There’s not very many of us who enjoy thinking about Christmas while we’re still in the depths of August. However, working in the gifting industry, it is important to get your peak season plan nailed well in advance.
Not only do we cater for Christmas, there’s an increasing demand for Thanksgiving gifts and Black Friday deals. Increasing popularity for these causes peak season to pick up much earlier than previous years all across the globe.
If you’re responsible for an e-commerce store, take this as your final push to plan for the upcoming peak season.
Check out – from start to end
When was the last time you completed an order through your own website? We’re not just talking about clicking through the buying process, we’re referring to browsing, product selection, check out and delivery. It is vital for every aspect of your customer journey to be running as swiftly as possible if you’re to succeed in the busiest quarter of the year. By ordering from your own web store, you’re checking for any issues which may be missed in your existing testing. Perhaps you’ll find difficulty in using voucher codes. You may find distribution timeframes which don’t match your online promise. Maybe even some issues with your third party delivery service. Any issues will need rectifying as soon as possible so it’s not detrimental to your seasonal trade.
Is your packaging up for the journey?
As an extension to our above point, you need to ensure that your packaging is up for the job. Inadequate packaging will cost you in damages, reproduction and items lost in the mailing system. Over-protect your products as an investment in the quality of your deliverables. The safer your items arrive, the more likely a customer is to be happy with their order. After all, nobody will become a return customer if everything they order gets lost or broken. Luckily, there are a huge range of packaging options. Consider your budget, transport and your environmental impact when looking for packaging.
Seek opportunity in every sale
As an online retailer, you’ll be provided with loads of valuable information when a customer purchases through your site. Ensure that your data retrieval and storing is secure and fits alongside all guidelines and laws – these vary between countries. Not only is this for the protection of your customer, but yourselves also. If you have permission, make use of this data to market further products to your customers. You can also provide updates for their order to make a higher value customer experience.
Review advertising opportunities you may be missing; do you have any discount codes or flyers included in every package you ship? Direct marketing to recent customers is easily done within a low budget to be a key driver in establishing repeat custom. Regular outreach across multiple channels will help to keep your brand at the forefront of a buyers mind. If you can get them to purchase once, you should be able to bring them back.
(Don’t Fear) The Repeater
Repeat custom is a huge asset for e-commerce, as attracting brand new customers costs around 700% more than attracting a further purchase from an existing customer. Not only is marketing to a previous customer of yours cheaper, it is also more likely to provide a financial return for you.
The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5% to 20%.
Nothing tells a company that what they are doing is working more than a growing loyal customer base. Don’t underestimate the power that repeat customers hold with your company – they’re a great sample to see gauge effectivity of changes. Not only this, you’ll have more energy for progression if you’re not fighting tooth and nail for every sale.
Get ahead of the curve
It is easy to fall into the trap of planning your peak season on a ‘see how it feels’ basis. Remember, there is valuable data to show when you should begin your peak season rollout. Checking Google Trends allows us to see that searches for ‘personalised gift’ have increased in September, year on year. Make use of services such as this to provide an accurate bench mark to plan your holiday advertising, so that you don’t miss the early shoppers. The age old phrase the early bird gets the worm definitely applies here.
That’s not to say that your marketing efforts need to jump into the throes of the Holidays in September; work on increasing your marketing output and tailor your message to events throughout the season which drive your products.
Personalised baubles, calendars and note books are easy examples of products which should do well in the run up to Christmas. Make sure that these are available and noticeable on your site well ahead of the last-minute rush. Remember to vary your product focus dependent upon the season.
Time for Technicalities
Ensure that your systems are running to full capacity before your seasonal shopping peaks. Run a comprehensive server check so that you don’t encounter any technical issues which may damage your peak season revenue, causing shoppers to look elsewhere.
Update to the latest version of Taopix to benefit from the newest behind-the-scenes support systems, such as automated workflows, increased options to upsell and make personalisation even easier with the multi-device image upload. All of these features, along with all the others included within the release, are designed to make the purchase process quicker and easier for customers and yourself. Updating your software in advance of the peak season gives you time to draw customers to new products from the start. You’ll likely want time to grow accustomed to any new systems which will assist in boosting your turnover. Don’t miss out on sales when you have opportunity laid before you!
Make new moves
If you want to explore new offerings before peak season, now is the time to strike while the iron is hot. If you’re not already offering personalised photo products as an online retailer, you’re missing out. Get the ball rolling by contacting us today so that you can be up and running for peak season, making the most of those seasonal sales. You can access our demo site freely for a preview of how you can sell personalised items on your existing e-commerce site, along with an interactive view of our designer and 3D previews. Don’t forget – we’re entirely white label, so your customers will never know that we’re even there.
Contact us to discuss updating your personalised gift offering.