Retailer tips for boosting online sales in November and December

Last month we listed six sales tips for October. Here’s the second part with six additional tips for retailer on how to increase  November and December Christmas sales.

Tip # 7   Register Your Business for Click Monday

Click Monday is NZ’s busiest one-day online event that helps drive thousands of sales to over a hundred NZ retailer’s online stores. If you’re looking for extra sales and profile – this is a great marketing opportunity.
When: 23rd November   Contact: www.clickmonday.co.nz

Tip # 8   Can You Offer Bundles, Packages or Gift Sets?

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October Christmas Shopping Tips for Retailers

It’s time to start putting in place some strategies to ramp up your Christmas sales campaigns. We’ve put together a calendar with a list of useful tips to help you make more online sales this Summer and Christmas season. Here are six tips for October.

Tip # 1   FAQ’s

Does your website have a list of FAQ’s to help answer your customers questions? This can help you save human resources answering phones and handling enquiries, which can allow you to focus more on sales and customer service.

Tip # 2   Your Monthly Budgets on Comparison Shopping Sites

Check your merchant accounts to ensure your monthly budget doesn’t run out for paid search and comparison shopping sites. This can lead to your online store losing valuable prospective customers at the busiest time of the year.

Tip # 3   Promote Your Summer Merchandise

Spring is here and Summer is just around the corner, and NOW is a great time to begin promoting products that will be popular with the arrival of the warmer weather. If you sell BBQ’s, lawnmowers, camping or hiking gear, fishing and watersports, outdoor games, fitness equipment and outdoor furniture etc – work out some compelling promotion to entice customers into your store or website.
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How much could you save by shopping online this Christmas?

Online vs the High Street
We all know how convenient online shopping is, but is it true that shopping online can save money too ?

We decided to test this by looking at a selection of the most popular electronic products for Christmas gifts this year, and found that if you purchased all of these gifts (total cost = $5,195) you would have saved almost $1,000 (18%) by shopping online !

Given that an average saving of nearly 20% can be achieved for many products just by checking online before hitting the shops, we’re amazed that anyone goes to shops anymore ! Continue reading

Top Tips for Safe Shopping Online this Christmas

PriceMe.co.nz is all about empowering the consumer with information so that they can buy online with confidence. Here our top 10 ways to stay safe when shopping online this Christmas:

1.  Always use a Credit Card

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 says that, if something goes wrong, the credit card company is “jointly and severally” liable with the retailer. This applies equally to overseas companies.  Eftpos and debit cards generally do not offer internet protection.

2. Check Warranties and Internet Protection

Contact your credit card company to find out about any extended warranties and internet guarantees that they offer. Make sure you follow their guidelines and then you can be assured that you’re protected if anything goes wrong.

3.  Payment Gateways are not always best

It’s a misconception that using a payment gateway such as PayPal means you’re protected. Whilst they offer their own dispute system,  the credit card transaction is between you, the consumer, and PayPal and not with the retailer directly,  therefore your usual credit card protection does not apply.

4. Register your Cards

You can register your cards with ‘Verified by Visa’ or ‘Mastercard Secure Code’ to give you additional security. This requires password identification before a transaction can be processed.

5. Secure Payment Online

Make sure that the website you’re using is able to take your payment securely. You can check this by looking for the padlock icon which usually appears at the bottom of the screen. You can also check that the Web prefix changes from ‘http’ to ‘https’ where the ‘s’ stands for secure.

6.  Protect your Computer

You can protect your computer by installing antivirus software. There are now some great free options available (just search on Google). Upgrade to the latest operating system and web browser. As an additional security you can add a personal firewall. When you have finished online shopping, remember to log out. This is particularly important if you are using a shared computer.

7. Check Who You are Buying From

Read the store reviews and ratings, check the geographical address, check for a landline phone number, look at the Terms & Conditions relating to payment, delivery and cancellation. Find out about the returns policy, and who pays for the return – you or the retailer ?

8. Proof of Purchase

Just like when shopping in the high street,  make sure that you keep a record of your purchase by way of receipts or email confirmation of your order etc.  Don’t delete it !

9. Price

Research price to ensure that you are getting a deal that you’re happy with. The cheapest doesn’t always mean the best. Check to see if the product is brand new. Be aware of refurbished or second hand products, these can be great buys,  as long as you are aware of what you are buying.

10. Delivery Dates for Christmas

Make sure that you know the last order date to ensure delivery before Christmas. There is nothing worse than leaving it to the last minute,  only to find out that your gifts don’t arrive until after Christmas Day !

Shoppers missing out on millions in savings & discounts

In an idle moment today waiting in the Koru Lounge, I was thinking about statistics around online shopping in NZ (apparently, only 50% of statistics are correct – only kidding !). The latest Neilsen report claims there are 1.4million adults in NZ actively shopping online. Global research carried out by Mastercard each year into online shopping habits, concludes the average online shopper in Asia/Pacific spends over $700 per annum. That works out around NZD$1 billion (and doesn’t include online purchases of airline tickets, travel or accommodation, which are some of the most popular categories !). So conservatively, if 1.4 million NZ online shoppers saved 10% of their annual spend by researching on www.priceme.co.nz , that would total a whopping $100 million in savings for NZ households! It suddenly gives a very good reason to search online before purchasing anything online, and grabbing your share of the more than NZD$100 million to be saved from smarter shopping!
Happy saving!
Chris

Tips for Software Development

Many companies are under pressure to lower there IT costs due to the recent financial crisis. Normally marketing, HR and IT are the first operations in a company that have to spend less.

Outsourcing of IT services and software development is one way to cut costs. However, outsourcing can often be frustrating, time consuming and more expensive than originally planned without the right IT partner. The other way is to postpone IT project until the economy improves, but investing in IT is often necessary to boost sales and improve efficiency. This is especially true for brick and mortar retailers that can gain a lot by opening up an online store. Hopefully, the current crisis will not hinder offline retailers in New Zealand to move online.

Transparency – blessing or tyranny?

One of the main consumer trends in recent years is ‘transparency‘. Transparency means that all the stakeholders have equal access to all the relevant information of a market place. In the online shopping space, this translates into accurate price info of the total price of a product and an objective insight into retailer service and product performance.

The increased transparency is a true blessing for consumers, who now know what’s really going and don’t have to make decisions based on incomplete info. A transparent marketplace enables consumers to find products that are truly good value for money (total cost, product quality and service, on time delivery etc.). No longer have consumers second guess the value of a product. Both the buyer and the seller are equally informed in a perfectly ‘transparent’ world. The market needs to provide the following information in order to become fully transparent:

  • price comparison that shows the actual price of a product or service (incl. shipping and payment costs) – what’s the total cost?
  • product availability and delivery time – when and how do I get it?
  • product and retailer reviews – what and where to buy?

But transparency is not only a blessing for consumers. Retailers that provide excellent service and competitive products also benefit from the increased transparency through positive reviews and exposure of the true value of a product (quality vs. price).

It’s clear though that while transparency is a blessing for some, it’s a ‘tyranny‘ for others. Retailers that don’t provide competitively priced products and don’t deliver superior services to their customers will have a difficult time in the transparent world. Their sub-par performance will be widely known in the buying community through reviews, comparisons etc. There will be know hiding places left for retailers that don’t deliver what they promise.

The New Zealand online retail market is currently lagging behind many other countries in terms of product/retail transparency, and it’s PriceMe’s goal to change that. We intend to increase the level of transparency for NZ consumers. Let’s make the market more transparent!