In the beverage industry, January is a good time to reboot, reorganize and take stock of things that are done well and those that can be improved upon. While each store should assess and benchmark their own individual performance, we conducted a study of site performances of the 130 mature websites on our eCommerce network who utilize out-of-state shipping.
Using data obtained from Google Analytics from 2014 and 2015, the median average of sales in 2014 was 75% higher than in 2015; the rate of canceled sales was also higher. In 2014, the average store had 63 canceled sales out of a total of 429 resulting in 14.7% loss. In 2015, an average of 47 cancelled sales out of 379 resulted in a loss of 12.4%. The average store experienced a 4.5% growth in net sales, despite the fact that the average store received fewer actual sales. The main factor in the growth was fewer cancelled transactions.
Reducing cancelled sales is not just good for increasing net sales. Canceling sales results in more than just lost revenue; it can be a resource drain, requiring employees to spend time contacting clients who can't get what they ordered and are likely not to return as customers. Fewer canceled orders results in more business and happier customers.
Part of this is the result of shopping feeds, such as Google and Wine Searcher, who are constantly improving by targeting customers by geography and shipping availability that result in better quality leads. Using these feeds to drive traffic to your site is nothing new, but they area constantly improving with updates that pick up on the details of your shipping and delivery policy. There are also a number of ways stores can further reduce their cancelled transactions. Well, having accurate inventory for one (had to say it), without which nothing mentioned hereafter will be much use. That said, here are two ideas to help reduce cancelled sales.
Limiting sales or turning off the shopping cart on highly allocated items. By listing products without a shopping cart, they can still drive traffic to your site and let customers know cost and availability.
Have your shipping info clearly defined. Maybe you area a store that will ship wine out of state but not liquor. Make sure that this is clearly stated and that liquor is made not available for shipping out state.
Having clear parameter about what and how you ship will result in more happy customers. It will not only help drive traffic to your site, but is sure to increase the conversion of that traffic into sales. That is something wroth celebrating!