The fourth quarter is here, and this is a lucrative time of year for e-commerce entrepreneurs. The first half of 2020 has been quite profitable for online sellers, and it’s expected that this will only get better in Q4. Many online shops make up to 30% of their yearly turnover during these months, which can obviously be attributed to the many discount days and holidays.
During this time of year, consumers are more likely to make purchases such as festive outfits and presents for family and friends. Most businesses already focus on holidays such as Christmas and Sinterklaas, but there are a number of other special days each year that are becoming increasingly popular among consumers.
We’ve made a list for you:
Note that many American discount days are becoming a thing in the Netherlands too, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Marketplaces such as bol.com and Fonq respond to this trend with smart marketing efforts each year, and quite successfully too. During the Black Friday week last year, more than 145% more was spent than usual.
In order to help you prepare, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you get through these busy times effortlessly and profitably!
During this period you can be sure that your volume of sales will increase. It’s therefore important to have plenty of stock. When selling through online marketplaces, keep a close eye on your stock levels there. If you have to turn away customers because you don’t have products in stock, this could affect your ranking.
Manually monitoring your stock level can be a time-consuming process, and time is something you don’t really have to spare during the fourth quarter. We recommend using a Fulfilment Manager. It’s a tool that allows you to track your stock at bol.com or Amazon in real time. When your stock on these marketplaces is running out, the Fulfilment Manager will immediately change your marketplace stock to a regular plaza selection.
Delivery time is one of the most important considerations for consumers when buying a product. There are consumers who finish all their holiday shopping weeks in advance, but there are also people who get everything last minute. Make sure you offer competitive delivery times and deliver as promised!
Ask your logistics service provider if they use alternate routes and pick-up schedules during the holidays. Check in advance what options they offer regarding deliveries. It’s also important to make sure you have sufficient staff on hand to process and send out orders in time during this busy period.
During the holidays it’s particularly interesting to offer your products through multiple channels in addition to your own online environment. Marketplaces can be an appealing solution since they allow you to reach a big audience. They also do a lot of the marketing work themselves. In addition you will benefit from the brand recognition of the marketplace, which is especially appealing during peak periods, as over 70% of consumers start their search on marketplaces.
Be aware that if you do decide to offer your products on a marketplace, you’ll have to meet a number of conditions. We’ve discussed some of those conditions earlier in this post, such as keeping accurate stock levels and offering a good delivery promise. Other important factors to get a good ranking on a marketplace are setting a good price and offering excellent service. When you meet these conditions, you might be featured in their buy box!
In addition to marketplaces, affiliate channels like Google Shopping, Facebook Ads, Beslist, and Daisycon are effective ways of presenting your products. The advantage of these channels is that customers are directed to your own online environment directly from ads and sponsored search results. In order to be able to get your products on these channels, you will need to create separate datasheets for all the channels that you’re using. That’s because each channel has different requirements for this document. Make sure you know what those requirements are or check if using a pre-programmed template is an option. This saves time and you won’t need to hire an expensive developer.
During peak periods, e-commerce businesses have their work cut out for them. That’s why it’s important to look at where you can optimise or automate processes well ahead of time. If you’re selling through marketplaces and manually tracking orders, this will cost you a lot of time. This is valuable time that is better spent on other work such as sourcing products and streamlining your service.
Automate your marketplace sales through EffectConnect, and all your orders will be forwarded to your own online environment. You’ll get real-time stock level information and a better chance at making the buy box with the Repricer!
Wondering how much time you can save? Try EffectConnect for free for 30 days and without any obligation.