Navigating a turbulent peak in 2022

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Ahead of Black Friday and the peak period for retailers and brands, Vladi Shlesman, Managing Director EMEA at ChannelAdvisor, discusses how to navigate the undoubtedly turbulent peak we’re heading into for 2022:

Preparation ahead of the critical peak period takes on additional importance during tough economic times. Every hard-earned customer needs to have a positive experience, whether shopping in store or online. Deliveries need to arrive on time and with disruption across supply chains, building relationships with multiple carriers is crucial.

Managing inventory levels will be critical, mapping existing stock and considering historical demand to make informed judgements on which products to push through campaigns.

Those that don’t already offer an express shipping offer should bring in the option for those that need products quickly. Even if they charge for the service, adding this as an option may entice those in a hurry.

If you offer fast delivery then hitting the targets is crucial. Once volume ramps up, ensuring every product arrives on time becomes more difficult, but is critical to avoiding negative reviews.

Extending your returns policy may encourage more sales as those buying gifts will want a longer window in-case the recipient wants to swap for a different size or return the present.

Promotions need to be targeted to seasonal and potential gifts as flat discounts will devalue the entire range and more specific campaigns have a higher rate of success. Price will not be the only differentiator however as differentiating will be key and offering bundles or free accessories may incentivise more average basket value without getting into a race to the bottom on price.

Utilising all the tools available on marketplaces alongside promotional marketing campaigns, will give you an advantage, but this will need to be in conjunction with positive customer experiences, responding to queries efficiently. This will drive more positive reviews which will give consumers confidence as the more recent a review, the more value a consumer will attribute to it. 

Every product description needs to be spot on, giving accurate information and highlighting the areas that the consumer really cares about. Reviews will take on added importance as consumers will be extra cautious with each purchase and getting the description right will result in fewer returns and higher customer satisfaction.

Despite the expected turbulent peak, those brands that focus on continually adapting to consumer preferences and meeting consumers where they shop should feel confident about their future.

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