Holiday Season Insights Series: Smarter selling for bigger profits
This is Part II of the Holiday Season Insights Series, a series of posts with insider tips from leading global eCommerce platforms. Read Part I here.
When you run a successful online business, the holiday season is always busy. Busy doesn’t have to mean hectic if you set your eCommerce shop and policies up properly. We asked some of the top eSeller marketplaces for their best tips for creating a smoother and more profitable holiday sales season, here were their insights:
Tip #1: Bundle goods
According to Linio, a huge platform that sells to buyers across Latin America, sellers need to differentiate themselves; offering a juicy bundled package can make one seller stand out from among the sea of competitors vying for customers’ attention (and money). Try combination packages like:
- A computer package that includes a printer, ink cartridges, and paper with purchase of a computer, or a tablet that comes with a case and keyboard
- A photography package that combines a state-of-the-art camera with a trendy backpack and useful memory card
- A bedroom package could comprise a deluxe mattress, pillows, and linens along with the purchase of a bed set
- A perfume package might include free samplers of the most desired fragrances on the market along with a coupon for the consumer to buy their favorite one
Bundling items helps to get big ticket items selling faster, while moving slower selling items out of your warehouse at the same time.
Tip #2: Handle customer inquiries quickly
Nobody likes to wait, and during the holiday rush people are even less patient than they are the rest of the year. If a customer has taken the time to ask a question, Joybuy advises, be sure to answer them in a timely fashion so you don’t lose out on the business. A fast, knowledgeable response can be the difference between making a sale and losing one. This may require hiring additional customer service staff temporarily, but it is well worth the investment.
Tip #3: Arrange on time delivery
Joybuy also emphasizes the importance of fast delivery options. This is especially relevant for those late shoppers who leave things for the last minute, but all your consumers will appreciate faster shipping options and on-time delivery. Late deliveries reflect poorly on an e-shop, even when the fault is on the delivery agent or service; make sure you only employ reliable packing, handling, and delivery services for this important task.
Cdiscount recommends utilizing their fulfillment service during busy season, as this allows them to ensure next-day delivery. This could be a deal-breaker for late shoppers that want to make some last-minute purchases.
Tip #4: Manage your inventory properly
There’s nothing worse during the thriving holiday season than running out of a hot selling item and not being able to fulfill an order because of it. You’ve done all the work, and instead of raking in the revenue, you lose out because of a simple inventory issue. Industry leader Tophatter offers these suggestions to help you ensure that this doesn’t happen. Stay on top of your inventory by:
- Being aware of hot selling items for each season
- Ordering extra amounts to ensure you have plenty of these items in stock
- Checking your supplies well in advance of busy seasons so you can supplement any missing items
- Checking for standard supplies that can trip up a good sale (like packing supplies, postage, etc.)
Tip #5: Set reasonable shipping deadlines
While most eCommerce platforms will allow a seller to set their own shipping terms and deadlines, a smart eSeller will understand the limitations and work within reasonable parameters. After all, the last thing you want is to have to refund a cancelled order because you didn’t get the item shipped and delivered in time. Linio offers sound practices for smart shipping deadlines. Consider your shipping deadlines for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and other prominent sales seasons, and make sure you can fulfill those deadlines in a timely fashion. Other things to consider when setting shipping policies for the holiday are:
- In general the products that sell the most have a very fast delivery date (2-3 business days) during high seasons. Pay attention to what your competitors are offering and factor this into your calculations
- For Christmas items, the product has to be delivered no later than December 23rd.
- Many online stores offer same-day delivery campaigns during the high seasons.
- Some esellers will change their shipping deadlines when they see that orders are getting too much to handle. Don’t be afraid to alter your terms if it means more responsible fulfillment.
Now that you’ve heard from the leading marketplaces in the industry, it’s time to get out there and tweak your online store practices so you can put your best foot forward this busy season. Happy Holidays, and here’s to higher profits all around!