Black Friday Sale, Cyber Monday Sale, My Cyber Sale, 11.11 Single’s Day Sale, 12.12 Sale, Christmas Sale and so many more festive and seasons sale to come, is your eCommerce store prepared for them?
Seasonal sale are proved to drive more traffic and sales over the past years.
Take #myCyberSale 2015 as an example, in just 5 days, it has generated over RM117 million of merchandise volume, a tremendous 74% increase from 2014. More info about #myCybersale2015 statistics here.
This is a very strong indicator that shows the eCommerce buying and selling trend has grown significantly since last year. If you are an online merchant, what should you do to reap profits from these kind of sale?
Step 1: Mark Your Calendar
Mark your calendar now for all the upcoming festive and season sale in the next 6 months. Give yourself and your business at least 3 weeks in advance to prepare for every sale.
Planning ahead of time can help to prevent many unwanted problems.
Step 2: Preparing The Materials
Start working on creative, content writing and plan out your SKUs to put on sale. Calculate the profit margin for the products you want to put on sale and make sure you are able to cover the losses if you drop the price steeply. Always work within your marketing budget and keep your accounts in check.
Newsletter, web banners, website sliding banners, social media banners – these are all the essential creatives you need to prepare before you enter the actual sale date.
Step 3: Marketing
Your marketing activities should start latest by 2 weeks before the actual event date. These are the things you need to do:
- Raise awareness of your brand, inform the public you are joining the bandwagon of the season sale
- Evaluate your offerings and discounts against your competitors, beat your competitors’ offerings if possible
- Inform your previous customers, encourage repeat purchase and offer more value added services to increase loyalty
- Drive word of mouth, try to get your customers to talk about your sale, get them to invite others
- Release the news to PR and your partners, advertisers, media and affiliates
- Blast newsletter to your subscribers
On top of that, if it’s a big event like MyCyberSale or 11.11, consider to spend some marketing budget in PPC campaigns, such as Facebook ads and Google AdWords. This can help to boost exposure even more than what you can reach usually.
Step 4: Testing and Checking
A few days before the actual event, make sure you double check everything on your eCommerce store and your inventory. Make sure to stock up enough SKUs and you can even start wrapping up some parcels to save time later on.
Test your website usability in desktop, laptop, mobile and tablets. Make sure the whole buying process is seamless and error free.
Check for spelling errors, discount percentage, product descriptions and photos. Ensure everything is up-to-date.
Run your website to scan for broken links, fix them as soon as possible to avoid a poor user experience.
If you are expecting a spike in traffic, make sure your server and hosting plan is able to accommodate it, else consider upgrading your hosting plan to cloud hosting or dedicated server.
Step 4: Monitor The Buying Process
Once the sale started, monitor your website traffic and the buying process. Pay attention to what people buy the most, and what people don’t.
See and evaluate where most of your traffic comes from. Track conversion from each source, raise your budget if you find your PPC campaign is giving you better conversion.
Fulfil your orders as fast as possible, try to make same-day delivery or next-day delivery a reality, this will really make your customers happy.
Offer new visitors and customers something to retain on your website. Give special coupons for first time buyers, and offer them another if they make a purchase so they can use it for their next purchase.
Use auto-generated follow-up email for abandoned carts, get in touch with them to determine whether they face any problems while buying from your site and solve them quickly.
Step 5: Closing & Improving
When the sale ended, send an email to thank all the customers who have participated in this sale. Evaluate your marketing campaigns and see which one gives you the best ROI.
Definitely you will learn a few things after you have participated in a big season sale like this. Keep your customers happy and make sure you always be well prepared in advance.
So what’s the next season sale you are going to participate? Until then, good luck!
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