Why Monday 1st December is a very important date…
This is very important! On Monday 1st December – yes that’s just 10 days away – there will only be 23 shopping days left until ‘C’ day and even fewer shopping days left for ordering gifts online for guaranteed Christmas delivery.
Crikey! How did that happen – it’s all coming around a bit quick isn’t it? And if you are a seasoned seller, you’ll know that it’s at this time of year that an amazing phenomenon happens – a big mad rush starts as pay packets get spent on Christmas presents for loved ones!
This phenomenon is directly linked to the fact that the pay packet in question is usually the final one before Christmas – and that means it’s one big mad dash to spend, spend, spend!
Of course, some of us don’t even want to consider getting involved in that mad rush as we don’t particularly like traipsing from shop to shop, queuing for what seems like hours for the must have (and probably already sold out) gadget of the year and arriving back home seventeen hours later uber-stressed, dishevelled, shadows of our former selves and begging for a large glass of red. No, some of us prefer to do our Christmas shopping in a rather more civilized manner, from the comfort of our homes, perhaps lounging in front of a roaring fire, as the dog lies asleep on the rug and classical music calmly plays in the background…..
Ok, I may have used a little bit of poetic licence there, but you get the idea. Some of us simply like to take advantage of the relative ease of shopping online.
We always think that we have absolutely tons of time to get organised, until suddenly it’s snuck up on us again, even though last Christmas we vowed to be much more organised, and then we realise that we haven’t actually even made a list of gifts yet and perhaps we ought to stop thinking about it and actually do it! Over the next few weeks billions of pounds will be spent by millions of people online as pretty much everyone starts thinking about gifts, food, drink, decorations, new outfits, cards and parties. And that’s why this piece of information is very important….
‘Cyber Monday’ is almost here…
But first things first! Before ‘Cyber Monday’ can happen, we have to have ‘Black Friday’. Confused? Let me explain…
What’s ‘Black Friday?’
Black Friday originates from the United States and is now a very popular yearly retail promotion on the UK Amazon site – and has been for the last few years. More and more retailers are now following suit – this year these include Argos, John Lewis, Game and Very, who are all offering Black Friday deals. It always falls on the day following Thanksgiving Day in the US, which is traditionally the start of the Christmas shopping season and is a day when retailers offer huge discounts on products for limited periods only.
This year Amazon’s Black Friday deals will run for a whole week from Monday 24th November. So firstly there’s a good chance that you can snap up some bargains yourself during that week – either as Christmas gifts for friends and family, or just to indulge yourself. You can ensure you see their deals here
Secondly there’s a fantastic opportunity here for you to put my ‘Find and Flip’ strategy into practice. If you don’t already know about this, here’s what ‘Find and Flip’ is all about. It’s a great strategy for anytime of year – but especially right now!
Ok, that’s Black Friday, but what on earth is ‘Cyber Monday?’
‘Cyber Monday’ is a marketing term for the Monday immediately following ‘Black Friday’, so this year ‘Cyber Monday’ falls on Monday 1st December – which is why this is a very important date! It was created by companies in order to persuade people to shop online and was first heard of way back in 2005 when shop.org issued a press release entitled “Cyber Monday’ Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year”.
Now, having been selling online for over nine years myself, I am well aware of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and I have to say that in my experience it is always around this date that sales do really start to pick up considerably.
If you think about it, generally there’s always a specific day when everyone seems to have a massive panic, realising that the big day is fast approaching and not one gift has been purchased! And that’s when internet sales rocket, websites crash under the strain of visitors and you might find that the very thing you are looking for has suddenly sold out, even though there were 147 in stock yesterday! And that’s why this day is known as ‘Cyber Monday’ or alternatively I have also heard it referred to as ‘Manic Monday’.
You must act now to get in on the online action
So, as Monday 1st December is just 10 days away, you absolutely, definitely must get cracking if you want your products to be visible online on what is predicted to be one of the busiest shopping days of 2014.
Now I must just point out that this is a predicted date and there is the tiny possibility that I, along with my sources might look a bit silly if it turns out to be completely wrong, but the predicted dates in previous years have always been correct – so I’m quietly confident.
With this in mind, I want to give you some tips for maximising your Christmas sales online so that you can get your products listed right now – either on eBay, Amazon or within your own webstore and hook some of those buyers that will be heading in your direction in a few days time. Besides, if nothing else, this could be the incentive you need to take action!
9 Ways to Maximise your Christmas Sales
- If you are selling on eBay and using the ‘Auction’ format, try and add a few additional listings to run alongside your usual ones but at different ending times. This will ensure that your items are reaching the top of the search results throughout the whole day continuously and you will gain some vital extra visibility. Don’t forget that if you are listing duplicate products you will need to get a bid on one before the next listing will show.
- Wherever you are selling, double check your keywords and make sure they are absolutely relevant to your product. If buyers can’t find your items then you won’t make any sales.
- Make sure you appeal to ALL potential customers. Use eBay’s auction listings for bargain hunters and Buy It Now’s for those who are in a rush and haven’t the time to wait for an auction to end. Use Amazon to mop up those customers who are loyal to one site only and use your own website if you want to offer an extra service such as ‘Gift Wrapping’. Believe me, in the run up to Christmas, people are impatient so you need to cover all bases.
- If you have a smaller selection of items listed, add a few lines to the description of your items hinting that your product is the ‘perfect gift’. This can be implemented for most products with a bit of creativity and will subconsciously play on your potential buyers minds making them more likely to purchase.
- Remember to keep your stock up to date. If you are selling on eBay top up the number of items available on your Buy It Now listings. If you have the stock but haven’t increased your inventory on your listings and the stock number on your listings runs out then your listings will end and you will lose your best match position – not a good thing to happen at this time of year especially.
- Consider adding a ‘Best Offer’ facility to your eBay Buy It Now listings, then automate the Accept/Decline Offer’ option to remain competitive and to pick up those extra sales from people who don’t want to pay the full price but still want to Buy Now.
- If you have an eBay shop, use ‘Markdown Manager’ to offer seasonal discounts or limited offers to buyers.
- Buyers adore fast dispatch so consider offering extra postage options to buyers just for the Christmas period. You can make a song and dance about this on your listing, which will make you look good and entice more sales!
- When possible, make sure you answer questions from potential buyers promptly – this could be the difference between a sale and a ‘no sale’ especially on the run up to Christmas when there is plenty of choice from sellers and it’s easy for buyers to become impatient.
So, if you haven’t listed anything online yet then make this the incentive you need to get started and if you are already up and running then take these points in to account to ensure you get the most out of the festive season – particularly Cyber Monday. Good luck!
As always I wish you the best of success,