Maximise Peak Season Sales
Every retailer needs to maximise sales in the countdown to Christmas. Getting your products, packaging, workspace and processes in order now will minimise ‘Out of Stock’, late deliveries and missed opportunities.
The events of 2020 have driven demand for e-commerce. Even those who favoured physical stores are now choosing to avoid queues, masks and hand sanitiser. As the Christmas countdown begins, you can expect more gift purchases to be made online this year.
Learning from Last Christmas
If you were in business for previous festive seasons, take a look back at your orders. Did you experience significant peaks? Were you able to process all orders successfully? If not, what barriers did you face? Was an increase in sales dampened by a rise in returns?
Learning from past experiences will help your preparations for this peak season. Do you need to increase packaging supplies? Will a well-timed offer boost demand? Should temporary staff be given additional training? Are you going to need a back-up courier?
Preparing for your First Peak Season
If this is your first year of trading, this Autumn will be a bit of an experiment. You cannot know what to expect, but you can put things in place to help you adapt and deliver. Aylesbury Box Company suggests you consider the following five points:
- Storage Space
To be responsive to a change in demand, you will need additional stock and packaging supplies. You may also need to recruit additional staff. Clearing all unnecessary stock, resources and equipment out of the way will help you to stay organised. Consider local options for temporary storage, as well as exploring fulfilment companies who can hold popular stock.
- E-commerce Packaging Supplies
Ordering additional stock is one thing, but you cannot send those good if you run out of shipping boxes. To prevent you from being overrun with shipping cartons, your packaging company may be able to hold stock for you. This means that you can place a bulk order of boxes, but receive them in smaller, staggered deliveries.
Also, consider packaging design with regards to speeding up the pack and dispatch process. As an example, integral box inserts enhance product presentation and prevent the need for fillers. Sealing strips on your e-commerce delivery boxes are quick to close securely and avoid the need for packaging tape.
Investing in quality shipping boxes, which offer sufficient protection for your products, can also reduce returns. Remember that customers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of packaging, so recycled and recyclable cardboard boxes are a sustainable choice.
- Simplify Processes
If any of your processes are notably time-consuming or problematic, these should be addressed as a priority. Can things be automated or outsourced to help you keep on top of orders? Again, a fulfilment company can help by picking, packing and dispatching orders.
- Flexible Staffing
You might have sufficient staffing to cope with a peak, but it is good to prepare a back-up plan. Is there a local recruitment agency that specialises in temporary, seasonal work? Do you need to register in advance to use their services?
Preparing documentation and training resources in advance can be helpful. Any new team members should be informed of your company goals, values and expectations, as well as the requirements of their role.
- Marketing Materials
As well as finding that perfect gift, shoppers love a bargain. You can optimise sales with a timely marketing campaign. Your social media posts, special event promotions, multi-buy offers and seasonal articles can be prepared in advance. Use scheduling tools so you can load your campaign, ready for automated publishing.
Product, Packaging, Processes and Promotions at the Ready
No one has a crystal ball, but if you prepare in advance, you will be better able to meet customer expectations. All of these points take time, but addressing them ahead of the peak can enable you to optimise this seasonal opportunity.
If your packaging supplier cannot provide custom postal boxes or services to support packaging supply management, we can help. Get in touch with Aylesbury Box Company on 01296 436888 or email@example.com. We have experience of working both start-up e-commerce businesses and established online retailers.