For 2017: Better Advertising, better products, better automation

I’ve been using the holidays to plan a three-point plan for 2017.
  • Produce better targeted advertising.
  • Fine-tune my product range and pricing for superior profitability.
  • Streamline customer support with automatic emails where possible.

This is what I intend to do to boost my sales and profits for 2017.

Better targeted advertising

Since June 2015, My Wedding Décor was recorded under two categories with the wedding Wedding Club (formerly The Knot):”Decorations & Effects” and”Bomboniere” (also called”Guest Favors”).

After noticing a bad return on investment on the leads from Bomboniere compared to Decorations & Effects, I’ve asked wedding Club alter my Bomboniere class to”Party & Furniture Hire,” which better reflects my business locations.

I also plan to present Google Shopping advertisements, but will do this just after I’ve assessed profitability of products — more on this later.

This past yearI installed three apps on my website — Quantity Breaks, Product Options, and, for a brief while, Product Upsell — from Shopify app company Bold Apps.

Quantity Breaks provided customers tiered discounts for buying increasing quantities of décor items.

The complete value of purchases (i.e., not things for lease ) in June-December 2016 climbed 347 percent over June-December 2015. Nevertheless, in the past six months, not one client has ordered over the minimum set of 10, 20, 50 or 100 things to get the five-, 10-, 15- or 20-percent discounts.

With this app costing $16.99 per month (AU$23.58), it doesn’t justify its inclusion.

Product Options remains crucial: It enables customers to change their order via colour, size, taste, and kind, and to present such information as custom titles and dates to rate their arrangement along the customization procedure.

This past year I analyzed Product Upsell, which allowed me to make such up-sell offers as LED pillar candles with lanterns and mirror foundations with tea light holders.

The coding of the app coexisted with Product Options. However, all goods available for tiered discounts which used both Product Options and Quantity Breaks became quite buggy when Product Upsell was inserted, as a lot of variations were needed to make it work correctly.

Now I have deleted Quantity Breaks, I intend to reintroduce Product Upsell to increase the average order value.

In addition, I plan to set up the Order Metrics app (ranging from free to $99 per month, based on earnings ), which lets me monitor the stock cost and actual delivery expense of every order — including promotions and discounts — to enhance profitability.

Fine-tune product range

My company is probably based on others, whereas the top 20 percent of merchandise are sold or leased 80 percent of their time, but the bottom 80 percent of merchandise are sold or leased only 20 percent of their time. This is the 80/20 rule.

When I assessed the items which have been seldom or never rented or bought, I was amazed to discover that most were sub-$100 products. With these deleted from my merchandise range, I will want to observe the effect (if any) on earnings.

A tedious but necessary task is to evaluate the changing profitability of each item. Unfortunately there’s no”notes” section within the Shopify management of my product pages to bring the supplier pricing. I do this by spreadsheet.

Items imported from the U.S. and U.K. need regular viewing thanks to currency exchange fluctuations and differing transport prices.

I will assess which of my most popular products to provide upsells with the support of this Order Metrics app.

Streamline customer support

Answering emails takes time. Converting enquiries into solid leads requires skill. Having less of the former and not enough of the latter, I have recently added a new app named Event Temple, which was created by a wedding business professional.

The app allows online retailers at the event industry (like me) to make a collection of five automated emails which have been tested and proven to generate higher than normal reaction rates — and, better still, higher conversion rates.

I’ve created these automated mails for queries on my Contact Us page and for leads from your wedding Club directory. I will watch and track these with interest.

What are you planning for your ecommerce website for 2017?