Online Disaster Could be a Christmas Miracle for You

Watching television last night I was interested to hear of the issues related to the demands on the Post Office delivery service and the massive delays from online orders. A large sports company was at the route of the main discussion but it seemed from the evidence they gave that many online orders are simply not being received.

The facts were that Royal Mail had been overwhelmed with the increase of both online orders but also people sending presents to family and friends they wouldn’t see. Many warehouses with a massive increase in online sales were reporting they were getting behind as they had to work with 30% less workforce to comply with Covid social distancing rules.

This may be worrying to you if you are a local business and have used Royal Mail or an alternative delivery service for your online orders. The main priority is communication to your customers as many will be very stressed and your order may be the ‘rod that breaks the camel’s back’. They could get very upset and you too are very stressed perhaps with the current climate and rightly so. The main thing is to be prepared for this and take a few minutes to sit down and work out your plan for the next few days as it could be vital for your future and your local reputation.

What will you do if orders aren’t received? Do you have a refund policy clearly on your website or returns? Please be concise and ensure your staff are all trained to deal with it. Can you make a Plan B so if items are received they can be locally and personally delivered by yourselves instead? Can people order and collect? This could be a worrying time but also could offer a last few days of Christmas miracles.

There is still 7 days of shopping to Christmas and customers are now nervous to order online both for themselves or friends and they have seen tremendous off putting queues at the Post Office. Plus they are nervous if they can’t return goods after Christmas to shops, with a warning of another lockdown. Why not grab this opportunity to boost your sales to the very last minute. Use these 10 Tips;

  1. Ensure you guarantee delivery locally, if you can even if it personally delivered by hand.
  2. Make sure customers feel confident in buying from you with clear guidelines and customer support.
  3. Ensure you have your business brimming with items ready to buy and open your doors as much as possible. I have trudged up in the rain to town to find the shop I want shut so gone home and ordered from Amazon. There should be a last minute rush as people want to buy live.
  4. Put great last minute offers in the window to entice last minute buyers. I am not an expert in retail so you know the margins and what you can afford to offer. But think if we do go into lockdown 3 are those goods better off your shelf reduced? Will we have a January sale? Who knows what happens after Christmas?
  5. Shout about your business from the roof top and every Social Media platform you can locally and even in nearby areas as people love to come from Leek shopping.
  6. Discount, Sales, Special Offers. Use these words in the subject title of all emails to Customers and on any advertising plus of course in your shop window if you are offering them. These three words are proven to entice customers to open messages.
  7. GREAT NEWS Not only will you have local shoppers who offer great support, due to the relaxation of Covid Rules during the 5 day period they may also bring family members so you have even more spenders so for the 2 days prior to Christmas grab your opportunity for new customers in town.
  1. It has been predicted that around 70% of people have chosen to buy gift vouchers this year purely due to the uncertainty of post and the fact they can’t see family and friends. So that is another great chance for you to push sales but assure people they can be used online and ensure all your systems are in working order.
  2. Think about post- Christmas. I am writing a blog offering some great marketing tips but I would suggest you grab a coffee at some point and get prepared. In my next blog I will talk about how to boost business even from Christmas Day as everyone will be ‘scrolling’ social media after dinner and hey 2 more day of relaxed Covid rules for shopping. Plus lots of other tips for up-selling, enticing Customers who have vouchers to spend more and lots of other great ideas to boost post-Christmas sales . Email me if you want me to send it to you. diane@marathon-media.co.uk
  3. Keep smiling and keep doing all you can to help Customers and staff have a great Christmas.

Thanks for reading and I am sorry if this isn’t perfect and grammatically correct but I wanted to pass these facts onto you all as quickly as possible and help in any way.

My former business is Marathon Media but I am now a local Walking Guide and Tour Operator, sadly not very busy at the moment so I want to use my free time to help any local businesses I can during this difficult time. If you want any free assistance just private message me. Thanks to those of you who already have, as I enjoy just helping in any way

Have a Great Christmas and look out for my post-Christmas Marketing Strategy Article.

Thanks for reading

 

Diane Carter

Marathon Media

Atlas Discovery Tours

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