High-demand commercial dates: Strategies for Ecommerce
High-demand commercial dates: how much time is needed to plan and develop eCommerce strategies?
Let’s try to solve the big question: How much time is necessary to think and implement an eCommerce strategy for high-demand commercial dates?
In eCommerce, there are certain recurring aspects, which are repeated with a certain frequency and, therefore, must be foreseen and prepared thoroughly to make the most of seasonality and peaks in demand.
Types of commercial dates
It is important to make a brief reflection and differentiation between what we consider to be high-demand dates.
From our point of view, there are two types of seasonality: those that we can consider common and our own. The first category includes all those you are thinking about: sales, summer, Black Friday, Christmas… while the second group includes those dates that affect us at the niche/category or even product level.
We are going to explain a little more about high-demand commercial dates. Here we refer to very specific events such as collection launches or dates that are highly representative for our target audience. A simple example: Mother’s Day for an online florist, something that would not apply as much if we sell insurance or industrial cleaning products.
But high demand is not synonymous with recurrence. On many occasions there are dates that are strategic despite being punctual or circumstantial. These are events that we can also anticipate and prepare for in order to make the most of them. Let me give you another very specific example: imagine that you sell movie merchandising and comics online, because a date of high demand can be the premiere of a Star Wars movie or series.
How much time do you need to prepare your marketing strategy?
What I always recommend is that you work with a calendar and, if possible, that you plan it for 12 months. I understand that the work can be a bit hard initially, but once you get used to working this way, you will never do it any other way again.
It’s the beginning of the year as we write this article, so it’s the right time to get down to work.
This document will help you to organize your entire strategy at different levels: you will have clear deadlines to have your SEM campaigns ready, fixed email marketing actions, the main contents of the blog… but, at the same time, it will also be very useful when planning resources or logistics.
What should the calendar look like?
You can give it any format you want, but I find it especially convenient to use a spreadsheet shared with all team members. It can be in Google Sheets, in Microsoft OneDrive or, basically, in the cloud application you use within your company.
What I recommend is that you have several fields, which you can design as you see fit, but it would be interesting to include:
– Action launch date: this serves to be clear about the limit. No one is going to forget which day is Christmas Eve, but the action may start weeks in advance.
– Start date of the preparation: it will vary depending on the period of time the action will be underway, the investment it will require, the production and resources it will require…
Preparing a Christmas strategy is not the same as preparing something smaller, so you cannot define a standard time frame. The rule you should follow is simple: draw up a chronogram with all the tasks scheduled and, to the sum of the times, add the promotion’s duration and a prudential time for a posteriori analysis.
– Resources: what is necessary to have prepared both in terms of logistics and contents. I would recommend working with a repository also in the cloud, so that the material is available online and not scattered among the collaborators’ e-mails.
– Responsible for the action: this is the best way not to lose control. Choosing a person responsible for the project streamlines communication and centralizes operations.
– Status: it is important to be able to see at all times whether an action is in preparation, in progress or completed.
What I would not recommend is to leave too many “empty fields”. A comment can be useful, but if a discussion is established… it no longer fulfills its mission.
It is always better to use the calendar in combination with other productivity tools like Trello, Slack, Teams… so all the information is in one place.
Finally, and to be specific in the answer to the question that gave rise to this post: how much time is necessary to think about a strategy and implement it in an eCommerce? If you have the ability to work for 12 months, you will always have a perspective and a margin of action that will result in better performance.