You may be enjoying the gifts of autumn. But if you run an ecommerce business, it’s time to put down your pumpkin spice latte and look to the future! The Christmas rush is (ironically) getting longer and longer, with Black Friday weekend one of the busiest in online retail.
‘Tis the season to enjoy bountiful revenues, and impress new customers that will return to you in the new year and beyond. But the key to a successful and profitable festive season is to be prepared. And there’s no better time to start than now! Here, we’ll look at 5 tips to help you prepare for the Christmas ecommerce rush!
Know your busiest days
When you know which days you’ll be busiest, you can strategise accordingly. Of course, you don’t have a crystal ball. But you do have last year’s data. Both your own and national retail data. For instance, did you know that around 50% of shoppers have concluded their Christmas shopping by the end of December’s first week?
November and December are likely to be your busiest months, so start preparing now. Keep in mind also that January tends to be a fairly admin-intense month with many online retailers dealing with a lot of returns, refunds and exchanges.
Invest in creating a seamless user experience
Now’s the time to start tweaking your UX so that it’s unimpeachable by the time the Christmas rush arrives. If your website lags, makes it hard for customers to find the products they want or causes friction at the point of payment, you could miss out on a lot of sales.
Keep in mind that the majority of customers will visit your website on their mobile devices, so your UX will need to be fast and responsive. Otherwise, you can expect your bounce rates to soar.
Focus on fulfilment
If a popular product is out of stock, fervent Christmas shoppers probably won’t stick around to wait until you have more. They’re far more likely to click away from you and into the open arms of your better-prepared competitors. Use last year’s inventory management data to get a sense of how many units you’ll need, and which product lines you’ll need to keep in stock to avoid disappointing your customers. You may also need to take on temporary help in order to ship your orders out to customers in a timely fashion.
Late or unfulfilled orders could permanently sour the customer’s relationship with your brand. It’s also important to ensure transparency in delivery, so tracking of orders is essential.
Build your strategy around what your customers need
Let’s be honest. Christmas shopping is more stressful than fun. Not to mention costly. Many of your customers may still be dealing with the financial effects of the pandemic. They may be contending with personal and professional challenges. This is your opportunity to position your brand as the answer to their prayers this festive season.
There are a number of ways to do this, including:
Personalised product recommendations
Personalised / targeted offers
Bonus points or enhanced loyalty programmes
Flexible payment terms
In-store pickup for physical retailers.
Finally, bundles are advantageous for both customers and retailers. They’re a great upselling opportunity and provide the customer with a real sense of value for money. Bundle offers are especially attractive for busy shoppers who want to get all of their Christmas shopping done as quickly and affordably as possible. If they can get everything they need under your roof, so much the better!
We can help
If you’re interested in finding out more about preparing for the Christmas ecommerce rush, then get in touch with our financial experts. Discover how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.