Combatting Uncertainty and Trend of the Market

One of the worrying trends of 2023 is the idea of “market uncertainty.” 

With the potential looming recession and global supply chain crisis, many Shopify merchants are growing uncertain about the market outlook for the year.

On top of the rising uncertainty, many Shopify owners also have to deal with the post-holiday sales slump from January to March — the slowest retail months of the year.

However, instead of worrying about market uncertainty, you can prepare yourself for the slow retail months by closing out last year’s inventory, focusing on long-term growth and customer retention strategies, and using new automation tools to find new sales opportunities.

In this article, we’ll offer the best strategies for combating market uncertainty, so that no matter what time of the year it is, your Shopify store can continue to make a profit, and become truly recession-proof.

5 ways to grow your online sales in market uncertainty

Even in times of economic uncertainty and slow retail months, Shopify merchants can hedge themselves against losses by following these marketing and sales tactics: 

1. Use CartHook to upsell products through post-purchase offers

Upselling and cross-selling involve getting your customers to add more items to their cart than they originally planned, increasing their cart’s average order value (AOV).

Using CartHook, Shopify merchants can include a “one-click upsell funnel” at the end of the Shopify checkout page as a post-purchase offer

This upsell funnel will display a suggested product recommendation that the customer can easily click to “accept” or “decline” the product recommendation.

Because the product recommendation is placed after checkout, there’s zero risk of cart abandonment, and up to two product recommendations can be recommended to each customer.

Merchants who use CartHook have seen a 15% acceptance rate and a 10% increase in sales revenue. 

2. Close out your inventory with “winter clearance” beginning-of-the-year promotions 

As the year ends, you’ll need to perform a year-end inventory count to see how much surplus inventory you’ll need to clear out the following year.

The key to getting rid of your surplus inventory is through promotions, discounts, and winter clearance sales.

Consider using a one-click upsell funnel to automatically recommend your surplus inventory to each customer who buys from your store.

Or you can run a “winter clearance” sale to bring back people to your store through generous discounts and free gifts with each purchase.

3. Sell more subscriptions for consistent revenue 

The global ecommerce subscription trend is growing at an accelerated rate, helping Shopify merchants make more consistent revenue and improving their customer lifetime value (LTV).

Did you know that you can upsell your customers on subscriptions using CartHook?

Now, instead of just offering product recommendations as one-click upsell funnels, you can include post-purchase subscription offers.

You’ll not only see an immediate bump in AOV, but also increase your customer lifetime value, and create more repeat customers!

4. Invest in customer retention strategies for long-term growth

Selling to repeat customers is not only easier than acquiring new customers but also more profitable.

On average, a repeat customer spends about 67% more on their order than a first-time buyer. 

During the slow ecommerce months, invest time and resources into creating a customer retention strategy that will earn revenue during the slow months, and retain those customers for years.

Follow these tips to offer a better shopping experience for improved customer retention:

  • Create a customer loyalty program
  • Send a discount code after the first purchase using UpOrder’s email template builder
  • Send product recommendations through transactional emails using UpOrder
  • Create a referral program
  • Improve your customer support process for faster response times
  • Have a liberal return policy
  • Offer faster delivery

5. Use your transactional email channel for more sales opportunities 

Did you know that you could boost your revenue by upselling personalized product recommendations through transactional emails?

Typically, when customers place an order, they’ll receive a generic order confirmation or shipping confirmation email sent from the Shopify store.

However, by using UpOrder, merchants can customize each transactional email template to include personalized product recommendations that boost sales revenue X percent through email alone! 

Compared to promotional emails, transactional emails are opened 8 times more, because customers are excited to see when their products arrive.

If you haven’t optimized your store’s transactional emails, we recommend you do, or else you’re missing out on a hidden and powerful sales channel.

3 things to avoid during a recession or uncertain market

It can be easy to make rash decisions when dealing with market uncertainty. However, avoid these tactics as much as you can when dealing with slower revenue months.

1. Don’t stop or limit your marketing budget

Thinking about skimping out on your marketing budget from January through March? Don’t! 

It may sound intuitive to restrict or limit your marketing budget during a market slowdown.

You may figure “Customers aren’t buying as much, so I don’t need to advertise as much.” 

However, many studies have actually shown it’s better to continue marketing or even increase your marketing budget during a recession.

By restricting your marketing budget, you’ll actually create a downfall in sales, which can result in even further losses.

2. Don’t lay off staff

No company wants to lay off its staff, but it is a commonly used method for staying afloat during the slower months.

However, by laying off your employees, you’ll actually have to spend around 3-4 times that amount back by rehiring and training new employees later.

Instead, consider a hiring freeze, or using your existing staff to come up with new sales and promotion ideas to help during the slower months.

3. Don’t raise (or lower) your prices significantly

During recessions, it can be tempting to significantly raise your prices to earn more revenue. Or alternatively, you may consider slashing your prices to offer deep discounts to attract more customers.

However, both ideas can destroy your customer’s lifetime value. If you raise prices too significantly, you can push away your most loyal customers.

And if you slash your prices too low, you’ll earn less profit, attract customers who spend less, and potentially harm your brand’s perception.

Instead, take control over your pricing strategies by:

  • Creating different tiered product bundles
  • Offering a discounted or less-expensive product line
  • Revamping old products and re-releasing them with a higher price
  • Rethinking your packaging and shipping processes to save costs
  • Being very specific on which items you can raise the prices on, e.g. high demand items

5 types of products that are recession-proof, even in times of market uncertainty 

Certain products and services are recession proof — even in times of market uncertainty, these products typically sell well.

If your Shopify store doesn’t sell these types of products, consider creating a new product line, or cross-selling and upselling these types of products during your slow months to boost revenue and AOV:

1. Consumer staples

These are considered “essential” items and can include household goods, hygiene products, personal care products, and food items. 

No matter what, your customers depend on these types of products for everyday living, and likely will continue buying them in an uncertain market. 

2. Coffee and tea

Coffee and tea have been popular as long as they have been discovered. Over 60% of Americans drink coffee daily, with millennials increasingly preferring tea.

As long as you’re selling a form of coffee or tea, you’ll still see consistent sales.

3. Cosmetics

Cosmetics are surprisingly recession-proof. And while some customers may opt to spend less on certain products or services, cosmetic sales during recessions tend to stay pretty reliable.

4. Pet care products

These days, more millennials are choosing pets over having children. Because of this, pet care products are immune to recessions, especially as more people work from home and continue caring for their pets. 

5. Sports, health, and fitness products

As people continue to work remotely, many have taken up hobbies and interests in working out and focusing on their health.

As a result, sports, health, and fitness products are a safe bet for staying recession-proof during slow sales months.

Download CartHook and UpOrder for improved customer retention 

CartHook and UpOrder are ecommerce apps that help Shopify merchants boost AOV, upsell and cross-sell more products, and retain more customers.

CartHook is a post-purchase upsell app that places recommended product suggestions at the end of the native Shopify checkout page that boosts sales by 10%.

UpOrder is an email template builder that drives repeat purchases through personalized product suggestions embedded into transactional post-purchase emails. 

Download your free trials of CartHook and UpOrder today and watch your AOV and customer retention increase.

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