November 23, 2022

Preparing for Black Friday & Holiday This Season

The Black Friday shopping event has become a global phenomenon that kick-starts peak season and often launches weeks before the ‘official day’. As a result, thousands of merchants are in the midst of peak season and will be shipping orders internationally and domestically until the end of the year.

Ecommerce is key during this period, experiencing continued and significant growth, with the global market expected to grow from $3.3 trillion in 2022 to $5.4 trillion by 2026, equaling approximately 27% of retail sales.

With this in mind, FlavorCloud is here to help you prepare for the holiday storm. See our 7 essential steps for merchants to gear up for a Holiday win in 2022, with the least stress possible.

1) Free or discounted international shipping

Consumers are after the best deal on Black Friday all through Holiday, so why not think about free or discounted shipping? It’s a great strategy to encourage buyers to purchase more.

The programs can vary. For example, you may allow free shipping if the consumer spends above a specific price. Or there can be a discount on international shipping if the buyer uses a voucher code at checkout.

While FlavorCloud will automatically present the optimal shipping prices at checkout, you can also increase sales by establishing customized flat rates through the app.

2) Run Shipping Promotions and Encourage Faster Shipping

Through FlavorCloud, you can offer pricing on par with domestic for your international customers to wish them a Happy Holiday. Or just use it in a few specific markets.

If this offer boosts sales, you may expand it to additional countries or regions and set it to continue indefinitely in the regions it’s truly having an impact.

However, it is smart to advertise that express shipping is always the best Holiday choice to avoid  any shipping delays.

Customers can place orders at a later time with fewer delays. Try monetary rewards and promotions to support the option, such as money off express shipping before a specific deadline. Read our guide to international shipping deadlines 2022 here.

3) Ensure your supply chain reliability

Insider Intelligence reports the global supply chain is in the best shape it has been in for several years. As a result, merchants who experienced substantial supply chain disruptions are now more optimistic than ever.

However, it is still wise to be ready for any potential issues. Having reliable suppliers ensures seasonal shoppers receive the product they want and deserve.

There are three important measures to ensure supply chain reliability throughout the holiday season:

1.   Plan ahead

Planning before the busy holiday shopping season is one of the most important steps to avoid supply chain problems.

If you know you’ll be ordering large quantities of a certain item, make sure you lock down your vendor relationships well in advance.

This way, you won’t find yourself scrambling around to secure enough inventory just days before Christmas.

2.   Don’t cut corners

As tempting as it might be to cut corners, don’t do it. Cutting costs now could lead to long-term issues later.

For example, if you use lower-quality material, such as plastic, rather than metal, you could end up with a product that breaks easily and needs frequent repair.

3.   Start early

Don’t wait until the last minute to start planning for the holidays.

Instead, start early and begin researching potential vendors. You’ll save money and plenty of time by determining what type of materials your preferred vendors require upfront.

4) Check on your server’s capacity

The holiday shopping rush comes with its own set of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is keeping shoppers engaged while navigating through your website.

To keep customers from leaving, prioritize a fast-loading site with simple navigation and payment options.

Keep an eye on the server’s activity and transactions to monitor how it handles the influx of customers. You might consider upgrading to a larger server, adding additional servers, or switching hosting providers.

5) Cross-border Buy Now, Pay Later adoption

The “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) payment method is a deferred payment option that lets consumers pay for the total amount of the goods they purchased in installments.

Many finance providers have made the application process for BNPL easy and quick. As a result, consumers would only need to submit minimal information about themselves. Then the application process is approved within days.

Although the BNPL model primarily targets local markets, a few BNPL providers have started to broaden their target markets.

While merchants adopting the BNPL model may have to pay something similar to credit card interchange fees to the finance provider, consumers buying products across borders may find it more secure to use than the classic credit card.

With FlavorCloud and our largest cross-border carrier network, we automatically calculate guaranteed duties, taxes, and fees, so your customers can receive a total price projection for their BNPL payment.

6) Add a Gift Certificate Option

Gift cards make great gifts for your customers to give their loved ones this Holiday season.

They’re also a good way for businesses to generate new revenue and win the loyalty of new customers, boosting sales and creating new opportunities for repeat business.

You can even offer cashback promotions with gift cards. For example, customers who buy above a certain amount get free gift cards as a reward. This promo comes at little cost to you and ensures customer loyalty.

7) Optimize you mobile and social commerce experience

Mobile shopping and social commerce have become essential, with almost everyone having a mobile phone.

Many merchants have developed their own mobile applications, allowing buyers to make purchases on the go, with their debit or credit card seamlessly integrated with their account.

On the other hand, social commerce refers to using social media to sell products. For example, brands have their online shops integrated with their social media accounts so buyers can browse social media content and shop simultaneously.

Social commerce is becoming increasingly common for brands to turn their online activity into sales.

FlavorCloud supports your business’s online presence by handling all the hairsplitting details so that you can focus on growing your online presence and social commerce.

As Importer of Record (IOR), we are legally responsible for import documentation, clearing customs, paying all duty, tax, and import fees, and ensuring you have the correct import declarations.

Embrace the Chaos Gracefully

Have you ever had a peaceful Black Friday and Holiday season as a merchant? Exactly. Yet, you survive every year!

So, don’t try to control every aspect of your business during the upcoming Holiday period. Instead, focus on creating an experience that makes your customers happy. And let FlavorCloud make your international shipping a breeze amidst the chaos.

Let’s make the best of this busiest time together

Trilby Rajna

Head of Content & PR at FlavorCloud, with a passion for combining creativity and data. Please get in touch with any PR requests, relevant guest post pitches, and collaboration ideas at trilby.rajna[at]favorcloud[dot]com.

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FlavorCloud Team

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