19 October 2023Back to Blog
Peak Trading 2023: An eCommerce Guide to Navigating Q4
With Q4 upon us, ecommerce businesses should be gearing up for peak trading. If you’re unsure where to start, we’re here to share our tips and tricks for preparing for the peak.
First, here’s a quick rundown of the key dates that should be in your diary:
November 24th: Black Friday
November 27th: Cyber Monday
December 2nd: Small Business Day
December 14th: Free Shipping Day
December 23rd: Super Saturday (or Panic Saturday – the last Saturday before Christmas)
December 25th: Christmas Day (popular mobile shopping day)
December 26th: Boxing Day
January 8th: Peak Returns Week
Review Your Past Performance
Before you begin thinking about your peak trading strategy, it’s important to take a moment to look back on how you performed the previous year, as this could hold information that is key to accurate sales forecasting. By understanding what went right, and what went wrong, you’ll embark on this year’s peak trading season with some valuable insights that are specific to your business.
Secure Your Inventory
With immense pressure on supply chains, it’s crucial to make sure your inventory is stocked and up-to-date, sooner rather than later. This also means planning ahead and being prepared for any shipping delays that could cause issues with overseas distribution.
Understand the Value of Data
In the world of ecommerce, data is everything. Without sufficient data, your business could be missing out on potential customers.
It’s important to build first-party data before and during the peak. There are lots of easy ways to collect first-party data, such as newsletter subscriptions and event attendance, however there are some ways that could take your first-party data to the next level. Whether it’s partnerships with trustworthy brands or interactive ad content, investing in first-party data is crucial to building a successful strategy.
Leveraging your product data is also vital when it comes to building a strategy. Create relevant segments and remember to take advantage of automation to create a seamless feed-based campaign. To keep on top of your data, you might want to use a data management system. Here at 5874, we support integrations with our partner, Feedonomics, with its AI-driven analytics and reporting.
Target and Promote
In order to craft a successful ecommerce campaign that will see you through the peak, you need to be using the data you have collected to set clear targets. A helpful tip is to use the SMART goal frame: set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Once you’ve set your customer acquisition targets, you can work towards achieving them with targeted and data-driven promotions.
Efficient Delivery and Returns
During the peak period, an increase in online shopping also means an increased strain on postal services. One of the ways that your business can prepare for the peak is by ensuring your delivery and returns policies are up-to-date. You may also want to allow yourself more time for delivery to avoid disappointing customers, especially during the Christmas period when last-minute buys are on the rise. Returns will also need to be dealt with promptly and efficiently, so make sure your policy is clearly outlined and the customer kept updated. To ensure you’re prepared for a period of increased returns, read our whitepaper, ‘The Point of No Return: A Retailer’s Guide to Returns’ here.
Optimise Your Website
One of the best things ecommerce businesses can do to prepare for the peak trading period is to ensure your website is up to scratch and able to deal with the spike in traffic and customer orders. For example, website speed is crucial for retaining customers and boosting conversion rates. No matter how much work you put into acquiring customers, you’ll need a fully optimised and user-friendly website to retain those customers long enough for them to hit checkout. This is something we can help with here at 5874, so why not check out the services we offer here. In addition to this, mobile shopping is on the rise, with Google claiming “76% of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps allow them to make purchases quickly.” Peak trading is no exception. With Christmas Day in particular becoming a popular day for mobile purchasing, it’s imperative that your ecommerce site is properly optimised for mobile use.
An easy way of ensuring you’ve got all of these bases covered is by choosing an ecommerce agency like 5874 Commerce to keep your site on track through the peaks and the troughs. We’re also the leading BigCommerce Elite Partner, making a great duo for driving ecommerce success. Get in touch to see how we could help your ecommerce business here.