November! Already? It’s hard to believe that the busiest time of the year is just about to kick off! It’s also really exciting considering the accelerated growth of SME online retail in this country over the past 12 months. It has been a few months since my last email, so I want to take this opportunity to share our progress year to date, as well as some exciting new developments. Before I do, here are some ideas to help you take advantage of the holiday season, your biggest opportunity to acquire new customers and build loyalty in your existing base.
- Offer free shipping and improve checkout conversion rates - Our research shows that offering free shipping at checkout can decrease cart abandonment rates and increase average cart value. If you cannot afford to build free shipping into your product pricing, consider offering free shipping over a certain threshold. Here is a step-by-step article on how to setup free shipping for the Holiday season.
- Setup product bundles to differentiate from the competition - One of our most popular features is kitting or “bundles”. This is a great way to increase the number of products you have for sale without increasing your stock holding. It is also a great way to differentiate your products from others on marketplaces and other sales channels. Consider bundling your popular products together to create enticing bundles at a slightly lower price than if purchased separately. For example, a Holiday camping bundle that consists of a tent, sleeping bag and backpack. Here is a step-by-step article on how to setup product bundles.
- Offer gift wrapping to build loyalty - Offer your customers the option (paid or free) to have their purchases wrapped. It’s one less thing they will need to worry about and will help to build loyalty. Here is a step-by-step article on how to setup gift wrapping as an option on each of your products.
- Include Afterpay as a payment option to increase basket size and repeat purchase rates - Afterpay is fast becoming a standard payment option across all our customers. Afterpay’s proprietary technology platform enables shoppers to pay for items in four simple instalments, without the need for additional information at checkout. Add Afterpay to your Neto store in a few clicks.
- Personalise your email marketing and get more sales - Now is the best time of year to take advantage of the customer database you have been building over the past year. To make this as simple as possible, we have partnered with Smartrmail, the simplest way to send your customers personalised product emails. Drag and drop your Christmas promotions into beautiful pre-made templates and away you go. What used to take hours, now takes minutes! Here is a step-by-step article on how to setup Smartrmail.
Since my last email, things have really accelerated here at Neto. We are making good progress on our FY18 initiatives and are excited about what we will be releasing in the coming months.
In August, we completed our migration to AWS hosting infrastructure. Thank you for supporting us through this mammoth migration, especially those of you that had to go out of your way to make DNS changes on your end.
August also saw the launch of our “Retail Road Trip” initiative. Each week, a bus load of Neto staff now visit a customer to learn everything about their business. The insights we gather from these visits are then fed back into our business to power our product roadmap and improve the way we service our customers. Thank you to everyone that has agreed to host the team, we look forward to visiting as many of you as possible in the coming year. Watch videos from two of our recent visits below:
In September, we appointed a new head of customer service, Wendy Matthews. Wendy comes to us with many years of experience in managing large scale call centres and delivering an exceptional customer experience. In addition to this appointment, we have increased the capacity of our support department by over 20% in the past quarter and implemented a new staff capability program. I’m looking forward to the impact these initiatives will have on the quality and timeliness of our support responses.
Last month, we launched our new Support Hub, Partner Portal and Customer Community. Although still in the early stages, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback and would encourage everyone to jump into the customer community to connect with other Neto customers, partners and experts to learn, get answers and share ideas. Our online training courses are another highlight. We now have over 20 self-paced online training courses, ready for you or your staff to partake in.
We also recently launched our latest verion, Neto 6.11, watch an overview webinar here. This release includes hundreds of improvements, a new discounts manager, a new shipping setup wizard and a number of new add-ons. Most importantly, this release includes significant background work in preparation for the launch of our new sales channel management engine. This engine will power our upcoming Amazon, Catch Of The Day and Trademe marketplace integrations. This new development leverages machine learning to automate the listing and management of your products across multiple marketplaces, including listing categorisation, stock control, order synchronisation and more. It is our belief that retailers need to be agnostic to the sales channel, and tools like this will enable this at scale.
In my last update I mentioned that we are moving our customers to a new Content Delivery Network called CloudFlare. CloudFlare improves website performance through its global CDN and web optimisation features. This migration has now commenced and you will be notified in the coming weeks once your website is migrated.
Anyway, that’s probably enough rambling from me. But, before I go, let me address the elephant in the room... Amazon. As I mentioned above, Neto is in the process of building an end-to-end integration with Amazon in preparation for their Australian launch later this year/early next year. This will be made available prior to Amazon Australia launching, however, at this stage, a definitive date cannot be provided. We will continue to provide updates in the weeks leading up to the Amazon Australia launch.
If Amazon has selected your business to be part of their Early Access Program, you can start adding your products to Amazon via Amazon Seller Central in preparation for launch. Once our integration is available, you will be able to link your Neto inventory to the products you have created on Amazon using our integration tool.
In addition to Amazon, Neto is also building integrations with the Catch Of The Day and Trademe marketplaces. More information on these marketplaces will be available soon.
CEO - Neto