Posted on 18 December, 2017  |  3 mins

Seasonal sales periods are a double-edged sword. They can be unbelievably stressful for a business owner, but also the most profitable periods of your calendar year. It all comes down to planning, as guest blogger Cameron Vernest, director of strategic partnerships at TradeGecko, explains.

Businesses need to start preparing early for seasonal sales periods so they can meet their sales goals and create positive customer experiences. How do you do that? Here are 10 essential steps to optimising seasonal sales periods for all their worth.

1. Choose the holidays you will participate in

The first thing you need to do is decide which seasonal sales periods your business should participate in. It’s best to strategically choose the holidays that are going to have the biggest impact on your business and your customers.

2. Develop your goals

Utilise business intelligence reports to review past holiday sales data. You can then roughly predict future sales success by reviewing sales over a specific time period and location. The report should also allow you to appropriately purchase stock based on predicted demand.

3. Determine your budget

Workout the investment needed for funding your business’s seasonal sales programmes, which may include hiring more staff, allocating a marketing budget and product development. Money spent to improve the customer experience is an investment that will deliver significant return if invested wisely.

4. Establish your promotions and products

Add seasonal products to better serve your customers' needs. Holiday products should highlight the “new” and “limited-time” features that draw in your existing, repeat and new customers. If you don’t any have “new” products, why not create a bundle and promote them as a package deal?

5. Develop your marketing campaign

Choose your ad channels strategically, especially during the holiday season. Marketing campaigns have a lot of components that need to be aligned to achieve success, this is why it’s vital to begin preparing ahead of time.  The more runway you have to plan, the greater chances of success!

6. Streamline inventory operations with back-ordering to optimise sales

Prepare for the holiday season by utilising back-ordering to convert sales orders into purchase orders and directly track the shipping status of those orders. Pre-ordering inventory and fulfilling orders on time will enhance your customer experience and optimise your seasonal sales results.

 Seasonal sales periods are better with planning. 

7. Map out your returns and exchanges policy

Create or modify your returns and exchanges policies for the seasonal sales period. Also determine a holding location for any returned goods so they can be examined before resale. 

8. Create your fulfilment workflow

Prepare your fulfilment workflow to enable your business to meet orders faster, in greater volume and at lower costs. You should also consider using a third-party company, such as Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), as it will make the process more efficient, especially during high-demand periods.

9. Take advantage of minimum order quantity

For wholesale businesses, take advantage of setting minimum order quantities during the holiday season. This will allow your business to reduce prices since you are selling in larger volumes. Experiment and see what works best for your business.

10. Prepare now for shipping success

Prepare your holiday shipping process now so your business operations are efficient and productive. Depending on where your package needs to ship, its weight, and requested timing, you need to prepare your fulfillment process so your customers receive their goods as and when expected.  

With the holiday season just around the corner, preparation is vital for the coming influx of customers. TradeGecko’s inventory and order management software will take all the stress out of seasonal sales periods by giving you visibility and effortless control over your stock, orders, and customers all in the one place.

Using your free 9 Spokes data dashboard, you can access key data from your TradeGecko app, and the other apps you use, to get a complete view of your business.

By Cameron Vernest, Director of Strategic Partnerships at TradeGecko.

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