The coronavirus has spared no one – not the shopkeepers who have suffered from the lack of business, nor even the sales, whose date has now been delayed in some countries. This means for example, that the 2020 summer sale are happening three weeks late in France, from Wednesday 15 July to Tuesday 11 August. This change will give professionals extra time to organise the physical reception of customers in shops and stores. It is an issue that online traders won’t encounter, as they will be able to take advantage of it to relaunch their business. And to maximize online sales during the sales period, it’s a good idea to get prepared now.
Some rather special and unique sales
Lockdown has disrupted everybody’s usual habits. As a result, it has not been an easy period even for online traders. With all these doubts and uncertainties, the 2020 summer sales are somewhat unusual, as several external factors influence the strategy that needs to be adopted:
- Large inventories that built up in the spring due to the economic downturn. The more obsolete the products are, the harder they will be to sell.
- Cash flow is at its lowest for online traders who had to face additional expenses and a drop in demand.
- Consumption will not immediately resume just like it did before in a health crisis where good and bad news seem to be constantly following each other without really clarifying the economic future.
There is still good news though because, according to FEVAD, 35% of online buyers admit that lockdown has had an impact on their consumer habits and apparently they will now buy more on the internet to continue to protect themselves during this prolonged period of the health crisis. Lockdown has therefore contributed to educating customers about using the internet as a lever for purchasing. The 2020 summer sales reflect hesitation and deep anxiety, but also tremendous opportunities to regain your market, or even to try and develop it.
Best practices for optimising your strategy for successful sales
If you want to relaunch your business, restore the confidence of your partners and customers, and regain control of your commercial strategy, then you shouldn’t neglect the sales period. But you still have to be prepared for them.
Work out your post covid-19 digital strategy
It will be hard to go back to operating like before, even when lockdown eases. Your customers may be more sensitive to how you have organised your business, how you protect your employees, how orders are processed, packaged, delivered, etc. Transparency in communications is essential. Be honest and sincere about your experiences during this period and what procedure and standards have been implemented to ensure the safety of your teams and clients. At the same time, create a reassuring and caring customer experience to support your customers and reduce friction points. You can, for example:
- extend the product return period
- offer free delivery or offer a discount on price,
- inform people about possible delays in delivery caused by covid-19,
- update your stocks online and in real time to avoid frustration,
- optimise your customer service to respond as quickly as possible to any request on all channels (online, mobile app, social networks, email, phone, etc.).
Relaunch your communications
I’m sure your clients have had other things on their minds these past few weeks. As sales approach, relaunch your communications using a sincere tone, without edging into opportunism or commercial pressure.
- Social networks: reconnect with your communities. Tell your lockdown stories and show what’s happening behind the scenes with your brand to reassure people.
- Email marketing: target your communications to the right people at the right time.
- Affiliation: reestablish contact with your network, update your email kits, banners and sales pitches.
- Online advertising: sponsored links, display, SEA, SMA, etc. Be visible before the sale starts to prepare and optimise your communication campaigns.
Boost your business operations for the sales
Once the sales have started, you need constant marketing. The goal is to create a content event to encourage customers to come and visit you regularly and talk about you. Your sales display is your home page. Look after it and take great care with every detail. For example, you can do A/B testing to create variants and sign up for a continuous improvement process.
You can also run contests on a regular basis, showcase the UGC (User Generated Content) from your users, send out promotional codes to your members, subscribers or followers, collaborate with cashback sites and influencers, and above all manage your markdowns with realism. After lockdown and the economic downturn, no one wants to see 10 or 15% off on the first day of sales. To attract attention, offer massive discounts on attractive products and constantly measure your performance with the right KPIs.
The 2020 sales will be quite different from the 2019 sales. However, it is a great opportunity to innovate and test new concepts and new acquisition levers in order to work on your marketing and sales strategy. It’s also an opportunity to kickstart your business again and make your online sales site your brand’s main asset.
Would you like support to maximise your sales? Contact our team of experts at Kwanko.