Prepare for the Christmas and January sales in 12 key steps

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In 2020, the European e-commerce market was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and saw an exceptional increase in online sales. In Europe, e-commerce sales accounted for no less than 757 billion euros, an increase of 10% compared to 2019. This trend has been confirmed in 2021. According to a study by Criteo, 86% of consumers plan to buy their holiday gifts online. 

Furthermore, according to the 2021 Online Marketplaces Report, 62.5% of all global online spending occurred via digital marketplaces in 2020, which was a 29% increase in gross merchandise sales.

Christmas, the January sales, Valentine’s Day… This winter will be full of highlights that you need to prepare in advance. Discover our 12-step plan and key tips to optimize your sales and maximize the impact of your commercial operations.

Plan to succeed

It seems far away and yet… In order to maximise the benefits of the end-of-year business operations, you need to anticipate and prepare now!

Retroplanning-EN

Summary

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2 months to go

Determine which items will be on special offer and at which price. It’s time to study your catalogue and select the products to put on sale.

Lengow’s tip:

  • Study your statistics to determine which products to promote according to performance (turnover and sales volume) over the last few months. Google Analytics allows you to retrieve data from your site and link it to your product catalogue and your sales on the marketplaces. For example, identify unsold products to reduce their prices or boost the visibility of your best-sellers.
  • If you take advantage of this to sell off your unsold stock, don’t just offer products from old collections, which would disappoint your customers.
  • Think carefully about the stock of your sales products so that you have enough stock at the right time and do not disappoint online shoppers. In addition, be aware that marketplaces are very strict on this point and do not hesitate to penalise or even exclude merchants who offer unavailable products for sale.

Prepare your e-commerce site

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In the back-office of your site, design the display of your stored products now, to be ready for the D-day. For example, create a specific tab to group together products on special offer.

Lengow’s tip: You can use this to have a specific communication on these products on the site but also target your products by retargeting or with your Google campaigns.

Prepare your distribution on new marketing channels

Marketplaces, comparators, Google Shopping, SEA, retargeting, Product Ads… Do you have little or no presence online? Want to test new channels? Depending on your digital strategy, select the most relevant channels to increase the visibility of your products during your commercial operations..

Lengow’s tips:

  • There’s no need to be present everywhere straight away. Select 2 or 3 channels to get started. Marketplaces can be very profitable for large end-of-year operations, so why not start there?
  • Segment your catalogue to refine your distribution according to each channel. Our feature Segments give you the possibility to create product groups within your source catalogue, based on a certain number of criteria that you can predefine (performance, profitability, seasonality, etc.). You can then create rules on these products before setting up your diffuser. 
  • Anticipate! In 2020, on Pinterest, members began saving Pins (to remember products) as early as October for the holiday season.

To sell on marketplaces in December, you have to start preparing in September. Many advertisers think that it takes just one or two weeks, but the implementation (acceptance by the marketplace, negotiation of the contract between the marketplace and the seller, configuration, etc.) takes much longer, according to each channel”.

Marlène Sazerac de Forge

CUSTOMER DEVELOPER TEAM MANAGER – LENGOW

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1 month to go

Prepare the settings for the selected channels

Each broadcaster has its own rules and requirements. Check whether the ones you have selected have specific settings and find out what they expect from you when setting up commercial operations.

For sales periods, some channels require the relevant data well in advance of the operation. For example, at La Redoute, it can be 2 – 3 weeks ahead of the sale, so you need to prepare in advance.

Lengow’s tip:

Think about how you are going to integrate discounted prices into your product sheets. If this data is held in a different file or feed from your main catalogue, you will need to unify them. At Lengow we offer for example the possibility to have additional sources. This will allow you to be flexible and make price changes up to the very last moment. For example, you can modulate the prices between Christmas and the holiday sales.

Channels inform retailers which steps need to be taken for each commercial operation. Refer to their communications to find out their requirements in advance! Your partners can also help you. For example, Lengow offers special sales guides, detailed by distribution channel and updated for each sales session. Find them in our Help Center!

Clothilde Le Cose

CUSTOMER SUCCESS OPERATIONS MANAGER – LENGOW

Define your business arbitration rules beforehand

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It’s time to list the problems that could prevent you from being reactive during the commercial operation. 

For example, what daily budget would you like to allocate to your new channels? Are you going to stop publications on a channel if your ROI is not reached? Do you want to offer shipping costs above a certain amount? What action should you take if your products do not sell on certain channels? What price will you display if your competitors’ price is lower than yours?

Lengow’s tip:

Once the answers to these questions have been determined, anticipate by setting up new publication rules. For example, you can automatically adjust your prices according to your competitors.

Prepare your settings well in advance of D-day. Don’t wait until the last minute!

Aurélie Mayeux

CUSTOMER SUPPORT MANAGER – LENGOW

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2 weeks to go

Prepare your ads and product sheets

Check that your product sheets contain as many details as possible.

A well-informed product data-sheet allows browsers to imagine themselves using the item, leading to better conversions. Moreover, it reassures consumers and will limit returns.

Lengow’s tip:

  • If you have one, use the information in your PIM software, such as Akeneo, to merge it with your main product catalogue.
  • Write clear and complete titles
  • Add the name of the commercial operation in the title of your product sheet or in the description.
  • Highlight discounted prices.
  • Add the benefits and advantages of your product
  • Complete your files with several visuals or photos.
  • Exclude from your distribution products without image or description.

Advertisers invest large sums of money during these commercial operations, so we might as well make these investments bear fruit by sending traffic on qualitative product sheets.

Marlène Sazerac de Forge

CUSTOMER DEVELOPER TEAM MANAGER – LENGOW

Check your stocks

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Make sure you have enough stock for future order quantities.

Lengow’s tip:

  • If you automatically accept orders from the different marketplaces, you will save time but be sure to have up-to-date quantities.
  • Set up your distribution with automatic rules to automatically exclude out-of-stock products so you don’t disappoint your customers.

Now is the time to set up a system to update your feeds several times a day during peak sales periods. Don’t hesitate to inform your feed manager if you have a special device for updating the catalogue.

Aurélie Mayeux

TECHNICAL SUPPORT – LENGOW

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1 week to go

Check your product information

Lengow’s tip: 

A few days before the big day, we recommend you check the information in your catalogue which will be sent to the channels for commercial operations.

Also, check that your “price” and “reduced price” fields match with your feed manager.

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1 day to go

Send your updated product data to the distributors

Lengow’s tip:

Update your prices in the feed that is sent to the marketing channels the day before to ensure that all networks will have your sales prices available on time. 

Note: Some networks require that sales prices are provided by a specific time/date.

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On the day

Check the different channels to ensure your product information is up-to-date.

Lengow’s tip:

Go check that your prices are on special offer on each channel, your titles are written well and the visuals are up-to-date, etc.

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During

Manage your orders

Each marketplace has its own order system: Make sure you can manage all the orders you receive!

Some marketplaces offer Fulfilment services where they directly take care of the dispatch of orders placed on their site and manage the necessary stock.

Lengow’s tip:

Display processing and delivery times that you can meet in order to avoid disappointing customers. In addition, some marketplaces tolerate only minimal delays.

Lengow gives you the possibility to centralise orders from your website and various channels on a single platform to speed things up. You can view and control all your orders in a uniform and automated way. Save time when sending your parcels and meet the expectations of your customers who are increasingly demanding in terms of delivery times!

Analyse your results as you go

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Stay alert on the perfomance of each product in order to adjust your distribution according to the market. Manage the budget of your campaigns according to the results of each channel, each product category, etc. Be reactive!

Lengow’s tip: 

Analyse sales, generated turnover, ROI, number of clicks, and the statistics by feed, product and date, as well as the evolution curves… they will give you the keys to optimise your distribution!

For example, think of lowering the price of a product that is heavily clicked on but does not convert, or react if your competitors’ prices fall.

 

If vendors aggregate and analyse their statistical data correctly, they will then be able to set up a strategy adapted to each broadcaster and increase their profitability.

Marlène Sazerac de Forge

CUSTOMER DEVELOPER TEAM MANAGER – LENGOW

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You have all the keys in hand

You now have a complete action plan to prepare your winter commercial operations. Be sure not to miss the 2021 year-end and January sales.

If you use the Lengow platform, you can now prepare your promotions by setting up your product catalogue. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to visit our Help Center.

Main image: Pexels, 

Images in body: Pexels, Pexels, Unsplash, Pexels

 

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Naomi Botting

Senior Communications Manager - UK, Northern Europe, China

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