Attracting and managing customers across multiple sales touchpoints is vital to small business survival, especially now as the pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital.
In light of this shift, Amazon recently announced efforts to bolster small business sales through its annual Prime Days in June.
As the largest ecommerce platform in the world, this represents a huge opportunity for small sellers, giving them the chance to reach a massive audience that is being incentivized to shop with them.
However, for consumers and small businesses alike, Prime Day only comes around a few times a year. So what can small businesses do beyond Prime Day to grow their sales?
Here are three ways small businesses can grow online sales all year long — beyond the power of Prime Day.
Meet Customers Where They Are
Small business owners have a wide variety of ways to sell their goods or services outside of just Amazon. Brick-and-mortar shops are reopening and loosening guidelines across the country; farmers markets, festivals, and pop-ups, where small businesses can sell their wares, are again being scheduled.
Online, of course, there are a myriad of available platforms like eBay, Etsy, and Squarespace. Other options include online B2B wholesale storefronts, giving other retailers the option to carry your products.
In addition to being available across multiple platforms, businesses can also open their own web store, giving them more control over the buying experience, helping them strengthen their relationships with customers and differentiate their brand. The same is true across their social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram.
By choosing to sell across multiple platforms and channels, small businesses have the ability to attract and sell to more new customers throughout the year, ultimately growing their business.
Let Data Light The Way to Growth
The key to success when conducting business on multiple channels is assessing and comparing the sales made on each channel and then using those insights to optimize growth strategies.
There are tools out there, like the new QuickBooks Commerce platform, which my team launched last September, that allows small business owners to oversee omnichannel commerce from one centralized, easy-to-use interface, providing data-driven insights to make informed, strategic sales decisions.
From a single page, business owners can toggle between each sales channel they use, keeping track of orders and fulfillment while getting an at-a-glance snapshot of their overall sales picture, including the most popular products and more profitable channels.
These insights allow small business owners to evaluate their performance against their plans and make better, faster adjustments for success and growth.
Perhaps a specific product is performing well on Etsy but not on your business website, or you see a seasonality around a product’s popularity. Knowing insights like this can be game-changing and help a small business owner create an impactful, year-long sales strategy.
Use Integrated Inventory Management to Avoid Stockouts
One of the biggest challenges of adopting an omnichannel strategy is inventory management. A recent study found that 84% of product-based businesses selling in multiple channels still reconcile inventory using pen and paper or spreadsheets.
This can result in a problem called a stockout: accidentally offering an item for sale that is no longer in stock because you’re selling it in multiple places.
Stockouts result in delays and negative customer experiences, degrading the seller’s standing in the marketplace. It is important to find an inventory management tool that can track inventory across every sales channel, both online and via brick-and-mortar.
If you’re managing inventory on paper or in spreadsheets, you’re likely going to run into problems. Take advantage of the technologies that can integrate with various sales channels to streamline logistics, eliminate stockouts, and ensure a positive customer experience.
Overall, an omnichannel strategy paired with business management technology makes it easier for sellers, including brick-and-mortar businesses, to sell online year-round in addition to taking advantage of peak sales moments like Prime Day.
This can make a substantial impact for these businesses. Outside of Prime Day, there are so many more opportunities to bring in new customers, which is why it’s important to diversify your sales channels.
And if adopting an omnichannel sales strategy sounds intimidating, find technologies that support you and deliver easy-to-understand, actionable insights so that you can focus on growing your business.
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