By James Chin-Moody
Each year, as Mother’s Day rolls around, it’s often a scramble to find the perfect gift for mum.
In the day-to-day madness of running their own e-commerce platform, small to medium business owners in the retail space can easily forget upcoming holidays.
Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to attract new customers, retain loyal ones and enjoy a boost in sales. So, it pays to be prepared.
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
Here are some of the ways small and medium sized retailers can prepare their online store for increased sales and minimised stress before Mother’s Day.
Communicate with customers
There are a number of different ways you can do this in the lead up to Mother’s Day, but it’s important that you choose your communication channels strategically, to avoid a scattergun approach.
If you publish a blog that is well-read by your customers, or if you’ve experienced success with your email direct marketing campaigns or social media channels, make sure you use these channels to engage your customers early. This can be done with well-written promotional offers, curated gift guides and even some personal, advice based articles such as “The top 10 thoughtful things you could do for your mum this year”.
Make sure your customers are aware of the order and delivery cut-off dates ahead of Mother’s Day. No one wants a missed sale or a disappointed customer!
The multitude of software, tools and smart systems available today, can help small to medium retailers automate many of the tedious and time-intensive tasks within their business.
Paying suppliers and staff through smart integrated technology or delivering website stock through logistical solutions can save your business time and allow to you dedicate those resources to other important functions such as company development and strategy, or creation of unique products that your customers keep coming back for.
Give your customers more options
Around Mother’s Day and other holidays, many online retailers adjust their customer policies around exchanges and returns, with some offering free or reduced-cost shipping. Before you make any decisions around this, you’ll need to first consider the impact on your overheads and how it can also affect your business processes.
But if you’re in a position to be generous, why not provide your customers with something extra? After all, retail is a competitive space, and if your customers are offered a better deal elsewhere, you could lose out to other competitors.
Track your successes
The next step, and arguably the most important, is recording your efforts over Mother’s Day, to better inform your strategy for next year and other peak times.
Look at things such as your website traffic, customer behaviour, purchases and analytics on promotions will allow you to let go of assumptions and look for more business opportunities in the future. If you haven’t set up an analytics program for your business, there’s no time like the present.
When Mother’s Day has come and gone, make sure you do a complete audit of your performance. Use this information to learn from both the successes and failures so you can better prepare for other big retail holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and then Mother’s Day next year!
James Chin-Moody is the co-founder and chief executive of Sendle.