what did you learn this peak

by Dan Conboy

It's not time to stop thinking about Christmas just yet. Before we box away the festive season until later this year, there's an important task to complete.

It's not time to stop thinking about Christmas just yet. We may still be recovering from excessive mince pies, vino and turkey, but before we box away the festive season until later this year and jump into that next campaign or season, there's important tasks to complete.

what we’ll cover.

  1. the lessons you can learn from peak to make 2022 even better.
  2. the areas of your business you can gather valuable data and insights from.
  3. how to make the most of your newly acquired customers this year.

celebrate the success you had.

In such busy times, we can all be guilty of putting the last 12 months to the back of our minds and simply cracking on with the year ahead.

However, you’ve just made it through the epic event of managing peak trading that wasn’t made any easier by an ongoing global pandemic. Before you jump in, take the time to reflect and celebrate those wins to set the scene for the year ahead and be sure to congratulate yourself (and your team) on last year’s achievements.

lessons you can take into the next 12 months.

We’re a couple of weeks into January, you’ve had chance to clear those emails and complete those admin tasks that awaited you in the new year. But before everybody gets pulled into the fast pace of 2022, this is an ideal time to book in some time with team members across key departments to review how peak went.

Catching up with your teams should be a top priority and you’ll get more out of the process if you do it collaboratively. Consider covering topics such as:

  • what lessons can you learn to make the year ahead even better?
  • what surprised you?
  • what went better than expected?
  • while it’s fresh in your mind, what learnings can you take to implement into peak this year?
  • are there are any areas that didn’t work out as hoped?

With a huge volume of sales recently passing through your store, the sheer data available is just waiting for you to investigate. If you want to stay ahead, use all the learnings you possibly can to drive even better results this year.

looking at how it went.

It’s worth splitting this analysis down into multiple areas so it’s easier to spot learnings. While you explore each, consider how they compare to your expectations and the previous year.

Maybe a promotion or product surpassed expectations and was extremely successful. Or maybe you invested budget into a particular sales channel that didn’t perform as well as you hoped.

It’s important to have a critical yet open mindset to gather and make use of the most valuable insights you can gain from analysing:

  1. performance against target: Did you hit your goals and targets?
  2. product performance: Which products sold well and which not so much?
  3. sales channel performance: Where did the majority of your sales come from? Which channels performed particularly well, and which didn’t hit the mark?
  4. marketing channel performance: Which channels performed above the rest and which channels weren’t up to scratch?
  5. operational performance: Did you experience any operational issues such as delayed delivery times or longer customer query response times?
  6. Competitor performance: Did you notice any standout activity that other merchants were doing?

don’t lose momentum.

Acquiring customers is only half of it. During peak, you’ve invested significant time and money into gathering data. Don’t let your efforts stop there. This data can be leveraged into the new year to reengage with those who didn’t convert to generate more sales.

How will you make the most of these new customers to grow your repeat sales this year?

  1. email marketing: Ensure you’re continuing those all-important customer connections with engaging post-peak communications featuring new stock updates, sales events and general brand information.
  2. remarketing: Remarketing was made for post-peak, giving you a chance to win back some of those lost visitors. These campaigns can be used to target previous visitors, encouraging them to return and convert.
  3. dynamic ads: Once a visitor has engaged with your brand, you have more data on their preferences. Use this insight to define segments and create tailored ads in the new year that are suited to the individual. Dynamic ads can be used to automatically adapt content to each user, ensuring they always receive relevant ads with a higher chance of engagement.
  4. sales and promotions: This time of year, is ideal to entice customers to purchase that product they’ve had their eye on for a discounted price. Remarketing ads can be used to advertise a product to a user who showed interest. You could even feature a discounted price or promotion code as an incentive to convert.
  5. new stock: New products or season lines are a great hook for reengaging shoppers who have shown interest in similar items. Social media posts or emails can be used to showcase new stock to get visitors to return to your site and purchase again.

only 312 days to go.

There’s so much to learn from peak season. Using your team on the front line, data and previous performance can help drive decisions to forge customer loyalty that will last beyond peak.

Taking all this into account will help you plan for the year ahead. Maybe there are changes you want to make to your store or developments that need to be done to make these improvements possible.

Putting a roadmap in place or an eCommerce calendar of sorts that can be carried out through a retainer plan will help you get the most from your website and budget. If you need to chat more about the year that lays ahead and how it could look for your eCommerce store, contact our team of Shopify Plus and eCommerce experts.

Time to get going - there’s only 312 days (at the time of publish) until Black Friday!

what to read next.

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