Print on demand is great for standing out in a crowded online marketplace, allowing you to sell unique products online without much financial risk. If you’re a small business embarking on your first print on demand venture, here are five useful tips to help you along the way.
The facility of modern digital commerce has led to an increase in entrepreneurs and new businesses selling products and services online. The internet has opened up the global marketplace, but with increased economic freedom comes a significant amount of risk.
Sure, ecommerce is an online operation, but unless your services are purely digital, there will come a point when your brand reaches customers in the physical world – the point of delivery. Packing forms an important part of your brand’s identity and provides an opportunity to make a good impression on your customers; the final flourish in their experience purchasing from you.
Inventory management can make or break your retail or ecommerce store. In the eyes of a business owner, you need to ensure that your ‘supply’ meets your customers’ demand, whilst at the same time ensuring that all of your working capital isn’t tied up in unsold products, collecting dust in your warehouse.
Here are some do’s and don’ts for ensuring that your inventory management system makes the grade.
Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but internet shopping is so delightful! Never has it been more convenient to get all wrapped up for Christmas. Now you can plan for the whole thing from the comfort of your own home.
Retailers and ecommerce brands will be doing their utmost to make sure they get a lot of sales over this booming seasonal period. But even service websites can get into the holiday spirit with their social media offerings.
Don’t be a bad social media Santa this year. Here are some tips on winning at festive social media.
Make A List To Reward Your ‘Nice’ Customers
It should go without saying that you should be preparing for the festive season by targeting your best customers. Head to your CRM system and crunch the sales figures. Figure out if November and December really are your busiest months in business. Google Trends can also indicate the search volume of your main keywords.
You may find that overall trends peak earlier in the year (Back To School or Spring/Summer season). If this is the case, consider carefully the amount of budget you wish to splash out on festive ad campaigns.
By identifying your most loyal customer demographics, you can ensure that you are getting your seasonal marketing messages right. This is an uber-competitive time of year. Therefore, if you want to make the most significant impact on sales, concentrate on standing out to the audience members who will take the most notice.
The idea is to present attractive discounts, special offers, upselling and cross-selling opportunities. This is how you boost your customer’s average order value and build trust in your brand.
Social media analysis tools can help you examine your key demographics and their common characteristics. For instance, if you run a interiors brand, seek out the popular magazines your audience buys and follows on social media. Similarly, look to your competitors and identify common customer characteristics.
This is a fact-finding exercise and may take a bit of digging. Once you have identified your core audience and created customer personas, look at festive advertising campaigns that appeal. See if you can offer a similar experience with your marketing output.
Deck The Halls With Careful Budgeting
Figure out your customer’s lifetime value and budget efficiently. If you can afford to offer money off discounts and special offers at this time of year, this will help get you noticed. You can target a set of ads to your fans and best segments on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.
To alter your messages, use tools that allow you to quickly and easily customize imagery for social media posts. Try to use a bit more imagination rather than your standard snow and Santa memes. Think about your brand and your audience’s sense of humor.
You want to offer something a little different, but ultimately intriguing. You want to give people a reason to check out your site at this time of year. Gaudy, slap-dash imagery will just make you look like you haven’t put much work into your festive campaign. Keep it classy.
Gavin Hammar, the founder of the Sendible social media platform, told Guardian UK: “People’s emotions are heightening in the run-up to the festive season, and social media campaigns should tap into those emotions to drive action. The key ingredient is sharing a human moment that anyone can relate to. Since people are in the spirit of giving, they are more likely to hand over their cash, if they feel a sense of connection with your brand.”
A great example of this in action would be last year’s Macy’s video ad campaign for “Our Movement For Keeping The Magic Of Santa Claus Alive.” With this touching ad demonstrating the importance of keeping belief at this time of year, the campaign was able to draw in 4,781,739 views.
Be The Gift That Keeps On Giving
For many shoppers, the season ends all too quickly. One day you’re putting up decorations, attending work parties and then suddenly it’s 24th! Consumers want to make their shopping as quick and painless as possible. It can be challenging to buy gifts for certain people. By providing gift guides, you can cross-sell and upsell specially selected products.
Organize a photoshoot for your gift guide and display your selections carefully, with festive detailing. You want the images to look great on social media as you want customers to imagine opening the products up as gifts.
Create shoppable Instagram galleries and Facebook ad campaigns with these images. Use apps like Pixlee to allow customers to browse and buy directly from social media.
The House Lars Built is an excellent example of a brand getting the gift guide right on social media. The numbers make for easy finding when searched with the branded hashtag on-site. The cutesy arrangement and graphics also add to the feeling that these items would make ideal gifts. Note also the number of products featured in one image. A more extensive range of options creates more confidence in customers.
Give Your Customers A Helping Hand
You must ensure that you widely advertise the last ordering day for shipping before the 24th December. Use these opportunities to draw in last-minute shoppers with an enticing image or discount offer.
You could also ensure that your customers are satisfied even after the last call for pre-Christmas orders. You can do this by offering seasonal gift cards. Depending on the ecommerce host you opt for you can find a range of apps or plugins that can help you set up personalized gift cards for customers.
You will need to make sure that with all your offers and social media postings, you also need to ensure that someone is there to check up on the social media messages during the holidays. If you want to be a ‘good Santa’ you also have to ensure that you can answer any social media inquiries promptly. Social media management tools like Buffer can help you monitor the conversations.
Winning at social media during the festive run-up is easy if you have the right priorities in place with your campaigns. Aim to please your most valued customers, first and foremost. Present incentivizing offers, through all channels, to draw people towards your brand. Provide all of the relevant information you need to bring in a sale and use automated marketing tools to help make the process easier.