Preparing for Peak Countdown Guide – Part 3

Thursday November 18, 2021 | Posted at 11:43 am | By Paul Dicken
November 18, 2021 @ 11:43 am

In this third post in a series about planning for peak, we talk about the period right before your crucial season gets underway.

The first post in the series looked at what to do between 6 and 3 months out, regardless of when your peak is. The second focused on between 3 months and 2 weeks out. Now we’re into peak, where you fine-tune all your good work in readiness for the final push.

Of course, some ecommerce businesses don’t really have a peak period as such; they trade pretty evenly throughout the calendar year. Others see a fairly extended peak that coincides with the longer, warmer days. Many gear up for the traditional make-or-break holiday period, running from the second half of November to the second half of December.

And then a few experience a short burst of intensity around milestones like Halloween. In a Volo survey from a few years ago, we found that on the Monday before Halloween, fancy dress retailers sell three times more than the daily sales total for the first two weeks of October. Now that’s intense.

Whenever your peak period, or your seasonality, this series is aimed at helping you plan for success. So, it’s almost crunch time. You are where you are. Either you prepared well and it’s down to the final touches, or you didn’t and you’re trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

As the golfers would say, you’re down to the short strokes, and this is why this post is a short one. It covers the few things left: dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on your campaigns, checking your internal processes are in place and your staff know what they’re doing, launching your high impact activities to drive your sales forward, fast.

We’ve grouped your final task list into 3 headings: stock, marketing and sales.

Stock, Warehouse and Management

  • Fulfil any exclusive customer deals ahead of the first day of peak
  • Keep customers updated about any shipping delays
  • Ensure surplus postage and packing resources are in good supply
  • Review sales activity data for the final days before, and for each day as the event takes place
  • Track shipping efficiency to identify any bottlenecks or issues arising at a logistical level

Marketing

  • Refresh your social media with peak period and/or ‘countdown’ branding
  • Launch email marketing activities designed to run throughout the event
  • Ensure your social media and content contain strong calls-to-action
  • Track performance of live campaigns and optimise in line with the sales feedback you’re getting
  • Answer any social media comments as quickly as you can

Sales and Product

  • Set and meet response times for your customer support team to answer queries
  • Ensure accurate stock information across your marketplaces and web stores is reflected in your listings
  • Respond quickly to any negative reviews left during the final week or peak itself, and positive reviews too!

In the last post in this series we’ll talk about what to do when you’re on the other side of peak.

To talk about what your best 2022 peak looks like, feel free to get in touch and schedule a no obligation call.

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