What are you doing to prepare your Ecommerce site for the holiday season?
If you’re an ecommerce business in New Zealand, you need to be ready for the best sales days.
If you don’t prepare for these high sale dates, you could be missing out on a lot of sales and revenue. By getting ready now, you won’t have any issues during the upcoming sales of 2023.
Preparing for the best sales days requires thinking of great deals to provide your customers or optimising your website. We’ve compiled a list of the best sales days for ecommerce businesses when consumers will be spending their money and how you can be prepared for the upcoming sales of 2023.
New Zealand’s highest grossing online sales days
- Christmas garners the most spending from kiwis in New Zealand. In December 2021, New Zealanders spent a record $5.2 billion at retail outlets six weeks before Christmas and nearly $100 million on Boxing Day.
- Boxing Day is best known as the time of year when shoppers in NZ are trying to get a bargain. With sales starting early on December 26th, you’ll usually have until January 31st to take advantage of this sales event!
- New Years Day is a great day to get your ecommerce business prepared. It will be the time when people who need gifts and those looking to start fresh with a clean slate and some just trying to reward themselves for their hard work over the previous year will be shopping.
- Valentine’s Day is not technically a holiday, but it certainly feels like one when so many people spend their money on loved ones to celebrate with them. This is a great opportunity to also encourage your audience to celebrate their friendships.
- Mothers Day/Fathers Day. Mother’s Day, which situates every second Sunday of May, and father’s day, on the first Sunday of September, are good opportunities to provide great deals to your customers. Studies show people tend to spend more on Mother’s Day than Father’s day. In 2017, while 46% of people planned to buy a gift for their mum for Mother’s Day, only 30% of people planned to buy a gift for their dad for Father’s Day.
- Easter Weekend is a great time for deals because of how close it comes to ANZAC day and other holidays that generally lead into a school term break. Families are likely to spend time together during this period. According to reports, Easter holiday spending in 2021 reached $720 million. A 130% increase over the same period of the previous year.
Other potential high sales days to give great deals are any long weekend holidays such as:
- Waitangi Day
- Labour Day
- Queen’s Birthday
- Anniversary Days (Great if you know your demographic’s locations.)
International highest grossing online sales days
There are also some overseas big sales days to be aware of. With the rise of globalisation, it’s now an excellent time for Kiwi businesses to compete with their international counterparts. Some examples include Chinese New Year and Diwali.
Let’s look at some overseas holidays that have already been integrated into New Zealand’s shopping culture.
- Black Friday started in the US after Thanksgiving and has been making its waves here too. In New Zealand in 2021, it even surpassed Boxing Day spending, with kiwis spending over $248.2m on Black Friday. It is undoubtedly a key sales day for kiwi businesses to plan into their calendar, especially with the constant rise of ecommerce.
- Cyber Monday is the Monday following Black Friday. Most sales days and holidays originated as in-store sales days but Cyber Monday is designated as an ecommerce sales day and gives you the opportunity to add an additional boost to your sales calendar.
- Singles Day (11:11) is a special day for single people that falls on the 11th of November, with the name meaning ‘single sticks holiday’. It originally began in China but has made its way worldwide, with Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba generating over US$84.54 billion gross in 2021.
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How to prepare for the high sales days
According to a survey, 59% of consumers said they bought more gifts online during the 2020 holiday season than in stores, and 45% said they purchased most of their holiday gifts online.
Start utilising these high traffic days by offering great deals and converting those visitors on your website into customers and ongoing revenue.
1. Create strategic holiday marketing and promotions
Bargain hunting is on the rise. It has been found that most Kiwis (96%) feel proud when they can purchase a quality product at a good deal. Additionally, 93% of Kiwis believe that quality products can be purchased at bargain prices. This is why it’s important to provide discounts or promotions for your customers.
These are some of the many strategies to provide great deals and to make it entertaining for your consumers:
- Provide loyal customers with unique discounts
- Run a holiday giveaway
- Provide bulk deals
Don’t forget to provide a deadline for your promotion to create a sense of urgency.
2. Provide gift ideas or bundles
Get creative with the sale day theme and give your customers gift ideas or bundles. The best way is to include the top gifts that people buy and some options if they’re unsure what their loved ones would like or need.
Create gifts sets that save consumers money as attractive bundles will likely increase sales. Save gift-givers money by offering gift sets that bundle items together. A gift set usually consists of three products that work well together.
3. Convert bargain buyers to return customers
High traffic days are also an opportunity to extend your reach while providing great value for your consumers. Take advantage of the excitement of the holiday season and offer great deals if customers are interested in signing up for your newsletter.
Utilise newsletters to inform your customers of any future sales you will be having, which means more sales for your business. Most importantly, return customers who will extend your reach and want their friends and family to purchase from you as well.
4. Advertise your deals
Promote your deals on social media and other channels so that people are best able to find what they’re looking for.
If a particular holiday is one of your biggest selling days annually, you should boost your advertisement online by investing some money. You can advertise on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to target specific demographics or increase traffic to your website using Google Ads. These forms of advertisements will bring your specials up into the eyes of your target demographic.
Understanding your customers is vital. When people are buying things from your ecommerce store, they tell you what they want. You should know when and where people shop. Promoting online will give your customers less pressure and more consumer choice.
5. Prepare for incoming traffic
It’s a great idea to double-check that your ecommerce store can cope with the amount of traffic you may receive, as well as making sure any network issues have been ironed out, so they don’t affect those trying to shop from their phones or tablets.
Prepare your website for high traffic by checking that all relevant pages are ready and optimised so they best suit any and every visitor looking to purchase from you. Check out some quick ways to optimise your website speed here.
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6. Optimise your website for Customer Experience
If you have many visitors to your website, you should create a hassle-free experience for them by ensuring your website is optimised so visitors can find what they’re looking for easily.
Search terms should be about the sale itself or specific items on sale, e.g. Black Friday. If possible, include both keywords at least once in the post body (not counting the title). Find out how you can optimise your product page to prepare for these high sale days.
Make sure to communicate the soonest possible cut-off date for receiving their items by Christmas on your website. This will help manage customer expectations and avoid any disappointment.
7. Improve your Customer Service
You might want to consider hiring extra staff during these busy periods so you can handle the influx of customers coming through. You could also set aside times during the holiday season where customers can best contact you.
Use a buffer to avoid customer dissatisfaction due to unforeseen delivery delays or to provide your clients time to arrange for re-deliveries or pickups if they are not at home to receive their package.
8. Provide options for shipping
If your product is bulky or oversized, customers should pick up their purchase from your store. If not, then the best is to offer a great range of delivery options. Studies show people enjoy having more options with their deliveries and are interested in quickly delivering their items. Improve your customer satisfaction experience by providing shipping options to them.
Offer free shipping as an incentive, if possible. Studies show consumers highly value free shipping when it comes to online shopping.
9. Ensure you’ve got enough supply for the demand
It is crucial to make sure you have enough products to match the demand for these high sales days in New Zealand. Always best to stock more than your usual supply to avoid running out during a sale day and missing out on sales.
To be festive and provide additional options for your customers, you could consider stocking more product options for a limited period. Either way, it’s the perfect time to offer a great range of products.
10. Research other online retailers
One great way to get ideas is to look at other great online stores during these periods. These could be great customer service ideas, gift options or even special deals! Explore the competition and the top 100 online retailers in your country and see how they best market themselves. In New Zealand, other than Countdown, some top retailers include; The Warehouse, Mighty Ape and Kmart. Looking into your local competition will also help you succeed.
For example, if you live in Whakatane, research gift shops in the area and, more specifically, search for Whakatane online retailers. The online shopping websites list will continue to change as more retailers move to ecommerce, so be sure to keep up to date.
We hope you’ve learnt how important it is to be prepared for the best online sales days in New Zealand and discovered a few strategies to help make sure you are ready.
Ensure your ecommerce store has everything in place; a solid marketing strategy and customer services plan, an up to date optimised website and plenty of stock for upcoming sales in 2023. And if you offer special deals or discounts during these times, traffic to your store should be the least of your worries.