As it’s nearly the January sales, we have drawn up a special report on sales including the helpful advice of an e-commerce specialist: Peggy André. “In some sectors, the January sales can represent 10 – 20% of the annual turnover”. A vitally important period therefore, which all e-merchants must “thoroughly prepare for.” The manager of Bagatelle.fr and member of the last PrestaShop Awards panel offers you these 7 tips for maximizing your sales in this period.
1) Attractive discounts
The sales allow you to sell off seasonal items and products that you do not intend to reorder. At this time of year, a lot of stores offer absolutely unbeatable discounts. “A reduction of less than 30% is not particularly attractive to Internet users who can get an immediate discount of 50 – 60% from many well known brands” Peggy André informs us. Don’t hesitate, therefore, to offer big discounts. The aim being to sell off your stock but also increase traffic on your site. You must take the attitude that “stock lying idle means less income for a company! So it is better to sell your products cheaply than for them to remain unsold for months.”
2) “Spoil” your most loyal customers
Make your best customers happy by offering them “a sales preview, with sale items sold exclusively to them before anybody else.” The objective: spoiling them so that they return to buy from your site. This practice is common. “Many ready-to-wear companies offer it to customers with loyalty cards – why not in e-commerce?” asks Peggy André. To decide which customers should benefit from this special event, look in your database and select “your biggest spenders and most regular buyers.”
3) Announce your sales
As for all the big commercial events of the year, remember to warn your customers of the imminent arrival of the sales. Peggy André recommends that you: “send your newsletter the day before or 2 days before the sales officially start to remind customers that your site will have fabulous sales with additional advantages just for them.” To encourage indecisive shoppers to come and buy at your store, offer “free P&P or promotional codes” in your newsletter.
4) Social networks
Facebook has proved to be a useful platform for informing your “fans of sale items and for carrying out teaser campaigns with money-off coupons offered at certain times of the day” notes the manager of Bagatelles. Encourage your Facebook community to shop with you by launching, for example “a competition to win extra discounts.” The aim of these actions: to tell users about your sales and therefore encourage your “fans” to visit your site.
5) Technical details
According to Peggy André you must pay particular attention to two technical details. First of all “make sure that your server can cope with the increased load when the sales officially start. Generally at 8a.m. on the morning of the first day, and the following weekend there is a sharp rise in visits and sales.” Software is available that allows you to test your server and know how many simultaneous connections it can handle. Don’t hesitate to contact your hoster and explain the situation, he will take the necessary action to increase the simultaneous connections capacity on your site. Then, “check with your bank that your EPT can contain the online payments without bugs. At Bagatelles, every year during the January sales, we observe a rise in visits worthy of Valentine’s Day or Mother or Father’s Day. Many Internet users stock up on presents for the year during this sales period!”
6) Graphical aspects
As you do for the Christmas period, create a special layout on your site to let your customers know that the sales period has arrived. Peggy André recommends integrating into your store “a discount layout, a slider informing customers of the best deals, best sellers and top promotions.” Don’t hesitate to “go a bit overboard so that in just one glance the Internet user spots the good deals and decides to remain on your site to do his or her shopping.” As competition is tough during the sales you must at all costs present very advantageous offers and make sure that they are seen “even if it means making your design less attractive.” “Orange, fluorescent and GIFs have always increased sales during the sales period.” stresses Peggy André.
7) Returning goods
You must be aware that orders placed on the Internet come under distance selling. During the sales, the consumer can return his or her product within 7 days of receiving it, which is not necessarily the case for sales in stores, where some retailers do not allow products to be returned or exchanged. If you are not familiar with legislation concerning sales, we recommend that you have a look at www.legifrance.gouv.fr.
Creating site layouts and offers, writing newsletters - the sales periods require a considerable investment to be a success. As Peggy André points out, “It’s an important stage in the life of a business. There is no question of missing them out or not preparing for them thoroughly.” So take action by applying these 7 tips and you will see your turnover soar.