When it comes to online selling, people seem to always be looking for ecommerce sales conversion tips and ecommerce advertising tips.
Still, ecommerce sales tips related to logistics may be a much more important topic, says Rob Tillman, vice president of operations for Rakuten.
In this webinar below, Tillman draws from his wealth of experience to help your ecommerce business face important challenges and avoid critical missteps. He also offers some holiday ecommerce sales and logistics tips.
Holiday Ecommerce Sales Challenges
What challenges do ecommerce sellers face during the holiday season? Tillman lays out some of the big ones below.
You’ve no doubt seen restaurants closed recently because of being unable to find adequate help. The fact is that this challenge extends to the ecommerce industry as well.
During the pandemic, those constraints have evolved. In the beginning, it was about being able to bring workers in and keep them safe. Today employees who work at various points along the supply chain are simply not available — at least not at the numbers needed.
Another challenge involves the amount of product moving through the supply chain and the speed at which sellers can get products from their suppliers.
Recently a major port in China was closed for a full week due to COVID concerns. Similarly, congestion in ports from California to New Jersey has slowed the flow of products considerably.
Issues with Small Parcel Shippers
Small parcel carriers are critical to online sellers when it comes to delivering products to customers. Yet services like Federal Express and UPS have been at capacity since March of 2020.
This puts added strain on ecommerce businesses even after they’ve made a sale.
Still delivery delays represent only one challenge created by these carriers. Most have implemented additional surcharges over the last year and a half.
These costs, once implemented, show no signs of going away. This leaves ecommerce businesses to decide whether to pass the added cost on to their customers.
Availability of Product
Lastly, sellers may face issues with availability of some products — at least in the short term. These shortages result from some of the same capacity constraints already affecting the supply chain.
However, they may also result in an extended holiday shopping season. Sellers may need to wait until after the holidays to stock some of the products most in demand from customers.
Holiday Ecommerce Sales Tips
What can ecommerce sellers do to meet these challenges, especially with the Holiday season approaching? Tillman suggests the following ecommerce sales tips.
First, be upfront with clients and customers about the challenges you face. Explain how you are attempting to meet their needs.
At the same time, be clear about the problems created by supply chain issues and delays with carriers. Be honest about the factors you cannot control.
Give Regular Updates
Keep customers and clients in the loop with regular updates. Let them know about delays and product shortages as early as possible.
Try to prepare them for the bumps in the road. Also tell them what you are doing to help alleviate those issues when they happen.
Customers and clients need to adjust to the new normal when it comes to product delivery and availability.
Use regular communications to make them aware of what is possible and what is unrealistic.
This gives customers and clients a better understanding of the limitations you and other ecommerce businesses face. It also prepares them for possible pitfalls and avoids surprises.
Micromanage Your Supply Chain
Prepare for problems and keep customers and clients in the know by micromanaging your supply chain.
Keep tabs on what’s happening with manufacturers, suppliers and delivery services at every point along the way.
Use that information to tweak your supply chain when necessary and to anticipate difficulties.
Track Your Products Carefully
Know where your products are at all times. Track their journey carefully.
This allows you to see problems coming and react accordingly. For example, if your products aren’t on their way via air or sea in the next four weeks, you may miss peak holiday shopping times.
Ask for Help
To get tips on preparing for upcoming challenges, expert insights on improving efficiency, and tips on logistics for your ecommerce business. Watch the Rakuten webinar below.
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