Planning a calendar for a B2C retailer is something equally banal and laborious. The former, because prepping for Black Friday 2018 sounds almost like a cliché. The latter, because we know how herculean a task that is. We’ve all heard it that failing to plan is planning a failure. That’s easier said than done, right? Not necessarily. With the groundwork we will lay out in this post, planning your e-commerce activities for 2018 upfront can pay off big time. So, on top of your standard sales planning, like launching new lines of products or adding collections, there are more seasonality tips you can’t overlook.
Planning your calendar for 2018 is an expression of your business strategy. Here, on top of implementing new systems or tools to your inventory, venturing into new niches and racing to the top search positions, strategizing your sales for special days and seasons can put you in the driver’s seat with your rivals occupying the back. So, tap into the highlights and festivities of the year. Offering romance-themed items in early February or bargains during back-to-school weeks will make you appear relevant and rooted in the lives of your customers.
Boost your sales through the sense of urgency
Bring a methodical approach to your sales calendar and they will love you for special offers for items that they need right about certain times. What’s in it for you? Naturally, boosting your sales based in the sense of urgency.
What days to target?
Focus your special offers around these four categories of holidays:
- major holidays; these are globally observed special days like St. Valentine’s Day, Halloween or Christmas
- shopping holidays; legendary profits are made on Black Fridays or Cyber Mondays. Amazon Prime Day is another phenomenal event that has arrived. Expect more likewise opportunities to emerge, especially during periods when e-commerce traditionally takes a slower pace.
- geographical holidays; Bear in mind that New Year begins in January in the US, but in mid-February in China. Mother’s, Father’s or Children’s Days all take place differently around the world. There are other massive days which are geographically bound, like Chinese Singles’ Day (the anti-Valentine’s celebration) with record online sales and extravagant accompanying events year in and out or mid-fall Moon Festival.
- quirky holidays; If you offer lingerie, offer your customers free shipping on Underwear Day in the US (August 5th). Computer hardware stores can offer discounts on Fibonacci Day (not surprisingly on November 23rd). Choose a day which resonates with your business, advertise it in your Social Media and your customers will love to see your off-the-wall side.
How to go about it?
Tap into seasonality and generate spikes in your online sales by following these guidelines.
- Build your sales calendar for longer periods and be ready way earlier. Investing in a PPC campaign only a few weeks before an important time may not increase your sales. So think months, not weeks.
- Be creative on how you would like to surprise or amuse your customers. Play your imagination card and pull off a holiday campaign that is memorable.
- Use analytics. Consider the data from previous years, look for patterns and let the insight you gather tailor your marketing.
- Have capacity for a significant wave of purchases. The last thing you want is have your server go down, be short of staff or go out of stock.
- Be agile. Sometimes a non-standard seasonality opportunity will surge, for example a weather-induced factor could be involved. Be prepared to meet the unexpected demand.
- Update your product information and media files to add a festive feel to your product pages. Here a product information management (PIM) solution which handles an array of assets such as images and videos comes in handy.
Update your product information effectively with a PIM solution
A big picture decision: consider a PIM product, such as Bluestone PIM, which is capable of retrieving and using those files at the drop of a hat.
Embracing seasonality is a process. Gradually build your sales around it but remember that getting it spot-on all year long may be unrealistic. So, prioritize your efforts, switch on your learning mode and experiment.