The US holiday season starts in Thanksgiving and wanes into mid-January. For some, it’s not until Christmas. For businesses, it’s earlier than usual.
This year, however, it’s going to be different. The holidays will be permitted by different factors that affect consumers’ purchasing behaviors. This will require business owners to make extra preparations to prepare their operations for the impending increased demand.
Factors Driving Consumer Behavior
The current labor shortage dubbed the “Great Resignation” is not privy to the private business sector. Disruption in the supply chain, and another shortage in the global chip supply, follow suit. The public knows it all, and it’s affecting their purchasing behavior.
Because of all the expected delays, consumers are scrambling to get the products they need and want before the gift-giving season starts. Logistics and e-commerce companies are inundated with online orders, further highlighting the issues that cripple them.
Additionally, amid vaccination rollouts, new Covid variants are making people hesitant to join the buying crowds. More consumers will be pushed to purchase gifts online.
While the increased influx will bring more profits to businesses, they can still face significant losses because of dissatisfied customers and unfulfilled orders.
What Businesses Should Do
Consumers can purchase their products early. They might find certain products in shortage, particularly electronic products. However, for businesses, it takes more than just speed to answer the current problems they face.
Fortunately, there’s a way to help businesses prepare for all the holiday rush. This article aims to provide you with tips on getting your business ready once the orders come in. You may not solve the supply and logistics problems, but you can do something to work your way around them.
Develop a Comprehensive Plan
You’ll need to develop several plans.
One, create a plan to solve problems or answer customer complaints that may arise from logistics delays. Two, create a plan to provide top-notch customer support and service that can help minimize customer dissatisfaction caused by product shortages or shipping delays. Three, create a
plan for when your business will experience inventory problems and alternatives that you can consider.
Optimize Your E-commerce Store
Make sure that your e-commerce store can handle the amount of web traffic you’ll receive this holiday. At the same time, ensure that it is optimized for mobile access. According to PayPal, 72% of customers prefer shopping through their mobile phones, a practice that’s been accelerated by the pandemic. On the other hand, 37% of consumers avoid purchasing from brands with poor website design and navigation settings.
Optimizing your store isn’t just about providing detailed product descriptions and categorized choices. Today, consumers are looking for e-commerce stores that they can navigate quickly and provide easy payment methods and channels, which are important shopping factors.
Ensure that your store provides a high-quality and immersive customer experience to attract more buyers. A simple but captivating website will help your customers seamlessly move from purchase to checkout.
Practice Proactive Customer Service
Your customer service shouldn’t focus on answering inquiries and complaints. According to News Week, businesses are more likely to achieve their goals with proactive customer service.
Proactive customer service means you’ll take the time to reach out to your customers to learn more about their preferences. This way, you’ll be able to advise them about your latest products and guide them through the checkout process. News Week further revealed that leads are 6.4 times more
likely to be converted to paying customers when a store representative talks to them.
Proactive customer service will also enable you to anticipate your customers’ needs and learn more about their experience with your store, which will enable you to improve your products and services.
Stock Up on Your Inventory
Inventory control enables businesses to monitor their stocks. If you’re not yet using one, make sure to choose the right system for your business. Stock up on fast-moving products, especially for the holiday season. Purchase inventory in bulk, if necessary and possible.
For example, you should buy a car mat if you sell car accessories. Or purchase bundles products from your supplier, which are often sold cheap.
Prepare for Success
While the shopping season is approaching fast, take time to prepare your business. There’s still a lot to be done before the rush starts. Use the tips above, so you’ll have an idea of what improvements you can do to your business to prepare it for the holidays.