The shopping season is a global phenomenon and a golden opportunity for companies of all sizes to increase sales and have a significant impact on their annual revenue. Looking ahead to the 2023 shopping season, it’s essential to be well-prepared and equipped with strategies to help you stand out in a busy and competitive environment.
Here are six tips to ensure your success during this bustling shopping period.
1. Define Promotional Products in Partnership with Your Vendors
To start the season on the right foot, it’s crucial to collaborate with your vendors in selecting the right products for promotion. Identify the most popular products purchased by your customers throughout the year. As consumers seek to fulfill their holiday shopping lists, focusing on key products with a lower selling price can be particularly effective.
And don’t forget that communication is key!
Provide vendors with all the essential details well in advance of the shopping season, including start and end dates, special offers, participation conditions, and deadlines. Offering special promotions, flash sales, and discounted product packages can further entice shoppers.
According to a Gartner Inc survey, 45% of holiday shoppers consider free shipping as one of the top factors and drivers influencing a purchase decision. So, as a marketplace operator, ensure your product offerings align with consumer expectations.
2. Anticipate Stocks and Delivery
Securing inventory and coordinating efficient delivery is essential for a successful shopping season. Be proactive in choosing the products you plan to promote and ensure that you and your vendors have the necessary quantities. High order volumes are expected, so it’s vital that vendors can handle shipments and deliver orders accurately.
Clear and regular communication with your vendors is key to avoid delivery mistakes. According to a recent study with Ipsos, 85% of online shoppers claim that a poor delivery experience would deter them from returning to a specific website. To ensure high-quality deliveries, consider integrating vendors already using a Fulfillment service directly into your marketplace.
Trusted e-commerce logistics service providers like Octopia Fulfillment can play a crucial role in managing the supply chain, from warehousing to order processing, and providing various delivery methods that online shoppers deem important.
3. Improve Your Customers’ Shopping Experience
User experience is paramount, especially as more consumers shop via mobile devices. During the 2022 holiday season nearly 88% of ticket and event purchases were made on mobile devices, and it is expected the number to break this year. 1
Today, as smartphones now account for 87.2% of e-commerce sales, shopping season purchases are expected to be made through mobile devices.2 So, make your marketplace mobile-responsive and optimize the checkout process for a smooth experience.
Don’t forget that payment flexibility is also essential, with various methods such as credit cards, gift cards, and digital wallets.
Finally, combat cart abandonment by sending follow-up emails to remind visitors of their pending purchases.
4. Be Ready for Increased Website Traffic
With an anticipated surge in website traffic during the shopping season, it’s critical to ensure your platform can handle the load. Test your website’s traffic capacity and loading speed to guarantee a seamless shopping experience. Quick-loading sites result in quicker and more comfortable purchases, and even a 10% improvement in page load speed can increase the conversion rate by 7%.
5. Optimise Your Products
Optimising product data is key to converting visitors into customers. Work closely with vendors to ensure compelling product descriptions with all the necessary details. Include customer reviews to boost sales. To attract more traffic, create special landing pages, and ensure they are well-indexed by search engines.
Retarget your visitors and target customers who have previously made purchases on your marketplace. Customers with positive previous experiences are more likely to return and make additional purchases.
6. Develop a Specific Marketing Plan
A successful shopping season requires a well-defined marketing plan. Start by setting clear and achievable goals. Define your target audience and tailor your message to their needs and habits.
Determine your budget and select the most relevant channels to reach your audience, including press releases, ads, social media, and online advertising. In a recent report, McKinsey found that 58% of consumers acknowledge that social media will significantly influence their holiday purchasing choices.
Implement multi-channel marketing campaigns to attract interest and reach potential buyers. Keep an eye on your competitors’ strategies and techniques to stay competitive in this bustling shopping season.
The shopping season is here, and the holiday season is just around the corner, so take these six tips into account to enhance your marketplace’s performance and make the most of this period. Being well-prepared, optimising the customer experience, and effectively marketing your product offerings will set you on the path to a successful shopping season.
By offering the best products, ensuring efficient delivery, and focusing on customer satisfaction, your business can thrive and achieve impressive results during this high-demand period.
Octopia’s experts are here to help and empower e-commerce business and retailers succeed in this period, with a comprehensive support, businesses can navigate the shopping season with confidence, maximize their potential, and continue to thrive whether it is in the marketplace, merchant/seller base, fulfillment or dropshipping area.
1. Comscore Total Digital, 2023, U.S.
2. Insider Intelligence, 2023