5 Strategies to Tackle Business Seasonality

Businesses face unique challenges due to fluctuations in demand during off-peak periods. In this article, we'll explore five effective strategies to help businesses navigate the peaks and troughs of demand.

5 Strategies to Tackle Business Seasonality
15
min Read
Georgina Monti

Black Friday, Christmas, summer and winter all provide peak sales opportunities for businesses of all kinds and sizes. But what happens when those seasons and events are over?

Businesses face unique challenges due to fluctuations in demand during off-peak periods. However, by implementing effective off-season strategies and adapting to these fluctuations, businesses can maintain sales and drive growth year round. In this article, we'll explore five effective strategies to help businesses navigate the peaks and troughs of demand.

5 Strategies to Tackle Business Seasonality

Collaborate with Other Brands

Collaborating with complementary brands can be a fun and effective way to expand your customer base and offerings to generate revenue during the off-season. By partnering with other businesses that target a similar audience but operate in different seasons or industries, you can cross-promote each other's products. For example, a sunglasses brand could partner with a ski or snowboard apparel brand to offer a complete winter bundle. This not only increases exposure but also provides added value to customers.

Stay in Touch With Customers

Maintaining communication with your customers is key to keeping your brand top-of-mind. By leveraging social media and email, brands can provide relevant and valuable content, along with exclusive offers to keep them engaged and interested in your brand, even when they're not actively purchasing. Combine this with the other 4 strategies in this article, and you’re well on your way to year-round success.

Create a Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are a powerful tool for retaining customers and encouraging repeat business. Brands can offer rewards, discounts, or exclusive perks to incentivize loyalty and keep customers coming back. For already loyal customers, implement tiered loyalty programs with special benefits and privileges to help them feel valued. Not to mention, it’s an effective way to increase customer lifetime value and average order value. 

Offer Special Promotions and Discounts

During the off-season, brands can use special promotions such as free shipping, discounts, bundles or limited-time offers to incentivize sales. Create a sense of urgency by highlighting the savings and emphasizing the limited time on the offer. This not only helps to boost sales, but also helps to clear excess inventory ahead of the next season. However, it's important to offer limited time offers that do not affect the perceived value of the brand.

VESYL serves up the best-in-class rates year round so you can pass those savings on to your customers, or offer free shipping without it eating into your revenue. 

Diversify Product Offerings

Expanding your product offerings can help to reduce the impact of seasonal fluctuations on your business. For example, a womens footwear brand could focus on sandals in the summer, and boots and slippers in the winter. By diversifying your offerings, you can attract customers and generate revenue even when demand for your primary products is low.

Conclusion

Seasonal fluctuations in business are inevitable, but with the right strategies in place, these off-peak periods can become excellent opportunities for growth. By collaborating with other brands, staying in touch with customers, creating loyalty programs, offering special promotions and discounts, and diversifying product offerings, businesses can thrive year-round. 

Looking to lock in the most competitive shipping rates year round? Book a demo with VESYL today.

3 Simple Tips To Reduce Shipping Costs
15
min Read
Georgina Monti

It’s no secret that shipping costs can eat into your bottom line as a brand. However, with some strategic planning and optimization, you can significantly reduce shipping expenses while still delivering a polished customer experience. In this article, we'll explore 3 simple tips to reduce shipping costs without compromising on quality.

Optimize Packing

One of the easiest ways to reduce shipping costs is to optimize packing, and there’s a variety of simple ways to get started:

  • Right-size Packaging: Choose packaging that fits your products snugly to minimize wasted space and avoid dimensional weight charges. Using smaller boxes or envelopes can often result in lower shipping costs. Not to mention, correctly packaging products helps to reduce the risk of damage in transit, further reducing the costs, and time, associated with damage claims.
  • Lightweight Materials: Use lightweight packing materials such as bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard or air pillows to protect items without adding unnecessary weight to packages. This helps to lower shipping costs for shipments priced by weight.
  • Eliminate Excess Packaging: Avoid overpacking by using just enough cushioning to protect items during transit. Removing excess packaging materials can reduce package dimensions and weight, leading to lower shipping costs. However, while minimizing packaging, it’s important to still use a sufficient amount to reduce the risk of damages during transit.

Rate Shop

Just as you would compare the costs of products in the supermarket, shipping costs are no different. 

  • Use Shipping Software: Instead of having to manually compare rates and shipping speeds across various carriers, leverage shipping software that does it all for you. VESYL serves up the most competitive shipping rates in real time across multiple carriers so you can make the best informed choice. The software also allows you to pre-define frequently used package dimensions, to not only save on costs, but also time. 
  • Negotiate Carrier Rates: If you have a high shipping volume, consider negotiating discounted rates directly with carriers. Many carriers offer volume-based discounts or incentives for loyal customers, which can help lower your overall shipping costs. However, it’s important to note that this option does limit flexibility in case of shipping disruptions. 

Learn more about VESYL's automations to reduce costs and time.

Utilize Discounted Supplies

Shipping supplies can add up quickly, but there are ways to save on packaging materials:

  • Bulk Ordering: By analyzing order history, you can identify the most used package sizes and types and look at bulk ordering to reduce costs. This includes boxes, envelopes, tape, and labels in bulk to fully take advantage of volume discounts, helping you save on packaging costs in the long run.
  • Utilize Carrier Supplies: Take advantage of free or discounted shipping supplies offered by carriers. Many carriers provide free packaging materials, such as boxes and envelopes, to their customers. By using these supplies, you can save on packaging costs and ensure compatibility with carrier specifications.
  • Consider Eco-Friendly Options: Look for environmentally friendly packaging materials that are not only cost-effective but also sustainable. Recycled cardboard boxes, biodegradable packaging peanuts, and compostable mailers are eco-friendly alternatives that can help reduce shipping costs, improve brand reputation all while minimizing environmental impact.

By implementing these three simple tips, you can effectively reduce shipping costs for your e-commerce business. Remember to regularly review and adjust your shipping strategies to ensure ongoing cost savings and optimal efficiency. With a little planning and optimization, you can streamline your shipping process and boost your bottom line while providing excellent service to your customers.

The Ultimate Ecommerce Guide to a Successful Subscription Model
15
min Read
Georgina Monti

In a world where convenience is priority, subscription models are becoming increasingly popular for consumers. Offering products or services on a recurring basis not only provides a steady stream of revenue but also fosters long-term customer relationships. In this guide, we'll explore the benefits of subscription models for both brands and consumers, common challenges associated with subscription models, and key steps to start a successful subscription model for your store.

Benefits of Subscriptions to Brands

  • Predictable Revenue Streams: Subscriptions provide brands with a steady and predictable source of revenue, allowing for better financial planning and stability.
  • Increased Customer Loyalty: Subscribers are more likely to remain loyal to a brand over time, leading to higher customer lifetime value and reduced churn rates.
  • Enhanced Customer Insights: Subscription models enable brands to gather valuable data on customer preferences, purchasing behavior, and demographics, helping targeted marketing efforts and product development.
  • Opportunities for Upselling and Cross-selling: Brands can leverage subscription models to introduce new products or services and upsell or cross-sell to existing subscribers, driving additional revenue.
  • Improved Inventory Management: With a subscription model, brands can better forecast demand and manage inventory levels, reducing the risk of overstocking or understocking.

Benefits of Subscriptions to Consumers

  • Convenience and Simplified Purchasing: Subscriptions offer consumers a convenient way to receive products or services regularly without the need to repeatedly place orders.
  • Cost Savings: Many subscription models offer discounts or savings compared to one-time purchases, providing value for money to consumers.
  • Personalization and Customization: Subscription services often allow consumers to customize their orders based on their preferences and needs, leading to a more personalized experience and in turn, inc
  • Discovery and Exploration: Subscriptions introduce consumers to new products or services they may not have discovered otherwise.
  • Consistency and Reliability: Subscribers can rely on consistent delivery schedules, ensuring they always have access to the products or services they need.

Examples of Different Types of Subscription Models

  • Product Subscription: Subscription boxes can be used for products for beauty products, clothing, meal kits, health supplements, etc.
  • Service Subscription: Subscription-based streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, as well as software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms like Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • Membership Subscription: Memberships include Amazon Prime, which offers various benefits such as free shipping, streaming, and exclusive deals for members.
  • Access Subscription: Subscription-based access to digital content libraries, such as Kindle Unlimited for e-books and Audible for audiobooks.

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Common Challenges Associated with Subscription Models

  • Customer Churn: Keeping subscribers engaged and preventing them from canceling their subscriptions can be a significant challenge.
  • Acquisition Costs: Acquiring new subscribers can be costly, requiring effective marketing and promotional strategies.
  • Content or Product Quality: Ensuring high-quality content or products is essential to maintaining subscriber satisfaction and retention.
  • Logistics and Fulfillment: Managing inventory, shipping, and fulfillment processes can be complex, especially as the subscriber base grows.
  • Competition and Differentiation: Standing out in a crowded market and offering unique value propositions can be challenging.

Key Steps to Start a Successful Subscription Model

Market Research and Analysis

Identify your target audience, understand their needs and preferences, and analyze competitors' subscription offerings.

Product Selection

Choose products or services suitable for a subscription model, ensuring they provide ongoing value to subscribers. We outlined a few popular ideas above for you.

Pricing and Tiers

Determine different subscription tiers based on features, frequency, and pricing, balancing value for subscribers with profitability for the business. These different tiers also allow brands to upsell customers to better value subscriptions.

Technology

Leverage an e-commerce platform that supports subscription billing and management, as well as customer relationship management (CRM) tools for personalized communication. Shopify provides its own Shopify Subscriptions feature, or there are a variety of integrations such as Recharge Payments, that will streamline and simplify the process.

VESYL integrates with all major ecommerce platforms so you can easily import orders, purchase discounted shipping labels and get those packages out the door.

Marketing and Promotion

Develop targeted marketing strategies to promote your subscription offering, leveraging channels such as social media, email marketing, and influencer partnerships. Clearly narrate the cost savings, convenience and other benefits to customers.

Customer Experience Optimization

Streamline the subscription sign-up process, provide excellent customer support, and continuously monitor and improve the subscriber experience to reduce churn rate.

Continuous Optimization and Analysis

Monitor key metrics such as churn rate, retention rate, and lifetime value, collect feedback from subscribers, and optimize your subscription offering to address customer needs and preferences.

In Summary

Starting a successful subscription model requires careful planning, execution, and a customer-centric approach. By understanding the benefits and challenges associated with subscription models and following the key steps outlined in this guide, ecommerce brands can build lasting relationships with subscribers and drive sustainable business growth.

Leveraging VESYL’s Automations For Efficient Fulfillment Operations
15
min Read
Georgina Monti

From the moment a customer places an order, their post-purchase experience can only be as good as the efficiency of your fulfillment operations.

Enter VESYL.

Designed for both casual shippers and businesses with more complex shipping needs, VESYL streamlines the shipping process to get more packages out the door in less time, with reduced costs. In this article, we’re diving into how you can leverage automations with VESYL for more efficient fulfillment operations.

The Importance Of Efficient Fulfillment Operations

As mentioned above, efficient fulfillment operations are the backbone of a successful e-commerce business and brand. It not only contributes to a heightened customer experience, but also plays a pivotal role in building brand loyalty. With the rise of fast-paced consumer expectations, businesses that prioritize and invest in efficient fulfillment operations not only meet their customer demands, but also reduce operational costs, enhance scalability, and ultimately position themselves for sustainable growth,

Common Challenges in Fulfillment Operations

Fulfillment, done well, runs like a well oiled machine. However, it’s made up of a number of moving parts and this is where some of the challenges lie. From inventory discrepancies and order inaccuracies to the complexities of managing multiple sales channels, these hurdles can impact customer satisfaction and brand reputation. Not to mention the increasing demand for quick shipping and real-time tracking adds another layer of complexity. Some other challenges include:

  • Shipping errors
  • Slow delivery times
  • International shipping
  • Disorganized returns
  • Customer service issues

If the above leaves you feeling deflated, keep reading. 

Leveraging VESYL For More Efficient Fulfillment Operations

Store Automations

VESYL connects to all major e-commerce platforms including Shopify, eBay, WooCommerce, Etsy and more. This allows you to easily import and manage orders from one or multiple platforms, allowing management of orders all in one place.

With all orders now in one place, you can automate your shipping processes working top down. Setting automation rules speeds up the process by reducing the need to select and fill information on individual orders. Brands can use product SKU’s and pre-selected shipping to trigger automation rules to preset shipping speeds, carriers and rates. A few examples of this are:

  • Wooden Coffee Set - Select Large Box
  • SKU TY9921 - Priority
  • Orders + $1000 - Set Insurance

These pre-set automation triggers allow you to save time associated with having to process each order manually, and still enjoy cost savings. 

Alternatively, you can upload orders from a CSV and save your mappings as a preset. Then, next time you upload, the leg work is already done. 

Quick Ship

It’s all in the name. For those with a smaller parcel volume or looking to create labels one at a time, there’s Quick Ship.

Quick Ship allows you to paste the customer address and quickly verifies that address to ensure no errors. This automated address verification process reduces the risk of any delays due to an incorrect address and cuts the costs otherwise associated with address correction fees and shipment returns. 

Once the address is filled out and verified, VESYL has the option of manually filling out package dimensions and other options, or you can pre-define box and package types and sizes. In the boxes tab, you can “Add Box” to add your custom box or package dimensions and name them. Once saved, these options will show in the “box” drop down menu. By pre-defining your box sizes, this saves the groundwork and time of having to fill out frequently used box dimensions every single time.

With the above completed, click “Get Rates” for the most competitive shipping rates in real-time, across multiple carriers and services. This enables you to compare costs and make informed decisions for every shipment within seconds.

Batch Shipping

Designed for businesses shipping multiple packages, Batch Shipping purchases and prints multiple labels, whether it’s 1 or 500 labels, all at once. Additionally, Batch Shipping generates the packing list and label for the fulfillment team to easily pick, pack and ship the orders. The tracking number and information is then sent back to the e-commerce platform which, depending on how the store has email automations set up, will trigger an email to the end customer communicating the shipping information. This feature combined with VESYL’s integrations automates and streamlines the fulfillment process while still providing discounted shipping rates, reducing time, costs and minimizing the risk of errors. 

Shipping more than 500 pieces a day? Our team is dedicated to delivering concrete results as not only a service provider, but also your strategic partner. Enjoy a VESYL shipping evaluation on the house.

Customized Reporting

It’s no secret that clear reporting and analyzing is key to success and sustained business growth. With VESYL, the reporting tab provides a variety of reporting options from different time periods and report types such as shipment, payment log, tracking etc. The ability to refine the report to the information you need, saves time and, analyzed correctly, can help to further reduce costs. 

In Summary

Every VESYL feature has been meticulously designed to save shippers both time and money, from pre-defining frequently used boxes, pre-set automation triggers, easy integrations with major e-commerce platforms and partners, Batch Shipping and more. Not to mention, with our outcome-focused and expert team, we are constantly adding more features and integrations to shake up your shipping. 

Need an integration we don’t currently have? Just let us know!