Post-Sale Activities For E-Commerce Business Owners

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The confetti settles, the celebratory party with your team is over, and a sense of accomplishment washes over you. You watched as orders poured in, and your team watched as warehouse executives picked, packed and shipped these orders one after the other. Your big Australian e-commerce sale was a success, and you saw new shoppers buying from your business for the first time and old customers turning into repeat buyers! As you completely unwind and watch sales return to normal, a good number of post-sale activities for retail businesses can help you assess your performance, identify bottlenecks and fix them right before the next big sale arrives.

As overlooked by most e-commerce brands, what you do after your big sale can help you avoid costly mistakes that could lead to orders slipping through the cracks and losing out potential sales opportunities. 

Here’s your ultimate guide to navigating the post-sale period like a champ, transforming leftover inventory into profit, and creating post-sale experiences that engage customers, nurture them and foster brand loyalty.

What Happens After An E-commerce Sale is Over

Post-Sale Activities For E-Commerce Business Owners

Australia’s key sales period gives people more reasons to shop. After the last order is shipped, e-commerce brands readily have access to the volume of sales, the channel that got in more sales, the most product that was ordered, the product that didn’t sell per your expected forecasts, along with all the remaining inventory that you had assigned for the sale.  

Once a sale ends, entrepreneurs need to evaluate whether they are able to handle the influx of orders and fulfil them without straining their infrastructure, budget and supply chain. The end of a successful e-commerce sales campaign in Australia may be met with a sense of well-deserved accomplishment. The post-sale period presents a crucial opportunity to solidify gains and pave the way for future success.

What Should Australian Brands Look Into After A Retail Sale Is Over?

Australian e-commerce businesses can transform challenges in their sales from an inventory and logistical standpoint into a catalyst for long-term growth and sustained success. 

  • Inventory Management: Addressing leftover stock is important. Having excessive stock in your warehouse and distribution centres results in high holding costs and reduces their shelf life.  Analyse sales data to identify unsold items and develop strategies like targeted promotions, bundling, or clearance sales to move excess inventory efficiently.
  • Customer Relationship Management: Nurturing new customers acquired during the sale is key. Implement email marketing campaigns to showcase your brand and encourage repeat purchases. Consider offering exclusive post-sale discounts or loyalty programs to build lasting relationships.
  • Returns Processing: Streamlining the returns process fosters customer satisfaction. Identify the most returned products and their reasoning. For businesses that rely on a supplier for their products, a high return rate due to product quality implies that you need to evaluate suppliers. Take proactive measures like implementing a user-friendly return process. Consider offering store credit for returned items as an incentive for future purchases.
  • Sales Data Analysis: Don’t let valuable insights from your online store go to waste. Analyse sales data to identify top-selling items, popular categories, and how your competitors fared to understand marketing, pricing strategy and other optimisation strategies. . This information  can help you improve decision-making through demand analysis and business forecasts to optimise your sales performance.

Post Sale Analysis And Its Significance

Customers participating in an e-commerce sale | Locad

The post-sale period isn’t just about clearing inventory and processing returns– it’s a collection of valuable data and engagement touchpoints that can help you replicate e-commerce success.  Post-sale analysis involves delving into the sales metrics generated during your Australian e-commerce campaign. This data can unveil crucial insights that can significantly impact your future business decisions.

Why Is Post-Sale Analysis So Important?

  • Identifying Sales Champions: Analysing sales data, you can pinpoint the products that resonated most with shoppers. This allows you to refine your product selection, focusing on high-performing items and potentially increasing the appeal of other products on your e-commerce store through product bunding, affordable shipping options and other similar offerings in future campaigns.
  • Understanding Customer Behaviour: Sales data reveals customer purchase patterns, browsing trends, and preferred categories. This knowledge empowers you to predict the uptick in sales orders placed in your store.  While the data adds more value to tailored marketing strategies for your store, you can also factor in sales volume as an input in demand forecasting for future e-commerce sales in Australia.
  • Optimising Marketplace Efforts: Analyse the effectiveness of your pre-sale marketing campaigns. Did certain channels outperform others? Did specific promotions generate greater interest? As more brands jump on the multi-channel selling bandwagon, it is important to factor in the inventory that you allocate for your store across the platforms. 
  • Identifying Storage and Processing Improvement: No campaign is perfect. Sales data can highlight areas where you may have fallen short, especially when you are storing your inventory across multiple warehouses. This helps you surface the locations where your inventory sold out, how to distribute your inventory and places of dispatch that experienced maximum returns due to incorrect order picking, improper packing etc. 

By identifying these weaknesses, you can address them proactively by coordinating with warehouses better on increasing staffing to manage higher order volume without impacting your business ratings and credibility.

Ways An E-Commerce Business Can Capitalise On The Post-Sale Buzz 

The post-sale frenzy may have subsided, but e-commerce businesses in Australia can keep the momentum of sales going. It’s now time to capitalise on the visibility your e-commerce brand gained during the sale. Here’s how to leverage the post-sale period for impactful inventory management and valuable market insights:

1. A Deep Dive into Sales Performance:

  • Celebrating Victories: Start by acknowledging what worked well during the sale and a good place to start will be your pre-sale promotions. Did your social media captions generate significant traffic? Did a specific product category outperform expectations? Identifying areas of success allows you to replicate these strategies in future campaigns.
  • Channel Champions: Analyse which sales channels (e.g., your website, social media platforms, marketplaces) yielded the highest conversion rates like Shopify, WooCommerce, eBay or Wix. Understanding where your target audience shops from the most helps you to focus on distributing and locking your inventory accordingly.
  • Competitive Landscape: Research how your competitors priced similar products during the sale. This knowledge helps you to develop competitive pricing strategies for future campaigns, ensuring your offerings remain attractive to customers.

2. Transforming Leftovers into Opportunities:

  • Understanding Stock Levels: Post-sale analysis provides a clear picture of your remaining inventory. Utilise inventory tracking systems to accurately assess stock levels across all your products and locations.
  • Moving the Unsold: Develop strategies to move excess stock efficiently. Analyse sales data to identify products that underperformed. Consider targeted promotions, bundling them with popular items, or offering them at a discounted price as a part of cross-selling efforts.
  • Leveraging Expiry Dates: Scrutinise your inventory for products approaching expiry dates. Offer significant discounts on these items to clear them out quickly, while ensuring transparency with customers regarding expiration dates. Consider including them as free testers with other orders, creating a sense of value for customers.

Strategizing for Excess Inventory

A successful e-commerce sale in Australia can leave you with a delightful problem: excess inventory. While overstocking can be a concern, there are effective strategies to transform these leftovers into future sales. 

Here’s how to handle seasonal inventory, specifically focusing on the unique Australian retail calendar:

1. Identifying Seasonal Trends: Understanding peak sales periods in Australia is crucial. With an OMS that gives you an overview of inventory based on shelf live, and approaching expiry, you will be able to proactively work on the course of action to clear inventory without letting them go unsellable. Major sales events like the end of the financial year (EOFY), clearance sales at the end of summer and autumn, and festive season sales can influence buying patterns. These sale days give you the opportunity to clear your remaining inventory.

2. Seasonal Inventory Management: Analyse leftover stock to identify items specific to past seasons.  For instance, consider offering significant discounts on summer clothing after the season ends to clear them out before the autumn/winter collections arrive.

3. Retail Integration:  If you have brick-and-mortar retail stores in addition to your online presence, consider transferring excess inventory to these locations. This can help clear seasonal stock while offering customers the opportunity to browse and purchase in person.

4. Collaborate with other businesses:  Curate campaigns with other Australian e-commerce businesses to maximise ways to clear out your after-sale inventory. Explore possibilities for exchanging or selling excess seasonal stock to each other, potentially reaching new customer segments and minimising overall dead stock.

Clearance Strategies

Unsold inventory after a sales event doesn’t have to spell trouble. With creative clearance strategies, you can transform these leftovers into sales opportunities and free up valuable storage space. Here are a few effective tactics to consider:

1. Discount Magic: Reduce the markup of your old inventory. Implement targeted discounts on unsold seasonal items.  This could involve offering a percentage off individual items or even deeper discounts on larger quantities.

2. Bundled Bargains: Create attractive product bundles featuring complimentary items from your inventory.  For example, bundle a summer dress with a discounted hat and scarf to entice customers seeking complete outfits. This strategy not only clears out slow-moving items but also encourages customers to spend more.

3. Gift Pack Power:  Curate enticing gift packs featuring a mix of discounted seasonal items. This works particularly well for festive seasons or special occasions.  Highlight the value proposition by showcasing the total savings when purchasing the bundle compared to buying the items individually.

4. Tester Treats:  For products approaching expiry dates, explore the possibility of including them as free testers with other orders. Utilise personalised pick-and-pack solutions to ensure these testers are relevant to the customer’s purchased items.  This strategy helps clear out near-expiry stock while offering customers a delightful surprise and potentially sparking interest in the product category.

Lessons Learned: Turning Sales Insights into Actionable Items

The post-sale period in your Australian e-commerce business offers a wealth of valuable data waiting to be harvested. By analysing sales figures and customer behaviour, you can unlock key insights that empower you to refine your strategies and enable future success. Here’s how to transform sales data into actionable items across various aspects of your business:

1. Unsold Stock Analysis: Unveiling Hidden Opportunities:

Don’t let unsold stock become a burden. Analyse data to understand why certain products remained stagnant.

  • Product Performance: Identify products with consistently low conversion rates. This might indicate a need to re-evaluate the product offering, pricing strategy, or product descriptions.
  • Marketing Mismatch: Consider if specific products didn’t receive adequate marketing attention during the sale. This could involve creating targeted campaigns to highlight their features and benefits to a relevant audience.
  • Pricing Power: Analyse whether pricing might be a contributing factor for unsold items. Competitive research and analysing customer reviews regarding pricing can help determine if adjustments are necessary. Having a 3PL that supports your storage and shipping operations with flexible infrastructure can help you offset high overheads. You reduce the margins for profits and can offer more competitive discounts to woo customers.

2. Nurturing New Customers: Building Lasting Relationships:

The customers acquired during your e-commerce sale represent a valuable asset. Here’s how to nurture these relationships and foster repeat business:

  • Targeted Email Campaigns: Implement personalised email marketing campaigns tailored to new customers’ interests and purchase history. Offer exclusive discounts or loyalty program incentives to encourage further engagement.
  • Loyalty Programs: Consider establishing a loyalty program that rewards repeat customers with points, exclusive offers, or early access to new products. This fosters brand loyalty and motivates customers to return for future purchases.

3. Optimising the Customer Journey: Shipping and Reviews:

Sales data can shed light on aspects of the customer journey beyond product selection.

  • Shipping Efficiency: Analyse customer feedback and data on abandoned carts to identify potential shipping-related pain points. Offer flexible shipping options by partnering with multiple last-mile carriers in Australia, or consider free shipping thresholds to incentivize purchases.
  • Review and Ratings Management: Actively encourage customer reviews and ratings. Respond to both positive and negative feedback in a timely and professional manner. Utilise constructive criticism to address areas for improvement and showcase your commitment to customer satisfaction.

Returns Management

A seamless returns process is an essential component of a positive customer experience in Australian e-commerce.  Here’s how to manage returns effectively:

  • Streamlining the Process: Develop a user-friendly returns portal on your website that allows customers to initiate returns easily. When you have a 3PL for your Australian e-commerce business, provide clear instructions and ensure what products go back into the inventory and how to process returns. Establishing transparent return policies,  timelines can help you streamline returns and avoid defective products from going back to your inventory.
  • Communication is Key: Keep customers informed throughout the returns process. Send timely email notifications on return receipt, processing status, and any relevant updates.

Turning Setbacks into Opportunities with a 3PL:

While the post-sale analysis can help you identify gaps in operations, it can also surface opportunities that can turn into wins during the next sale. With the best 3PL for your e-commerce brand, you can do away with expensive inventory storage and costly overheads that you may incur. With a lightweight and flexible infrastructure to back you, you can adjust how much of the infrastructure you may require as you scale up. But that’s not all:

Reduce costly overheads:

A 3PL lets you store your inventory in warehouses that do not require you to spend on staffing to help you with inbounding, inventory management and pick-and-pack. Australia’s expensive real estate and labour costs may force you to look at more affordable warehouse spaces, some of which could be at very remote locations with lower coverage. Switching to a 3PL lets you save a lot of your budget that could otherwise be used to offer competitive discounts that do not eat away your profit margins.

Faster fulfilment for your e-commerce orders:

As shoppers look for faster forms of shipping like same-day delivery or next-day fulfilment, a 3PL lets you partner with multiple last-mile carriers that can extend preferential rates for expedited shipping. This allows you to avoid being dependent on one carrier partner and can help you automatically choose the best carrier option based on the customer’s delivery location at the time of ordering.

Smart inventory hygiene for better sales:

Having an OMS that helps you simultaneously sell on eBay, Shopify, WooCommerce and Wix may be one way to increase brand visibility and reach more shoppers. But as Sales across these channels differ, predictive forecasting and smarter inventory management can help you gain the upper edge. By forecasting sales, you can lock in inventory per channel ahead of a sale. This ensures that a buffer inventory is mapped to the channel that’s prioritised ahead of the sale and makes sure it doesn’t go out of stock.

More carriers, Better savings:

As your business brings in the much-needed orders, you may notice that not all your orders are the same, but the fulfilment expectation is the same – faster shipping and lower shipping costs. A 3PL gives you access to top last-mile carriers in Australia. By distributing your inventory in Warehouses across Australia, you can store your inventory close to key regions that have high e-commerce activity. With multiple last-mile carriers to choose from, your OMS will map the most affordable carrier partner for your orders. This way, you make sure that your shipping costs are low, you fulfil orders fast, and you have a nation-wide coverage to reach your shoppers through fast fulfilment and international shipping across Australia and beyond.

Conclusion

The post-sale period doesn’t have to be a scary post-party cleanup. These strategies can help you surface actionable intel that may have been overlooked before the sale began. With these insights and a 3PL, you can transform your sales-related learnings into a springboard for future success. From managing leftover inventory to nurturing new customers and gleaning valuable insights, the post-sale period becomes a chance to refine your e-commerce strategy and elevate your brand to new heights. It helps you replicate your wins, fine-tune your strategy and transform your misses into a success streak.

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