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How To: Survive Christmas 2014

Surviving christmas with a ecommerce business

We all know that it’s not quite September yet, but the Christmas period is going to start soon and most ecommerce businesses have already started to plan and forecast for the busy times to come.

One of the main issues I had when selling online on multiple sites during Christmas was overselling – on most occasions this can be solved with good customer service, but during the Christmas period there is no excuse in the world that will allow you to get away with delivering Little Timmy’s present late (or not at all!).

This can lead to unhappy customers, poor feedback and possibly closures of your marketplace accounts.

Linnworks is designed to help prevent you overselling on your channels, but in the 10 minutes between syncs there is still room for an oversell during busy times.

How do we stop overselling?

You can never entirely eliminate overselling, especially at Christmas, but you can work to reduce the odds of it occurring to a minimal level. Linnworks includes the ability to control when your items are marked out of stock on your selling channels, and also to set a ‘Maximum number’ of stock to be shown on the listing, reducing the number of updates you send to the listings. The more stock updates you send in one sync alongside downloading all your orders, the higher the likelihood it may take more than 10 minutes to complete a sync, meaning you’ll have a 20 minute window instead of 10.

I highly recommend these for your popular Marketplaces during the Christmas period, this will save disappointing customers and damaging the security of your account.

Most of these options are found in your selling channel’s config on Linnworks, to get there:

Settings> Channel Integration> (Your Channels) Config

Default End When Quantity

Benefits: Helps Overselling – Focus your available stock on a particular channel when levels are low

This option allows you to specify that a listing is Ended/Deactivated when stock reaches a certain level on that channel specifically.

For example, if you had 1 market place that was more popular than the others and only 10 items left in stock, on your less popular marketplaces you could set it so that when stock reaches 10 that those listings will end – Allowing you to have the remaining stock focused on your most popular channel without the fear of overselling.

Default Max Listed Quantity

Benefits: Speed up the Sync Process – Great for Channels with Selling Restrictions

This means that when the available stock level goes above the specified value for an item, we will no longer send notifications of levels changing until it drops below this value. This means that where items are selling and being restocked frequently, instead of updating every listing every sync on every channel, we will only send changes when the value drops to a relatively low level, keeping your syncs faster and regular.

Warning - Please remember that the minimum and maximum levels should not be set to the same value. In addition, please remember that the maximum value should not be set too low – If you can easily sell 20 items across your channels and listings in under ten minutes, your maximum value on your channels should be at least 30 – otherwise you risk overselling during a surge of orders without having the chance for Linnworks to update available stock levels and reduce your exposure.

 

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