Ecommerce is expected to be busy this holiday season. This year has been tough for many families and businesses, who were directly or indirectly affected by COVID-19.
Despite our individual challenges, we all have one thing in common: we want to have a wonderful holiday with our families, and we want to start the new year fresh.
There are a few reasons that ecommerce is expected to be busier than in previous years. First, stores have to limit the number of customers due to social distancing. Second, some people, especially those with pre-existing health conditions, are still wary of going into public spaces. Finally, many brick and mortar stores have permanently closed and moved online.
Given these changes, how do you prepare your business for a holiday season that’s unlike any other that we experienced in our lifetime?
As a business owner, it’s important to think about 1) how to increase your sales and delight customers during the holidays and 2) how to reconcile your accounting so you can make the best financial decisions for your business.
The most important strategy for preparing successfully, is to have your systems in place before you get large order volumes.
In this article we will explore which parts of your business and accounting are important to get into place prior to Black Friday.
Increasing Sales and Delighting Customers
As some customers are trying to avoid the rush of Black Friday, there is expected to be a surge in sales in the weeks before. What are the most important things to get in place prior to official start of holiday shopping?
According to Shopify, here is a checklist of items to go over to ensure you can handle the surge in traffic and purchases as the holidays near:
- Have enough staff to fulfill orders and answer customer questions
- Be sure your website can handle increased traffic
- Increase your marketing on sales channels that have brought in the best sales so far
- Have enough inventory in stock
- Sell gift cards
- Streamline your workflow
- Create bundles specifically for Black Friday
- Set up email campaigns early to announce sales
- Ensure a smooth checkout experience
- Follow-up with customers year-round
William Zhang, from the QuickBooks Resource Center, also agrees that offering incentives for customers to return in January and February is a great way to boost year-round sales.
All these practices will help you to increase sales and provide experience for your business and your customers during this holiday season. But, what happens afterwards?
By putting systems into place for your accounting as well, your business will be able to smoothly transition into the New Year being ready to make more sales and growing your business.
Get Your Accounting Systems in Place
Preparation is the key to ensure that your accounts and inventory are up-to-date during and after the surge of holiday shopping.
When you have your accounting in place before you get your orders, you will be able to sync your sales to QuickBooks successfully.
At Connex we are all about simplifying. It is much easier to stay organized, fulfill your orders on time, and delight your customers if you have set up reliable systems and automations in advance.
The holidays are also a great time to streamline your business operations. Not only will your team have a better holiday season if operations run smoothly, you can take the lessons learned and apply them to grow your business next year. Whether you are focusing on delighting your customers or streamlining your operations with your team, the approach is the same: preparation.
We have been in business for over 10 years, and we have we seen the challenges that ecommerce businesses face during the holidays. Without preparation, your business may experience chaos.
When your books are back-logged, there is a higher chance of errors when you try to sync your sales, orders, and inventory with QuickBooks.
We want to prevent is too many orders coming in at a time. This way Connex can pull in orders as they come in, which will ensure that the sync runs smoothly and successfully.
Here are our top recommendations to ensure that you can sync your sales, orders and inventory smoothly with QuickBooks:
- Match deposits in bulk and with multiple payment processors – You will be getting customers who use different payment methods (eg Stripe and PayPal). With Connex you can separate orders by payment method. You can place refunds and sales into separate asset accounts. You can make a deposit by subtracting amounts from the account.
- Match your products in QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online – If you have new products, it is important that the SKU’s are matched with the Item Name field in QuickBooks so that you can sync successfully. Also be sure to upload the inventory for new items into QuickBooks. Need a refresher in product matching? Here is the video from our CEO, Joe Anderson
- If you have a new selling channel be sure to add it to Connex. Here are step-by-step guides to add selling channels to Connex for QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online.
- Having trouble syncing inventory? Check out our guides for QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online
- If you have QuickBooks Desktop, be sure that the webconnector is running (minimized) so that your sync can continue to run. Check out best practices for your webconnector here
- Check that your rules in the Connex rules engine are set up properly so that your products, accounts, shipping methods etc. are mapped properly. Here is the rules engine best practices video by CEO Joe Anderson
- Be sure have a reliable host if you have QuickBooks Desktop such as our partner, Ace Cloud Hosting
As you grow your business it is important to evaluate which channels and products are bringing in the most profits.
Connex can help to evaluate different selling channels and products through class-mapping.
In QuickBooks, you can create classes that you assign to transactions. This lets you track account balances by department, business office or location, separate properties you own, or any other meaningful breakdown of your business. Class tracking in Connex offers a way to add a default class on the order synced by Connex.
By following best practices for operations, marketing, and accounting, not only will you have a profitable holiday season, but your business will be off to a strong start in the New Year.
If You Are Not a Connex Customer Yet, Could Connex Be a Good Fit For You?
Most of our customers sell on multiple ecommerce channels, such as Woocommerce, Shopify, Magento, and Amazon, just to name a few.
Our customers want to grow their business, and they also value the peace of mind from knowing their books are always up to date and they can serve their customers.
Why Our Customers Chose Sync with Connex
–Developed specifically e-commerce business owners
-You can scale your business by automatically syncing sales & inventory from multiple e-commerce platforms to QuickBooks Desktop or Online.
-You don’t have to spend your resources manually entering sales, inventory, and customers into your website and QuickBooks accounts.
Recommended by Intuit itself, Connex for QuickBooks will give you peace of mind that your inventory will be updated, and you will be free of the frustration of oversells and missed items.
-When your inventory is up-to-date, you can achieve higher customer satisfaction, leading to more positive reviews, and increased sales.
-For phone orders, we can sync sales from QuickBooks to your shipping solution.
–If you sell on multiple channels, you can simplify by using our solution instead of multiple tools.
–Connex integrates QuickBooks with all major ecommerce platforms such as Woocommerce, Shopify, Magento, Amazon and ecommerce shipping solutions such as Shipworks, Ordoro and Shipping Easy.
How can you decide whether Connex is right for your business?
-Full functionality for 14 days
-Sync up to 500 sales to QuickBooks Desktop or Online
-Complimentary email/chat/phone support during your free trial
Are you unsure whether Connex is right for your business?