What is the Chinese New Year?
Unlike regular new year celebrations that take place at midnight between 31st and 1st of January, the Chinese do their own celebrations differently. They celebrate the New year on different dates each year because their celebration is based on a lunar calendar.
Since it is a holiday, people and business are bound to take some time off, which is a two-week duration for the holidays. So, the first step to preparing your business for this break in transmission is getting a clear idea of how long your suppliers intend to go on break before resuming business.
For the sake of posterity and to get you prepared, we have included a forecast of the future Chinese new year celebrations below (2019- 2022).
Chinese New Year 2019 – Tuesday, February 5
Chinese New Year 2020 – Saturday, January 25
Chinese New Year 2021 – Friday, February 12
Chinese New Year 2022 – Tuesday, February 1
How will the holiday affect business?
Prior to the holidays, the process of shipping goods may drag a bit, this is because suppliers will slow down production process some weeks in advance. All this will, of course, have adverse consequences for e-commerce business, as late deliveries may become prominent.
How to deal with late deliveries
Working closely with your supplier, and getting all the details on how they will run their production process during the holiday is crucial in making your plans and explaining the situation to your customers in a clear and polite manner.
You might also want to consider using ePacket since their ship time will be faster than standard shipping.
For those of us that are lucky, our suppliers might not even be based in China; if this is your situation, there is no need to worry much since your suppliers will not be mandated to celebrate the holiday, so you may not experience any delays.
Is shutting down an option?
Closing your store has been touted as a way to play it safe during these holidays. However, we would like to tell you that this isn’t always true. If you play your game right, you can still keep your store open and be successful during this period.
Remember that the holiday lasts for just 2 weeks, your suppliers might resume business before the two weeks are over, so keep your business open, interact with customers, inform them about the holiday and how it will delay delivery, be honest and open, let them trust you.
If they don’t patronize you during the holiday, they will after it!
Don’t close your store and miss out on potential new clients.
Another critical thing to do during this period is to ensure that you are conversant with all the details surrounding your best selling product during this period. Ensure you contact the supplier of your most profitable item and find out their business plan for the holiday and their resumption date.
If they will resume late, it is advisable that you conceal that product from your store and unveil it affect the holiday, this would help you play things safe, so you don’t get bad reviews from clients experiencing late delivery.
Giving in to the fear and closing your store down will only scare customers away, always try to stay active during this period, use social media, reply emails, interact with your customers, this is the time to build trust not shut down.
What are Niches affected the most
Products that sell well in late January and early February are the most affected by the Chinese holidays.
Items that will do well on Valentine’s Day like lingerie or teddy bears may experience delays in arrival. So keep your eye on time-sensitive niches, as they are the niches that are really impacted by the Chinese holiday break.
How to deal with customer inquiries
Questions and queries from concerned customers may pour in during this period. Make sure you take necessary steps to keep your customers calm.
Make an educative post on your website that talks about the Chinese New Year and how it will affect the delivery of products. In case you don’t want your customers to know that your products are from China, you can simply list the dates that will be affected instead.
For example, you can drop a sticky banner on your website stating that: ‘Shipping delays may occur between date-date.’
With this method, you don’t have to let clients know you get stuff from China 🙂
Also, when an order has been placed, you should remind your customers of the delay through email. Setup automated emails to handle this, this is a necessary follow up, in case they didn’t read the sticker on your website.
Respond to all inquiries during this period. People will be unhappy about the delays, but as we mentioned earlier, it is vital to placate them with nice and polite words. Assure them that there is nothing to worry about, as their products will definitely arrive.
Be proactive, monitor all packages being shipped, if you notice any discrepancies or packages that haven’t been shipped, quickly inform your customers about these delays.
Finally, place all your orders on time! This will help you eliminate certain product’s deadlines and prevent any future issues. Keep track of your suppliers timeframe this will ensure your customers receive their products on time!
If you adhere to these tips, then you wouldn’t need to shut your store down during the holidays, you can even make sales and pull in new customers before things go back to business as usual.
Happy New Year guys!
Xīnnián kuàilè 🙂
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