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The following tips come to you courtesy ofPaul O’Brien.
Paul is VP of Sales & Marketing for Outright.com, the free online financial management platform that tracks business performance, income and expenses so sole proprietors and small business owners can put their taxes, bookkeeping, and back-office on autopilot.
1. Track Your Best Customers: Offer special deals for those customers who order the most volume. Not only will you further your relationship as a vendor, but you’ll be able to maintain your margins and secure future business. Best way to do this? Bookkeeping. Be sure to record every sale and associated expenses clearly and consistently and you can review a report of who bought what, when, and with what impact to your bottom line. Outright.com does this all automatically with a handy report of your best customers.
2. Offer Special Discounts: Timing is everything. I know, we all hate hearing holiday music and seeing the decorations in stores BEFORE Thanksgiving but the fact is, the holiday shopping season has started. Learn from the brick & mortar stores:
3. Don’t Miss Tax Deductions: If you sell online, you’re very likely work from home. Don’t be afraid to plan on taking the home office deduction, especially if you have your inventory in your house. What else can you write off? eBay sellers, do you hop garage sales on the weekend looking for steals? Are you keeping track of that mileage?
4. Check out Comparison Shopping Sites: To divert customers from mass retailers, many small businesses are looking into online comparison shopping sites to reach a larger audience and attract sales. Check out free shopping sites like Google Base to get started. Use SingleFeed to distribute your
5. Simplify Checkout: Believe it or not, 3 steps to checkout has a higher conversion rate than making it easy for customers to check out with just one step. Don’t put everything on a long form; walk them through the
6. Organize Sales and Manage Inventory – Work with manufacturers, vendors, and drop shippers now to ensure inventory is available and shipping is on time. Their ability to fulfill your needs can make or break your store during the holiday.
7. Effectively Market Your Promotions: The best form of marketing is retention; you’ve identified your best customers and converted hundreds more through the holiday season, keep them around in 2010 by creating e-newsletters them know what’s hot with your store.
8. Be Up Front and Clear about your Shipping and Handling – 72% of customers who abandon an online shopping cart do so because shipping charges are higher than they expected.
9. Offer Free Shipping - 61% online shoppers
10. Don’t Worry About
About Outright.com: The Outright.com platform is fast-becoming the go-to resource for e-commerce sellers, as their newest integrations with PayPal and eBay allow millions of merchants to automatically record their sales and track their growth across multiple ecommerce channels, including etsy, eBay, Amazon and the Yahoo! Store. Business owners no longer have to manually record each sale they've made in multiple marketplaces or even in their own store; online merchants managing their checkout with PayPal, have sales automatically recorded and reported with Outright.com