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Get Expert Ecommerce Support Services to Boost Sales This Holiday Season

By | B2B Sales, Backend Support Services, Call Center for Small Business, Call Center Support, Ecommerce Support, Ecommerce Support Services, Holiday Season | 2 Comments

Hire ecommerce support services to stay ahead of the curve this holiday season. Holiday season sales can often eclipse the rest of the year’s sales combined, several times over. Holiday retail sales crossed the $1 trillion mark for the first time in 2018 — up from 5.8% the year prior. So you need to make sure you are fully prepared to handle the surge of orders. You will naturally need skilled ecommerce support services to help with ecommerce product research and listing, order processing and fulfillment, and ecommerce customer service.

We have compiled this simple checklist of items to ensure that you are fully prepared for this holiday season.

Holiday Sales in 2018 - IU Ecommerce Support Services

Your Holiday Season Preparation Checklist

Kick off your ecommerce strategy and marketing planning in September. Lead the market and don’t respond to trends and competitor strategies. Use this checklist to ensure that you are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the entire holiday season and especially the Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and New Year’s Day holidays.

Are you running a little late? That is perfectly all right! Jump to this section and see what you can do now to get expert ecommerce support services.

null Do Your Research:

1.  Review your marketing channels and see which were the most productive, which drove traffic but not sales, and which had the highest conversion rate. Multichannel customers spend 3 to 4 times more than single channel customers, so optimize your omnichannel strategy.

2.  Review your historical data to see which products were most popular in last year in the holiday season. Make sure you stock enough of these.

Cyber Monday Expected Sales - IU Ecommerce Support Services

3.  Do some ecommerce product research to find the hottest purchases this year and analyze your competitors’ product lines. Use this information to decide on your own product line for the season.

4.  Figure out which products in your store are purchased together and create discount bundles to encourage more purchases.

5. Analyze the gaps in your ecommerce storefront and customer experience.

6. Figure out how busy was your support desk during peak season last year and staff accordingly. Hire seasonal ecommerce support services to handle the overflow in the holiday season.

7. Determine the biggest mistakes you made last year and how you can avoid them this year.

8. All in all, conclude on the lessons learned and insights gained from last year. Use this research and analysis to fine-tune your strategy for the season.

null Look into Ecommerce Website Development:

1. Minimize your website’s loading speed to ensure that visitors stay on your site.

2.  Ensure that the shopping cart is functional, secure the payment gateway, and make it look seasonal.

3. The fewer clicks to purchase, the higher the conversion rate, so shorten your purchase process.

4. Optimize your website’s mobile capabilities to further facilitate your shoppers’ experiences. This will maximize revenue in the holiday season.

5. An ecommerce website development expert can handle all of this in a couple of days, so find one to suit your business’ needs today.

Importance of Website Loading Speed - IU Ecommerce Support Services

null Optimize Your Site for SEO

1.  Optimize your website for SEO after updating the images, keywords, title tags, and meta descriptions to help shoppers find your business in search results.

2. Make sure to optimize them for the holiday season and include your promotion schemes to increase click-through rates (CTR).

3. Create “evergreen” holiday URLs or revive ones you’ve used previously. If you use the same URLs year after year, you begin to accrue more authority to that particular page—which is crucial to SEO success. Go back to your analytics for last year and find out what URLs or landing pages you used for those events. Either re-enable the same URL or redirect it to a more permanent URL that you can use going forward.

4. Avoid date specific URLs when you can. For example, in most instances /black-friday-sale/ is better than /black-friday-sale-2019/.

5. Develop an internal linking strategy that increases the number of links to your key holiday landing pages.

6. Work on your off-page ranking. A lot of SEO strategists make a grave mistake by emphasizing only your primary domain for their ranking efforts. Create and optimize video content around holiday keywords. Try running through a few of your priority keywords in search today, and see what sites and platforms turn up! You may be able to feature your content on these third-party websites to achieve rankings you may not otherwise have a shot at.

7. Hire an SEO agent experienced in popular white-hat techniques to assist you today!

null Invest in a Mobile App: 

Mobile conversions are expected to outpace desktop conversions for the first time ever this year, so you must make sure that you have a mobile-friendly site. If most of your traffic originates from mobile devices, having an app will draw more customers.

1. Your app should have key features such as enhanced in-app checkout options and personalized communication features.

2.  Targeted messaging through push notifications have a high success rate. Customize your app to send one-time push notifications for a specific product or service sale or discount. You can have ongoing ones for month-long or season-long events.

Jump in Mobile Commerce - IU Ecommerce Support Services

3.  Stick the landing by making sure product notifications and emails take customers to the product page. Cart notifications should take them to the cart.

null Engage the Best Ecommerce Support Services: 

Make sure you have experienced ecommerce support agents to handle each aspect of your business—from ecommerce customer service to product research and ecommerce product listing. They should also be experienced in handling the pressure of holiday sales.

null Accurately Plan Inventory:

Make sure you plan inventory ahead of time so it is available for sale before the holiday season starts—at the latest by September. You should have an extra margin to cater to unexpected surges of demand for popular products. Don’t forget to stock up on any supplies your shop might also need—items such as delivery labels, boxes, stickers, packaging materials, wrapping paper, and so on.

null Schedule and Staff Sufficiently for the Holiday Season:

Scheduling for the holidays is another nightmare that you must plan for ahead of time. With most of your in-house employees going on holiday leave, you need backup ecommerce support services to handle the surge of orders in a timely fashion. You may need to consider hiring 24 hour call center support.

null Get the Right Backend Technology:

Make sure your customer and inventory information is updated in real time by using a good CRM and inventory management system. Your agents should be well-acquainted with the platforms that you are using.

These are some of the major platforms and tools used by ecommerce businesses.

null Develop Engaging Ecommerce Product Listings:

Create an engaging ecommerce product listing for each item that you want to sell. Unless you convince visitors that your product is the best option available, you will not be able to close a large percentage of the sales, so this step is crucial.

null Optimize Ecommerce Customer Service:

1. See which customer channels are used most often by customers and invest in omnichannel customer experience management.

2. Make your business easy to contact on your website. Adding live chat support gives you an edge over the plethora of other ecommerce businesses competing for the same customers.

3.  Create FAQs and answer templates for the most common questions and requests. This will make ecommerce customer service much more efficient.

4. Delineate SOPs for handling and escalation of customer cases.

null Make Order Fulfillment Fast and Accurate:

Fast and accurate order fulfillment is necessary to make sure your customers get their purchases on time for the holidays. Consider offering shorter delivery options, not only satisfying but delighting customers with your speed of delivery.

null Create and Schedule a Content Calendar:

Create social media and blog content for the holiday calendar, focusing on product images, videos, and holiday promotions. Link all these back to your website. Hire seasonal ecommerce support agents with expertise in graphic design and content writing for a cost-effective approach.

null Engage Your Target Base:

In October, engage your customers across all devices and platforms. Go for a combination of organic growth and paid digital marketing strategies. Re-target your ads and improve your ad quality score so you are not overcharged for CPC during the holiday season.

null Create Quality Marketing Content:

Create direct marketing flyers and brochures, email marketing campaigns, landing pages for promotions, coupons, site headers and banners, and sale promotions. Update your “About Us” section and policies pages. Best of all, you don’t need to do it all yourself, hire a marketing VA to do it for you.

null Develop a Discount and Sales Strategy:

Create discounts and sales that span a specific length of time, rather than the whole holiday season. Such a strategy performs better because it develops a sense of urgency in customers.

null Fine-Tune Your Returns Policy:

Craft an easy-to-understand and generous return and exchange policy. You should have an extended return window around Christmastime (usually until the end of January) so consumers have time to return gifts. This will increase overall customer satisfaction and keep them coming back even after the holidays are over.

null Inspect Your Website Hosting:

Make sure your website is capable of handling the expected traffic to your store, so it doesn’t crash at the worst time. Perform any necessary website migrations now so that everything is set up and ready, with easy expansion capabilities. No need to be alarmed—hire ecommerce website development experts to optimize your website and manage backup hosting.

null Make the Checkout Process Easy:

Your app and website checkout processes should be easy and hassle-free to ensure that your visitors are converted into sales.

null Personalize the Shopping Experience:

Make your customers feel valued by personalizing recommendations for them as well as all messages, emails, and push notifications.

Reasons for Abandoned Shopping Carts - IU Ecommerce Support Services

Got Late in Your Planning? An Easy Solution

Running a little late on your preparations for the holiday season? Instead of trying to sort everything out yourself and overburdening your current staff, hire an expert agency to provide ecommerce support services. They will not only find you the most suitable workers, they will hit the ground running due to their experience in doing the same for numerous other businesses. Don’t delay any further and make the decision today, so you don’t miss out on holiday sales till next year.

5 Tips for Winning the B2B Sales Marathon

By | B2B Sales, Backend Support Services, IdeasUnlimited US Remote Workers, Marketing Virtual Assistant, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

Sales is tricky and difficult; and when you throw in a whole board of stakeholders and a hefty analysis for ROI, it becomes a lot more complicated, expensive, and strategic on both ends. B2B sales are a marathon of researching, connecting, marketing and selling, and certainly not a sprint.

B2B sales involve selling the idea of your product/service up the line towards the CEO or across the line towards the manager, depending on the size of your prospective client’s business. Despite the direction, your pitch has to go across many individuals and has to be convincing for all of them to be closed successfully.

It is more difficult in the B2B sales environment to plan your pitch and offer value to your clients. Generally, a B2B sales pitch is presented to a group of 6-10 stakeholders. Here your sales agent does not face an individual but a board or committee of different individuals who have diverse personalities, perspectives, and stakes regarding your offer. As an individual consumer has changed over time, business as a buyer has also evolved. B2B interactions have become more refined and are not linear anymore.

There are some general techniques that are followed by almost all sales teams to pace the first miles of their B2B marathon. The following checklist can help you warm up and build your momentum:

 Shorten response time for the buyer query

 Undertake detailed research about the buyer

 Understand your buyer’s preferences and resources

 Research your competitors

 Prepare your sales team

 Take the marketing team onboard

As the marathon crosses to the last few laps, the competition gets tougher. That is when your prospective client has gathered the information they were looking for and has shortlisted the options for their purchase decision. It is this time when losers and winners will be distinguished on the basis of their agility and technique!

These are 5 very important basics that you must know for winning your B2B sales Marathon:

  1. Easy, High Quality Information

Key Lesson: Make sure you provide the right information in the right way and at the right time, to earn trust, leverage consensus, and win sales.

As a basic step, look thoroughly at all of your company’s media and mediums to ensure that they dispense high quality information about your products and services. This can also include information about your company, completed projects, and old or existing clients.

Moreover, this information should be easily accessible by your clients. Your potential client should not have to flip page upon page to find the information they require.

Research proves that the easy availability of high-quality information for the business buyers can help make their purchasing experience less complex and difficult. 77% of businesses report their purchasing process as tiresome and complicated. Also, each member of the buying group searches a few sources and then cumulates the information together to understand the pros and cons. 95% buying groups reported that they often need to reconsider their decisions because they chance upon some new information due to inconsistencies.

Therefore, it is not only important to have valuable information for your clients but also to detangle it and provide it to them in a consolidated, easy, and presentable form to save their time and efforts. This builds the supplier firm’s credibility as well.

  1. Buyer Enablement

Key Lesson: For winning more B2B sales deals, look into ways of providing prescriptive tools and immediate practical support for each critical buying step of their entire buying process.

The concept of Buyer Enablement refers to facilitating potential clients in undertaking buying tasks. It shifts the responsibility to the seller’s side to provide relevant and useful information to the clients and create processes that favor their client and not their salesmen.

This has become a competitive edge, a differentiating factor for B2B sales. With so many alternatives and options available, it is crucial for a vendor to quickly respond to the buyers and not let them suffer through a tedious and poor experience to get information about hows or whats.

Business buying is a complete process that is divided into several tasks and jobs. In order to win big in today’s B2B sales environment, supplier organizations should facilitate the clients in their buying processes. It goes beyond provision of consistent quality information.

This may include augmenting their research and information by providing on-site tools for:

  • Simple data analysis
  • Basic diagnostics for assessing performance
  • Basic diagnostics for analyzing alternatives
  • Connecting to other stakeholders
  • Data for comparisons
  • Simulation: how the solution will help the client’s specific needs

Look at it this way, as a supplier you study and anticipate the needs of your modern buyer groups. Resultantly, you are curating a set of interactive and analytical tools for your clients to use on the spot. This is in addition to easy-to-navigate and relevant information that is provided for them to be able to make appropriate decisions faster and without difficulty of moving back and forth.

  1. Trustworthy Digital Presence

Key Lesson: Tap into all the opportunities of B2B Ecommerce by partnering with an experienced ecommerce support services providing company.

Since you are aiming for many closed deals and increasing positive leads in the pipeline, give priority to your digital presence as well. Ensure the credibility, trust, and authenticity that is generated through your online channels.

This is a part of buyer enablement: you help them find the insights that will enable them to better understand the features and relevancy of your offer. Millennial buyers will not trust your sales representative as much as they will trust the reviews on

your social accounts. 15% of a buying process time is spent on gathering information and discerning the truth. Therefore, it is imperative that you work on generating authentic reviews and materials such as relatable case studies and case reviews for your clients to read.

Let a specialist take care of social media accounts and website creation and maintenance. It is never a one-time cost to keep your online presence relevant and updated. Therefore, to stay focused on clients’ preferences and to avoid the added burden of keeping up with the social media trends, it is better to consider contracting options. This will ensure continuous sales, digital and omnichannel support for your business.

  1. No one shoe fits all

Key Lesson: Let clients be the choosers. Offer them communication options and solutions and let them select.

Another important factor is how you communicate and build different channels of communication for your clients. Your organization as well as sales team should be able to offer several ways for communicating with the prospective buyer.

Rapport building is a must for sales, right? However, in order to facilitate the buyer and to keep the information crisp and precise, let your client have his own time for gathering and processing information. Let them choose their preferred way of communication, be it on call, email, or chat. Some people might prefer a one-on-one meeting each time to gain confidence in you.

Similarly, it should be only a click away to get a response, solution, or an explanation from your sales team. This means instead of leaving a form to be filled, which will receive a response in 3-5 days or may be even later, give them a direct link or call option that will be catered to right away by the right people at your organization. For example, giving choices, something like this, to the buyer to connect with your organization according to their needs and convenience puts them at ease and lets them choose what suits their buying job (and schedule) best.

The idea is to not try and fix every buyer group with same options. Customize your way of dealing and solutions as per the client’s requirements.

  1. Train the Sales Team to Listen and Help

Key Lesson: Never undermine the importance of a competent sales team in a B2B sales environment. Invest in continuous training or contracting a reliable service provider to build a talented and professional workforce.

Here comes the most important part. It is all-encompassing and all-inclusive. All the relevant and easily available information will be, in fact, counterproductive if your sales personnel are not able to demonstrate authentic customer success.

Your sales representatives should be able to anticipate the needs and navigate through the buyer’s purchase cycle. They must be able to communicate effectively and understand the demands of your clients and how they view themselves and their challenges. Listening to them will enable the sales team to work on the clients’ success and show them how your products or services can elevate their operations. 69% buyers say that the only way to convince them is by listening to them.

Working through a purchase cycle and listening to the clients may not actually lead to sales. But it is crucial when you consider long term growth of your company, positive word of mouth, and professionalism.

To meet the expectations of your contemporary clients, build or hire a team that is competent, able to multitask, can converse in multiple languages, shows curtesy and understanding, and professionally handles queries and clients.

Moreover, depending upon the size and type of your operations, your sales team needs to be equipped with a set of analytical and virtual tools to help them become more productive, collaborative and results oriented. For quality leads in the pipeline and to score more sales, investing in your teams’ skills is crucial. It requires training them to satisfy multiple concerns effectively and in a timely manner. It also involves focus on training and mentoring your sales operators and sales teams to create a pleasant experience for your potential clients, which may or may not convert into closed sales.

As B2B sales is becoming digital and more complex, work on the strengths of your organization and portray them in the best light to your prospective clients. Collaborating with a support services provider takes away the worries of specialized tasks that can be expensive and an added burden if handled in-house. Investing in your website and social media management, sales team support, multilingual support and data entry, and analytical backup can take you a long way in achieving growth and an enviable market standing.