Peak Season Planning

5 Ways to Sell More Using Peak Season Planning


Peak season planning is critical – and it could mean the difference between a successful season and an unsuccessful one. 

When it comes to the peak shopping season, it’s easy for sellers to get caught up in the potential of what’s to come. It’s true, you can see a massive bump in sales, possibly the largest you’ll see all year. But, none of this comes without hard work, intentional planning, and many, many hours of effort. If you have what it takes to push through the prep to see the value of the rewards, keep reading. 

The secret to peak season success is getting a headstart. Afterall, prevention is always better than having to solve problems later on. Plus, there might be some hidden benefits that will help you increase your sales if you’re willing to put the effort in early on. 

Why You Need to Start Peak Season Planning Early

There are infinite reasons why you should start your peak season planning today (or even yesterday). Ultimately, the goal is to set yourself up for success and have everything in line before the real stress begins to form. 

For example, the peak season is almost definitely going to include some unexpected situations. Planning before the volume picks up means you have the time and energy to deal with last-minute situations. If you don’t prepare in advance, you’ll feel much more overwhelmed when small tasks, or even more significant problems, get added. 

On another note, starting in advance gives you more time to think, plan and execute. What we want to avoid is rushing into things without having thought them through thoroughly. Rushed decisions can mean overlooked problems that require more time in the future to fix. Plus, planning early gives you the chance to pay attention to what’s going on around you and implement it into your own brand (more about this later). 

Overall, planning early has almost no downsides. It’s best to be well-prepared in advance and to have everything you’ll need for peak season before it actually hits. 

What Planning Means For Sales 

You might be wondering what planning in advance gets you aside from, well, being done in advance. When you take a look at the connection between peak season planning and sales, this will become crystal clear. 

Planning in advance can help you create advertising and marketing plans that will execute better than last minute ideas. For example, having the time to test campaigns and products can help you decipher which platform will perform the best and ultimately bring you the most revenue. Starting early to put your best foot forward when it really matters can be extremely beneficial. 

Another way planning early can help you increase your profits is by setting up the best partnerships. However this has to be done in advance. Some partnerships might cost you extra money to maintain over the holiday season, like delivery providers that include peak season surcharges. If you start early, you can research and find the partners who match your needs and budget. The way to find the right fit is to start early – or you’ll quickly run out of time to make a change. This might not directly help you sell more, but it can help you turn more revenue into profits. 

You can see now that starting early isn’t just a benefit, but a necessity. Let’s get into what5 you can do to start your peak season planning early to turn these ideas into reality. 

Top 5 Ways to Plan for Peak Season 

Planning for peak season can seem like a big goal – but separating it into smaller tasks can make it both measurable and accomplishable. Here are five of the best ways to prepare for peak season in advance, to make sure you’re ready to earn all the extra orders!

1. Make a plan for last minute orders 

The first tip is to plan for chaos. Even though these recommendations are going to help you be prepared for what’s to come, you as a seller deal with the most unpredictable circumstance of all: customer buying habits. At the end of the day, you have no real idea when the peak is going to come, or when customers are going to jam in all their holiday shopping. We can estimate and predict, but there will still be the outliers. 

Planning for last minute orders is a must as a seller during the holidays. No matter how prepared you are in terms of inventory, products, and staff, nothing can take away the stress of a last minute shopper. They want their orders fast, and you need to be able to make that happen. 

Fulfilling last-minute orders means you need to have the protocols in place to get those items to customers. The holiday’s leave no room for late orders and unhappy customers. This is where the expertise of a same-day delivery provider comes into play. By working with a partner who can complete those orders that come in days before Christmas, every customer will be taken care of. This even includes the ones you can’t predict.

Same-day delivery can save you a ton of problems as shoppers realize they’ve forgotten gifts for some of their distant relatives (oops) or decorations for the tree. It’s going to happen, so offering the most affordable same-day delivery can provide buyers a reason to pick you over finding another seller. 

2. Optimize a multichannel approach 

The best way to make the most of peak season shopping: taking orders from everywhere! The more platforms you sell on, the more potential customers you can reach. 

Multichannel approaches take everything into consideration, from in-store selling to marketplaces and your own website. Multichannel selling helps you reach different customers with different wants and needs. While some people prefer trying on clothes, others prefer having it delivered before they arrive home. Instead of offering what only some of these customers want, why not do it all?

By far the best way to tackle a multichannel approach is to target as many different audiences as you can. However, this needs to be done all while maintaining a seamless shopping experience. Users who find you through Instagram should be able to complete an order as easily as anyone else. Every shopping experience should be as simple as the last. By reaching more customers, across social media platforms and marketplaces especially, you can exponentially widen your reach. If every place a customer can find your products is easy to buy from, you can rest assured that you sell a seamless experience. 

3. Focus on personalization 

What makes your store unique among tens, or hundreds, of competitors? One of the keys to peak season is finding a way to bring in customers even as every other store is also fighting for their attention. Personalization can do just that. 

To personalize your brand, think of who your ideal customer is. Are you selling to a community or businesses? Based on your audience, you can brand accordingly and find ways to entice them in specific. 80% of customers are more likely to buy from a store that offers a personalized experience. This is one way to get a competitive edge when it matters most. 

4. Forecast demand and plan for potential delays

We can’t talk about peak season planning without mentioning the supply chain. If you think you can avoid inventory problems without some sort of pre-planning, we have some news for you… But luckily, we have advice too. 

Inventory management is difficult, there’s no hiding it. When it comes to peak season, you need to make sure you have enough inventory without having too much. Depending on what you sell, this might be more difficult than others. If you’re selling goods that don’t expire, like clothes, you can probably stock up on inventory without worrying about having too much. But, there are still limits here, since you don’t want to have excess lying around that never sells. 

On the other hand, if you sell desserts, meals, vitamins, or anything else that might need to be sold before going bad, inventory can be a difficult task to manage. You need to have enough to fulfill orders, without having too much that your money is wasted if it doesn’t sell on time. Our best tip for inventory management is to use an inventory management system. This will help you make sure you have enough of everything at all times and can automatically notify you when you’re getting low. You should also spend some time looking into past years data to predict how much you’re going to need this year. Forecasting what you’ll need to prepare can help you understand what your inventory needs to be.

Bonus tip: Be in communication with your supplier about what happens during their peak season. Do they ever run out of supply? Are there delays in shipping as the holidays approach? Be prepared and know exactly when you can order more if you need, without worrying about whether or not it’ll be available to you. If your current supplier might not be able to meet your demands, have some backups ready to go.

5. Be (over)communicative & review communications 

Communication goes a long way for customer satisfaction, which is why we recommend being as communicative as possible during the holiday season.

To prepare for the peak season, you’ll need to have a team of professional customer support workers willing and able to help however they can. Customer support teams can solve numerous issues before they become larger problems, which is why they’re a necessity for the peak season. Support teams can help solve customer problems, help buyers complete orders, and work out barriers within your business as well. Things are sure to go wrong, but having your team ready to fix them will be the only way to make it through the surge. 

Communication needs to be through multiple channels and go both ways. While you need to be able to contact customers, customers need to have ways to contact you. And similarly, some customers prefer phone, while others prefer live chat or email, so offering them all is the only way to cover all your bases. Communication should be widespread and very clear, making sure everyone knows what’s going on at all times. 

You can also spend some time reassessing your customer texts, emails, and notifications. What’s the process for reaching out to customers with issues, and how are they able to reach out to you? Can you improve how you’re updating customers on online orders and deliveries? These are all things you can fix before your store gets busier, and can really benefit you before the peak season begins. To limit how many customers need to contact you with questions, this is a great area to review. 

The Takeaway 

At the end of the day, peak season is your time to stand out and upgrade your orders. If that requires a little bit of extra work beforehand, it’s definitely worth it. 

To boost your sales this peak season, focus on offering customers exactly what they want. You will also need to cater to the last minute shoppers who look for fast delivery right before the holidays. FlashBox same-day delivery delivers the evening an order is placed, so you can manage the late orders without the headache. 

Interested in seeing your hard work pay off? Speak to an expert about upgrading your delivery solution so all customers can enjoy your products – no matter when they order. 

Want to find more last-minute tips to make this peak season your best yet? Follow us on social media for more tips, tricks, and solutions!

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