In the second half of the year, cross-border e-commerce will enter the peak season. In order to seize this wave of traffic in the peak season, sellers have been preparing strategies since September. In the turbulent year 2021 of cross-border e-commerce, what is the current consumption trend of overseas markets? What are the barriers on the current cross-border outbound chain? How can independent site sellers seize the business opportunities in the peak season?
01Consumption trend in 2021 overseas peak season
According to a new survey conducted by the online shopping service platform Dealaid, 81% of the respondents will purchase online in the holiday shopping season of 2021 due to the epidemic. On average, respondents plan to spend a total of $974 during the holiday shopping season this year, an increase of 4.7% compared with 2020. Among them, online consumption will reach 670 dollars, almost twice that of offline consumption.
Dealaid also investigated the most concerned problems of consumers during the holiday shopping season. The price (51%) ranked first, followed by the epidemic situation and the inventory supply of goods (both 45%). Other issues of concern include transport time (41 per cent) and personal funds available (31 per cent).
In terms of shopping time, 39% of consumers are expected to do most holiday shopping in December 2021. Other popular shopping times include: before Thanksgiving Day (27.5%), Black Friday (17.5%) and Internet Monday (10.8%).
02Challenges in shopping season
Different from previous years, many cross-border sellers are suffering from a series of challenges, such as insufficient transportation capacity, soaring freight rates, serious inventory backlog, and difficulty in obtaining traffic. How to adjust the stocking strategy in the peak season of the second half of the year?
The freight rate has soared 3 times
On the whole, the slowdown in the global maritime transport process is mainly due to the problems of container price, transport capacity and labor force, resulting in continued port congestion, thus increasing the cost of inbound transport and delivery time.
From the market level, in fact, since the epidemic last year, the overall ocean freight rate has entered the mode of soaring, rising almost every half month. The price of goods sent to America and Spain has risen from more than 6000 dollars at the beginning of the year to more than 20000 dollars now. According to Salesforce, the CRM platform, in the second half of 2021, American companies will spend 163 billion dollars more on shipping than in the second half of 2020, and the cost is about three times that of the same period last year.
Inventory clearing action
The high sea freight rate, the third party platform number and other issues have caused sellers to be anxious and struggle between stock and profit. However, the decline in product turnover has led many sellers to hesitate to place orders and prepare to give up the peak season war in the second half of the year, mainly focusing on clearing the existing goods.
Now, under the exposure of various market problems and the closure of some sellers' Amazon accounts, in the second half of this year, the main task of many companies is to clear the inventory. At present, they have deployed emerging platforms, offline channels and independent stations in many national markets to undertake the task of selling inventory.
Increased difficulty in obtaining traffic
It is an objective reality that it is difficult for independent stations to obtain natural traffic. If you want to obtain more exposure, you need to use advertising to drain.
More from social media, search engine traffic, generally using Facebook and Google Ads. This year, Facebook's registration mechanism is more strict, and related policies have been adjusted. In addition, the advertising quotation of social media celebrities has been rising, leading to more uncertainty in the flow of independent website sellers.
03How do independent businesses prepare for the peak season?
For merchants who use AllValue to build their websites, before the peak season comes, we will provide you with some suggestions for preparation in terms of product selection, marketing, logistics, etc. I wish you a big sale in the peak season!
Selection: comprehensive prediction of data insight
1. Selection opportunity
For seasonal products and holiday products, stock up and select products in advance, and avoid selecting products in the current season to delay the time. The selection of products can refer to the trend of hot selling products. Through the observation and analysis of hot selling products, based on the determination of the products needed by consumers, we can find out the pain points of the audience, find out the product differentiation, create our own style, and constantly optimize our own products to make our own products stand out in this category of sales market.
In addition, when selecting products, it is recommended to avoid products that are easy to be damaged, because it is easy to attract negative comments, which brings a lot of inconvenience to after-sales service. At the same time, in the return and replacement process, there will be product subsidies, product replacement and other loss expenses, increasing operating costs.
2. Catering to consumers' preferences
There are many major holidays in the second half of the year: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, online shopping Monday, Christmas, New Year's Day, etc. During this period, consumers have a strong desire to buy. It is suggested that the choice of products should focus on the items and gifts needed for the holiday.
According to Salesforce's prediction, the market demand will change again. In addition to necessities such as home and office, with the gradual opening of tourism in some countries, and the growing concern about inflation. In the second half of the year, luggage, sports goods, outdoor and holiday clothing, party supplies, household goods, including clothing, clothing, personal care, beauty, etc. are likely to become hot selling categories in the peak season.
Marketing promotion: global marketing drives traffic growth
Social media promotion can increase traffic by 30%
The data shows that social media will become more and more important. During the holiday shopping season, the online traffic recommended to e-commerce websites through social media will increase by 30%. In November and December this year, the total US digital advertising spending on social media influencer content will increase to US $6 billion, accounting for 20% of all digital advertising spending.
Email marketing will increase by 18%
As retailers pay more attention to the first party data, the field of e-mail marketing will be hot again. In November and December this year, marketing emails from brands and retailers will increase by 18%. Businesses can send the right email at the right time through artificial intelligence, which is crucial for maintaining the sound operation of email marketing and large-scale personalized information provided by marketing teams.
Select the right social media online celebrity to facilitate the promotion and drainage in the peak season
The categories of independent stations are mostly vertical, and the interests of the fan groups owned by social media online celebrities are also relatively concentrated. The outbreak of social network red economy in recent years is a "sharp tool" for independent station sellers to grow.
Sellers need to find online celebrities/KOLs (such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) that meet the product tonality according to their own products and user portraits, and promote them through multiple online celebrities/KOLs in social media, which can attract their loyal fans to buy in the store. At the same time, they can use the social networking effect of online celebrities/KOLs to help the site expand the number of private domains.
AllValue can provide a North American/Japanese online celebrity distribution plan to help merchants screen and match the right online celebrity. There is no service charge, and they pay according to the sales effect. When online celebrity/KOL makes recommendations on social media, use the "Distribution Alliance" function to set different exclusive recommendation links to track the conversion effect of online celebrity.
Logistics preparation: control the logistics rhythm
Before the peak season of war preparation, cross-border e-commerce sellers should pay attention to controlling the time and prepare goods in advance. It is better to start stocking 1-2 months before the festival. The quantity of stocking can be comprehensively predicted according to the analysis of the sales data or market related data of the platform in previous years. For example, if Halloween is October 31, it is recommended to start stocking goods at the beginning of September.
Novice sellers should understand that the shipment volume in the peak season is generally 2-3 times of the usual volume. Once there is an order explosion or a warehouse explosion, the car is likely to roll over. Because the efficiency of logistics distribution is directly related to the shopping experience of consumers, if it cannot be delivered in time, it is likely to directly cause consumer dissatisfaction, and the refund rate and negative rating rate will rise straightly.
At the same time, it is necessary to choose a logistics service provider with good reputation, stable timeliness and strong carrying capacity to cooperate. In peak seasons, the shipment volume of the entire cross-border e-commerce is soaring. Reputable partners will not easily raise prices. The logistics cost itself accounts for a large proportion. If the price is adjusted temporarily, the logistics cost is too high, which is very likely to cause losses and outweigh the losses.
That's all for the preparation season in this issue. I wish you a big sale in the peak season!