Even online retailers need a Rest

If you own or manage a small ecommerce business, you probably need to enjoy a holiday sometimes. Butif you are like me, you worry about the consequences of closing the company while away, with no deliveries.

Holiday closures could be costly. They affect immediate revenue and profit. And it typically takes time to construct sales afterward. Shoppers do not return, irritated you were not open when they needed your products.

I have experimented with remaining”open” during my holidays, with business as usual, versus”closing” and notifying visitors with a banner and merchandise page messages which no deliveries will happen for many weeks. For me, this is usually in June or July (during the Australian winter) and during the Christmas and New Year period.

Holiday closures could be costly.

Christmas sales

The lead-up to Christmas Day in Australia is our peak summer enjoyable period for corporate partners and customers.

Over the Christmas 2016 into New Year 2017 span — from approximately Dec. 25 to early January — a month before launch My Event Décor on January 31, 2017, my previous site (My Wedding Décor) stayed open. It was business as usual.

A year later, I shut My Wedding Décor and My Event Décor for 28 days for a holiday.

But it cost my organization.

The period December 22, 2017, to January 19, 2018, (when I had been closed) listed a 55-percent fall in average daily earnings compared to December 22, 2016, to January 19, 2017, (when I was open).

Fearful of experiencing another decrease in earnings , I”closed shop” the next Christmas for only 19 days (December 20, 2018, to January 6, 2019).

Currently I’m enjoying a long-planned, 25-day vacation in Europe. However, this time things are different.

Business as usual

I have chosen not to put holiday closure alarms on the home page or the product pages as it dissuades customers from making even casual queries, let alone purchases.

But I am not answering the phone. If shoppers call, they will hear my voicemail message telling them my holiday dates and to email their queries.

I’ve trained my helper to answer inquiries, fulfill orders, and handle deliveries. I haven’t trained her to quote and provide quotes (from event planners, by way of instance ). So I’m still doing these every day or two. And I have put our complete rental range below a blackout period while I am away.

Thus, aside from the voicemail message on my telephone and the leasing blackout period, My Event Décor is functioning as usual. Comparing the period I have been away on vacation to date (June 23 to July 11, 2019) to the identical 18-day period this past year, sales have risen by 36 percent.

Google Shopping

I have addressed how Google Shopping has helped my company. I started advertising on this platform in August 2018.

While I’m currently away, I have cut my Google Shopping advertisement spend from $10 to $1 per day. Assessing the period June 1 to July 11, 2019, to the prior 40-day period (April 21 to May 31, 2019) my conversion rate has dropped by 22 percent yet my general revenue has increased by 11 percent, and my average order value has increased by 55 percent.

The next time I am on vacation, I intend to keep my normal Google Shopping spend and provide my leasing products as usual. I will have a fully-trained helper by then. Maybe sales will be even greater!

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