Three pitfalls of selling on marketplaces during the holidays

Bryan Bongers
Content marketer at EffectConnect
16 September 2021

Everyone wants to make their move during the holidays. But be aware of the following 3 things and avoid disappointed customers!

Holidays are coming

It's September already: the kids are going back to school, the nights are getting longer and everyone selling on marketplaces is busy preparing for the holidays. With classic holidays like Christmas and new ones like Single's day, you quickly get a full list:

  1. Singles' day: November 11, 2021
  2. Black Friday: November 26, 2021
  3. Cyber Monday: November 29, 2021
  4. Christmas: December 25, 2021
  5. New Year: January 31st 2021

So plenty of opportunities to grab and things to do! But in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you can quickly lose sight of things. To help you out, we have compiled a list of things every marketplace seller should keep in mind during the holiday season.

 

Mood of the customer

For most people, the holidays are a whirlwind of emotions. The holiday decorations and Christmas carols put the average person in a good mood, but the stress of getting everything organized is also an annual occurrence. After all, we're busy with dinners, decorations, writing Christmas cards and, of course, buying gifts.

Buying gifts online has taken some of the pressure off in recent years, but if something goes wrong with the order then you quickly have a frustrated customer. Because if it happens to be the gift of someone's grandchild or mother-in-law, it obviously causes stress.... 

Because the customer is not buying for himself, he is more sensitive than usual, so it is important to check a few things within your organisation in the coming months. 

 

Sufficient stock and accurate stock levels

As we wrote a while back, it's crucial to have sufficient stock and to prepare your logistics team properly. Besides a peak in orders you can probably also expect a peak in returns: more than 80% of e-commerce sellers expect the majority of their returns in January. On top of that, the Dutch tend to return their purchases a lot. If you expect a lot of orders or sell on multiple marketplaces, it is advisable to have accurate stock levels and to automate your marketplace integration and processes.

 

Good planning and logistics

Furthermore, it is a good idea to prepare your logistics team well. The frenzy of the holiday season is of course also felt in the warehouse and the pressure increases the likelihood of errors. So make a tight schedule well before the holidays and estimate which products will sell the most. Also keep in mind that couriers themselves also struggle to get everything delivered on time! 

One option you can consider is outsourcing your logistic handling to the marketplace itself. By paying for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) you not only avoid problems, but because your products fall within the 'Prime' selection there is a greater chance of ending up in the buy box!

 

The customer experience and impact on the buy box

Even if you have done all possible preparations in terms of logistics, something can always go wrong in the end. In those cases, it is important that your company’s customer service is ready to help the customer. Customers may be more irritable than usual because of the holidays, so let your customer service colleagues know what they can do to help and accommodate the customer. Consider, for example, a voucher or a small gift to compensate them. 

It may seem like a small gesture, but it can have a big impact on the customer experience. You want to avoid negative reviews as much as possible in order to get into the buy box or stay in it. So if you can still give your customer a positive experience, it can be good for the long term in terms of reviews and your position in the buy box. 

So take a good look at whether your organisation is ready for the holidays and what you can do to prepare. And if you would like some more tips on logistics for marketplaces, read our whitepaper!

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Would you like to have your logistics in tip-top shape? We have a helpful whitepaper explaining which logistics choices you need to make to get the most out of your marketplace sales!

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