eCommerce Business - Prepare for the New Year


Christmas in the office


Can you believe it’s nearly Christmas? Sorry, we didn’t mean to panic you. We can imagine exactly what you’re doing whilst reading this. You’re taking a well-earned break from your busy schedule in the lead-up to the festive period, correct? You’ve organised the Christmas party, your seasonal marketing campaign is well underway, and you’ve planned your upcoming work before you finish for the holiday. Have you noticed a pattern yet? Yes it’s wonderful that you and your business are so prepared this side of Yuletide, but how prepared are you for the New Year? We wouldn’t blame you if you’ve been so wrapped up in Christmas preparations that you haven’t even thought about it yet. With not long to go now until New Year’s Eve, it’s certainly time to start thinking about how to kick 2019 off with a bang.


As an eCommerce business, you may have already taken what you consider to be the necessary steps in order to have a successful start to the New Year, but you may have forgotten some of the nitty-gritty things that can actually make a big difference. Again, we wouldn’t blame you. After all, there’s so much to remember when running a business, such as planning your yearly marketing calendar and making any changes to your product line and website. Therefore, you’re bound to forget something. Additionally, you may find that there are some requisite skills that neither you nor your team can fulfil. Nobody’s perfect, remember.


This leads us to our first piece of advice, fill any skills gaps ASAP so that you’re not playing catchup with your competitors. Because let’s be honest, if you don’t have the skills to position your company as a market leader then how do your customers know who you are? For example, a recent study by the Digital Marketing Institute revealed that 70% of marketing leaders are concerned about a digital skills gap in the industry. Considering that 96% of senior marketers believe that digital is the way forwards for the industry, it is vital that organisations fill any gaps in this particular area in order to remain competitive in the market. Writing blog articles and expanding your social media presence are easy and relatively cheap ways to digitise your business. You may find that your organisation is prepared to expand its marketing budget to cater for digital, especially now that it accounts for more than half (55%) of overall UK marketing budgets.


But that is only part of the battle. The buzz word for 2018 and most likely for 2019 is Customer Experience (CX) or User Experience (UX). 


Customer experience and user experience


So having embraced Digital methods for your marketing you need to consider your customer’s experience with your brand.


Which leads us to say get your company data in order. It is important to consider the quality of the data you hold about your customers before conducting any future marketing campaigns, because people move house all the time, and sadly but inevitably we all die one day. To be precise, in 2017 370,000 people moved home in the UK and 533,253 deaths were registered in England and Wales alone. That’s a lot! Therefore, you wouldn’t want to keep a deceased person's details in your database, would you? Of course not, because marketing to their address would upset their nearest and dearest. Additionally, you wouldn’t want to send a promotional offer to a customer’s old address, right? No, because that may annoy the new occupants and will result in you losing a sale from the intended recipient. Not good.


Using an online data cleansing tool will help you overcome the risk of mailing to deceased persons and movers, not to mention it will be quick and easy. By running your data against a number of suppression files, this will tell you exactly who in your database has died or moved home, as well as how many duplicate records you have. Duplicates become more and more common as time goes by due to natural data decay. Additionally, you’ll be able to see if any of your customers are registered with the Mailing Preference Service (MPS), Telephone Preference Service (TPS), and even the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS). This way you’ll know who doesn’t want to receive marketing via which medium. In an age where data compliance is key, it’s vital that you adhere to such legislation as the Privacy and Electronics Communications Regulations (PECR), which sit alongside the GDPR.




The last thing to check off your 2019 must-do list is something that may sound so simple, but is actually more complex than you may think; send your customers’ purchases to the correct address! Whilst you may be thinking “why wouldn’t we send our products to the right address?”, even the best of intentions don’t always generate the best results. For example, if your website has an inaccurate address and postcode finder and a customer makes an error upon entering their details, the software will likely fail to pick up on the mistake, meaning you won’t either. This may result in the customer’s purchase being delivered to the wrong address, leaving them very irritated, and you with egg on your face.


Yes, we know it’s only natural for everyone to make mistakes, but if you don’t use a quality address capture then you’re bound to make repeated mistakes when it comes to delivery and you’ll end up with a negative reputation, which could affect your sales and revenue further down the line. Did you know that 39% of shoppers never purchase with an online retailer again following a negative delivery experience? And were you aware that 54% of consumers say that delivery defines who they shop with? Ouch, that’s a lot.


Royal Mail vans in the snow


To rectify this you should utilise an online pay per click Address Lookup tool that provides daily Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF) updates, as well as no set-up fees or maintenance costs, and free technical support. This way you can see whether the software is right for you, and you can compare it to your current provider. Think of it this way, the more efficient and accurate your delivery process is, the higher your customers will rate and recommend you to others, which will increase the chances of repeat purchase and potentially more customers. Happy days!


We hope that you have found this guide useful, and that these tips will put you on the right tracks for a prosperous 2019. For more help and advice on how to handle your company data, please request your FREE copy of Hopewiser’s Ultimate Guide to Data. Additionally, if you’re looking for tips on how to improve your website, we also have a guide on the latest eCommerce trends for 2019. From all of us here at Hopewiser, we hope that you have a successful end to 2018, a very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!


Colleagues enjoying their Christmas party