9 Steps to Prepare Your Business for Japan’s Peak Season Successfully
The peak season is coming soon. Sales are about to surge. Are you going to be on top of that game?
You can earn a generous amount of your yearly profit during Black Friday, the Christmas season, and every other special occasion in Japan. Creating an outstanding customer experience at every touchpoint during these busy days is the key to sale success.
Here is how you can achieve that.
1. Create a marketing calendar for the holiday shopping period
Throughout the year, Japan has several holidays of which you can take advantage. Preparing a calendar at the beginning of the year helps you not to miss out on these days. You can run special promotional events on these to boost your sales and brand awareness.
Here is a list of Japan’s most important holidays and seasons.
2. See what is suitable for each season
There are distinct and unique touches to every season, event, and celebration in Japan, which you should be aware of. Some products are trending during specific holidays. For example, Black Friday gives your customers a chance to get a great deal on a wide range of products.
On Valentine’s Day, you will see that a lot of DIY chocolate sets are sold. That’s because women are supposed to give a present, often chocolate, to the man they like. They receive a reciprocal gift on White Day.
3. Localize your buyer journey
Japan is a single-language country. It has three different alphabets you have to consider. A simple translation of content such as product descriptions, promotions, and stores isn´t sufficient. With the help of an expert, you can adapt every piece to the taste of customers.
It’s also imperative to identify and target the right audience. What trendy keywords do you have to implement in your holiday strategy? What payment options or delivery options do they favor? Take into account the preferences of your target group. It helps you to create trust in your brand and to improve your chances of gaining high profit on peak sale days.
Find out more about the advantages of content localization here.
4. Get your customers excited
By announcing your special offers across all platforms, you can create engagement with your brand. Having a localized campaign lets you stand out from your competition. Before Japanese customers buy, they research the quality and functionality of the product. Compelling descriptions, How-to guides, case studies, peer reviews, and concise information about your brand and product will support their buying decision. Seasonal packaging or special gift wrapping can convince Japanese customers, even more, to purchase from you during the holidays.
5. Start early to enhance the sales results
During the peak season, it is important to arrange as early as possible to produce, ship, import, warehouse, and sell your items in Japan. How long does shipping take? Can you produce on time? Do you have an IOR (Importer of Record) who handles the tax payment at customs and checks the compliance of your products in advance? How long does Amazon FBA accept shipments for holidays such as Black Friday? These are some of the questions you have to find an answer to.
Do you want to know more about IOR and import compliance in Japan?
To be in time for the end of the year peak season 2022, you should have finished shipping to Amazon Japan FBA by the middle of November for Black Friday and until the beginning of December for Christmas.
6. Keep track of your performance
Daily check-ins on your inventory are required to see which of your products performs the best. Do you still have enough stock available? Do you need to adjust your marketing campaign? Don’t make the mistake of offering items you are already running out of. That could result in a poor buyer experience. By keeping track of the statistics and experiences, you can improve your strategy. You can spot customer interests for upcoming peak sale seasons.
7. Manage your orders properly
Ensure that your customers’ orders are delivered on time. Therefore, you should send them out as quickly as possible. Different orders from the same customer can be separated to ensure a seamless arrival. Furthermore, it’s helpful to let your buyers know the tracking numbers, carrier, and shipping method. You should list your return and repair policies visible to the customers. The better your service and management of orders are, the more satisfied your buyers will be. That way you will gain more purchases and happy-to-buy-again customers.
8. Have enough resources
To prepare for the peak season, it is essential to have adequate staffing and well-operating management. From shipping to marketing, every step needs resources that you need to organize in advance. If you can’t handle your operations in Japan on your own, you can look for a local partner who supports you.
9. Provide excellent customer service
Leave a positive impression by providing world-class customer service in proficient Japanese. Your buyers will value prompt replies to questions or negative feedback via text or telephone. Marketplaces in Japan don’t offer professional customer service that is tailored to your brand and products. If you are a foreign seller, you can set up customer service through a provider. Then you can still guarantee a high level of customer satisfaction on busy days.
Understanding the holidays and seasons of Japan with their twists can help you create a superior shopping experience. It will help you to sell more products in periods of high demand. Keeping an eye on trends and starting planning as early as possible is crucial. An excellent buyer experience during peak seasons includes on-time delivery, outstanding customer service, and localization of the product and marketing in every aspect. Make sure your stock won´t run out and plan accordingly. That way, you can avoid the struggles that can occur when producing, shipping, importing, and selling.
How COVUE can help you?
In alignment with our End-to-end Japan market entry services, we help you to prepare for the different Japanese holidays and seasons. As your operating partner in Japan, we do more than just act as an Importer of Record. We also assist you with entering eCommerce, creating a suitable marketing strategy, setting up customer service, and much more. Together we will strategize your business and boost your sales during the peak season and throughout the year.