Happy new year! It’s always exciting to come around to another January and a fresh start. Almost everyone makes New Year’s resolutions; they vow to exercise more, to improve their skills or attitudes, or to give up an unhealthy vice. No matter what it is, resolutions are a good way to examine what you’re currently doing and how it can be improved. They’re also great if you run a small business; after the hectic holiday season, January is a good time to take stock of how you’re doing and make some changes that will aid you in the long term. If you’re a Checkfront user, we’ve got some suggestions for resolutions that will help make 2015 a great year for your business. If you think you could use a revamp, here are some ways to get started.
1. Clean up your inventory
Setting up a Checkfront account is exciting, but often a little hectic at first. It’s definitely a learning process! But after you’ve been settled in for a while, it’s highly likely that there will be some old, unused, or discarded items floating around your inventory. Now is the time to go through and delete the things that have never been for sale, or consolidate items that may have been duplicated accidentally. Disable the products you’re not currently selling and update your SKUs so that they are clearly labeled and easy to understand with just a glance. Another cleanup tip: if you have group pricing parameters you’re no longer using, you can hide or delete them entirely by going to Manage → Setup → Configuration.
2. Beautify your products
Once you’ve eliminated the things you’re not using and cleaned up your back end inventory, give some love to your products so that your customers see the very best you have to offer. Go through each item and update its description; it should be dynamic, unique, and well-written. You shouldn’t have any copy-paste jobs if you can avoid them; every product deserves to be sold with energy and zest. On a similar note, update your product photos too—or add some if you don’t have any. It will take a little work, but this revamp will impress customers and boost your sales. Give as many details as you can and really work to sell your products and your business!
3. Plan out a coupon campaign
Checkfront has a pretty sophisticated discount feature, which you can use in tons of different ways. Take the plunge this year and launch a coupon campaign! It can be a fabulous way to bring in revenue. Head over to our discounts support page to learn how to set up special event pricing or create a series of voucher codes that customers can type in to receive a deal. Encourage repeat business by using our Constant Contact or Mailchimp integrations to give the people on your mailing list a thank-you discount, or use our tracking IDs to see where your customers are coming from. Learning how to use discounts can bring in more customers and give you all sorts of creative ways to market your business.
4. Use social media
Don’t just post photos from your latest tours or nicest accommodations; reach out to your fans and friends on a regular basis. Encourage social media interaction; create a hashtag on twitter for customers to use when posting photos, and respond to praise and criticism in a thoughtful, approachable manner. People respond well to businesses that interact dynamically with them on social media, so 2015 is the year to step up your game. You can use our Facebook integration, which puts the booking form right onto your business page, and even set up a special discount for those who hit ‘Like’.
5. Go mobile
Mobile e-commerce is no longer a theoretical thing; it’s rapidly catching up to desktop online shopping. Many customers in the tour, event, and accommodation industries are looking for things while they’re on the go, and are more likely to purchase from a well-designed site with mobile capabilities. So if you haven’t made your website responsive yet, or optimized it for mobile browsing, then you’re seriously missing out. You can optimize your booking page within the Checkfront app by going to Manage → Layout → Booking Page and hitting ‘Redirect Mobile Devices to Mobile Booking Page’; this will take customers to an already-optimized version of our standard booking layout so that they can easily shop on their devices. But it’s worth it to ensure that your entire website is mobile friendly. Take some time, consult your webmaster, and make sure that your site looks great on every screen size.