It seems like the Christmas decorations in shops and ‘All I want For Christmas Is You’ are forced upon us earlier and earlier each year. Whilst this is irritating for the general public, who may also think that late September is far too early to be thinking about Christmas, ecommerce sellers need to begin thinking about how they are going to deal with the surge in demand that comes every holiday season now. This year early preparation is even more vital than usual, with experts predicting that online shopping will increase by over 7% this season (which would represent a growth of over 50% on 2019). Here are a few things sellers need to be thinking about leading up to the most wonderful time of the year…
Ensure Your Supply Options Are Ready
Most sellers are forward-thinking enough to increase their inventories before the holiday season to ensure that they can meet the increased demand, but not all of them consider how this increased demand will affect their delivery options. If forecasts are to be believed and this holiday season is once again set to be dominated by online shopping, supply chains and logistic support will be running at full capacity.
Indeed, major logistics providers DHL are already preparing for a 35% increase in volume this holiday season. In addition to this, online marketplaces such as Etsy are already advising sellers to decide on their cut-off point for deliveries so they can ensure all Christmas orders can make it to their destination before the big day. This means as a seller you should be making a list of your delivery methods, and checking them twice to ensure that they will be able to cope with an increase in demand.
Don’t Forget To Account For Returns
You know how it is; at Christmas you might get a present from your secret santa at work who gets the football team you support wrong, or you might buy something for your child, only for them to decide last minute that they never wanted that toy. Scenarios such as these, in addition to the sheer number of purchases always leads to increased returns and refund requests.
This is another aspects of operations that sellers can sometimes neglect. To ensure you keep your customers happy, you must make sure to have a clear and concise returns policy. It is also worth noting that Amazon have extended their returns policy again, meaning that consumers will have until January 31st 2022 to return their unwanted items. This begins on October 1st, so sellers must be aware of these changes before the beginning of next month.
Coronavirus Set To Affect Christmas Once Again
Whilst the effects of the Coronavirus will likely be felt less than they were last year, the last effects from the outbreak will still be prevalent this year. What is interesting is the fact that it is hard to say yet what the impact might be.
On the one hand, a study released by Ebay ads found that 26% of Brits have less disposable income this year as a result of the pandemic, with two-thirds of these people claiming that finding gifts that are good value for money is their priority this year.
On the other hand, the same study found that 20% of Brits have been able to save more this year and are planning to splash their increased savings on Christmas shopping. Over half of these people claimed they plan to spend more on Christmas this year than they did last year. This presents a bit of a dilemma for sellers as it’s hard to know whether to cut prices or hold out for the big spenders. Since there seems to be an even split it might be worth going ahead as planned for now, but sellers should remain flexible and be ready to adapt their listings and products depending on the developments in the market between now and Christmas.
If You Are An Ecommerce Seller, We Can Help You
If you have any concerns about dealing with the upcoming holiday season, we at J&P have the qualifications and knowledge to help you plan ahead, so please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any further questions about selling on online, or if you need any help with adapting your business. We can get you VAT registered across the EU and can file your returns. Essentially, we sort out your tax so you can deal with selling your products. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, on our social media, or give us a call on 0161 637 1080.