Last-Moment Holiday Business Tips for Online Sellers

By Aron Hsiao  on December 06, 2016

For buyers, the holiday shopping season is reaching the "nearly done" stage, which means that in many cases sellers are already mentally beginning to move on and plan for the next season or the next big thing—as well as for a few days' respite once the holiday shopping is all done.

The clock is beginning to run out on this selling season, but there's still time remaining—and things to do to make the most of it. (Image: © Jenmax / Dreamstime)

Here are some last minute tips to help you to make the most of what remains of the holiday shopping (and selling) season.

  1. It's not too late for new listings. Yes, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but Green Monday is still ahead of us, along with a handful of other selling days. If you have inventory that isn't yet listed, don't let yourself think it's too late until all of your carrier shipping cutoffs have passed. If you don't list the product, you can't make the sale.

  2. Shoppers are getting antsy. The number of business days remaining before the holiday are dwindling. This means that from here on out, you'll tend to see an increase in tense messages and inquiries from buyers that wouldn't bother or be concerned at any other time of the year. Take a breath, keep a cool head, remain professional, and conserve your resources with short, to the point answers and customer service.

  3. Check on your shipments. Now is the time to be a bit proactive about fulfillment. Keep tabs on recent shipments and note those that haven't arrived within the expected time frame. Follow up using tracking information for the late parcels to identify issues. Notify your buyers of any delays, apologize for them, and assure them (if appropriate) that minor delays are common during the holiday and that their parcel will arrive before the big day(s).

  4. Reconsider markdowns. Between now and Green Monday is a good time to look at things in your inventory that aren't selling up to expectations. For items with moderate-to-strong traffic but weak sales, mark down or mark down even further—there are one or two more big sales days left, but after that, demand is going to fall.

  5. Be strategic to the end. Make the most of the wind-down by leveraging it to increase the effectiveness of your promotions. Since the two biggest days remaining are Green Monday and the Tuesday afterward, drive urgency by ending your deepest markdowns on those days and making clear to buyers that Monday and/or Tuesday are their last chances for the best prices. Identify pages with reasonable amounts of traffic door-busting markdowns and use those listings and pages to cross-sell other markdowns, items you'd like to move, and to promote visits to your store and broader inventory.

And, above and beyond the rest, remember to make time to enjoy the holiday season yourself—after all, it’s no fun to enter the new year feeling burned out, rather than rejuvenated.

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