Ecomm’s Dog Days of March: Where to Focus During the Inevitable Slow-Down

Written by: Jon Klonsky, Principal & Founder

We’ve officially come down from the holiday spikes and whatever extra revenue came from Valentine’s Day. Predictably, we’re waiting for spring to kick in, determining how to move the remains of last season’s inventory, and seeking ways to be productive with our time. Where should we focus?

Here are the projects SD clients have us working on:

    - Payments – Are you looking for an edge—maybe something to boost conversion rate? PayPal has
      always been a consideration, but we’re now seeing lots of merchants successfully implement Apple Pay
      and Pay with Amazon to get those quick conversion enhancements. These services MUST be considered,
      particularly for keeping up with the needs of your mobile consumer. 

    - Email Service Provider Upgrades – Now is the time. Don’t delay this decision any more than necessary.
      Email is generally the best marketing tool you have and will deliver the greatest ROI. Setup fees are the
      expense no one wants to incur, but email will more than pay for itself pretty quickly, and it’s the key to
      growth. Additionally, March is generally the ideal time for this type of shift.

    - Fraud Protection – The war on fraud continues and has become a costly endeavor for most ecommerce
      merchants. Fraud itself has a cost, and the investments in security, compliance, and risk management
      also have a cost. Third-party services and their technologies can now integrate with stores to help them
      comply and manage risk. Like everything else on the list, March is a great time to focus on Fraud.

    - Custom Landing Pages – We never shut up about these. And maybe for good reason! There is no better
      way to tailor a message for a specific campaign. Build lots of ‘em, and build ‘em often. If executed
      correctly, you’ll see the conversion boost. It also teaches you to be disciplined about your campaigns—to
      spend time determining your audience and what you want them to do.

    - Traffic Analytics Configuration - Spend time in Q1 ensuring your analytics are configured to deliver the
      data you need. Create dashboards, standard reports, and conversion funnels. Take time to mark the start
      and end of all campaigns, so you can track and make inferences about effects on traffic. Plot your actual
      revenue and compare to plan. Get things positioned correctly now, so you end the year with a full
      awareness of how you performed and what affected you.

    - User Testing – More and more, clients are starting to realize that it’s simply not practical to infer cause or
      attribution. A/B tests are the best way (often the only way) to know whether features are delivering the
      desired outcome. We’re doing more testing each month, and we realize the importance. Trying to get more
      of our clients on board. A well-conceived testing program helps make hard decisions and maximizes a
      merchant’s ROI.

    - Internationalization – Seems to be the holy grail for some. We’re not convinced, but many are looking to
      test the waters. My advice? Start with a low-rent solution. You simply need to determine whether demand
      for your product extends beyond the US. Spend a year sacrificing some margin for a new channel, new
      customers, and expanding markets. If you like the results, you can make larger investments next year.
      However, you MUST enter this domain with realistic expectations.

We’re hoping that some of these ideas resonate with you and your planning. It’s so difficult to be proactive during our busy periods, so the aim here is to focus on fundamental considerations. These are the first initiatives to consider when business slows for those few weeks. Just pick one or two and proceed!

Let us know what you’re working on, and be sure to contact us if you need some help.