10 steps to get your online store ready for the 2021 year-end shopping season


Historically, the last quarter of the year is when most Filipino online sellers make the most sales. By now, most Pinoys are already in a Christmas-y mood, so you better make sure you’re there when shopping activity starts to pick up. With more and more Filipinos shopping online, you can be sure the season is going to be crazy.

Preparing for the holiday rush? To end the year strong, here are some tips from Ninja Van!

1. Prepare your storefront

Ensure that your product descriptions are accurate and detailed enough for customers to make an informed decision – this will save you the trouble of needing to answer potential questions. On top of this, double-check your inventory and item availability, and make sure you’re using high-quality photos, and that they showcase your products’ best features.

If you’re selling through your own website, make sure it works properly and looks good. Don’t forget to test and ensure that your website can handle a surge in traffic! Do a stress test using load testing tools.

It’s also important to plan your product prices. You can do this with the help of a spreadsheet. By listing down your cost, usual product price, and sale price, you’ll be better able to track your profit margins per product. You can also include space for dates so you can stay on top of sale period start and end dates, discount codes, and campaign types.

2. Stock up on your best-selling products

If you plan to sell your in-demand products at discounted rates, let your customers and social media followers know early. This way, you’ll get a head start on competitors and avoid drowning in the marketing clutter in the days leading up to major sale events.

#NinjaTip: You could retarget customers who previously bought these products, viewed the products on your website but didn’t actually make a purchase or have these items sitting in their Lazada or Shopee carts.

3. Use data to understand sales trends

To get a better understanding of which products will sell and which won’t, use data analytics. Check out tools like Google Trends or Better Lemonade Stand’s Instant Product Evaluator Tool. You could also tap analytics to reveal your top sales channels

4. Cyberstalk the competition

Stalking doesn’t need to be creepy. It pays to check what your competitors are selling, what their pricing looks like, and how they’re engaging with their customers. Visit their website and ecommerce shops incognito. On your computer’s browser, go into incognito mode or open a private browsing session. On Shopee or Lazada. Visit their social media pages, too. This will give you a better idea of what you’re up against and will allow you to adjust accordingly.

Better yet, become their customer. Buy something from them and see what the experience is like.

#NinjaTip: Try to keep your pricing within the range of similar stores’ prices to stay competitive.

5. Supercharge your promotions

Announce discounts and promos early to give your customers something to look forward to. As they say, “Daig ng maagap ang masipag (being early beats working hard).”

6. Make the most of social media

About 65% of internet users in the Philippines go on social media to research brands, so it should go without saying that having an active social media presence is so important for sellers. Post quality content regularly on your platforms of choice and talk to your followers. Maybe even explore TikTok if that’s where your customers hang out. Create attractive graphics with simple and free tools, like Canva.

But don’t just focus on your own social media channels; be visible on others’ pages, too. Consider engaging with influencers who are a good fit for your brand, and foster relevant, mutually beneficial brand partnerships.

7. Proactively engage your customers

44% of Filipino shoppers chat with sellers before making a purchase. As such, it’s important to leave a good impression. Answer their questions thoroughly and respond promptly, politely and cheerfully.

#NinjaTip: Consider deploying chatbots or hiring customer service agents to help ensure quality customer service throughout the shopping season. Don’t be scared of automation: turns out 55% of Pinoy shoppers surveyed are comfortable with talking to a bot for online store transactions.

8. Offer free shipping

Offering free shipping is one way to win customers and stand out in a sea of sellers. It could also prevent “abandoned carts”—sometimes, customers intend to buy something but change their minds after seeing how much the shipping will cost.

9. Pack your items properly

Seal everything and pack items tightly to prevent damage during transit. A good rule of thumb is to have three layers of packaging: the primary or innermost layer; the secondary layer, which is typically sturdier than the primary layer and helps protect the package from damage during delivery; and the outermost layer, which has details about the package to help logistics providers sort items.

#NinjaTip: Reinforce your branding in the primary packaging by adding your shop name, logo, and other relevant brand elements.

10. Ship orders out on time

Customers hate late deliveries and will make sure to let you know in their reviews. Make sure to hand over your parcels to your logistics providers on time. Actively managing customers’ expectations is key. Because sale season is going to be super busy, shipping will definitely be delayed.

#NinjaTip: Try adding 3 more working days to the expected delivery date. If it arrives earlier, great! If it arrives later, then it’s not as bad.

For reliable service, partner with trusted names in last-mile delivery, like Ninja Van!

Navigating the online business world with the Ninja Van blog

Get a head start and make the most of the year-end shopping frenzy by preparing early. By offering great products and a stellar customer experience, you’ll be helping your customers end the year with their hearts—and their carts—full. Visit the Ninja Van blog to know more useful tips and tricks for your online business!


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Gabriel

Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.