Get ready; Black Friday and Cyber Monday are around the corner

We are approaching the busiest part of the year, and if you are an online seller, you already have the end of November marked in bold in your e-commerce calendar.

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping seasons are crucial times for businesses. It’s not just about the deals but also an opportunity to gain more customers by ensuring your business is excellent during this holiday season with careful planning and strategic campaigns. According to some recent surveys, 92% of shoppers try a new product/brand during the holiday season. Make sure that you retain new customers by providing on-time deliveries.

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What to expect during the 2022 BFCM and peak season?

This year has brought us many uncertainties but what we know for sure is that the Holiday season is approaching.

Some of the challenges that we are facing globally are:

  • Staff shortage 
  • Increasing costs of energy and fuel
  • The rising cost of living
  • Inflation

All of this will impact the volumes we will see during Black Friday and Cyber Monday and the whole 2022 peak season, and some of the predictions are that the e-commerce parcel volume will decrease by approximately 13% compared with the volume in 2021. Nevertheless, significant sales will still be online, so you better be ready.

We all believe that Black Friday is the busiest shopping day, but Cyber Monday has come to replace it in the past few years. Still, both days are of great importance if you are in the e-commerce business. Also, according to Google, 48% of people will start purchasing Christmas presents in November since previous years have shown that delays in distribution can be very unpleasant. With all of this in mind, the rush month has begun!

Prepare your inventory

Planning your stock level has become essential at this time of the year. It can happen that your suppliers are facing delays in production or the transit time from them to your fulfilment centre has become longer than expected. With the increased cost of production and transport, planning is essential more than ever If you want to keep the profit.
Also, we suggest that you do a small research study to see which products are typically sold during BFCM. Go through your sales reports from 2021 since this data can be beneficial in making decisions on which products you should focus this year.
Keep all of this in mind and stock up earlier.

Focus on a marketing campaign

Did you know that the average person sees 10.000 ads per day? Yes, our jaws just dropped, also. 

However, this data should not scare you but challenge you to choose products you feel strongly about. Try to stand out from the crowd and let your creativity come to light. 

  • Here are just some of the tips you could find helpful: 
  • Create some exciting graphics and visuals on your homepage 
  • Build the hype and drop an email to your old and loyal customers to announce all the hot deals 
  • Remind your customers about abandoned cart 
  • Keep in mind that mobile purchases have exceeded desktop purchases 
  • Focus on platforms which showed the best results in past 

Review your carrier network

If you still haven’t done this, it might be a good time to review all the shipping channels you are currently using. Use the carriers you feel the most confident in, the carriers that delivered most of the parcels in the defined period. Since free shipping isn’t free for you as the seller, try to use the most reliable partner. You might also want to set up the minimum spent amount for free shipping, and this is OK.
We all know how tricky distribution can be during the peak season, and your customers can also understand this part, therefore, be transparent with them as much as possible. Remind them again at the checkout that the holiday season might cause longer delivery time

Prepare your fulfilment area

Whether you are using your warehouse or have a 3PL partner, it is crucial that both stock and packaging material is in place and that you don’t run out of this.
Try to hire some additional staff to help you fulfil the orders faster. The power of the extra hands works miracles.
Communicate regularly with your staff or a 3PL partner about promotions you are running. Make sure they all understand packing instructions to avoid possible mistakes.
Try to prioritize your orders. If your customers have paid fast shipping, ensure they get their orders first.

Provide prompt support

Although the holiday season should be a fun and joyful time, it can be very stressful. Add a delayed order to this, and you will quickly get an agitated customer. Therefore, good customer support is crucial. Prepare your strategy for delayed orders and damaged parcels so your team can quickly respond with insightful information. Make sure your team follows up on all orders from the moment they are packed till delivered so that they can provide helpful service. Consider also investing some portion of money in a simple tracking tool which will help your team to resolve delivery issues proactively.

Review your return policy

It is no secret that returns cost retailers more each year. The return rate has increased globally and is now between 20-40% across industries and what is essential to know is that it will grow during the peak season. According to some predictions, this increase will be, on average, 10%. Therefore, it is vital that you clearly communicate your return policy with your customers; perhaps you might consider extending it during the peak season.

Is the peak season sprinting or marathon race?

Sprinting and marathon races require very different skills, and while both are challenging and require intense training, a sprint focuses on the short term, and a marathon focuses on the long run. If you enter peak season with no defined target, you will likely run a sprinting race. However, prepare your business for a marathon race if you want to go further. Every peak season is stressful and takes a lot of energy, but you should always focus on the long-term results if your brand is here to stay. Remember that 92% of shoppers might become your new customers? Try to convert them into your regular customers.

What are my goals?” is the key question to every success.