A recent survey from the US revealed just over half of consumers have started their Christmas shopping, while most of the rest haven’t even thought about it yet.
So that means there’s still plenty of time for you to begin cashing in on the millions of pounds spent on the market for seasonal gifts and novelties… with a high proportion of that festive spend being splashed while shopping online.
Today is the perfect time to start getting involved. Visa suggests almost 50% of consumers plan to do their Christmas shopping online, with seasonal outlay on the Internet expected to grow by 18% this year.
With statistics like that, you should be tempted to get your Christmas selling campaign started immediately after reading this eletter!
Here are a few more tips to send your seasonal profits soaring…
1) All top research companies and major independent sellers know prices vary drastically between retailers, with most popular items attracting more sales and higher prices based on consumer ratings and after sales service.
To illustrate, eCommerceBytes.com reveals a specific brand name toy received a 3.5 star rating on Amazon, compared to 4.9 at Toys R Us.
The products were identical, suggesting reviews relate more to how consumers regard the buying experience rather than the product itself.
That indicates you should keep a very close eye on feedback received early in the big spend season and resolve problems, as well as asking customers leaving negative feedback to replace it with positive or neutral.
People often leave poor feedback out of anger and stress, because a seller takes too long to reply to a query or a product arrives later than expected. But most reasonable people will revise their feedback in exchange for a genuine apology and small gift to minimise disappointment.
Sometimes those ugly red dots – negative feedback – accompany products delivered in a broken state. Either a dropshipper is to blame or your packaging is grossly inadequate.
Or perhaps the wrong product was delivered. Or the sales patter was exaggerated or untrue. All aspects can and must be resolved fast to avoid similar complaints.
2) Nearly two out of three buyers make all or some of their seasonal purchases on Amazon or eBay (sometimes both).
That suggests, at least for the time being, you focus on those sites unless sales are bouyant elsewhere or another site proves more profitable for specific items.
Examples of this could include Etsy.com for handmade products and Zazzle.com for on demand goods.
3) Just over half of customers say the cost of delivery is more important than speed, with around one in four people claiming they only shop with companies offering free delivery.
However, most shoppers surveyed said they are happy to pay for delivery of items unavailable from any other source. And more than half of people are willing to spend significantly more than intended purely to qualify for free delivery.
That suggests offering free delivery is more important than promising to deliver goods within one or two days.
Do both and eBay will reward you with favourable placement in search returns. Otherwise, just do free delivery.
4) The most common delivery complaint comes from consumers saying their order had not arrived while the delivery company claims it has.
This complaint was the most frequent reason for people deciding to take their business elsewhere.
That means you must take care choosing your delivery partner and realise that failure to deliver will result in poor feedback for you.
Harping back to last year, you may remember I, as a buyer, experienced two such incidents. Both were at the hands of MyHermes.
You might also remember I stressed my opinion is purely personal, but it also explains why I would never engage MyHermes to deliver to my customers.
I suggest you try Royal Mail instead. They have their faults – but whatever problems do occur are minor compared to some other delivery companies.
Alternatively, choose a delivery company advertising on eBay and that way you can check feedback left by past customers.
5) Unwanted gifts given in the UK alone tot up to £2.6 billion each year!
A study by Triodos Bank found that a third of survey respondents receive one or more unwanted presents each year, with an average value of £155 per recipient.
3% of people questioned claimed to have received unwanted gifts worth £1,000 or more.
Two aspects for you to pick up on here…
– Avoid or restrict your selling of most commonly unwanted items: clothing beauty products, cheap and poorly constructed novelty items.
According to leading researchers, more than 60% of all Christmas returns are clothing, mostly bought by men choosing the wrong size for their partners.
– Set yourself up as a trading assistant specialising in selling unwanted Christmas gifts. Advertise in local newspapers or by placing cards in shop windows. Charge a commission on sales along with all selling and admin fees.
Why not invite buyers to place best offers on specific items inside your eBay shop?
Create a specific shop category of products to choose from, avoiding low profit and best performing goods, and promise to accept offers of 75% or more of standard price.
7) Grow your seasonal sales through to mid-January and beyond, by offering calendars, diaries and goods for buyers making New Year resolutions to lose weight, take more exercise and so on.
Now you have 7 quick and easy ways to increase your profits in the next few weeks… so what are you waiting for?
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