On vacation as a webshop owner/online entrepreneur. Will you close, will you stay open, will you outsource, will you not go on holiday? Help, how? In the beginning of my own webshop I found it very difficult to go on holiday. Let alone that we were closing, I didn't have to think about it! At that time I had no staff or people in my environment who could handle the webshop. Well, then what?
We outsourced the shipping for a while and didn't have it 'in house', but in the years that we did, I certainly didn't want to announce that our home-work house was empty (nice and easy) for the next week. And so many solutions to this problem have already been reviewed. Every year we refined it a bit and now there is a handy way to put a webshop on a (converting) low back burner.
'Outsourcing', a terrible word in the ears of many webshop owners, I know. But this can still be a good solution if you have someone in your 'wolfpack' (see workbook page 29 ) who is very good at it, whom you can trust and who is looking forward to it! How you arrange that further with rewarding and leaving it in your home or workplace, that depends on each person/company. But if you have someone, grab that opportunity and problem solved!
Closed for maintenance
Sometimes circumstances were so cleverly mixed up with us that I could make good use of them. In the beginning, for example, I closed the shop with the message that we were closed for maintenance. That was not a lie because we went from one webshop system to another and a programmer did that for us. That was the last time, by the way, after that we did almost everything ourselves.
It is, however, a good plan for the following. Suppose you want to go on holiday for a week. Bring an inspiring book and a nice notebook for all the ideas that pop up while you are chilling in the sun. Then you can call it a 'work retreat'. So you could communicate, without lying: “Because of a week of planning, gaining new inspiration and a little rest, we will be less accessible in the coming week” . This way you don't have to close your shop and you don't indicate that your workspace or home office is empty to go shopping illegally without a key. If you know what I mean.
The same idea is our (almost) annual 'We're going to dig holes' week. A good week before we closed, I always let you know that we were going to "dig holes, count shells, make fires ... etc". I clearly stated order dates and times so that no confusion could arise. In recent years I have used this more often, a lot of pits have been dug… and often that was the case, we practically live on the beach of Scheveningen.
Digging Converting Pit
In the week of our absence, I gave a discount on all orders with a special discount code to accommodate the customers. That always made for a nice conversion, even without having the Buffer full!
To give you an idea of what a holiday planning for your webshop can look like, I have made an example below. Make sure to make it something that suits you and your webshop, so come up with something other than digging holes :-)
At least 2 weeks in advance
- make beautiful visual material, a well-fitting campaign image for this message
- make sure you have social media content for a week, so it looks like you haven't completely disappeared from the face of the earth
1 week in advance
- write a clear blog post about the week that you are 'less reachable'. Put in it:
- until when 'normal' orders can be placed (date and time)
- from which day you can order again
- and something like "the orders are then sent in order of arrival"
- optional: the x% discount in the week that you are absent
- promote the blog post where you can:
- put it on your homepage, for example as a second slider if you have one, or as a block below it (link to blog of course)
- in a newsletter as the main topic
- definitely every other day on your Facebook page
- certainly every other day via Twitter
- at least once that week on Instagram
- schedule the social media of the week that you are absent (with for example Buffer, Hootsuite or Facebook itself)
2-3 days in advance
- if you frequently send a newsletter, now is the time for a 'friendly reminder'
In the week itself
- make sure it is immediately clear on your homepage that you only send from x date
- It is also good to show your discount code (if you have one) with the x% discount
- communicate all that unambiguously in all your social media, maybe even temporarily in the headers
- remember not to share 'Oh it's so nice in Ibiza' photos on your Instagram account
If you still want to share those cool pits you dug in Ibiza with your followers, do it a while later on a #TBT or use them as your own cool stock for your upcoming summer campaign. OR only take pictures for yourself and don't even think about your webshop. After all, you have HOLIDAY and it is there to recharge :-)