Check for glitches
You definitely don’t want to wait until the last minute and find out that your payment processor can’t keep up, or that your shopping cart’s not fully utilized and implemented correctly, even worse, you don’t want to find out that you are getting a lot of traffic, and your web host can’t handle it. So these are all things that you want to test and verify, before you start running your marketing. This is particularly important for ecommerce businesses and shopify dropshipping outlets.
Make sure that your site, and all aspects of it, are functioning. Go through your site, click on every one of your links, go to each individual page, and make sure that every link on that page functions. Make sure everything in your menu is working, make sure people can actually check out, and actually process their credit cards, so they can pay you, and you can get money for what you’re shipping out. Make sure that your shipping and your taxes are set up correctly. Especially in today’s day and age, where we’ve got to keep track of, “Are we charging tax in certain states, “in that certain area, are we, “are we charging the correct tax? “Is that tax being collected effectively, “and then submitted to the state “or the authority that they have to be submitted to?”
These are all things you need to know in advance. Additional to that, off of your website, if you’re running product ads, make sure that Merchant Center is working effectively. Jump into that, make sure that your products are there, the images are there, that you don’t have a bunch of errors, and that’s also another place you want to make sure that your shipping and that your tax settings are also set correctly. If people are comparison shopping on Google’s Shopping, site there, you click on Google, search for your product, click on “Shopping,” it’ll show you a price combined with tax and shipping. If your tax and shipping settings aren’t correct, then your price could be way out of whack, or, you could be a victim of that bait-and-switch. “Wow, this product’s only $10!” Turns out you have a $25 shipping fee, and then they jump out of there, they cost you money, and they go and purchase from your competitor. Check everything, check it twice, and then you’re ready for sales.
Do a competitor analysis
Now this is something that you may even have to do day of, or on the fly, because what you don’t want to find out, is that your competitor is selling the same product, or they have the same offering that you have, and they’re selling it for way less, or, they have a different offer, as is the case with top shopify stores. You’re offering free shipping, they’re offering free overnight shipping. You’re selling the product for $19.95, they’re selling the product for $12. So these might be things that you need to keep an eye on, day of. Now remember, if you’re just battling people on price, it’s a race to the bottom, because there are definitely people out there that can afford to make a dollar a sale.
And that may not be you, you may need to have your margins at 50, 60, 70%. Maybe some of your products you can take a 10, 20, 30% margin on because it’s a loss leader to sell some of your higher margin products. That’s great, and if you’re competing on price to get more sales, that’s a great idea, that’s a great concept to embed into your sales strategy. But, if you’re just racing to the bottom with everybody else, eventually you’re going to lose. The bigger guys out there, they can afford to take a loss on just about everything. There’s other folks out there, that they don’t have any overhead, so they can afford to take a loss and run you out of town. But you have to do a competitor analysis to understand what they’re doing, what they’re doing better than you, and how you can combat that.
Check your fulfilment
The last thing that you want to do is sell a bunch of a single item, and then find out that you can’t actually fulfill those orders. Maybe you don’t have enough of them, maybe your supplier runs out, maybe your manufacturing and ordering from overseas, and it’s going to take six weeks to get here, maybe there’s a big, long lead time for you to actually get these products. So you’ve got to understand what your fulfillment looks like, and if dropshipping isn’t going to be efficient or robust enough, you might want to consider using a third-party fulfillment service. If you’re doing all these steps, and you’re planning to have a great season, a great holiday season for your store or your site, this is one of the things that you really have to pay attention to. Otherwise, you’re going to get bad reviews, angry customers, lost sales, you’re going to have to give refunds, and discounts and coupons, and it could destroy your holiday season. So take a look at your fulfillment, make sure that you can actually fulfill the orders that you’re going for, and then have a great season.