Are You Ready For Holiday Sales?
In a previous article, we covered how production, inventorying, warehousing and currency exchange can be optimised by your business. But what else can you do to make the most out of Q4’s seasonal eCommerce opportunities?
Where you should be by the end of Q3
Ideally, your products were sitting in a warehouse and awaiting sale by early-to-mid Q3. From experience or research, you should also know which items will be sold where, and have distributed accordingly. Make sure you’re consistently checking that inventory is stocked up and proximate to its hopeful destination from now till the new year.
You’ve also made sure that each market is aware that your product is sold there, and have numerous options for how to go about this from social media to word of mouth to physical advertising. In the Christmas build-up, you’ll be sending out a few reminder advertisements that target the right folk, but there should be awareness of and desire for what you provide already.
Between now and then
Advertise in the right places:
Having the right advert is a waste if it’s in front of the wrong eyes. It’s no secret that younger generations’ interest in Facebook is waning, or that Twitter’s popularity has been declining, so picking the right social media for your prospects is crucial. But that’s not to say social media itself is waning. In fact, according to Statista, approximately 34% of US shoppers used social media platforms to inform their holiday shopping in 2022.
Beyond social media advertising, it helps to know who’s where. From your previous sales, are most of your customers in a particular country, age group, proclivity? Putting in some time to find out who and where they are can make a world of difference.
Send electronic direct mail (eDM) to existing customers:
Direct marketing is a phenomenal tool, especially as it enables you to personalise content, with 84% of customers stating this is very important to winning their business according to IBM.
You already know these people’s hobbies and interests fit your product, so all you have to do is offer them something they don’t already have or want more of, in the knowledge that 59% of Salecycle survey respondents said marketing emails have influenced their purchases.
With any eDM, make the recipient feel special, remembered and appreciated. And suggest that they make their loved ones feel the same around the holidays by gifting your products. Plus, you can offer existing customers discounts and reward schemes.
Offer deals and promos:
As above with offering something for return customers, you can offer something to prospects, especially if they’re based somewhere you already deliver to or near your warehouse. Something as simple as a billboard in the vicinity of your store or warehouse with a QR code that offers a discount can lead to proximate new customers, who’ll come back again and again if they like what you offer.
Did you know: according to IBM, 90% of consumers are willing to share their behavioural data if additional benefits are provided that make shopping cheaper or easier.
Pay attention to trends:
Pop culture is always moving. How can you innovate your product line to suit the latest trends without losing your company ethos? It’s probably too late to capitalise on this year’s holidays, but Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and gift card recipients (more on them later) can become repeat customers if they love what they buy on your platform.
Learn from experience:
What did and didn’t work for your company last year? What gifts did you give and receive that made you and others feel known and appreciated? Echo this and yours will be a brand people associate with that special Christmas morning feeling.
Do you feel you can make all the orders in time with the workforce you currently have? Part-time employees can pick up the extra workload in a busy period, as well as bringing in new ideas and potentially becoming full-time staff later on.
Don’t forget physical stores:
Not everyone buys online. For those that like to hold products in their hands first or not risk the delivery being late or wrong, sell directly to a few stores, especially those close to your production centres. This can also mean in-store branding and additional word of mouth about your business during a busy shopping season.
During the season
Consider gift baskets:
Do you have products that didn’t sell so well currently sitting in warehouses and costing you money? Well here’s a great opportunity to bundle them into gift baskets for those who like to give a range of items compiled into one around the holidays.
By redesigning your website and adverts to echo the season, you can get customers in the holiday mood and make them associate your products with the upcoming festivities. Don’t change everything, but maybe add red or green to your colour scheme or a Santa hat to your logo.
Complement other gifts:
Do you keep reading that a product you don’t sell is this season’s hot ticket? Why not start selling something that complements it? If outdoorsy hobbies like hiking are popular and hiking boots keep selling, why not pivot from beachwear to hiking clothes? (A pivot, not a complete repositioning.) If people start 2024 with items they can use alongside items you suddenly sell, that should increase business.
Consider gift cards:
Money as a gift means you don’t know someone, but the wrong gift does too. Why not sell gift cards that recipients can use to treat themselves to something that suits them? These can have fun, thematic designs to make them stand out, and be a creative way to increase customer engagement. Other advantages include:
- As recipients see them as free money, studies suggest over one-third will spend more than the gift card’s value
- Gift cards increase traffic to your store as they are often given by an active customer of yours to someone that isn’t
- Once you have the recipient’s purchase, you can tailor subsequent deals for and messages to them
- They’re a great way to increase brand awareness, and recipients then associate your company with receiving a gift
- They can be used to settle disputes or as store credit
- Unused gift cards are pure profit
Enable personalised messages:
A gift tag that says something personal can make a generic gift special. Give the option of having a card printed (maybe with a picture) that shows the recipient they matter. This will make the gift more memorable and the giver more likely to be tempted, both of which should drive revenue for you.
Personalisation is increasingly important. According to Salesforce, 74% of Gen Zers are interested in personalised products, compared to 67% of Millenials, 61% of Gen Xers and 57% of Baby Boomers.
Perform frequent communications maintenance:
Constantly check that both your mobile and desktop sites are intuitive. (According to Adobe, nearly half of online sales for the 2022 holiday season were made on smartphones.) Also make sure you’re on top of communications such as phone lines and instant chat on your website.
People have a plethora of options these days. If they find something they like on your site but can’t make a purchase or navigate easily, they’ll move on. So make sure your UI is intuitive, your FAQ is exhaustive and your customer support is responsive and knowledgeable.
Highlight your return policy:
If someone doesn’t like the gift they get but does like something else you sell, letting them exchange it can turn a disappointed gift recipient into a long-term customer through a memorable and pleasant customer experience. Make sure those who buy on your site know this will be the case, as it will make them feel more comfortable spending money on a present they hope – rather than know – will be suitable.
Make sure customers know that selecting, paying for and receiving your products are all easy, no matter where they are or what currency they’d like to pay in. By buying online, they can also avoid the rush at shops and malls. And if you use Currenxie, you’ll be able to provide all this worldwide, without worrying about hidden currency exchange costs.
The holiday season provides a great opportunity to appeal to both new and old customers and keep them coming back. By making currency exchange easier and more cost efficient for yourself and your clients, you can grow your network and be associated with seamless experience and incredible savings.