As part of Open to Export’s international e-commerce campaign to help businesses get ready for the Christmas shopping season, here are my five top tips to help you prepare your global e-commerce beyond Christmas.
1. It’s never too early to prepare for next year
After the holidays, review your Christmas 2014 data to see which products sold best in which markets. This will allow you to better plan for the future.
2. Connect With the Recipient
We always think about marketing to customers, but in the holiday season your buyers may have very little interest in your products – they’re not buying for themselves!
Think about how to connect with the recipient instead. You could include a flier about relevant accessories – tailored to their country – and a nicely presented discount voucher only valid from 25 December. It enhances the gift, so has a good chance of reaching and engaging the recipient.
3. Export Isn’t Just for Christmas
The holiday shopping season will soon be over, but retail marches on. Identify the best countries for your non-seasonal products, and focus on building your sales to them in the new year. Think about similar markets too, and start targeting them – it might not take a lot of effort to adapt your content.
4. Be Strategic About Returns
Some people start Christmas shopping way in advance, so expect new year returns from orders dating back to November. International returns can be painful, but handle them graciously, and don’t be shy about using the opportunity. You could say “We’re sorry it didn’t work out this time, sign up to our offers emails and get 10% off your next order.” They might feel like they owe you that!
5. Celebrate Successes, But Don’t Ignore the Failures
At this time of year there will be mistakes, problems and – sad but true – complete breakdowns. Don’t sweep them under the carpet. Instead, while you still remember, make notes on what happened and when. In the new year sit down with your team to figure out what you are all going to do differently.