season 2015


Discounts have been a sales booster for many sellers across the globe since quite a while now, and per eMarkerter– the holiday sales in U.S. saw an increase of 7% sales in 2014 estimating a push of 100 billion. Another report by shows the increase in sales revenue from 2013 to 2014. As per their research the e-commerce spendings between November 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014, at $53.31 billion, compared with $46.55 billion the same period in 2013. The maximum spendings were experienced on Thanksgiving Day (32%) and Black Friday (26%), while Cyber Monday saw a smaller gain of 17%, likely because much activity on this day shifted to mobile.

E-commerce is experiencing a rapid growth year-after-year, however, blindly offering discounts will result to reduced revenue during the most profitable season of the year.

List of upcoming holidays 2015

  1. Thanksgiving(November 26th 2015)
  2. Black Friday(November 27th 2015)
  3. Cyber Monday(November 30th 2015)
  4. Green Monday(December 14th 2015)
  5. Super Saturday(December 19th 2015)
  6. Christmas Eve(December 24th 2015)
  7. Christmas Day(December 25th 2015)
  8. Boxing Day(December 26th 2015)
  9. New Year’s Eve(December 31st 2015)

Facts about holiday shopping behavior that you can consider in your discounting strategy 2015

  1. Holiday season drives 30% more e-commerce revenue than non-holiday days.
  2. Maximum revenue (50%-100%) is experienced by ecommerce sellers during Black Friday and Christmas, compared to any other day of the year.
  3. 48% of holiday shoppers shop the most before Cyber Monday.Source: Google, RJMetrics

Who are the eligible ones to target your discounts?

Discount influences almost every shopper online. But, running the same discount strategy to attract new customers, as well as, encourage existing ones can prove to be an expensive idea. This will no doubt bring increased sales opportunities for your store, however, following customer segmentation can help your run a smarter discount strategy during this holiday season 2015.

For instance:

Targeting new customers during this holiday season

With hundreds and thousands of sellers trying to compete with each other- offering those standard flat discounts to customers may make you disappear in the crowd. Instead coming up some innovative discount offers irrelevant to your product and brand, but, valuable to modern customers will help you increase click-through-rate for your site.

Such discount offers can be a freebie, eatery coupon codes and more.

Targeting new customers during this holiday season

Holiday season is special to all, and considering the same standard discount offer for your existing customers won’t make them feel special. There will be more chances of them jumping to a new site. Your holiday discount offers will be seen by your existing customers when they visit your ecommerce site or social media accounts, however, promoting your holiday discounts in a personalized manner will make them stick to your brand.

With a customer management system in place, identify your loyal customers and individually target them with personalized content and offer.

In the end, you need to consider that your discount offers are attractive and appreciable to new and existing customers, both.

Types of discounts that you can consider

discountAnnouncing large discounts will increase sales order for your site, but, without having a strategy in place can impact the bottom line of your ecommerce business.

So, what can be those effective tactics that can add a value for you and your customers?

1- Special offers on your old inventory and excess of stock

Discounts can help sellers find ways to strategically get rid of their seasonal or perishable products, instead of stocking them for long.

Holiday season is the best time of the year to promote such products by offering them at a discounted price. And, with a number of people going online to look up for the best deals and discount during holidays, such products become easy to gain visibility and sell off easily.

2- Discount on your new product line

Holidays are ideal time of the year to spread awareness about your new product line. Online shoppers are quickly attracted to new products and styles, therefore, announcing one time discount offers for your new collection will surely increase popularity and boost holiday sales fr your online business.

3- Discount coupons as problem-solver

Another effective method, is to offer discounts as sympathy. With an increase in the number of sales during holiday season, you’ll also have many unhappy customers too. Some common concerns include delay in delivery, wrong product delivered, etc. Discounts can be the best way to overcome such challenges, which means, apart from getting the issue resolved; offering discount coupons for the next purchase can help stop them discontinue relationship with your brand.

4- Extra discount to increase sales cycle

Holiday season is time bound, therefore, coming up with time-sensitive discounts will help you earn increased number of sales order throughout the season. For instance: “Buy this weekend and receive an additional 10% discount” can be an effective approach to create excitement, as well as, a fear of losing the deal if not taken action immediately.

5- Discounts to gain a competitive advantage

If you are a startup or medium business, it is very difficult to compete large players discount offers. In such case, you may want to consider strategic discounting for customer retention.

I’m sure with the above you’ll not put your pricing strategy at a risk, however, tracking performance each time will help you practice excellent discounting strategy for ecommerce business.

Happy Holidays:)

Tips to organize indoor product photoshoots

Ecommerce has made selling so easy, today, anyone can make money from their own convenience. However, attracting customers can be a major challenge for startups and business owners with low budget. With holidays around the corner, retailers need to find effective ways to attract more and more customers and make the best out of this holiday season 2015.

People who shop online are unable to check the quality of the product, however, the image of product helps them get an idea. Ecommerce business owners who overlook the importance of product image, don’t understand it’s importance in customer’s purchase decisions. Therefore, focusing on your product photography can help you develop an instant trust in the viewer’s mind and encourage them to take decisions on-the-go.

Organizing outdoor product photography depends on many factors(climatic conditions,outdoor shoot permission, etc.), and considering start-ups and medium business owners, this practice can prove to be expensive at the initial stage. Indoor photography is proving to be an ideal for such business owners.

This article will highlight effective tips to organize and produce excellent product photographs, indoor

1. Select correct light

Light has a major role to help online shoppers identify the quality of the product. Keeping in mind the color of your product and the area’s background, ensure you select light that will offer a clear view of the product from all angles and highlight the standard too.


2. Add a prop

Next, think of elements that can help you enhance the product photograph, or showcases its usage. Considering your product shape, size and color, think of a prop to make it tempting.


3. Click only the required area

Last, you need to ensure your photograph is clicked to focus more on the product and not the surroundings. Ensure you produce an image that can offer viewers a proper view(not too close, not too far) to attract more interest.


In closing

Of course, there is a lot that goes into making a great product photograph, however, with the above tips you can experiment and come up with some high-quality images for your product.

Good Luck!

How To Make Dropshipping An Ideal Business Model For Your Company

What if I say you don’t need to stock inventory nor process orders on your own, while you simply have to relax and sell hundreds of products and earn profits?


Dropshipping model is the answer!

Traditional approach

Unlike dropshipping model, any startup will have to rent space, stock products, attract customers, and finally fulfill orders that come in. In most cases business owners consider extra stocking, which, later are kept lying on the shelves. This is the most common approach taken by many eCommerce start-ups, but, can prove to be expensive if not managed well. Though, online retailing is a web based business- the products are stocked by the owner, which is then fulfilled and delivered to customers.


The Dropshipping Model- an ideal solution for any start-up

Dropshipping model is seen to been adopted by more and more eCommerce retailers, that it allows them a kick-start; with low initial cost and risks.

So, what makes it possible?

  • No product stocking hassle
  • No need to spend in renting/space/warehouse
  • Only purchase stock when you receive a sales orderThis model will not only prove to be a cost-saver for a start up, but also, helps them generate maximum profit for their business.

What makes a successful dropshipping model?

Step 1- Research for relevant dropshipping companies

Take ample amount of time and research for relevant suppliers to ensure they frequently deal with products you are planning to sell. To work with experienced companies of the same interest, is foremost thing you need to consider when planning for a successful dropshipping model for your business.

Step 2- Be in frequent touch with them

Next, you need to develop relation with the dropshipping companies you have finalized. Working with a single dropshipping company will help you run your business, however, in case of emergency(e.g. stock issues at the company) having an alternative will help overcome ugly scenarios and ensure your start up business grows successfully.

Step 3- Check on the returns and customer support part with the ones you’ll deal with

There will be some of customers who will change their minds after submitting an order and immediately contact you either for changing the order, or, even worst, request for cancellation. Adopting a dropshipping business model, you won’t have a warehouse where you could address returns. Therefore, ensure your dropshipping company allows a fast turnaround for confirming order changes and cancellations, as, well as, make it clear to your customers, too.

Wrapping up

Dropshipping is an option for online business owners who wish to make their lives easier. There may be a few setbacks and minimal risks, but, with wise judgment and proper management; dropshipping can be a smooth-sailing transaction.

This model is slowly and gradually becoming popular among startups. There are few setbacks(stock issue, delay in fulfilling customer’s orders), however, with the above tips and a liking for what you are selling, dropshipping model can be an ideal solution for your as a start-up.

Goodluck :)

How strong customer relations can help you drive sales?

A study by Market Metrics (a FactSet company) states that probability of selling to new customers is 5-20% compared to the probability of selling to existing customers, that is 60-70%.

Building relation with your existing customers will help you increase sales order for your business. But, how can you do so?

Excellent customer service- Key to drives sales

Gone are those days, when your job was to just make a sale. Today, customers expect a more personalized shopping experience, and brands offering service to their customers in a way that they would like are already gaining a competitive advantage and increase sales for their business.

CRM - Customer Relation Management

Below in this article, we provide some tips to increase bonding with customers and how will those tactics help you increase sales for your business.

If you think building relation with customers happens overnight, then you are mistaken. What you need to do, is to identify those elements that works and allow you to grow. Don’t worry it’s not as hard as you think.

Here are four effective practices:

1. Communicate

The key for a successful relation, is communication. And, communicating with customer in a personalized way will make them feel they are actually dealing with humans and not robots. Whether you think of sending a thank you email after every purchase they make, or greet them on special occasions- frequently communicating with existing customers will build trust and make them feel you care about them being your customer. This way, they will automatically stick with your brand and make repeat purchases.

2. Reward

Modern customers look for a give-and-take relationship. Therefore, rewarding customers in a way they would like will make them stick with your brand, as well as, spread a good word about your service in their networks. But, it’s not possible to reward all your customers. Adopting a contact management system, you can prepare customer segmentations, which make it easy to track customer purchase behavior and later target the ones that you are sure of being loyal with your brand.

3. Educate

Today, customers always prefer to stick with brands who offer the latest trends and regularly updates them with information that they are eager to know. Creating content and offering it to customers in a personalized way can help you build a unique bonding and encourage them to stick to your brand and enjoy shopping from your store, always. Investing in email marketing campaigns, will give you a chance to frequently stay on customer’s mind, build their confidence with your valuable information, and also, encourage them to attract customers for your business.

4. Engage

Successful relations will depend on the engagement level. Therefore, the more you encourage customers to engage with your brand, the better relation you can built. There are many ways you can do so, however, encouraging customers to partner in brand improvements can be ideal choice. Doing so, will open the doors for new ideas and initiatives, making it easy to increase relationship and encourage them to spread a good word about the brand experience they are getting, in their networks.

Wrapping up
Despite all your effort, it may not be possible to built the same relation with every customer. However, implementing the above steps will help you gain measurable improvements in sales, as and when you lengthen the relationship with the most valuable customers of your brand.

Amazon key selling practices for holiday season

Holiday season are proving to most profitable season for retailers year-after-year. A report by Statista shows the increasing sales growth rate in the United States from 2012 and forecast for this year 2015.

Picture1Amazon Marketplace holiday sales growth

Among multiple marketplaces and selling platforms present online, experienced it’s 20th holiday season in the 2014 that generated a little more than a third of its $74.45 billion in sales for 2013 in the final three months of the year.

With the above facts and figures, sellers on Amazon have greater opportunities, but are they really making the most out of it?

This article will highlight the key practices for Amazon sellers, allowing them to take complete advantage of the coming holiday season, 2015.

1. Quality listings

First, you would need to think of ways to attract customer’s attention. And, the design of your shop can help you get eyes rolling and encourage customers to engage with your brand.

Ensure you offer a special theme as per the occasion to allow customers a joyful shopping experience. Check on your listings, and provide seasonal content to your product descriptions, all in an effort to allow customers get information quickly and take actions on-the-go.

2. Automate Inventory updates

Holiday season will bring you rush of orders, and you end up receiving  hundreds or even thousands of sales on a daily basis. But, if you don’t have a proper inventory management tracking system, you can experience costly stock issues that will make it difficult for you to process orders in time. And, selling over the leading marketplace if you are unable to fulfill your customer’s orders, they’ll will jump to one of your competitors selling on the same channel and never return back to your store. Whether you have a single shop or running multiple stores on Amazon, having a system to track and automate inventory levels after every sale, will help maintain sufficient products in hand, especially during holiday season.

3. Quick Fulfillment

Unlike regular days, don’t delay in shipping orders. Ensure you try and get every order out as soon as you make a sale. This will leave you enough of time to process quicker returns, if any problem occurs. Adopting a good order management system will streamline your order processes and help you connect with leading and most cost-effective carriers, to ensure in-time delivery.

4. Instant Customer support

The better you solve your customer’s concern, the more sales you will make during holiday season. Ensure you have a proper support system in place that can help you respond to all your customer’s concern at the earliest(24 hours maximum). This way, you customers will feel safe to shop from your brand and result to repeat purchases throughout the holiday season. Also, you get an ability to receive feedback and take actions to make the most out of those rush days.

So, if you are selling via, ensure you adopt the above practice to maximum benefits and minimize the challenges this year during holiday season.


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How you can ensure consistent Wholesales sales

It’s always preferred to buy directly from the source, but that isn’t possible always- due many formalities and procedures involved like bulk-purchase caption or contract-purchase caption. For this reason, wholesale business owners tie up with distributors who purchase in wholesale quantity and sell it to their high-end customers.

While some of the wholesale enterprises have made some strides in their sale management processing- adopting the latest methods, there are many who are still following the traditional way of managing sale process for every order they receive.


If your are in wholesale business, sales management processes are getting even more complicated that no owner in this 21st century should have to deal with in those old ways.

Three steps to ensure efficient wholesale sales management flow

1. Find a profitable service area

Once you know your audience and aware of your target audience, selecting a niche service area, becomes very important for a successful sales order flow. Wholesale business owners need to find ways that allow them offer a unique value to their customers, including excellent customer service and cost-saving benefits.

For instance: If your wholesale business is in selling of printers, that requires specific technique and a cartridge refills. Such kind of business allow owners a niche service of educating their customers, who in turn, can provide knowledge to their end customers about the function and benefits of the printer.

In other words, it does not matter what you sell, it matter how you are selling.

2. Adopt a sales order management system

In today’s competitive business era, companies who are still following the manual method of capturing and processing sales orders, are losing time, effort and cost. Some companies choose to stock products as and when a customer places an order, while many run with very low inventories- resulting to the loss of major sales orders. Order management system automatically captures orders coming from multiple sources and brings them at one place, from where you can easily enjoy an automated and streamlined sales order management flow.

For instance: If you receive sales orders from multiple suppliers on a daily basis, imagine how much resources will be used behind those manual entries and creating packing slips for each one, individually. A good order management system will not only bring all your sales orders at one place, but also, helps you create and print multiple shipping labels by the click of the mouse.

Adopting cloud-based software solution will help you automate crucial order processing, which is important to maintain a consistent sales order flow.

3. Forecast sales and stock inventory

Another important factor, is to determine sufficient storage of stock  for adopting a smooth wholesale sales order process. If you choose not to stock up, chances of being out of inventory when the customer places an order, increases. On the flipside, for those who overstock may find it difficult to get rid of the merchandise they thought would be in demand. Tracking your sales order pattern will make it easy to analyze your customers demands and you can forecast sales and stock inventory in the right amount.

For instance: During busy days or holidays you’ll experience rush of orders, and stock-out situation can create a bad impression- as your are unable to process your customer’s orders, whenever needed the most.

Investing in an order management system, will help you gain real-time insights of your sales history to understand and forecast your customer’s needs, all in an effort to sufficiently stock inventory for your wholesale business, always.


Wrapping up
Wholesale business owners who have adopted technology for their sales order processing, are already gaining competitive advantage in this year 2015.

So what are you waiting for?

Shipping Strategies for Holiday Season

Holiday 2014 was one of the most successful year for retail industry and according a report by Statista it’s annual sales in United States amounted to 3.19 trillion U.S. Dollar in 2014.

Below are statistics how strongly the annual retail industry sales has grown in the United States from 2000-2014.

Picture1The holiday season accounts for more sales than Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Easter, and St. Patrick’s Day, combined.

Holiday season 2015  is round the corner, are you ready?

Considering the speedy growth and unlimited sales opportunities during holiday season, many e-commerce business owners and marketers spare time in the first part of the year to understand which strategies work well and what is missing. This helps them to perform efficiently during holiday season.

Fulfillment- The key for holiday season success 2015
You are likely to receive hundreds or even thousands of sales orders during holiday season, that’s an excellent news for any retailer. However, unable to process and ship customer’s orders in-time will directly impact the bottom and brand value of your business.

In 2012, announced 70,000 full-time seasonal job openings in the United States in order to meet an increase in customer demand. That was the power of the leading e-commerce giant.

You don’t need to do so much, however, not preparing yourself for holiday season will surely hamper sales opportunities and growth rate for your business.

Shipping management strategies you need to adopt during holiday season

1. Consolidate your inventory

Stocking inventory in an organized way will reduce half of your fulfillment hassles. Allocating SKUs  for each and every products and consolidating them at one place/system will make it easy and quick to trace them whenever needed. Having an immediate access to your products, is the first step to ensure a successful fulfillment flow during holiday season.

2. Forecast and stock sufficient products

Holiday sales is growing year-after-year, hence, keeping a tap on your stock availability is the next thing you need to consider. Tracking your last year’s holiday sales volume and comparing it with the current year’s demand, will allow you store sufficient inventory for your busiest season ever.

3. Automate shipping and packing slips

Receiving a rush of orders will increase profits for your business, however involving manual entries can delay the whole fulfillment process. One of the most time-taking and error prone process, is to create and print shipping labels. Imagine the amount of time and effort you’ll spend behind those packing slips for each order, individually. Adopting a system that allows you to created automated shipping labels and packing slips will save you loads of time, ensuring products are shipped in-time and delivered to correct customer, always.

4. Adopt a shipping management system

Whether you have a single store offline or are running multiple shops online- automating your shipping process will eliminate costly errors like not being able to fulfill products to customers in-time. Adopting a good shipping management system and integrating your channels, all your orders will be brought together at one place from where you can create labels, print them, and ship it customers in the most reasonable and quickest ways offered by leading carriers.  Also, such systems offer quick integration with the leading carrier, helping you to increase efficiency and growth for your business.

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