It is October and Christmas is just around the corner... Like many online retailers, Christmas is the busiest time of the year. Orders double, then triple, then go through the roof. It is always better to plan ahead and be ready for the rush. No doubt you will be concentrating in what to stock, and what not to stock. Planning ahead is best on how to spend that limited budget on getting in the right holiday bestsellers. All too often it is easy to forget the non-stock essentials.
First your website and check-out. It needs to be up to date. All security patches applied and all enhancements and changes you want in place. The only way to stay up to date is to ensure you upgrade to ShopFactory 10 now — and don’t miss a single online order!
Staffing & stuffing. If you are going to need extra staff for processing orders. You should be recruiting soon. Packing materials - don't forget you need to stock up on these too! There is little point in having hundreds of orders if you have no boxes to put them in. Or packing tape to seal the boxes. Have a back-up plan in place for shipping & staffing if you run into trouble.
Customer service is also a major factor which can affect your sales. As the volume of orders go up, the volume of questions and problems will inevitably also go up. Do not forget to ramp up your customer service practices. It is vital that you do not let your standards slip at this busy time of year.
All the above is the barest minimum you need to cover for your holiday selling. There is however much more.
You need to know what the last posting date is for every area into which you ship. You need to know when to switch to a faster shipping service to get those last few days of extra business. Above all you need to look at everything from your customer's perspective. And their perspective can be VERY different from the normal time of year. Indeed your customers may be different. The vast majority of your customers are likely to be new, and not your normal target customers. They will instead be friends and relations of your normal target customers and buying the gifts for your regular customers.
Here's one other simple fact you need to consider: Over the holiday shopping period the overriding factor is "orders need to arrive on time". It is important that communication and speed of delivery take place - so long as a good gift arrives and in time for Christmas. Keeping your customer involved in the transaction from order to delivery is part of what ShopFactory Total Care with Santu is all about! You simply enter your shipping details on the processed order — and the update notice is automatically emailed to your buyer notifying them it's on its way!
Save time in communicating order shipment details — Find out more about ShopFactory Total Care — Online Order Management.
So plan ahead, and have a profitable Christmas!