Where to begin in terms of being prepared for upcoming holiday season as an online retailer or wholesale distributor? Experienced online retailers know one thing; expect the unexpected.
You need to be ready for those crazy, unexpected trending products, inexperienced consumers learning how to shop online (who will keep your support teams busy) and the traditional holiday online shopping trifecta:
Super Saturday is traditionally a big hit with last-minute shoppers who are still hoping to get free shipping on items they want to arrive before Christmas. According to Practical eCommerce, more than half of holiday orders will include free shipping. If you aren’t offering this, it’s time to add it to the promotional mix.
The truth is that not only do you need to be prepared for the aforementioned popular seasonal sales, the reality is that you need to be ready now through January as it relates to inventory, marketing, operations and staff to handle the seasonal and post-seasonal rush.
And yes, there’s a post-seasonal rush, so it’s good to remember that the fun doesn’t end by Christmas. You’ll be busy handling a high number of returns so be sure to keep enough help on to handle those issues, which are likely to continue until the end of January.
You don’t want to slow down on order fulfillment to handle incoming returns. Many online retailers hire seasonal, temporary help just as done in brick and mortar retail. Just make sure to get these staffers trained and on board before Black Friday. You don’t want to train them during this week or anytime after that.
Another important factor to remember is that mobile ordering is a must today, especially if you’re are B2C eCommerce company. Many consumers are shopping on their phones at their desk while at work (shhhhh!) or on vacation and not in front of a desktop at home.
When it comes to Black Friday, many online retailers are extending sales into the weekend or week following. Consumers want to get deals when they want them and many are still spending time with family or traveling on Black Friday, which is why many online retailers are extending the dates of that sale.
How B2B Online Retailers Can Offset a Seasonal Slump
If you’re a wholesale distributor targeting B2B buyers, a well-planned latter half of the year can help you avoid the year-end slump that B2B companies typically experience by having marketing campaigns and promotions ready to go.
Entice buyers to spend what’s left in their year-end budgets by offering free shipping, product-specific promotions or anything that will help you move aging inventory.
If you need help using calculations to profitably offer free shipping, we’ll cover that in the next post. Or, if you’d like a demo on how to use promotional codes within Systum to generate sales around these upcoming holiday sales, fill out the form below!