November is practically upon us and things are starting to get busy, the more organised buyers have started their Christmas shopping and sales are ramping up.
To cope with the extra sales and extra workload it is time to add to your Christmas plan.
Most problems are somehow routed to bad communication; people get angry when they feel like they aren’t informed of a situation – no one likes to be left in the dark…
Avoid problems and resolve issues through excellent communication:
- Setup auto responders so customers know you have received their mails – it also buys you time to prepare the response.
- Make your returns & shipping policies prominent and ensure they read well – not like a legal document.
- Publish a bank of F.A.Qs for customers – even if they don’t read them it gives your staff a arsenal of responses to send to customer; meaning your staff respond quickly and can deal with more emails in a day.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out and ring a customer to explain a situation, not only does it show you care about your customers but also puts a face to your business.
- Pass on information from your couriers, it seems like a hassle but pass on the tracking information to your customers – they will have peace of mind about deliveries and won’t create unnecessary messages for you.
Stand out from your competition
You may be busy but it would be great to be busier! Take a step back and re-evaluate what makes your business different from everyone else. When you find it – make sure its obvious on every page of your site.
Can’t find anything? Let’s create some unique selling points:
- Gift receipts
- Gift wrapping
- Direct to recipient delivery services; Package the product to go to the gift recipient and send the invoice separately to the buyer.
- Guarantees (even if they are from the supplier – pass them on as your guarantee)
- Bundle deals – if you sell a phone case and hands free kit package them together as a value pack (this is a great way to get rid of excess stock)
- Gift Cards
- Free gifts in with the packaging (it doesn’t have to be big to make someone smile)
- Discount for return customers
- Review pricing
Prepare for the worst
Problems occur – that’s a fact of life, how much they affect you depend on how prepared you are.
Plan for common problems; planning can be as simple as identifying what could happen and what your response would be on a spider diagram.
Some common problems include:
- Running out of stock
- Delayed stock
- Delayed delivery – due to bad weather
- Faulty batch of products
- Product recall
- Staff illness
- Technical problem – website down
- Technical problem – Power failure
The first response for any issue should be to communicate it to your customers!
Friday 29th November 2013 – Black Friday is the first Friday after Thanksgiving in the states. It is the busiest day of the year for shopping in the USA. This also translates for increased online shopping so ensure your processes and promotions are all in order and running before thanksgiving!
Monday 2nd December – Cyber Monday is the first Monday following Black Friday and is historically the busiest day of the year for online shopping.
Sample November Campaign Plan:
Website changes – Your website should have a Christmas theme fully rolled out, consider changing your header & footer as well as any category specific graphics to have a Christmas theme.
Email campaign – Send a themed campaign (e.g. all iPhone products) offer any thanksgiving promotions and consider a one off promotion for this weekend only .
Thanksgiving USA Holiday – a lot of people will have a long weekend break or take the week off so plan this in to your marketing – it may be an advantage that people are at home.
Black Friday – Be aware that people in the USA may be out of the house high street shopping – consider you may need to be mobile optimized if people are price checking in stores.
Cyber Monday – The busiest online shopping day – bear this in mind for staff requesting holiday and don’t choose this day to rewire your office!
Thinking about eBay or website design for the new year?