Published 06 February 2018 Category: Entrepreneurs, SMEs, Startups, Business

How Will The Chinese New Year Affect Businesses

There are many rumours swirling around about how the Chinese New Year affects businesses large and small. Some claim that you won’t be able to sell products for three months. The good news is that most of the rumours you’ve read aren’t even close to true.

When Is Chinese New Year 2018
Chinese New Year 2018 will take place on Friday February 16 this year. On average, suppliers take a week off to spend time with their family and friends.

Just as you might have a couple of weeks off work during the holidays, some suppliers might choose to extend their holiday a week earlier or later. They’ll likely start slowing down production before their weeklong holiday. Thus, it’s important to contact each supplier you work with to get exact dates on when they’ll be shutting down and starting up again. Also, it’s good to know dates so that you can slow down your ads during the period.

How Long Does It Take for Products to Ship during Chinese New Year?
Prior to the Chinese New Year, some suppliers might slow down production a week or two in advance. Thus, orders received a week or two before the actual date might be delayed. In addition, orders received during the week of Chinese New Year will experience delays too.

There are a few factors that influence the ship time for the products. You’ll need to contact the suppliers you work with the most to get specific information. Ask each supplier when they’ll stop processing orders and when they’ll start again.

Should I Close My Store for Chinese New Year?
No. There’s no need to close your online store during Chinese New Year. Some blogs and Facebook groups will dramatise delays during Chinese New Year. On average, suppliers take a week or two off. Will Chinese New Year affect your store? Yes, but only for a couple of weeks at most.

What are the best selling products on your store? Contact the suppliers that make your best selling products to find out exactly how long they’ll be off for. Once you have this information, you can decide how to proceed with your store.

In general, if a supplier plans on taking more than a couple of weeks off, hide the items from your store a week or two before the dates they’ll be closed to prevent delays.

Another important reason why you shouldn’t shut down your business during Chinese New Year is you’re going to scare your customers. Imagine ordering from a store and a week later the store closes. Customers who haven’t received their order yet will freak out.

It’s important to stay active on social media, answer emails and keep your store up.

Which Niches Will be Most Affected by Chinese New Year?
When it come to which niches Chinese New Year affects the most it’s typically those in late January or early February. If you have time-sensitive niches, Chinese New Year may affect your delivery times.

How to Handle Customer Inquiries About Late Packages from Chinese New Year
Some customers may be concerned when their package is delayed. However, there are a few extra steps that your business can take to maintain the customer’s peace of mind.

First, ensure that you post on your website that delays may occur during Chinese New Year. If you don’t want your customers to know that your products are from China you can list dates instead. You might want to have a sticky bar banner on your website that states this. You might also want to place it on product pages that you send your ad traffic to.

Second, remind your customers via email of delays as soon as they place their orders. Having automated emails sent out informing them of delays ensures that they get the message in case they missed it on your website. Also, it’s great for reassurance when they realise the order hasn’t arrived yet a couple weeks later.

Third, respond to all customer inquiries. You might have a few upset customers if their package is delayed. However, be kind and patient when responding to them. Aim to respond to all messages within 24 hours so customers can be reassured that their package will be arriving.

Next, make sure you keep an eye on every package that’s being shipped during that period. If you notice a couple items haven’t been shipped around that time, be aware that certain customers may contact you. You can even take the initiative to let them know of any delays. Sometimes it’s better to be proactive than reactive.
Lastly, place your orders on time. Follow your suppliers’ timeframes to ensure your customers receive their products on time.

How to Keep Your Store Afloat During Chinese New Year
As a store owner, you’ll experience a slight hiccup for a couple of weeks during Chinese New Year. To keep your business profitable during that period, you’ll need to make some slight adjustments.

Spend less on Facebook advertising. Now is not the time to scale. As soon as your suppliers come back from their holiday, you can scale your ads. In the meantime, spend less on advertising. Sure, you’ll have fewer orders but at least you’ll have fewer refunds to worry about. Also, focus your ads on products from suppliers who will only be off for a week. If a supplier will be off for a month, avoid promoting their products temporarily. You can also focus on sending traffic to non-Chinese suppliers who don’t celebrate the holiday.

While you might spend less money on advertising, you should still continue posting on social media multiple times a day, blogging regularly and other activities to keep your brand at the top of mind. This helps reassure customers who’ve already ordered while also building relationships with potential customers.

Lastly, keep money in your store’s bank account. You should always have money in your bank account. If you have less money coming in for a week or two, you should still be able to pay all of your monthly expenses with savings in your account. Don’t spend every dollar you make.

When does business get back to normal after the Chinese New Year?
Business will go back to normal about a week or two after Chinese New Year for most suppliers. Some suppliers might be off a bit longer but it depends on each one. You’ll need to contact your suppliers directly to find out more information.

Keep in mind, since Chinese suppliers were off for at least a week, they’ll have a backlog of orders they need to get to first which delays things a bit for them. You’ll want to keep an eye on orders and keep customers informed throughout the process.