Contributed By DHL Express
Black Friday is nearly here, and as any savvy online business knows, it marks the start of the very lucrative sales period (hurrah!). But this year, the sector will have to contend with unprecedented global inflation, unstable supply chains and new consumer buying behavior.
Panic not though – we’re here to share our international logistics and e-commerce know how to ensure you still have a merry sales period. Here are the challenges that lie ahead – and how your business can adapt.
Consumer shopping habits in peak 2022
With global inflation continuing to bite, 42% more shoppers worldwide plan to start buying gifts earlier this holiday season before prices rise further. Many intend to reduce the amount they spend, too.
Expected reduction in holiday shopping spending this year*
· Now’s the time to review your pricing strategy to ensure it’s competitive. Look at your competitors’ price points – can you match or go lower?
· Do you have some excess inventory lurking in a warehouse somewhere? It’s the perfect time to offer some discounts to help shift it.
· Offer lots of flexible – including a “Buy Now, Pay Later” solution – at checkout, so customers can find one which suits their needs.
· Don’t forget to offer free shipping – this is always a huge incentive for shoppers, and will be even more so during these tight times.
According to eBay’s report, 60% of consumers said that good value for money is the most important factor when it comes to this year’s Christmas shopping.
· Be prepared for people taking their time before committing to buy. Provide inspiration – such as gift guides – but don’t be too pushy.
· Highlight the quality and unique selling points of your products within the listings so customers know they’re getting something special!
· Shoppers will be spending more time on marketplaces like Amazon where they can easily compare prices.
· Product bundling – offering multiple items together for a reduced price – will be appealing to shoppers looking for value, while giving you an opportunity to upsell.
With price now a priority, consumers will become “brand promiscuous”, shopping around for the best deals. For e-commerce businesses already facing rising costs, there’s a dilemma: maintain current pricing but risk customers switching to lower-cost brands, or lower prices in the short term but see profits plummet.
Put the customer experience at the heart of your sales campaign this peak season to keep existing customers attract new ones:
· Think personalization – whether that’s sending customers personalized gift guides (you can use their browsing history to inform this), emailing loyal customers exclusive holiday discount codes, or little touches like addressing customers by their first name across communications.
· Engage with customers on social media, and respond to questions quickly. Be an active presence – you are your brand’s best salesperson after all!
A well-polished e-commerce website ensures a great customer experience.
This year, sustainability is set to play a central role. 83% of shoppers will seek out eco-friendly brands and products this holiday season, whilst 42% would even consider paying more for sustainable shipping options.
· What are your brand’s eco-credentials? Integrate them into your marketing communications, and shout about them on your e-commerce website.
· Remember the packaging. If your customer’s small order arrives swathed in layers of excessive packaging, they won’t be impressed – worse still, they might “package shame” your brand on social media!
· Introduce a carbon offsetting scheme. DHL Express offers a range of climate-neutral shipping options through its , allowing businesses to offset their shipments’ carbon emissions with investments in climate protection projects around the world – including planting one million trees a year!
There’s the war in Ukraine, rising gas prices, global inflation and lingering Covid border policies delaying exports from China. It’s no wonder 67% of US SMBs say they have already faced inventory challenges in 2022, whilst 80% have seen their supply chain costs rise. With e-commerce’s busiest season just around the corner, pressures are only set to increase.
· Diversify suppliers: relying on just one is risky in the current climate. Working with several means your business will be more resilient to market changes.
· Explore digital-first solutions like inventory-tracking software and automated warehouses. These can help your business better predict consumer demand, drive down marginal costs and reduce waste.
· Be ready to pivot your sales strategy at a moment’s notice. If you’re experiencing a delivery delay from a supplier, for example, switch to push other available products on your website. No customer likes an “out of stock” message!
· Many retailers are having to cut costs across their business, but offering customers free shipping and returns are huge sales drivers, so should be safeguarded. Instead, look at other areas of your business to see .
Last, but by no means least, rely on the trusted advisor like DHL Express as your go-to logistics partner for peak season tips, tricks and insights. As the world’s most international company and an e-commerce logistics leader, we will help you navigate the busy sales period. Happy selling!
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