1. 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 addition to their 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 we 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?
2. 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 business processes come in. Modern software, such as an inventory and order management system, provides tools that can benefit a company greatly.
For example, shipping assignment and bulk label printing. And, 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 making it a priority to start researching your options after the busy period is over.
That way, you can be fully prepared come next year's peak shopping periods.
4. Maintaining accurate 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 management systems with stock control functionality can do this for you.
5. 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, which inventory management software with shipping management functionality can do for you.
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 backup 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 retail 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 Amazon's Black Friday Deals week and Green & Cyber Mondays.