Who doesn't love Christmas? The pretty decorations, the delicious cookies, the hot chocolate in front of the chimney with the family. Christmas is supposed to be the time of giving back to our loved ones, but anyone who has forgotten to get a present knows the dark side of Christmas. Endless ques in shops and overwhelmed delivery men are just the tip of the iceberg. Having your own business that supplies such demand, means you have a surge of orders that people want and need in time. The race against time is on, will you get all the orders out on time?
Holidays like Christmas or Black Friday are one example of seasonal order spikes. Not all orders are connected to a specific time of year. If you are selling bikinis, for instance, you can't possibly know when the hottest day in summer will be. So, can you even prepare for such eventualities? And if yes, how?
Seasonal order spikes aren't the enemy
… and neither are your paying customers.
These order spikes are an opportunity in disguise. Let's stick with the Christmas example. During Christmas, more people are on eCommerce platforms looking for products, so even if they don't buy from you in the end they have become aware of your brand. They now know your company name, what products or services you offer and revisit later.
When you are listed on multiple sales platforms, your visibility becomes even higher during these seasonal spikes. An excellent order management system lets you connect all your marketplaces so that your orders from each platform are manageable from one location. This way, you have the visibility of 5 different platforms but the time and effort of using just one.
If the customers were impressed, then they might become loyal customers or even brand ambassadors who tell their friends and family about this fantastic small business they found.
Loyal customers spend 33% more than new customers.
Having an excellent post-purchase experience should be a priority in your business strategy. Especially during peak season.
As we've just established, peak season provides you with higher engagement numbers and higher eCommerce sales across whichever platforms you use.
From a marketing perspective, you have also had more brand engagement. Customers check out your social profile in some instances before converting. So on social media, this uplift in engagement with your profile results in your profile being pushed out to more relevant users through their algorithms. More people see your content, engage with it and the snowball keeps rolling.
Be your own Clairvoyant
Having a crystal ball would be great for knowing when you may be rushed off your feet. What we can use to forecast these trends is data. Review what happened in the previous years. When does the spike usually start? What products are especially popular this year? Knowing these answers and being able to compare them with past years, provides you with insight for better preparation.
Having an order management system provides you with an overall view of your orders, so you can process them more efficiently. Filter your orders for a product or geographical data. Did most of your customers purchase from the south of the UK last year? If they are, you can target this geographical area more in your marketing strategy.
However, just because something sold last year doesn’t mean it will sell as well again this year. What was on-trend last year and is there another trend coming up this year? Trends can be all sorts - a specific colour, fabric or shape. So besides just using your data, use your own experience to help you make an informed decision and paint the bigger picture.
Besides seasonal trends, maybe there’s a product that’s popular every year regardless. A fan favourite or timeless item, that people seem to buy regardless of the season.
Using both your experience and the data you have to date, will allow you to plan ahead to reap the rewards of high demand. This, alongside an order management system that handles the uplift for you, means that you scale up without having to worry about the time implications.
Keep suppliers informed
It’s ok you being capable of coping with the demand but can you get the stock in time? When you have a sudden influx of orders, it's more than likely that they will too.
If you're unable to order the stock then we’d always advise being transparent. However, it's in your best interest to have a system in place that allows you to manage your stock flow. If you haven’t got one, try averaging out the last 3 months orders - have you enough to cope with the next 3 months? Or check the sales you had for the upcoming months from the previous year.
It's a team effort!
We applaud your enthusiasm but doing it all on your own is going to be quite challenging. You're better off hiring so that you don’t become counterproductive. If you make sure they are trained correctly, then there’s nothing to worry about. They can manage the daily activities that you’d just find yourself doing, allowing you to focus on driving your business forward. Reduce the number of order errors by giving your temporary staff the easier things to do.
The Customer Is King… Or Queen.
You’re suppliers now know about the anticipated demand, so they can cater for your needs.
The team are in full flow at maximum efficiency.
The whole business is working seamlessly, but your customers expect this.
Next on the list, when will their package arrive?
You may have put so much thought into your website, product and packaging that you haven’t even thought so much about what happens once it's been sent. We’ve all been there, you’re in the flow of getting your picked and packed and then you get interrupted by a WISMO call. It throws you off track and getting back into what you were doing before is difficult. At the same time, though, your customers have the right to know when they can receive their order.
Keep your customers happy and give yourself the uninterrupted calls and emails by allowing them to track their orders. Want to put your own stamp on it? No problem. With Siid’s branded tracking feature, you can customise your own branded tracking page to send to your customers, so that your logo is apparent from the moment they visited your site to the moment they get their item.
At the beginning of this blog post, we listed all the pros of an increased sales demand. Capitalise on increased brand visibility and customer retention even more by engaging with your customers post-purchase. Add your logo, your colours, and your socials on the tracking page.
Considering people check their order tracking 3.5 times after placing it, that’s another 3.5 times per customer where you have the opportunity to showcase your brand.
By having a system running with very few sticking points, seasonal order spikes aren't going to be a worry anymore. Having a proper order and shipping management software alone will help take plenty of stress off your shoulders.
With Siid, our all-in-one software solution can support you and your customer throughout your journeys.
Sign up for your demo now and manage seasonal order spikes like a pro.