We’ll let you in on a not-so-secret secret. If you sell online, Chinese New Year is a fantastic opportunity.
Why? Well, not only is the Chinese New Year the biggest holiday in China, but the Chinese e-commerce market is the biggest in the world — and it’s no coincidence.
China-based shoppers love to shop online and are flocking to e-commerce stores at an increasing rate. In fact, 782 million people purchased online in 2020 and 62% of shoppers said they were going to increase their online spend for 2021’s Chinese New Year.
Of course, while the wins can be high on the buy side — the supply side isn’t without its issues when Chinese New Year comes around.
But fear not! In this post, we’ll reveal why Chinese New Year is one of the hottest opportunities for e-commerce stores. We’ll also share how you can capture more sales and dodge operational disasters to make this Chinese New Year your biggest and brightest yet.
The scoop on Chinese New Year
- Why the best time to prepare for Chinese New Year is right now
- How to win during Chinese New Year: E-commerce edition
- The blueprint for a profitable Chinese New Year
Let Chinese New Year be an opportunity, not a setback. Discover how SellersFi can help you get ahead.
Why the best time to prepare for Chinese New Year is right now
Chinese New Year, or “Chunjie” as it’s affectionately known, is on its way and there’s no time like the present to get ready for it.
But if you’re just recovering from Q4 and eyeing up key celebrations like Valentine’s Day, you’ve probably got a lot on your plate.
Before we dive into the practical tips to help you ace the Chinese New Year holiday both on the sales and supply side, let’s take a minute to explore some of the reasons why this is one holiday you definitely want to be ready for.
Beat the last-minute supply chain crunch
From buying raw materials to getting your goods shipped before the last vessel sets off, speed is the main motto in the run-up to Chinese New Year.
You’ll need to get your orders with suppliers and vendors early to avoid price hikes and delays for things like:
Plan how you’ll get and stay in stock
Some suppliers shut down their operations for an entire month. That’s right, that’s an entire month without access to goods, even if you run short. 😨
And to make matters even tighter, the cut-off date for securing goods can be much earlier than the Chinese New Year, making it easy to get caught out.
To avoid costly stockouts, you’ll need a plan that:
- Accounts for the increased holiday sales online.
- Gets you enough inventory to cover the time your suppliers are away.
- Covers how long it takes to get goods made and shipped to your warehouse.
Reach a wider market 🌏
When Chinese New Year rolls around, so does the potential to reach shoppers outside of China who also celebrate this occasion.
Consumers throughout South East Asia like the Philippines, South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore, plus communities around the globe all celebrate Chunjie.
When you get prepared for Chinese New Year, you gain access to markets and people you may not be serving in your business. With the right formula for boosting sales, brand awareness, and customer acquisition, you can scale your sales big time.
CNY 2022 is going to be huge. Make your store roar this Tiger Year with SellersFi.
How to win during Chinese New Year: E-commerce edition
With so much cash up for grabs, you need to position your brand to shine — not only on the sales side but on the supply side too.
Let’s dive into the steps to take to ensure this Chinese New Year is a hit with your customers (and bank account).
Start your prep early
This first step may seem simple, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to fall behind on your Chinese New Year prep.
When you’re going full steam ahead on your new year goals and still crunching the numbers from Q4, time flies by fast. So start your Chinese New Year early.
A three to four-month headstart should cover you but if you’ve missed this slot, don’t sweat it. Just get started with your prep as early as possible then schedule preparations early for the following year’s celebrations.
Optimize your supply chain
To ensure your store runs like clockwork when demand spikes, it’s important to get your supply chain up to scratch.
Look for ways to improve your output from design to delivery so that you’re not only more profitable and efficient, but also leave a lasting impression on your new Chinese New Year shoppers.
Here are some key business tasks and areas to get ready for the Chinese New Year rush:
- Inventory forecasting: Create a sales forecast to understand your store’s demand levels, including any key holidays you’ll celebrate in Q1 too. 📈
- Manufacturing: Lock in your production slots with your suppliers and create a timeline with a buffer to absorb any delays. Also, refill your backup stock and set up accounts with local suppliers to create a three-layered defense against stockouts.
- Shipping: It’s common for shipping companies to hike their prices as demand increases and space becomes more limited. Get outbound shipments to the port at least two weeks before Chinese New Year and use a reliable freight forwarder.
- 3PL and warehousing: Communicate with your warehouse to drip-feed stock to your 3PL provider to reduce storage costs. Also, make your 3PL aware that you’ll be participating in the Chinese New Year celebration so they can ramp up your services in time.
- Marketing: Make your marketing team aware of the upcoming celebration and design campaigns to attract shoppers. For example, you could blend pay-per-click advertising with influencer marketing and email marketing to get more eyes on your products in new territories fast. Also, keep an eye on your inventory availability and marketing-generated leads to ensure they align.
Analyze shopping trends to uncover potential products and promos
Whether it’s bundling existing items or a fresh drop, Chinese New Year is a great time to release new products. To ensure your offers get the best response, study buying trends in the territories where you intend to market.
For example, luxury goods are popular in China, so if you can create a high-end, limited-time product, now’s your chance. Also, analyze your competitors’ past and present offers so you know what to beat and can craft an irresistible offer.🔍
- What products are popular in the market right now?
- What items are rising stars in our niche at the moment?
- What marketing channels and types work well with our target market during the festivities?
- Which offers were successful for our competitors last year? This year?
- Are there any promotions our competitors are running now we can adapt for bigger results?
- How can we tie traditional Chinese New Year gifts into our offerings?
Decorate your store by highlighting Chinese culture and traditions
Share helpful content and educate your audience in other territories on things like the 15-day schedule for the Chinese New Year celebrations. Note what animal the year is and share what this represents.
For example, 2022 is the year of the Tiger.🐯
The belief is those born during the Tiger year are confident, assertive, and natural-born leaders. Why not take a moment to shout out the people that fall into this demographic and drop daily gems on the Year of the Tiger to engage shoppers?
The color red is also a signal of good luck and prosperity in China, and many give gifts using a small red envelope.
Plus, the red lantern is the most popular and crucial symbol for Chinese New Year. So, spruce up your marketing to engage shoppers and spark joy and excitement among them through things like:
- Red banners and decorations on your website and social media.
- Well wishes in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English.
- Free gifts in red envelopes.
- Use red packaging or details. 🎁
Get funding to cover high expenses
All the stock and back-office preparation is great for getting ahead of the Chinese New Year mayhem and crushing your sales goals, but it can also get costly.
Depending on how far into the future you need to cover inventory and your estimated demand, you could see costs double or even quadruple.
But don’t panic, you don’t have to foot the entire bill out of your pocket. Flexible e-commerce funding can help reinforce your cash flow so your store can manage all the planned (and unplanned) expenses that crop up.
For the holiday seasons, working capital usually works best. You can withdraw from your assigned cash pot as much or as little as you’d like.
The blueprint for a profitable Chinese New Year
Chinese new year offers a fantastic opportunity for your brand to forge deeper connections with customers, expand its reach, and level up your supply chain.
But competition is stiff during Chunjie, so precise planning and execution are critical to get ahead and win over shoppers.
You’ll need to understand what your target is looking for and then add more value. Create unmissable products and promotions and seal the deal with an ultra-sleek delivery to ‘wow’ your visitors.
The clock is ticking, so don’t sleep on this huge opportunity. Start drafting how you’ll nail your product line, marketing, and supply chain for a successful Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year could be the spark that lights up your e-commerce store. Find out how SellersFi can help you go in with a bang.