The online shoppers are coming
As the holiday season is rapidly approaching, many time-crunched shoppers resort to shopping and buying online. In fact, data from Mastercard SpendingPulse shows that seasonal eCommerce growth increased 47.2% in 2020.
As the number of online shoppers increase during the holiday season, small businesses should use this as an opportunity to expand internationally. It is important to implement the right marketing techniques and outsource your logistical needs to a reputable company. Doing so can make your business run smoother and relieve a lot of the stress that comes from shipping internationally. When you create an account with Shipito, we provide you with the US address to one of our warehouses where your package(s) can then be consolidated and shipped to you for a fraction of the cost. Sign up for your own Shipito account to make this holiday season the best time of the year for your business!
Here are a few tips to help make sure you are ready:
Announce That You Ship Internationally
Generally, consumers will browse through websites based in their countries, as they fear that some brands don't offer international shipping. It'd be heartbreaking for you to start checking out international brands and find out that the product can't be delivered to your doorstep.
To prepare your business for the holiday season, announce that you ship products internationally on your website and social media platforms. This announcement will entice thousands of consumers around the world to browse through your online platforms and buy goods from you.
Ideally, you should make the announcement three to four months ahead of the holidays. This will allow your business to create high-quality and informative marketing content while giving consumers enough time to plan their online shopping. Don't worry if you haven't done this yet. In this case, it is better to make a late announcement, than to make no announcement.
Email Your Current Customer List
Expanding your business internationally will come easier if you’re able to build a customer list throughout the year. Since these individuals already know what your business sells, you'll have better chances of convincing them to buy from you during the holidays.
To entice customers to buy from you again, you shouldn't just send an email. You need to carefully plan the email you're going to send. For starters, your email should contain testimonies, statements, and reviews about your products from satisfied customers to influence the recipient to shop from your website again.
You can also add images and statements letting recipients know that your inventory is limited and might run out soon. The goal is to encourage them to visit your website before the holiday rush or before products are sold out!
Advertise To International Markets
The holiday rush is a great time to expand your business globally. Since consumers will buy more products during this time of the year, you should start advertising to the international market as soon as possible so they will know where to browse when they start shopping.
Advertising is vital for every business because it allows you to communicate with existing and future customers and inform them about your business's products and services.
Here are some simple yet effective ways to advertise your business to the global market:
- Maximize online advertising: Billions of people use the internet every day, which is why you should utilize this platform to reach more clients in different parts of the world. One of the best ways to advertise online is to use Google Ads. This allows you to target your ads, which means you can set your ads to reach a specific group of people. Other ways to advertise online are to run banner ads on Facebook, invest in sponsored social media ad campaigns, or use Pay-per-click (PPC).
- Partner with established businesses in your target market: When entering into a new market, consider working with established businesses that already have loyal customers and a good understanding of the local market. This significantly improves your marketing efforts and chances of gaining more customers.
- Use local influencers: Using local influencers is a great way to market internationally as these individuals usually have thousands or even millions of followers. Local influencers are known to have an expert level of knowledge in their field. Whatever they recommend, their followers will believe.
When you get influencers to talk about your business – how reputable your brand is and how superb your products and services are – it won't be long before their followers start buying from you as well.
Find an International Shipping Solution
Following the first three tips mentioned in this article will be useless if you don't have a shipping partner. How can you expand globally if you can't ship products to other countries? How can you earn more profits during the holiday season if you only deliver locally?
It’s a good idea to find an international shipping solution early on. With an international shipping partner, your business can easily open up to a larger market, allow orders to get through customs and clearance, and offer customized international shipping solutions to customers.
When it comes to international shipping for your business, Shipito is a great option! We offer a variety of services, including Fast Mailout, to help get your packages sent out and delivered to your doorstep as soon as possible. Our company uses simple and transparent pricing to help your business scale up on the international market and accommodate more clients, especially during the holiday season.
We offer a very straightforward process. Once you pay for your membership, you ship your products to us, choose your shipping solution, and our team will handle the packaging and shipping of your customers' orders.
With our international shipping for business, you can cater to the increase of orders during the holiday season without compromising the quality of your products and customer service!
Running out of products in the middle of the holiday season can be disastrous for you and your customers. Without any products in stock, you won't be able to fulfill orders, or worse, create a negative impression among customers.
To prevent these problems from happening, stock up ahead of time to ensure that you have a sufficient number of products when the holiday rush starts. Take inventory of popular holiday season products so you can order/create enough for your needs. This simple practice will save your business a lot of hassle later down the road.
Revisit Customer Service
The quality of your customer service is what separates your business from your competitors. Different businesses can sell the same products, but they can never offer the same level or quality of customer service.
Revisiting your customer service early is an essential preparation for the holiday season. This is especially true if your business is still small or new and hasn't carved out any policies or customer service essentials.
Regardless of the nature or size of your business, it's best to revisit the following areas so you'll be able to provide the best service and shopping experience to customers:
- Merchandise returns: Do you accept merchandise returns? If you do, how long are customers allowed to have their purchased items prior to returning? Will you shoulder the cost of return shipping, or does the customer have to pay for it?
Sit down with your staff and create a clear policy on merchandise returns. Setting policies in place will make it easier for your business to provide consistent service to customers.
- Hours of operation: Even if you only have an online shop that caters to international orders, it's still best to advertise your hours of operation. This will let customers know when you're around to offer assistance or answer any of their questions.
- Email and phone service: Think about how your phone and email services will be staffed. If you offer these, will you have enough people in your business to answer in real-time? Or will you let it go to callback? How quickly are emails answered? All of this should be settled before the holidays start.
Organize Your Budget
You'll be making changes in your business's operation to cater to your customers' demands during the holidays, which is why you should organize your budget ahead of time. You won't be able to afford to market your products to international markets or pay for international shipping solutions if you don't have the financial resources for it.
Generally, you need to spend more money on the following during the holidays:
- Increased utility expenses for extended office hours;
- Purchase of new materials and equipment to cater to the influx of orders; and
- Upgrades on your business collateral materials or to your business website.
Aside from these, don't forget to budget money to cover unexpected overages, namely product returns or refunds, miscalculated shipping costs, business emergencies, and last-minute purchases. Having a little padding for unexpected expenses can provide countless benefits, especially when you're up to your elbows during the holidays!
Preparation Is Key
Instead of worrying about how busy your business will get or how you don't have enough manpower, think outside of the box and use the holiday season as an opportunity to finish out the year strong. When you prepare your business for this time of the year with a reliable shipping company like Shipito, you'll be surprised how quickly your business can expand and gain more customers! Sign up for an account today and let us help you grow your customer base and build your business internationally.