Although the air is just beginning to turn crisp and the leaves have only just begun to change, now is the time for retailers to kick their holiday preparations into high gear. The year-end shopping season is almost upon us, and retailers and brand manufacturers selling online must be sure that they're ready for the flood of customers who are sure to come their way.
As more consumers turn to online channels to buy gifts for friends and family, it's critical that your brand is able to offer them the best experience possible. What's more, these preparations don't just extend to your company, but every seller that you work with as well.
Thankfully, we've created this handy list to help make sure that you're ready for the holiday rush. Let's take a look and make sure that your business is fully prepared for a successful season:
1) Understand the holiday shopping landscape
First and foremost, it's critical that your business and its managers understand what you will be up against over these next few months. Statistics can be incredibly telling here, and show just how big online channels will be this season:
- eMarketer reported that holiday e-commerce sales will increase more than 17 percent.
- Experts predict that shoppers will spend $94.71 billion buying gifts through e-commerce platforms this year.
- Total holiday-related retail revenues will be boosted by more than 3 percent, surpassing $884 billion.
- E-commerce will play an important role, encompassing over 10 percent of overall holiday retail sales.
For the past few years, consumers have looked to avoid the hustle and bustle of brick-and-mortar stores in favor of the convenience of online shopping channels, and this year will be no different. In order to provide for this trend and your brand's shoppers, your company needs to be prepared to address more customer needs than ever before.
2) Learn about your customers' wants and needs
The best way to provide a top-notch experience for your customers – and boost your holiday revenues – is by ensuring that you understand what shoppers are looking for this season. Knowledge and expertise about your client base are invaluable and can help guarantee that your brand is prepared to provide for every shopper's request.
Details about customers' shopping history and your company's top performing products, as well as insights from consumer reviews, can all paint a vivid picture of your client base. With this information on hand, you can stock merchandise and prepare your online store in the ways that make the most sense for your customers' preferences.
It's also essential to keep an eye on the competition. Your brand should be able to track customers throughout their shopping journey – even after they've left your site and even if they don't buy from you. These types of details, combined with information about real-time product pricing, can help inform decisions about inventory stocking, holiday discounts and marketing campaigns.
3) Identify top sellers and ensure visibility
"Shoppers will spend $94.71 billion buying gifts through e-commerce platforms."
End-of-year preparations shouldn't just center around your business – you also need to guarantee that all the sellers included in your retail network are ready for the holiday rush as well. This level of preparedness requires increased visibility and monitoring across the entire seller chain. However, keeping up with and supporting your product sellers can help guarantee that your customers bypass the competition to buy from you, and that you capture and convert the largest number of shoppers possible.
In addition to supporting your seller network, it's also critical to ensure that those advertising your brand's products don't violate your minimum advertised price. Monitoring technology that offers this level of seller and merchandise visibility is absolutely critical at this time of year.
4) Leverage technology that supports your company's holiday goals
The capabilities described here, including understanding customers and monitoring your brand's MAP, are essential, but difficult to achieve without the right technology.
PriceSpider provides industry-leading, proprietary solutions that can help your company reach its goals – during the holiday shopping season and beyond. Our technology ensures that you have the most up-to-date information about your customer base as well as your seller network, putting your brand in the best position to succeed in the marketplace.
To find out more about how PriceSpider's proprietary solutions can help support your business, contact us today.