1. Expand the number of channels you sell on: From eBay to Amazon all the way through to your own store sites. The more places your customers have the opportunity to view your products, the more you will sell. Companies like SellerExpress can help you list your entire product range across multiple online marketplaces as well as power your own store sales.
  2. Go Global: Get serious about selling globally by listing products in local languages.  Dip your toes in each individual market by listing a subset of your catalogue on a local online marketplace first (i.e. eBay Germany) before making a serious investment. Companies like InterCultural Elements can help you translate your listings and advise on any cultural selling differences.
  3. Optimise for Mobile: Think about how many hours you spend online on mobile devices each week and then give some thought to how your customers would like to access your site.
  4. Get to grips with Email Marketing: Acquiring new customers can be very expensive. Retaining existing clients can be very profitable. You’ve undoubtedly collected a huge number of email addresses from new customers in the run up to Christmas. Email Marketing services like iContact can help you maximize the potential from your customer lists.
  5. Outsource Fulfilment  Don’t let the physical size of your warehouse or the difficulties in hiring and firing staff to reflect the fluctuations in business throughout the year prevent you from expanding. Fulfilment services like Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)  can help you streamline your operation and ride the peak waves of ecommerce more efficiently.
  6. Test and Optimize Everything: The returns from your paid search, email marketing and website conversion strategies could always be better. Take the time to test, learn and optimize everything. Don’t fall into the trap of benchmarking your success against your competitors – they might be doing an awful job.
  7. Drive Costs Down: Take advantage of the current economic climate and play hardball you’re your suppliers. A small discount on packaging, rent or shipping services can add significantly to your bottom line at the end of your financial year.
  8. Don’t be a busy fool: Try to maintain margins at all costs. Don’t be forced into a race to the bottom. Hold your nerve, cut costs in other areas (see #7) and let your competitors discount themselves out of business.
  9. Concentrate on what works first: Don’t abandon tried and tested marketing techniques for the latest (unproven) techniques. If email marketing or paid search works for you – try and optimize these channels (See #6) and invest more heavily. Remember there is no such thing as expensive or cheap marketing. There is just marketing that works and marketing that doesn’t.
  10. Invest in yourself: Internet technology allows us to automate a great many aspects of our business lives. Get things lined up and let them run. Watching figures rise and fall on a computer screen will not help you sell more (unless you take positive action to improve them). Try to finish work on time, spend some quality time with the family and enjoy yourself.

John W. Hayes will be running a full-day workshop entitled Becoming THE Expert: Content Marketing Boot Camp in London on February 13th, 2013. Tickets for this event are extremely limited and can be booked here.