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This is the best moment to prepare the strategy for the next eCommerce Christmas campaign. The eCommerce sector is still experiencing exponential growth worldwide and is one of the key dates for most eCommerce.
Online sales in Christmas 2020 were very successful and this year seems to be heading the same way. This Christmas season, preceded by Black Friday and Cyber Monday (big eCommerce dates) is around the corner. In this article, we share 13 strategies to follow if you want to prepare your online shop for the best eCommerce season of the year.
1. Market research: What are your customers looking for this Christmas 2021?
Before implementing strategies for your eCommerce’s Christmas campaign, it becomes essential to assess the economic situation. For this, you will need to collect all the important information on eCommerce trends for 2021.
For example, you can carry out surveys to find out who your customers are, what their purchasing power is or what kind of articles they are looking for this Christmas. Knowing these answers will allow you to implement better strategies for this eCommerce Christmas campaign.
2. Go through your prices, they are a key factor
Most buyers, either online or in a brick-and-mortar shop, like to find good offers. The FOMO (Fear of missing out) makes users want to purchase products at a special price for a limited time.
Consider if special prices will be part of your eCommerce strategy this Christmas season or if you will opt for offering a returns portal as a way to reduce returns costs.
3. Update your stock
Surely, no online shop will want to face a lack of stock during the most important sales season of the year. For this reason, doing an accurate forecast of the supplies is an inevitable step for things to run smoothly. If you wish to be successful in the management of the stock, follow these simple steps:
- Do a recounting of the available stock. Make sure all the inventory is in good condition, taken into account and stored in the right place.
- Check your books. Analyse how much you sold in past years during this season. This will give you an idea of what to expect this Christmas. It will also help you to calculate the minimum quantities required.
- Estimate the arrival time of the products to order them with enough time. Look for suppliers that offer quality items and are reliable and professional. If the goods could not be delivered, it will cause dissatisfaction among your customers and great losses in your online shop.
- Once you have received the goods, store them conveniently to simplify your shipment management. In the following section, we will discuss how to manage your warehouse efficiently.
4. Rethink your warehouse distribution
Provisions and stock are one of the most important parts of the supply chain, hence the relevance of their optimisation. This is especially true for the Christmas season when eCommerce businesses and online shops gain the most profits.
Maximise the warehouse space to store products in an organised way, prepare the orders more efficiently and optimise stock management. You can start by:
- Measuring the warehouse and taking into account the space that cannot be used because of pipes, columns, windows...
- Thinking about your needs and creating a layout based on them. This will speed up the picking and packing tasks by locating the best-sellers in a more accessible place.
- Setting up a loading and unloading zone and keeping it always clear and ready for pick-ups and drop-offs.
- Including an area for order preparation to make the packing process easier and avoid slowing down other warehouse tasks.
5. Take care of your website
The inside is just as important as the outside. Once you determine the products you are going to sell, at what price and how you will store them, you will need to show them to the world. These are some of the details you must consider:
- Have a user-friendly interface. Build a smooth checkout experience to avoid cart abandonment as much as possible. Give all the required information to provide a sense of confidence in the buyers.
- Responsive, adaptative, adaptive… Call it as you wish, but make sure your web design is compatible with all the electronic devices that your customers can use to visit your online shop. Make shopping online a fun and easy experience.
- Create attractive pictures of the products to catch users’ attention and boost sales. Are you still not using AR and 3D in your eCommerce?
- The product page must contain all the information to reassure the customers of the purchases they are about to make.
6. Set up advertising campaigns for Christmas
The Christmas campaign for 2021 starts! And may your competitors shake! You can start by thinking about the channels you will use to communicate with your customers:
- Web: Offer special offers, highlight your best-sold products and include videos. This format is more trendy than ever!
- Blog: This is the perfect moment to produce fresh content, especially if your online shop commercialises seasonal items like Christmas food, items likely to be gifted, decor, etc.
- Email marketing: Take advantage of the season and thank your most loyal customers for their purchases. Simply review your database and send them a coupon to use in the checkout when making their Christmas shopping. You could also send them a Christmas gift, like a care guide for the products you sell.
- Social media: Contact micro-influencers with a loyal and segmented audience. They can be the best springboard for your products.
- Google Ads: Have you been thinking about improving your Google Ads campaigns? This is the perfect moment to do so!
And continue creating an attractive message to deliver your best offers and discounts, to potential customers and loyal customers. Give free rein to your imagination and create original content that will not be easily forgotten. Christmas is a season to spend with family and appealing to their emotions is a strategy that never seems to fail.
7. Streamline the picking and packing tasks
As we mentioned previously, you will need an efficient warehouse system to optimise your picking process. If your eCommerce deals with a high volume of shipments, this is fundamental to shorten the preparation of orders, cut costs and better manage your resources.
On the other hand, packing the products must be carried out as precisely as possible. This will prevent some errors and returns, cutting down the time and money needed to solve the incidents. In order to optimise the picking and packing tasks for your eCommerce, you can use a tool like Outvio. This software will help you manage your shipments and returns while simplifying and accelerating processes and eliminating some of the most common mistakes that cause incidents in the delivery of packages.
8. Surprise your customers with the delivery packaging
With the boom of online shopping, more and more businesses are selling similar products that are not clearly branded. In order to differentiate yourself from your competitors, you can use the delivery packaging to make shopping at your website a new and exciting experience for them.
Unique packaging is one of the eCommerce trends for 2021 and the perfect tool to provide memorable experiences. If they like it, they may even share it on their social media under the hashtag #unboxing and tag your company to make their friends green with envy. The perfect opportunity to go viral with your online shop!
Here are some ideas for improving the packaging experience:
- Pick the best size for the products you are about to send and the courier service of your choice
- Add tape, ribbons and stickers with your branding
- Pick Christmas wrapping paper
- Play with different textures and colours that match this season
- Include branded tissue paper to protect the products while reinforcing the brand image
- Add glitter! It’s Christmas
Make the most of the Christmas spirit and include a personalised message to create good feelings in the recipient. You can transmit your gratitude and best wishes for the New Year, full of health, peace and love. In this way, everything regarding your eCommerce will be perceived as positive.
9. Couriers are an eCommerce’s best friend
Winston Churchill once said: “There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them”. At this type of the year, this quote cannot be more true. Working with couriers that offer incident-free cheaper shipments will be an inevitable factor in your strategy for your eCommerce this Christmas.
This will help you to prevent shipping issues and focus your energy on selling more, instead of finding solutions to issues that could have been avoided. Get the best couriers and rates for your online shop and reduce shipping costs.
If you are not using Outvio yet, you are missing the opportunity to use our pre-set courier services and rates and manage your incidents efficiently. You can also bring your own couriers and rates.
10. Offer the best-personalised tracking system
This applies to any time of the year, but especially for this season when your customers will want to be sure of receiving the package as planned.
Without surprises. It is extremely important to keep them informed about the status of the order and, what better way than by using a tracking map with real-time information and personalised emails?
If the parcel is not going to make it on time, your customers need to know it to opt for plan B. Remember that when they make a purchase, they are seeking a pleasant experience, not a source of worry and pain.
11. Customer support
Customer support departments are implementing more and more tools and channels to improve the purchasing experience of the customers. Chatbots, emails, social media, phone, you name it.
Pin-point the most frequent issues your customer support staff has to deal with to spend only the resources needed. Another tip is to train your staff for better management of incidents and queries.
Having someone to pick up the phone is simply not enough. You need to provide quality customer service and solve questions and shipping issues. Mostly, they will be related to eCommerce shipments and returns.
Determine and classify the most commonly asked questions that the customer support department receives. Is there a way to prevent them from happening? Like informing the customers on the delivery days in advance or the return policy. This can be done by offering a curated Q&A section on shipping and returns, which will have a positive impact on the workload in customer support.
The higher the sales volume is, the more the probabilities for incidents to occur. This is one of the main problems to solve this Christmas season. To avoid a collapse in the support department, you need to prepare in advance. If you plan to hire additional staff for this period, consider the training process.
If, on the contrary, you opt for automating these tasks, look for tools that will help you do it. Outvio makes use of AI to detect problems to provide you with an advanced system for incident management allowing your eCommerce to smoothly flow even during high-sales periods and bringing the customers a quality purchasing experience all year round.
12. Make preparations for returns after Christmas
Returns are an unavoidable part of commerce, either online or in traditional retail. Get ahead of them and decide how you are going to deal with them. You can start by thinking about these questions:
- What is the return period? Extending the return period until the season is finished is the boost that many customers need to make a purchase. Moreover, the longer the return period is, the fewer returns you will receive.
- Will you reimburse customers or offer shop credit? If your eCommerce shop has a considerable amount of shipments, reimbursements are more than optional. Big online shops carry out this practice and it will help those users concerned about the return policy.
- To which warehouse will the returns be shipped? Outvio allows you to automate this and other tasks in a single click. Manage all the return process through a customised portal with your own URL. The idea is to make reverse shipments as easy and convenient as possible for your customers, improving the customer experience.
13. BONUS: additional ideas to improve your eCommerce
Some key elements to improve your eCommerce are competitive prices, quality customer support and short delivery times.
To comply in all three matters, it becomes fundamental to communicate with your suppliers and reach an agreement, to contact couriers and obtain the best rates and services for your customers and, lastly, to make sure their experience is as satisfactory as possible. To achieve this, share with them all the information they need on the products and the shipping process.
With these strategies, you will be able to create a successful eCommerce Christmas campaign for 2021. Preparing your online shop for this season is like organising a party for your best guests: everything should be ready by the time they arrive.
For this, remember to count on the best suppliers and couriers for your e-Commerce, review your stock, warehouse and web and take advantage of the demand to catch the attention of loyal or potential customers through special offers. Make buying products from your online shop irresistible and once they have made a purchase treat them like you should. At the end of the day, they are the best Christmas gift for your eCommerce.