If you're lucky, your end of year sales should be going relatively smoothly right now. This might be because you started planning your campaigns several months in advance, or you’re simply an ecommerce wizard who knows exactly what it takes to capitalize on sales during this time of year.
However, the reality is that so many ecommerce businesses are overwhelmed during this period and face increased stress, pressure, and operational anxiety.
1. Save Time and Automate
The more you automate, the less chaotic your day-to-day activities will be. Spending time scheduling various aspects of your business will free up your time (and the time of your staff), giving you more bandwidth to handle the increased workload during end of year sales.
Just because your sales have started ramping up already it doesn’t mean it’s too late to start automating either. Sales in the Middle East are known to continue well into January and February among online shoppers who are looking for bargains and great deals.
Taking a moment to address your automation and scheduling systems now may be just what you need to give yourself the stamina to make the most of the next few months. Specific areas we would recommend automating are:
● Order fulfillment
● Purchase order approvals
2. Delegate and Outsource As Needed
During quieter months, you may not need to lean so heavily on your various internal teams or external agencies. However, end of year sales are notorious for putting greater pressure on merchants when it comes to things like buying stock, fulfilling orders, postage and shipping, managing cash flow, handling promotions, customer inquiries, and dealing with complaints.
If you have a team that’s trained to assist in these areas, let them help you and start delegating tasks to them more frequently. Trying to retain control over everything is a sure way of causing blockages in your workflows and making mistakes.
3. Get On Top of Cart Abandonments
Online shopping cart abandonments are a problem that pretty much all retailers will face throughout the year, however, during end of year sales when customers are caught in a kind of shopping frenzy, rates often spike for many businesses.
As many people are on the hunt for deals and constantly comparing your products with those offered by other brands, if you don’t find ways to keep customers interested once they’ve landed on your site, you could face a frustrating amount of lost potential revenue.
As such, consider one of the following strategies:
● Implement seasonal discounts and codes to give people added incentive to shop with you
● Include product reviews that signal to customers that your products are reliable and of good quality
● Offer a range of payment options to cater to the preferences of your audiences so they don’t look elsewhere for a more convenient transaction experience
● Streamline the checkout experience and remove any distractions such as ads or messages during this stage of the buying process
● Remove high shipping costs that might put shoppers off at the final hurdle when they calculate the total cost of their order
● Include accurate information about shipping and delivery times
If you're looking for more meaningful insights based on market data and trends, take a look at our Insights payments feature.
4. Don’t Get Caught Out by Increased Fraud
The growth in online sales and payment activity during the end of year sales period naturally presents increased opportunities for fraudsters to take advantage of businesses and shoppers. This can include things like chargeback abuse and identity theft, among many other things.
Unfortunately, there's no simple way to eliminate fraud completely, but by working with a reliable payments service provider who can help you build a robust and comprehensive payments network that safeguards customer data and adds protection to all stages of the transaction process, you can reduce risk to a minimum.
At APS, our team is always on-hand to offer technical advice and support on issues relating to fraud and payments security. Through our purpose-built features and services, we can help keep your customers safe and protected.
5. Don’t Try to Do Everything
One trick to staying on top of things during busier sales periods where there are more demands on your time and energy is to stay focused on core aspects of your business and accept that you can’t do everything.
Assuming you’ve done your best to save time through automation and delegation, it might be necessary to recognize that rather than spreading yourself too thinly across multiple tasks and initiatives, it’s better to focus on the fundamentals, such as protecting the customer experience, retaining the quality of your products and services, and, making sure you uphold your core values as a business. It is these things that will help you grow sustainability in the future.
Worried About What Comes Next?
What happens after the end of year sales spike? This question is something that concerns many merchants faced with the challenge of keeping momentum going throughout January and February.
You might experience a slight slump but it’s not a time to switch off and go quiet. There are still so many shoppers out there looking to purchase products online.
For instance, many are searching for the best January deals and offers while others are in the market for things that can support their new year’s resolutions such as getting healthy and being productive. The following are 5 tips you can use to recover from the slump and keep things moving forward.
1. Start another sale or release new deals on certain product ranges
2. Market to people’s new motivations and desires during the new year
3. Leverage your larger email subscription list thanks to the new customers you acquired during end of year sales
4. Retarget to people who visited your site and platforms over the last few months
5. Don’t disappear and make sure you’re still active across all your key channels
Learn Lessons for Next Year!
With ecommerce markets growing steadily across the Middle East, supported by high Internet penetration, modern digital payment systems and strong government support, learning lessons from this year so you can come back even stronger next year is paramount.
Rather than exposing yourself to the same amount of chaos and stress once again, invest in the right infrastructure now so you can remove obstacles and keep challenges to a minimum in 2022.