The holiday season is upon us. While customers are busy putting together their shopping lists, retailers have their own holiday list to reckon with. We’ve spoken to a number of sellers and put together a marketplace to-do list geared towards boosting holiday sales. Here’s what sellers are doing to master the marketplace during the holiday season.
Count down the days
Most if not all online sellers understand that Black Friday through Cyber Monday is one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. Once the Thanksgiving feast is done, many shoppers stake out in front of their devices ready to swipe, click, and checkout all within minutes. Seasoned and serious sellers know this is just a launching pad for the coming weeks leading up to Christmas and the New Year. The hustle and bustle of the season is taxing so staying organized reduces the stress the holidays add. Keep tabs on what campaigns online marketplaces are running and find out how you can get your products to be a part of them. Marketplaces like Newegg run multiple campaigns at a time so there are plenty of opportunities at hand.
It’s all about the customer
Select the right assortment based on who you’re targeting. This is pretty straight forward. Don’t try promoting products that customers don’t care for, no matter how big the discount offer. Select the right product mix for the holidays – Be targeted and strategic when selecting items to promote during the holidays. Start your research by taking a look at what is trending around the market and check that against your inventory. Review your own trends, what other products sold well prior to the holiday season. Finally, consult with your marketplace managers. They can provide additional insights specific to their customer base. If you’re selling across multiple marketplaces, consider factoring in that different demographics might demand slightly different products. Check out why we advise sellers to sell on multiple marketplaces.
Operations can make or break holiday cheer
Don’t let your operations or lack thereof, ruin the holiday cheer. Carefully manage your inventory using various tracking and notification services so you know exactly what’s going out and what’s coming in based on your goals. Consider looking into a 3rd party logistics (3PL) service that can help you do that if you don’t have the capabilities. Most 3PL services act as extension of a seller’s logistics department offering inventory management, shipping, and customer service. According to eMarketer, more customers are purchasing closer to Christmas indicating their confidence in retailers’ abilities to deliver on time. In other words, more customers expect expedited shipping. A 3PL service like Shipped by Newegg helps sellers do just that. Knowing your shipping deadlines during the holiday season is a key to success. Luckily, our friends at ShipStation collected all the deadlines you need to know for the US, Canada, UK & Australia in one easy to read infographic!
Dress to impress: Make a lasting impression with your product content listing
Once you’ve identified what assortment you’re promoting. Ensure that you’re optimizing that listing. Most marketplaces offer some type of enhanced content service, use it. According to a survey conducted by Salsify, customers indicated that having a detailed product description ranked first in regards to influencing a customer to buy. Make your listings as engaging and informative as possible to improve conversion. Feature content that informs customers about the impact this product can make versus simply speaking about the product. There’s a difference. Here are a few practical things that are easy to do:
- A picture is worth a thousand words rings true here so take advantage of the photo gallery, by highlighting additional noteworthy product details. Incorporate more than one product image. Consider featuring a standalone image, an image highlighting certain features, and a lifestyle image displaying its usage. Additionally, including videos is a great way of getting customers interacting with your product listing while delivering the content you want them to know.
- Ensure product titles and descriptions are to the point and accurate. Product titles should highlight the main feature of the product. The remaining features can be detailed in the description sections.
- Create and optimize content for search engines so you maintain any SEO gains made during the holidays. Holiday shopping brings a ton a traffic to sites like Newegg, so have that traffic work for your long term goals as well. For more information on Search Engine Optimization, download our guide.
Offer competitive pricing and/ or offers
If you’ve followed along up to this point, then reading “offer competitive pricing” should be no surprise. Using reputable repricing tools, you’ll be able to identify how to set your pricing strategy based on your goals. Implementing a pricing strategy doesn’t necessarily mean straight discounting a product is the only way. Consider coupling your products with different types of offers. Set spending thresholds that customers need to meet so they can receive cash back, for example. If marketplaces know their customer base consist of regular shoppers, find out if that marketplace has a customer loyalty program that you can leverage. Get creative!
Be seen where it matters most. Where are you placing your products?
Setting up and optimizing the listing is great, but if the placement is not reaching the right customers, then you won’t earn the conversion you were expecting. Get some metrics behind your decision making. Be strategic, don’t try to place your product everywhere. Here are a couple of questions to ask if you’re selling on a marketplace:
- Where are the promotional campaigns being featured? What theme is being promoted?
- How can my product secure better placement within the site’s internal search?
- How do I improve my chances of winning the buy box?
- What outside marketing channels am I using?
This step probably requires collaborative planning with respective marketplace team members. One thing you do want to do is define your goals. Is it conversion? Impressions? Click-thru? Or a combination? Be clear so you’re allocating resources appropriately.
Selling and managing your business during the holiday season is both exciting and strenuous, but having a tactical plan can ease that burden and allow you to also experience some of that holiday cheer. Who wouldn’t want that? To learn more about Newegg Marketplace’s Holiday Campaigns, reach out to us. We’ll be happy to get you started. Happy selling!
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on the Newegg Business Blog in November of 2017. It has been edited and updated for 2019.