December 23, 2021
Why the Holiday Aftermath Is Just as Important as the Preparation
This blog post was originally published by Deliverr, which is now Flexport. The content has been adjusted to fit the Flexport brand voice and tone, but all other information remains unchanged. With the merging of Deliverr’s services (DTC fulfillment, B2B distribution, and Last Mile delivery) into Flexport’s existing international freight and technology services, we’re now able to provide merchants with true end-to-end logistics solutions spanning from the factory floor to the customer’s door.
As an eCommerce brand, you’ve probably seen countless articles about how delivery delays will impact the holiday season. But what happens after the holiday season is over?
You might think that after the holidays end you can breathe a sigh of relief and go back to business-as-usual. However, the truth is that delivery and supply chain issues won’t end just because the holidays did. While this busy period is still fresh in your mind, analytics and planning for the next holiday season become extremely important.
In short, we believe the holiday aftermath is just as important as the preparation. Read on to learn more about some of the lessons that can be learned after the holidays hit and why it’s so important to get ahead of next year to be best set up for success.
Why the Holiday Aftermath Is Important
There are quite a few challenges that eCommerce brands faced throughout the holidays and the aftermath will likely be no different. Below are a few scenarios you may find yourself in after the busy season is over as well as the learnings that come with them:
1. Supply Chain Issues Will Continue To Affect the Market
Having enough inventory to keep up with sales isn’t just an issue throughout the holiday season—it’s an issue throughout the entire year. Production capacity simply can’t keep up with increasing consumer demand. Supply chain issues will continue to affect the market long after the holiday season ends.
As an initial learning from the 2021 holiday season, eCommerce brands should order items anywhere from 3-9 months in advance. But even after the holiday season has ended, items won’t be shipped much faster. Order your inventory for post-holiday during this time as well to avoid supply chain issues greatly affecting your eCommerce store. This is why forecasting is key.
As you prepare for the aftermath of the holiday season, it’s important to consider the following factors:
- Will there be enough inventory to fulfill sales expectations?
- Will the supply come on time?
- Will shipping and global supply chain issues continue to affect my store?
Especially right after the holiday season when you may have gotten very low on certain inventory, it’s important to consider if you’ll have enough supply to continue selling certain items well into the new year.
If you do find yourself in a position where your eCommerce store is struggling to fulfill orders for a certain product, think about how you can use marketing to your advantage. Pause marketing communications for out-of-stock items and instead promote those that you have in abundance but that typically are slower to sell.
2. Sales Don’t End After the Holiday Season
When we think of the busiest shopping events of the year, we typically think of the holiday season—Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the few weeks leading up to Christmas. But there are important sales that will have your shoppers typing in their credit card number in your online store after the holiday season.
Here are the biggest sales that attract shoppers in January:
- Fitness equipment: New Years’ resolutions continue to inspire fitness brands to offer sales throughout January. It’s the time of year when shoppers are motivated to better their health, and fitness equipment goes on sale because of that changed consumer mindset.
- Bedding: Typically held in January, these events can feature discounts of up to 70% or 80% off on sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, and other soft home goods.
- Winter clothing: Cozy items for the warm weather drop in price in January. Retailers will start to make room for spring items, which means putting winter clothing on sale.
- Holiday decor and clothing: All the holiday season decor and clothing that everyone was buying before Christmas will hit the clearance sections in January.
If your eCommerce store offers any of the items that typically go on sale in January, you can use these discounts to increase your sales throughout the aftermath of the holiday season. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that your eCommerce store is prepared.
If you’re having a sale to attract shoppers to your website, then be sure to optimize your eCommerce store to increase sales even after the holiday season. Shoppers will continue to shop, so be sure your store is ready to take advantage of the January season.
A Quick Tip To Get Ahead: Analyze Your Data Now
You might be tempted to take a break after the holiday rush and worry about your analytics later (they’ll still be there in a few months, right?). However, analyzing data is always best when the experience is fresh in your mind. Have all of your departments get together and come up with a report about wins, losses, goals met and goals you didn’t reach, and more. Then, have each department give a presentation to the company so you can begin to make sense of what you can improve upon during the upcoming year and start to make a plan.
In short, the faster you can understand what happened during the holidays (which product was a hit? What surprised you about your website traffic? What pitfalls did you see in your customer service?), the sooner you can begin to make the necessary changes needed to have a great year.
A Quick Recap
Preparing for the aftermath of the holiday season is similar to preparing for the actual holiday season. Here are some additional ways you can prepare for the months following the holidays:
- Optimize your eCommerce customer experience
- Efficiently manage your warehouse operations to ensure you can fulfill your orders
- Optimize your checkouts to increase conversions
- Update your products catalog to display accurate information (remove any products that are sold out)
- Build defenses against search abandonment and cart abandonment
- Increase your website traffic by using ad campaigns and organic SEO
- Put eCommerce marketing strategies into practice
A good tip is to visualize the holidays as a time that goes through January with your team. This will help everyone remain focused and set clear expectations.
Now that you know why you should prepare for the holiday aftermath and how to do so, you’re all set to reach success in your eCommerce business well into the New Year! Start the year off on the right foot by preparing for January and the following months.
The contents of this blog are made available for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any legal, business, or financial decisions. We do not guarantee, represent, or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the contents of this blog because they are based on Flexport’s current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions, about which there can be no assurance due to various anticipated and unanticipated events that may occur. This blog has been prepared to the best of Flexport’s knowledge and research; however, the information presented in this blog herein may not reflect the most current regulatory or industry developments. Neither Flexport nor its advisors or affiliates shall be liable for any losses that arise in any way due to the reliance on the contents contained in this blog.