How to Gear Up for the 2020 Promotional Products Holiday Selling Season
The months leading up to the holidays are the busiest of the year for many companies in various industries, including promotional products distributors. This high-traffic selling season stands to be different this year with COVID-19, but you can still take advantage of the surge in online traffic and high demand for corporate holiday gifts. You may need to make adjustments in your B2B holiday marketing efforts this year to cope with shipping or supply delays and changing buyer habits, but if you’re looking for a more thorough description of general tips to help your promotional products business annually, read our blog from last year.
Some B2B companies might experience pandemic-related slumps this holiday season, but with the additional rise in online shopping behaviors due to the pandemic, as a promotional product distributor, if you have a strong online presence you could still see an increase in orders this time of year when compared to years prior. For more tips and information on how to optimize your online presence as a promotional products distributor to help ready your website, email marketing efforts, and virtual catalogs before the holidays, read our most recent blog.
This holiday selling season is already in full swing, and you definitely want to be prepared for potential shipping backups as the holidays approach. Read our tips below to prepare yourself with best practices for B2B holiday marketing, sales, and fulfillment so you don’t fall behind.
B2B Holiday Marketing and Sales Tips for Promotional Product Distributors
If you haven’t already, start discussing holiday promotional products needs with your clients now. Your B2B holiday marketing efforts can include sending out an eye-catching holiday catalog or promotions via email to entice previous and potential customers to use your services for promotional holiday gifts. You’ll also want to advertise the catalog or any promotions on your website and social media to maximize exposure.
The last thing you want around the holidays is to get stuck with the stress of multiple last-minute rush orders, or a built-up traffic jam of orders, forcing you to juggle too many customers demanding updates and potentially unresponsive vendors. With shipping carriers still dealing with the demand stress caused by increased online shopping habits during COVID-19, the annual holiday period of high shipping demand is likely to prove more difficult in 2020 than in previous years, causing potential delays or higher shipping costs for the promotional products industry.
Although shipping companies are rapidly hiring to offset this, the strain on shippers this year is predicted to be higher than their capacity is equipped to handle. Customers will have to get their time-sensitive orders in earlier or be willing to pay more for faster shipping if they want to receive promotional holiday gifts on time. Transparent, early, and frequent communications with your regular and potential new clients will help offset frustrations related to changes in shipping times and costs as the holidays draw closer.
Get Financial Support on Large Orders
Around the holidays, there are likely other places you want to spend your money instead of having your cash flow tied up in prepaying for orders. Maybe you’re planning a virtual company holiday party, you’re considering handing out holiday bonuses, or you’re buying corporate holiday gifts of your own.
These plans may be thwarted if you have to put money down on a large order. Your capacity to take on multiple orders may also be limited by your financial resources. Consider order financing support from a third party to help you take on multiple end-of-the-year orders, without taking up resources that you might have used for other holiday plans.
With order financing, a third party takes care of any upfront costs with suppliers so you don’t have to, increasing your cash flow, saving you from awkward conversations about prepayments with clients, and ultimately increasing your capacity for holiday promotional products orders. The third party will also usually handle any paperwork associated with securing funds for orders such as credit applications, keeping you from drowning in administrative tasks this holiday season.
This frees up your time and resources so you can focus on selling as much as possible leading up to the holidays and spending more time with friends, family, and loved ones once the holidays arrive. If you want to learn more about the benefits of order financing, read our recent blog on the topic.
Work with Trusted Vendors
An unresponsive or unreliable vendor is a promotional product distributor’s worst nightmare during the busy holiday selling season. You don’t want to spend a lot of your time constantly reaching out to vendors or taking the brunt of your client’s frustrations with suppliers who don’t keep up their end of the bargain on orders. Make sure you’re working with vendors you trust to ensure quality and that high-volume orders can be fulfilled in a timely manner.
A great way to ensure a best-in-class experience for your customers while maximizing revenue for your business with cost-effective pricing solutions is to enroll in a preferred vendor program. Enlisting a third party or joining a network of other promotional product sellers can help you with the important task of choosing suppliers this holiday season.
When using a preferred vendor program, you may be eligible for benefits like discounts and free samples. Additionally, you’ll be less likely to be taken advantage of if you’re aligned with a network or organization that has a higher buying power in the industry. With potential operational setbacks this year due to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to work only with the companies you trust to get the work done correctly and on time.
iPROMOTEu Can Help You This Holiday Season
iPROMOTEu offers our services to affiliated promotional products distributors to help them on the back end of their businesses. Our back-office and marketing support, order financing, and preferred vendor program can help you to focus on sales rather than administrative tasks and spend more time with loved ones during the holidays.