As we know, in November buyers are awaiting Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which open the biggest non-official seasonal sales of the year and give way for Christmas shopping. According to the survey conducted by NRF, this year 53% of customers plan to spend more during major sales due to travel restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the promised impressive discounts may also become a real headache for businesses unless they start early preparations.
“Businesses will have to make a number of decisions at this time of intense pressure related to the increase in orders and to the logistics chain. We have been closely cooperating with e-businesses and can offer a wealth of knowledge: how to prepare your inventory, promotional campaign, and delivery of consignments, to ensure highly positive customer shopping experience.
Justas Šablinskas, General Manager of Venipak
In order to prevent a wide range of unforeseen problems during the biggest shopping days of the year, we offer businesses 10 strategies to help them prepare properly.
1. Draw up a preparation plan
Make a plan listing potential problems, actions and strategies before the shopping season. In particular, it is recommended to clarify the aims of the biggest discount period, for example, how to retain the existing and attract new customers, what products to advertise and what improvements to make in the promotional campaigns. A structured plan will help you to have a clear goal and concrete actions for the sales period.
2. Use help of reliable partners
A survey conducted by Deloitte shows that this year, due to the general epidemiological situation, 64% of customers intend to spend their budget on electronic platforms and to avoid visiting physical shops. With an increased workload on e-businesses, share the responsibility by transferring certain tasks directly to the parcel agencies. By selecting the fast-growing e-commerce fulfilment service where Venipak parcel delivery service performs packaging, marking, selection and dispatch of goods, you can save your staff time and ensure that the goods ordered by your customers are delivered on time.
3. Estimate your stock
In 2011, Best Buy launched a number of campaigns for major sales, unfortunately, they were unable to fulfill all orders, because of failure to supplement their stock. You should check your last year’s financial data, goods prevailing on the market, sales results, and top up existing stocks accordingly. Also, consider modern solutions such as automatic synchronization of the stock with your e-store assortment. The good news is that such an automated solution is easily accessible via the e-commerce fulfilment service mentioned above. Therefore, if you have properly prepared your stock before the sale chaos, you will avoid possible shortages of goods and disappointment of your customers when their desired product is no longer available.
4. Create compelling descriptions of your products
With the sales season in progress, e-businesses may face the risk that other e-shops will offer the same or similar goods. Therefore, in order for your goods to be noticed, create compelling descriptions of your products. You can do this by emphasizing how the product will improve the life of the buyer and what value it will create. Try to use natural language to make the text sound like a conversation. Also use evocative, punchy words, such as “stunning”, “magic”, “sensational”, etc. A creative description will help your product to be seen, inspire positive feelings and encourage customers to choose your products the next time.
5. Take account of the pandemic market
Shopify has made a list of goods that have been particularly popular since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the survey, the most popular products are indoor and outdoor furniture, home office equipment, sports equipment, beauty products and leisure goods. If you sell goods from this list, you can offer special discounts for your sale weekend. Please also remember to supplement the stock of these products.
6. Use social networks
When promoting future campaigns, businesses are recommended to assess their target audience. According to the survey conducted by Google and Millward Brown Digital, the age of 46% of shoppers who make the crucial decision range from 18 to 34 years. Given that this is largely the group that uses social networks, it would be useful to make use of statistics and to promote in the most popular social channels such as Facebook and Instagram. In addition, it must be noted that 70% of Facebook and 59% of Instagram users visit these platforms every day, which means that, by promoting your offers in these social channels you will increase your chance of reaching potential buyers.
Besides, as many as 67% of customers use social channels not only as a means of communication, but also as customer service platforms. Therefore, use social networks for active communication with potential buyers in order to maximise customer experience. For example, if your brand is present on Facebook, then use listening tools such as Awario, Agorapulse, Brandwatch to follow mentions of your brand name and respond to it reaching your customers in person. Do not undervalue the power of social networking, because it will add a personal experience aspect to your promotional campaign before the year’s biggest shopping days.
7. Monitor your brand online
Don’t forget to monitor how your brand is doing in the public space when preparing for the biggest sales of the year. You can do this with the help of Google Alerts. Once you have set the keywords, you will receive messages as soon as there is any news important to you. This is particularly important for small businesses, for those who have just started to expand their customer base, because you will know what is said about your business and how successful your promotional campaign is. Furthermore, Google Alerts enable you to observe not only any mention of your brand and products, but also any mention of your competitors, which is particularly convenient when the shopping season begins.
8. Offer free delivery
According to E-tailing Group, 73% of customers consider free delivery as a crucial aspect of their purchase on a given electronic platform. In addition, IRI has searched that as many as 50% of the millennials would rather opt for free delivery than quick delivery or pick up at the shop. So in addition to discounts on the biggest shopping days why don’t you offer free delivery? If you are a small business and cannot send all your products free of charge because of the increased costs, it is worth checking the goods left in abandoned baskets or the bestselling goods and offer their free delivery.
9. Ensure different delivery methods
Before the start of the shopping fever of the year, assess the optimal delivery methods you can offer to your customers. A total of 86% of customers feel very positive about the choice of several different delivery methods. By providing a choice at the time of ordering the goods, either delivery by courier or collection at a parcel terminal at a convenient time, will increase the likelihood that the buyer will be willing to order goods from your website again.
10 Evaluate the epidemiological situation
In view of the global pandemic, it is important to ensure very secure conditions not only for your employees, but also for your customers. Indicate to potential buyers what measures you intend to take in order to ensure maximum safety of delivery. Discuss the delivery methods with couriers and make sure that the parcel delivery services take all possible measures to ensure contactless delivery, payment with bank cards, and the use of safety masks and disinfectants during delivery.
We hope that, with these strategies proposed by the Venipak team, you will handle the challenges of the biggest shopping of the year smoothly and get ready for successful sale, and your customers will enjoy high-quality shopping experience.