Q4 has just started and for the majority of us in retail and ecommerce, there is no busier time of the year.

With this in mind I am really excited to announce and share this post. My friends and experts in their fields have taken their time to share their insights and advice for Q4.

Their points come from years of experience and could not be more true. So in no particular order please enjoy the feedback from our guest experts.

Also please make sure to check out their sites and social links too! Enjoy!

 

eBay for Black Friday & Christmas
Jane Bell eBay Expert Prepare early for Black Friday and the holiday period.  A proactive rather than reactive approach using eBay Business Policies. This will allow you to instantly alter processing time if there is a problem with order volume or postal disruption of any kind.  Have realistic despatch and delivery times, not everyone wants it next day.

Use eBay promotional tools to plan and vary longer term attractive offers rather than heavy offers over the Black Friday weekend only; not everyone shops on this weekend.  Don’t forget to have an attractive offer over the holiday period for those wanting to spend Christmas money on their new mobile device.

Have a sensible cut off time for last despatch before closing for the holiday to avoid disappointed customers, make sure those goods reach their destination in time, there’s nothing worse than negative social media complaints.

 

Jane Bell – eBay Specialist Consultant
JaneBell.co.ukTwitterLinkedIn

 

Proper Planning Attracts Customers
Jessica Homan The key to mastering the potential offered by Q4 is laid in proper planning. To attract an influx of potential holiday shoppers to your store, get started now preparing a SEM/SEO holiday campaign that uses combinations of important keywords such as “Black Friday coupon” or “holiday gift”. You might even consider revising product descriptions to include information such as age groups or hobby recommendations. Use searchable keywords and language that inspires gift-giving.

Once the customer is in your online shop, make the shopping process as clear and simple as possible. This includes everything from optimising your mobile approach to offering a simplified checkout process. You might even want to throw in some extra goodies, such as a voucher or freebie, as an extra incentive to make a purchase in your shop. Remember: this is not only an opportunity to make extra sales, but also acquire return customers, so focus on offering your customers an unparalleled shopping experience.

Jessica Homan – Marketing Manager Shopware
Shopware.comTwitterLinkedIn

 

Buy the right stock – NOW
Matt Warren Veeqo CEO Make sure you use sales reports from previous years to analyse what products sell well over the Q4 period. Find out your daily sell out rate, then factor in some growth from last year to work out how much inventory you need to cover you up to the end of December.
Between Black Friday and Christmas is a magic time for online retailers – the sun will shine, and it’s
critical you don’t run out of stock.
Matt Warren – CEO & Founder of Veeqo
Veeqo.comTwitterLinkedIn

 

Increase Sales And Flourish With Automation
Ross Pitaron Creating hampers and bundle listings of your products is a great way to generate more sales during the build up to Christmas. With the increase sales and traffic it is a great idea to have systems in place to automate time consuming tasks. If you have not already got these in place then learn the lesson and don’t make the same mistake next year!

 

Ross Boguslavski – Founder of Pitaron
Pitaron.co.uk – LinkedIn

 

Content Marketing is King
CJ Perry British consumers will look to spend up to £152 on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As one of the biggest ticket sales days of the year, online sellers should ensure their content marketing strategy is in place and ready to deploy to as soon as possible.

Offering your products through relevant 3rd party websites, collaborating with bloggers, retargeting and introducing Black Friday experiences on-site will ensure visitors are engaged and will prompt product exploration.

Christopher Perry – Digital Marketing Expert
LinkedIn

 

Be Proactive – Avoid Being Suspended On Amazon
josh price As your sales volume increases over Q4, so does the risk of suspensions – more orders means more opportunities for complaints and mistakes. 1 thing you can do now to reduce issues is to increase your dispatch1 thing you can do now to reduce issues is to increase your dispatch latency / handling time to 4 days or more to ensure you have plenty more time to dispatch your orders at peak times.
Joshua Price – Amazon Suspension Expert
www.suspensionexperts.com

 

Identifying Trends For FBA
Monika Ratniece This year do your research and check out products and ideas that are the latest or up and coming trend. This could include new devices, kids movies or toys coming out.

If you’re selling on Amazon then send some your products to FBA, especially the best-sellers and the products most likely to succeed. It will take some workload off of you,  plus could increase sales as it would be a prime listing and buyers are more likely to purchase, knowing they will get speedy delivery.

An additional bonus is that FBA will handle the customer support as well, so after the holidays when those inevitable messages start flooding in, you won’t have to worry about the additional workload.

Monika Ratniece – Business Development at Linnworks
Linnworks.com – TwitterLinkedIn

 

Preparation Is Key
 Mark Canty
For the majority of Sellers, Q4 is the period that pulls the whole year into focus, more sales, more stress and pressure, more staff as temps are taken on and trained. So I’m hoping you’re prepared, whether it’s your first time, or you’re an old hand. warehouse tidied and sorted, stock take done, help from your partners and suppliers to get everything running at its peak, ready to come out of the blocks as the credit cards are brought forth.
Coming out of the summer, you SHOULD have your purchase orders sorted, so your suppliers know you need extra stock and won’t short-change you and leave you in the lurch – No-one wants their best sellers to be showing as out of stock BEFORE Black Friday!
Mark Canty – Multichannel eCommerce Consultant
eBusinessguru.co.ukLinkedIn

 

Q4 Is Not The Time To Compromise
Sajjad Shahid
Holiday season is around the corner and you should put all your efforts in earning big. However, don’t start your holiday season sales campaign without any preparation.
Since you’re expecting traffic, don’t compromise on your hosting provider. Many online stores opt for inexpensive plans (with minimal bandwidth, disk space, and support, etc.) to save costs. Thus, during the crunch of Q4, the store is unable to handle the traffic and goes down. A managed cloud hosting service is the best way to go during Q4 (and throughout the year as well) because you could focus on the business rather than worrying about store hosting and performance issues.

 

Sajjad Shahid – Ecommerce Community Expert at Cloudways
cloudways.com – TwitterLinkedIn

 

Don’t Be A Victim Of Your Own Success
Scott Galvao
Christmas is the true capacity test for sellers, and many become a victim of their own success if their customer service (CS) team can’t keep up with the often drastic upswing.  Answering questions in foreign languages requires even more time and attention, consuming precious resource and posing a specific challenge.  But this doesn’t have to be the case. Preparing ahead of time and having a backup plan is well worth your while. There are ad-hoc multilingual CS companies who can back up your team as needed. Whether it’s a bandwidth issue or languages your team doesn’t speak, ad-hoc CS protects your hard-earned feedback ratings. Many sellers settle for Google Translate to satisfy their CS needs and are sorely disappointed when this results in negative feedback or even worse, suspension. With a little preparation, this doesn’t need to happen to you.

 

Scott Galvao – Managing Director at InterCultural Elements
Intercultural-elements.euTwitterLinkedIn