This is part two of a two-part series. Read part one here.
Summer’s a great time to stretch out on a hammock and drink a cool beverage, but it’s also the perfect season to grow your online business.
Those big tasks you’ve been putting off won’t seem so large when your order volume is at its lowest and your employees are looking for jobs to do.
If your online business isn’t all you dreamed it could be, give these tips a shot when the mercury rises:
Redesign your site for faster loading. Online customers want to order all the things of their dreams fast, with no waiting for the server to catch up to their hearts’ desires. In order to have orders needing product fulfillment, you’ve got to keep customers on the page.
Spend the summer cleaning up your site, removing dead links and optimizing your page hierarchy. Make it easy to find product pages and streamline the checkout process to minimize the kind of customer frustration that ends in abandoned shopping carts.
Invest in employee training. Along with improving your site’s performance, you need to improve your employees’ training. No matter how well they know their jobs and your products, they could be doing better. Invest in some education for everyone to ensure that packages are built properly, customers are handled consistently and that your team presents a united front. Summer’s a great time for polishing skills business-wide, including your own.
Cull and improve inventory. Think of summer as a time for cleaning up and throwing out. When you review your inventory records, you probably notice which products tend to sell the most and which are never, ever purchased. Refreshing and updating your catalog is a perfect summer activity.
Getting rid of products that no one buys makes space for more desirable products that are similar to already popular items. It also helps improve the speed of your servers and employees. Imagine how you could expand your business efficiently by sticking to products you know your customers want, rather than carrying a bunch of things that no one buys. You’ll save a bundle by not having to pay someone to take care of unsellable items or waste valuable warehouse space to store them.
Outsource warehousing, packing and shipping. Choosing to outsource your warehousing and fulfillment services can actually spark growth for your business in a number of ways. For example, you’re no longer limited to the number products you can store on site, which can expand the variety of items you can offer your customers. Your employees will also be free to focus on the things they do best, instead of having to set aside part of their days to handle orders and stand in line at the post office.
In addition, hiring a 3PL to do your warehousing and shipping means you can often ship for less and much faster than you’d be able to do on your own. Logistics companies have negotiated rates with popular shippers like UPS, FedEx and the USPS to help keep the prices low for their customers. The savings you realize by outsourcing can be used to expand other areas of your operation.