Get your listings ready
We recently sat down with listing and branding experts Frooition to look at some of the best ways you can optimise your listings, make sure you check out that article here. In addtion to that advice, making sure you have your listing set up in the ‘Black Friday Deals’ area of the marketplaces is a crucial way to driving traffic and increasing your sales.
Also, try offering bundles! This is a tip I picked up from Chris at Tamebay who thinks the biggest selling items this festive period will be bundles and hampers, because who doesn’t love a hamper at Christmas right?
Automation is your friend
For many companies, the festive period is the busiest time of year, companies deal with record number of enquiries, orders and dispatches with the same requirements for speed, efficiency and accuracy. This is where automated processes come in. Tools like shipping assignment and bulk label printing can benefit a company. For any Linnworks user, we highly recommend the rules engine and shipping mapping tools to help you speed up your order dispatching process.
For any businesses not using an order management solution at this time, we highly recommend signing up for one even if just for the Christmas period. At Linnworks, we offer a 30-day free trial that will take you through till after the busy period, we also offer a free Linnworks Express plan, ideally suited to a smaller businesses with under 200 SKUs, this plan is restricted to syncing every hour.
Maintaining stock levels is crucial
Understanding the assets your company currently holds is vital to the success of your business. But during the hectic and stressful time of the festive period, overselling is one headache you really cannot afford and is easily avoidable. By keeping track of your stock in an efficient and organised manner, you can substantially reduce the risk of out-of-stock listings and letting down customers this Christmas time.
Inventory managements systems can do this automatically for you. With features such as withdrawing out-of-stock listings and keeping stock levels up to date on your listings. Which can advertise how much of an item you have left to encourage customers to buy. These inventory management systems do require some set-up, so if you don’t have time or resources to set this up, I recommend a basic spreadsheet that is only used for tracking stock. Meaning you can quickly and easily review your stock levels and re-order any low-level stock before you run out.
Picking the right shipping arrangements
Remember, with such an increase in volume, everything slows down. To counteract this, you need to ensure you are assigning the correct shipping method. Is there really a need to send everything on overnight delivery? Can you trust your usual shipping provider to deliver on time? Do you have a back-up if anything goes wrong?
Remember what happened to Yodel in 2014? They stopped doing pick-ups for a large part of the festive period. Do you have a back-up if your service provider suffers from exceeding capacity? An extreme example of this was when CityLink ceased trading last year; there were a lot of companies left without any delivery service at all and ended up having to overpay to ensure delivery on time and lost a large amount of profits because of this.
Black Friday is not the end; it’s the beginning
As we’ve discussed, for many companies, Black Friday is the busiest day of the year and the main focus for many companies. But with the move away from focusing on one day of the period, Black Friday is no longer the only big selling day in the festive period. With the rise of companies offering deals in alternative ways, see Amazons Black Friday Deals week and Green & Cyber Mondays. To see how the eCommerce industry is moving away from focusing all their festive selling efforts and deals on one particular day.
Extra tip: Follow up after the surge
A great way to get more from the festive sales rush is to take advantage of the January sales by following up with the customers you have acquired before Christmas. Try offering related products to extend the profitability of each customer, excellent examples of this are in the media and electronic categories. Console games and Camera attachments are two examples of how this could be effectively achieved.