In my last post I talked about all of the problems we seem to be having this year. After writing that post and reading the great advice from Practical Ecommerce readers, I have spent the last few weeks making a lot of changes. Even though it is still early I am already seeing results.
Here are some of the changes I have made.
I have been evaluating the pricing on each and every product we sell. I have discontinued items that always seem to cause problems and I have been featuring items that sell great and also get great reviews. This is time consuming, but I have found another advantage to this. I can update my product descriptions (more unique content) and even update product photos, keywords and cross sells. This has really given me the chance to really freshen up each page. It will take me a long time to get through our entire inventory but I will keep going, one day at a time, and eventually I’ll get to them all.
I no longer promote the items from the supplier that causes so much frustration for us. If I am helping a customer over the phone I tend to steer them to items from my other, more dependable suppliers. I am not ready to sever my ties with this supplier, but in the last few weeks our sales with them our down as is my stress level.
I have said no to price match requests and to my surprise the customer almost always buys from us anyway. I always felt like I couldn’t say no. It’s been a wonderful feeling standing up for my company and saying we are worth the price.
Returns are still up and I am taking them on one at a time. I am not in a position to pay for return shipping, but at some point I might be, I am still open to that service. I started a spreadsheet that lists what is being returned and why. I feel that if I spend a little more time finding out why something is returned maybe I can’t prevent it from happening again. If it was size, maybe my product description needs to be updated, if it was quality, maybe this isn’t an item I should offer, etc.
When you wear all the hats it’s easy to let these little things slip through the cracks. I think that is what has been happening and that is what has let to my major frustration this year.
May has been a good month for me. I feel like I started the month with a new outlook. Now that it is coming to an end I don’t have that feeling of dread like I did in April. By stopping and focusing on the issues I have really brought back some joy into my job.
Thank you to everyone for your advices and words of encouragement!