We’re halfway through another busy year and the holiday selling season is quickly approaching!
Are you prepared? If not, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. In this post, we will discuss 8 things that you can do in July to prepare for the holiday selling season. By preparing well in advance, you can make sure that your DTC brand is ready to take on the holiday rush, generate maximum sales, and improve customer satisfaction!
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
- The first thing that you need to do is take a look at your order fulfillment process. Do you have enough staff to handle the increased volume of orders? Is your 3PL / order fulfillment partner prepared for the holiday rush? How did last year go and what are they doing to improve this time around? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Any 3PL should embrace the opportunity help set expectations for the holiday fulfillment season.
- Create holiday packaging that stands out. This can be done cheaply and easily with custom inserts, sleeves, accessories, and other creative items that will leave an impression with your customers this year.
- Similar to the above, packaging changes now can help reduce returns too. If you sell offline via retailers, include a highly visibility insert that encourages the customer to reach out to you for support before returning in store. This can reduce your overall holiday return rate, but also improve relationships with those retail buyers who like seeing low return rates.
- Next, be sure to review your customer support processes. Do you have sufficient staff to handle the increased volume of customer inquiries? Are your email, chat, social, and phone systems prepared to handle the increased traffic? When was the last time your customer service agents went through a formal training? Have you implemented a quality assurance tool yet? There’s still time!
- Review your website and email copy. Are there opportunities to increase visibility for your customer support channels to reduce holiday returns? Are your FAQs up to date and as polished as they could be? Are your product descriptions and images clear and concise? How are you encouraging customers to spread the word on social media about how great their experience is with your product?
- Make sure that your website is prepared for the increased traffic. Do a quick audit of your website and make sure that all of your pages are loading quickly and correctly. Ensure your live chat window loads and functions properly. You don’t want to lose customers due to a slow or dysfunctional website!
- Expand your market. Now is your last opportunity to explore international shipping or the use of 3PLs in other countries. Even if you start small this year and test the waters, the incremental uplift in sales can be impactful.
- Consider re-negotiating shipping carrier rates now. Perhaps you can optimize costs on the bulk of your ground shipping before holiday volumes spike. Or, maybe you can negotiate better 2-day transit rates ahead of running a free expedited shipping campaign this holiday season. Shipping is commonly one of the most expensive parts of an e-commerce brand’s supply chain. Review potential strategies with your carriers or 3PL to see if you can unlock incremental savings or new shipping capabilities that can drive more sales and higher customer satisfaction.
By taking these steps, you can be sure that your DTC brand is prepared for the holiday selling season. By preparing well in advance, you can avoid any last-minute scrambling and set your brand up for success!