Each year, Canadians reach further into their pockets to splurge in Boxing Day sales. In fact, spending rose 9 per cent year-on-year from 2016 to 2017. When you open your virtual doors for the busy Boxing Day period you’ll want to make sure your employees and systems are ready to deliver a holiday shopping experience that’s second-to-none.
In the age of ecommerce, this positive digital experience can lead to a growth in social media followers, website visits and help populate data that will inform the future direction of your business. In other words, it’s vital for your future business health to nail this important shopping date. Here’s how you can achieve your goal.
Use Data to Your Advantage
Pop Quiz: What does the above graph represent?
From taking a quick look at Google Trends, Canadian thoughts turn rapidly to Boxing Day sales around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is the runway you should be giving yourself to plan accordingly to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day.
It's likely your time will be spent putting out fires and responding to queries in the middle of December. Start planning in late November/early December for how your Boxing Day is going to pan out. Analyze how your business performed in previous years. What did you do well? What can be improved? What does the sales data tell you about your products? If a product was a strong Boxing Day draw, make sure you have enough in stock to satisfy demand. Did you find a crunch on staff hours on the day? Budget to have more staff working. Data is all around us. Use the data you have in hand to inform your Boxing Day decisions.
Get Ready to Hustle
In the run up to Christmas, be careful not to send mixed messaging with your digital marketing efforts. Your focus will be on maximizing Christmas sales. However, once the countdown is over, swiftly switch to your Boxing Day marketing push. Don’t be afraid to post to social on Christmas Eve or even send out an eBlast on Christmas Day. Let your customers know the big sale starts TOMORROW. Some of your potential customers are likely sitting on a cache of gift cards that will be spent somewhere. A little bit of hustle will maximize your chances they’ll be spent at your business. I’m not here to advocate working on Christmas Day, that isn’t necessary. Schedule eBlasts in advance and use social assistant tools like Hootsuite to line up your key messaging ahead of time.
Stage a Dry Run
Each year, Best Buy prepares for their busy holiday period by staging a dry run to simulate the demands placed on customers and staff alike. This valuable exercise aims to prepare staff for every eventuality that may pop up. While it’s not fair to compare Best Buy to your average ecommerce outfit, there’s still plenty to take away from their idea. What parts of your Boxing Day operation can you simulate in advance? Perhaps you could test your servers under a heavy load to see how they’ll handle the surge? Audit how long it takes staff to respond to multiple customer service requests. A wise man once said; “fail to prepare, prepare to fail” – take this thought and use it to inform your Boxing Day plans.
Are You Mobile Friendly?
As more of your customers shop via their mobile device it’s more important than ever for your store to be mobile friendly. If your site is powered by the Shopify platform, (and let’s face it, it should be!) the good news is you can choose from a robust and beautiful selection of templates that will enhance the customer experience while offering all the functionality you’ll need. Trusted by retailers ranging from global brands to national governments, Shopify is the number one solution for building a mobile friendly site. Need some advice on how to set it up? GD Commerce is standing by to assist. Our team are experts in all things Shopify, contact us and we’ll be delighted to help you get started!