Preparing for Peak Countdown Guide – Part 4

Tuesday January 18, 2022 | Posted at 10:12 am | By Paul Dicken
January 18, 2022 @ 10:12 am

In this final post in a series about planning for peak, we talk about how you can re-group after your busy period is over.

Regardless of when your peak period is, and how pronounced the peak is, there are things you can do to maximise your chances of success and implement the lessons learned for the next peak. That’s what this series has been about. Initially we looked at what to do between 6 and 3 months out from your busy time. Then we focused on between 3 months and 2 weeks out. After that, right before peak, we looked at the fine-tuning checklist before the final push.

In a perfect ecommerce world, when the peak period of trading subsides, we’d be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the calm after the storm. Unfortunately it never seems to work out that way. Not all purchases go to plan, so there are credits and refunds to process, returns to process, where-is-my-order mis-deliveries to track down and make good, and a minority of disgruntled buyers to appease. All these activities dent the profitability of your most wonderful time of the year.

Alongside this, the days and weeks after your sales event are for reflecting on how the period as a whole went, absorbing lessons for next year and analysing whether you exceeded expectations. You’ll intuitively know how you got on, but the devil is in the detail and the name of the game is analysis, to uncover how you really fared financially.

Spend time understanding your performance, from shipping times and the number of customer complaints, to sales per hour, per category and per region. If there’s a number or metric that can be assigned to an activity, record it, analyse it and set a target for how it can be improved. Your business will benefit in the long-term, simply because many businesses will not be closing the loop: doing the homework, taking the lessons and implementing them.

Here are some metrics to think about:

  • Sales performance on each marketplace, web store or social selling platform
  • Core financials – sales cadence during the day, sales per day, region and other measureable trends
  • Best-selling product lines
  • Products sold together that you hadn’t bundled, but that could be bundled in future
  • Category specific results
  • Website traffic, search engine performance and other referral sources
  • Social media interactions and growth
  • Google Ads, Amazon Ads, eBay Promoted Listings, OnBuy Boost and other paid marketing activities
  • Warehouse efficiency and order fulfilment speeds
  • Customer satisfaction and returns

Don’t leave your busiest period to chance. Every merchant, retailer and brand selling on marketplaces experiences uneven sales throughout the year, with busier periods and quieter seasons. The objectives are always the same for any peak – service customers as well as you can, drive sales and grow the business. There is no checklist for every single aspect of your business, but this series should reveal a clear pathway to good preparation, a maximised peak and analysis of successes and reversals so you can improve your next peak.

To talk about what your expectations for your peak, get in touch and schedule a no obligation call.

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