Guest written by Rhett Molitor, Co Founder at Basis 365 Accounting and local Xero Ambassador.
With the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, many small to mid-size businesses are considering ecommerce for the first time. Simultaneously, other companies are looking to emphasize their ecommerce strategies more than ever before and decide to participate in their first Cyber Monday promotions.
It can be a lot to pull off if you’re new to ecommerce, but it can also be a crucial opportunity to keep your business profitable. Here are three key steps you can take and a few tools to make it easier:
Choose your offer carefully
The first decision you need to make is what you’ll offer all those Cyber Monday deal seekers. You can play it in a few different ways. You can discount certain items or offer a percentage off the entire order. Alternatively, you can offer free shipping, a Buy One Get One deal, or a free gift with purchase (to name a few).
The goal is to choose an offer that’s enticing and brings in new customers while also being financially sensible for you. If your discount cuts so far into your margins that you lose money, Cyber Monday could be a bust for you. On the other hand, you may be willing to take a lower margin to develop your customer list so you can market to them later on. It’s all about building that mailing list for the future.
To make those profit margin and pricing decisions, you’ll need your accounting system set up to give you the right info. Xero helps you track all your financial metrics so you can understand your margins and how to price your offers.
You’ll also need to factor in things like fees from your various selling channels. An easy way to do this is to pair Xero with A2X. A2X imports ecommerce details from your platforms into Xero and provides clear reports. It also makes it a breeze to reconcile deposit settlements once that Cyber Monday money starts hitting the bank.
Promote your offer early and often
Getting the word out is key for a successful Cyber Monday, and it’s not just about making sales. For many B2C companies, it’s all about building the list. Start pushing promotions, contests and sign-ups to grow your list for Cyber Monday. Then use the big day to grow the list even more so you can promote to repeat customers at almost no cost.
Promoting your Cyber Monday sale doesn’t have to be expensive either – leverage Instagram and Pinterest (among others) to build excitement about your store and your offers. Reach out to brick and mortar customers and invite them to your online store. Reconnect with previous customers to bring them back in for more.
Klaviyo is a powerful tool to stay connected with your potential new and existing customers. It easily integrates with platforms like Shopify so you can import your new customers to your mailing list and target automated email campaigns for them. This is a great way to turn a special event like Cyber Monday into a tremendous lifetime customer value.
Make sure you can deliver
Of course, if you want those customers coming back for years to come, you need to deliver on your offer. That means keeping a close eye on inventory to ensure you have enough to meet demand and get shipping and fulfilment right.
DEAR Inventory integrates perfectly with Xero to help you manage inventory. You’ll be able to track not only the dollar value of the inventory but also all the details of your products, suppliers, and purchases.
Now, what about fulfilling all those orders? If you’re new to ecommerce, Cyber Monday can be a whole new ballgame. If you plan to handle the fulfilment yourself, Shipstation can smooth and streamline the entire process, saving you hours. It allows you to automate things like printing shipping labels and comparing shipping rates between carriers.
You can also choose to partner with a third-party logistics company (3PL) like ShipMonk for hands-off order fulfilment, exchanges, and returns. ShipMonk brings your products to its warehouses across the country. When an order is placed, it’s automatically sent to ShipMonk, where your order is picked, packed and shipped automatically.
Enjoy the ride
Cyber Monday can be a massive boost for your growing ecommerce business, both today and long-term. Xero integrates with all the fantastic ecommerce solutions mentioned above to make the process simple.
By following these basic steps, you’ll maximize your results and enjoy Cyber Monday success without all the stress.
About the author
Rhett Molitor is the Co Founder at Basis 365 Accounting, who provides cloud-based outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services for ecommerce, software and technology, and professional services businesses across the United States. Rhett is a graduate of Chapman University in Southern California and was a practicing CPA before transitioning into the software industry for over a decade where he was selected as a Top 40 under 40 by The CPA Technology Advisor.
He enjoys working with dynamics teams and introducing new technologies into accounting and operations workflows. When he’s not working on accounting related projects, he’s most likely planning his next international vacation or practicing with his guitar.