The Peak Season is a period in which several commercial events follow each other, generating significant sales peaks throughout Europe and the world.
Here, we will focus our advice mainly on the “winter” Peak Season, from November to February, a key period for online commerce. A period in which figures have been rising steadily since 2014.
During the periods of the big marketing blitzes like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the unmissable Christmas and sales promotions, many sellers know that doubling their efforts is an opportunity to make – for some – up to half of their annual turnover. But it is also a great opportunity to implement an international sales strategy… 🤩
The end of the year promises to be busy! Let’s take a look at the events not to be missed 👇
1. Single Day
11 November 2022
In contrast to Valentine’s Day, the “Singles’ Day“, considered the Chinese Black Friday, is held on 11 November every year.
Initially, it was Alibaba and its subsidiary AliExpress that had the idea of transforming this day into a gigantic sales event, offering their customers special offers with which to treat themselves.
This compulsory Chinese event has now become an international sales operation with new records set for profits year after year. In the US in 2018, the event even generated more sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined!
Singles’ Day took off in France in 2019. Many retailers are taking advantage of the event: Boulanger, Cdiscount, ManoMano, Rakuten, Fnac…Moreover, more and more international and French brands are deciding to participate!
At BeezUP, sellers rely heavily on the AliExpress marketplace, which remains the biggest player on Singles’ Day. The marketplace invests in huge communication operations such as the Paris 2021 Show and highlights its offers with sponsoring tools such as promo codes, flash sales, competitions….
But look out, publishing your products on AliExpress, Rakuten or Fnac is not necessarily easy. You have to adapt and enrich your product catalog for each platform. And if the objective is international, then you must also publish your offers with the currency, price and VAT rate, carrier, delivery time, etc. of the target country. The categories and products may also differ depending on the market, marketplace and country. A product may be a hit in one place and a flop in another.
Automating the management of your feeds is a way to save time and to schedule and adapt your offers while reducing the risk of error!
24 November 2022
Thanksgiving takes place on the 4th Thursday of November. In the USA, this holiday is an opportunity to gather with family and friends around the famous roast turkey…
For retailers, it’s an opportunity to thank their American customers and build loyalty through a communication campaign and to include gifts, promotional codes, etc.
For retailers or pureplayer e-merchants, it’s a good time to gain visibility and generate traffic to your shop or implement a back-to-store strategy using Google Ads and Google Shopping, which is very popular in the US.
🛍️ Cyber Week
Marking the peak of e-commerce sales with 33 billion euros generated in the USA, “Cyber Week” or “Black Week”, is the week that includes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
3. Black Friday
25 November 2022
Black Friday is a marketing blitz that originated in the United States and takes place on the 4th Friday in November, the day after Thanksgiving.
Marking the start of Cyber Week, it is one of the highest revenue-generating events in the world with promotions of up to 70% off. Today, Black Friday is more successful online than in-store. Gone are the streets “black with people” that gave rise to the name.
But it is also the date that makes it successful. In November, consumers are looking for good deals for their Christmas gifts.
On that day, you can expect to see your order figures double. But beware, because the risk of selling out-of-stock items and not being able to meet the shipping deadlines set by marketplaces will also increase! Once again, automation is one of the keys to success. At BeezUP, thanks to the automatic acceptance of orders, the synchronisation of stocks and the creation of product distribution rules (to avoid distributing products with insufficient stock, for example), our sellers anticipate and meet with success. The use of fulfilment* services offered by certain marketplaces can also be beneficial to you by freeing you entirely or partially from logistics management.
* Fulfillment” is a term that refers to all the tasks performed by an e-tailer to deliver a product to a customer. This includes all stages of the supply chain.
4. Small Business Saturday
26 November 2022 (US)
3 December (UK)
As the name suggests, Small Business Saturday takes place on the Saturday following Black Friday in the US. The aim is to encourage consumers to buy from small businesses and to consume locally. And that includes online sales, which accounted for $3 billion of total Small Business Saturday spending in 2018.
The event, launched by American Express, is now a feature in English-speaking countries, each of which organises it in its own way. So, you need to find out about the specifics of the countries targeted, the dates, the communication, etc. On your social networks, in addition to using the #SmalBusinessSaturday, #ShopLocal hashtags, you will have the #ShopSmall and #ShopSmallSaturday hashtags for your American community or #SmallBizSatUK for your English community.
5. Cyber Monday
28 November 2022
Cyber Monday takes place on the Monday after Black Friday. As the name suggests, Cyber Monday is exclusively online. Numerous good deals are offered to cyber shoppers, many of which are for high-tech products, but not just these, as the cosmetics, fashion, travel, home and sports sectors are also strongly represented. This Monday prolongs the “Black Friday effect” with buyers who are on the lookout for the latest offers, particularly on marketplaces. It is also an opportunity, why not, to sell off the remainder of your stock…
With its successive international events, Cyber Week is THE “big rush” of the year for online commerce. By positioning your products on the right platform, at the right time, with a significant competitive offer, you can expect to see your number of orders explode! This is good news for your turnover💸.
Nevertheless, this means being ready and reactive, because consumers are no less demanding in this period, to say nothing of marketplaces’ SLAs* that must be met to the letter…
At BeezUP, our merchants anticipate the demand and respond to their customers’ frustrations, especially on marketplaces, directly from our platform. Messages are centralised with the corresponding order information.
The aim, of course, is:
- Not to let a potential customer who has stopped on your offer and not a competitor’s slip away, by answering their request before the sale.
- To respond quickly to a post-sale request to avoid a potential negative opinion that could impact sales during Cyber Week in this case.
- To meet the very strict response time set by marketplaces.
* SLA (Service Level Agreement): a contract or part of a contract that guarantees a level of service offered by an IT provider (in this case the marketplace) to its customers. By selling on the provider’s platform, you must comply with these commitments
6. Free Shipping Day
14 December 2022
Straight from the United States, “Free Shipping Day” sprang from an observation: the recurrent drop in online sales in mid-December. The reason? Shoppers’ concerns about not receiving their packages in time for Christmas and high shipping costs… The principle? On Free Shipping Day, 14 December, e-merchants offer free shipping and guarantee delivery before Christmas Eve.
This is a good way to increase sales and stand out from the competition keeping in mind that 65% of consumers define free delivery as their number one choice criterion, according to Ifop.
25 December 2022
Christmas, celebrated all over the world, is a gift for the turnover of many e-merchants, all sectors included. Provided you know how to do it!
Buying gifts can be difficult for some consumers: a list as long as your arm, a limited budget, lack of time, choosing the right gift… These difficulties are an opportunity for you to shine! How? By reassuring your buyers with an adapted product return policy, by offering extended return and exchange periods, free returns, several return methods (relay point, letterbox)… You can also stand out with D+1, D+2 or even D-day deliveries, which are highly appreciated by those who make last-minute purchases.
“92% of shoppers are likely to make a new purchase from a site with a flexible return policy”.
If product return and delivery terms are particularly important to shoppers at normal times, they are even more so before Christmas. Whether it’s on your online shop or on marketplaces, customers who want to receive their gifts on time expect sellers to be available and responsive in this regard. So don’t neglect the management of your after-sales messages, which directly impacts your e-commerce customer relationship!
8. Boxing Day
26 December 2022
Boxing Day, a tradition from the UK, takes place the day after Christmas. This commercial operation is very popular in English-speaking countries and is now up and running in a number of countries: UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, South Africa and parts of Europe.
Boxing Day is the equivalent of Black Friday and the first day of the French winter sales. It is therefore a key date for offering discounts in English-speaking countries. 😉
9. The French winter sales
11 January to 7 February 2023
Even if its results have been a bit slow over the last few years, the winter sales are still vital to end the Peak season in style!
So here are a few tips on how to make the most of these last days of promotion.
From a logistical point of view, check that your site has the capacity to support traffic peaks, that your shopping path is optimised, that your inventory is up to date and choose a trusted logistics partner.
On an organisational level, define clear business objectives and the role of each member of your team, so that management is fluid and homogeneous during this major commercial operation. Make sure you prepare your customer services department to handle the above average volume of requests, and thus improve your customer experience.
Gain visibility and stand out from the crowd with your communication campaigns and by placing dynamic advertisements on Google Shopping, Facebook and other “Product Ads” platforms. Add to this the distribution of your products on price comparison sites and social networks, and the promotion of your offers on marketplaces through their sponsoring tools.
Using the right tools, such as an automatic repricer to win the Buy Box or an e-commerce feed manager to automate, enrich and schedule your offers on all sales and marketing acquisition channels, will give you every advantage.
10. Blue Monday
17 January 2023
The 3rd Monday of January is known as “Blue Monday” among our English-speaking friends who have defined this day as the most depressing day of the year. And it’s obviously not just the French who go shopping to lift their spirits😉.
So how about preparing a marketing campaign to put a smile on your customers’ faces? Health and wellness retailers are focused on by those looking for ways to brighten up their day and those who have made New Year’s resolutions…
The Cocote marketplace has created a page with a selection of items dedicated to Blue Monday.
It’s also a good time to treat your customers by offering discounts or delivery!
As you can see, Peak Season is the time to increase your sales and expand internationally, but it won’t be easy!
Don’t rush headlong into participating in all the events without studying their relevance to your target market and countries.
As we have already mentioned, the Peak season is a pivotal period that requires a well-functioning organisational structure and great reactivity on the part of your e-commerce team. If you don’t have this, not only do you risk not making your efforts profitable, but you also penalise your business in the long term by generating customer dissatisfaction.
Automating the management of your product feeds allows you to be efficient at these rush moments by reducing human error and the time wasted on tedious, time-consuming tasks.
And this will be essential if you want to participate in other events also considered “peak period” such as Prime Day or the French Days…
Alix Oudin, Head of Marketing & Communication at BeezUP
Annabelle Granulant, Content Manager at BeezUP