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How to get your store prepared for seasonal sales

How to get your store prepared for seasonal sales

Darren Gallagher

Is it time to set sale towards your seasonal offers? Whether it’s Summer or Winter, Spring or Autumn - you’re probably expecting a mad rush of customers at some point looking to take advantage of your seasonal sales.

And whilst that’s great for driving profits, more customers also means more opportunities for things to go wrong on the technical side of your business.

There’s also the matter of trying to secure some of that gained momentum for your typical day-to-day operation. Seasonal sales are just as much about promoting your company as they are about offering great deals.

So how can you prepare your store for your peak trading periods - and how can Patchworks help?

Make sure you’re capable of processing bulk orders

In 2020, Black Friday sales reached their record peak in one day with $9bn. That’s an enormous amount of traffic, and if you’re expecting a successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM), you need to get your store prepared for that wave of customers.

One of the best ways to do that is to improve your order processing. On a normal day, it’s not something you might pay much notice to; your system is likely finely attuned to your average expected customer rate. That means all of your orders will go through without a hitch.

But during peak sales periods, you could be getting many times the normal amount of customers. And if your order processing isn’t highly scalable, you could collapse under the pressure.

With a powerful integration platform such as Patchworks, you can make sure your data connections are infinitely scalable so, no matter how many orders are placed, they’ll always find their way to your warehouse and their front door.

Unify your stock across stores

Do you run multiple Shopify stores, selling some of the same products across them?

On an average day, overselling might not be too much of an issue for you - but the seasonal sales periods are an excellent stress test for these sorts of scenarios.

Let’s say you’re selling a brand new shirt in your UK and US store - and it’s also an item available on a partnered store’s website. If something is popular without a sale on, imagine how quickly it’ll go when people see it’s half price.

This is great for your profits, but it also comes with some consequences. When you’re selling out quickly, sometimes your systems don’t have time to catch up to what’s happening - and that can result in a customer’s order being cancelled. With potentially hundreds of orders going through within a matter of seconds, that’s a huge amount of customers who you need to attend to and possibly refund on an already busy day for your customer support team.

However, it doesn’t have to be like that. With a stock control system such as Patchworks’ Stockr, you can unify your stock pool so that when something runs out in one store, it can seamlessly divert products away from stores which still have stock left. And, when you completely run out of stock everywhere, Stockr combined with our integration platform updates your storefront within milliseconds so your customers can’t buy products no longer available.

Build an effective customer-focused tech stack

Your products and good deals aren’t the only things which promote your company to visitors during seasonal sales. You also need to promote yourself as a brand, and build trust with those customers to prevent them from just being one-off discount buyers.

The best way to do that is to build a tech stack of best of breed solutions to target potential customers. 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company which offers a tailored experience, so if you’re trying to maximise your profit during seasonal sales, it’s essential to take that into account.

Personalisation software uses data from your customer interactions to make suggestions on products, or even changes to the layout of your website. You could also consider integrating a loyalty program, and provide incentives to new customers if they make a purchase during these peak trading periods.

But, to make the most of your customer experience tech stack, you need to make sure every component is working seamlessly together. Personalisation software, for example, requires a clear and consistent flow of data to appeal to visitors - but if it isn’t integrated properly, it’ll be fed with inaccuracies and become counterproductive.

By using a powerful iPaaS to implement your tech stack, you empower your operation to better appeal to your customers and boost retention after your sale has ended. That way, you’re not just relying on a good one-off performance; it’ll give you a growth boost long past the sales period is over.

Put an analytics strategy in place

We’ve worked with companies in the past who have underestimated the power of in-depth business analytics. BI isn’t just a tool to be used in hindsight; it should be used to inform and react to your current and future strategies, and for that, you need real-time analytics.

You’ve probably compiled stacks of data on your last seasonal sale performance. That’s helpful, of course - but you can only do so much with legacy reporting. If a campaign you’ve developed isn’t as effective as desired, there’s nothing you can do about it except to wait until the next one and learn from your mistakes.

But with diligent, real-time analytics, you can make adjustments to your seasonal campaigns whilst they happen. Not getting many click-throughs on your ads? Quickly change your focus to capitalise on trends and counter the competition. You can apply this to all of your KPIs, from conversion rates to cart abandonment.

With Patchworks BI, you can easily view and manage all of your operational data through a concise dashboard. You can customise this to your preference, so you’ve always got the most relevant data right in front of you. Monitor your seasonal campaigns and improve on them as and when needed.

Why Patchworks?

Patchworks is more than just an iPaaS. We’re also a software solution provider, from stock control systems to business intelligence.

Whether you need a powerful integration platform, or a precise analytics software, Patchworks can help you make the most out of your peak sales periods.

For a free consultation and demo on any of our products, speak to our sales team today through our website.

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