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132. [BIZ BITE] How Do I Accommodate My eCommerce Customers While I’m on Vacation

132. [BIZ BITE] How Do I Accommodate My eCommerce Customers While I’m on Vacation

Sometimes your life and business don't align, and until you have a team to manage your eCommerce business while you're away, you might have to temporarily shut down operations so you can take a real vacation. So… what do you do? Let's talk about it.

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The other day a lounge member posted in the group that she was going on vacation out of the country for 19 days and her assistant was also going to be on vacation during that time. She was stressed out because she wasn’t sure how she was going to accommodate her customers during that time, especially those who tended to pick up their online orders in person at her brick + mortar. 
She was throwing around ideas of having her assistant process orders maybe 2 times while she was gone, but that wasn’t going to solve the problem for her local pickup people. 

So here’s what I suggested…

Instead of focusing on how to accommodate your customers while you're away – focus on how you can mold them to your timeline. Just like you would tell people who usually book in-person services to schedule their appointments before you leave, do the same thing for those who purchase products.

If you can have someone ship order 1 or 2x while you're gone, then that's great for those who miss the memo…

but ultimately I would create a mini-marketing campaign around this like you would for any holiday or promotion. You don't have to have a sale, you just want to make sure that you're letting people know they'll want to order by X date and time to ensure they're stocked up before you're closed. Maybe you do an extended pick-up day for those in-person people where you stay open a little later if they're usually too busy to swing by.

Start talking about it at least 21-30 days before you leave so people know – and make sure you're talking about it A LOT! Remember, people don't pay attention. We have to repeat ourselves. 

Use the strategy in the product launch + promo process for your email strategy. Start talking about it early, remind them at least 1x per week + then get more aggressive with your messaging as the cut-off day gets closer.

Then, you'll want to put up notifications on your site that you'll only be shipping orders on X days during this date range and orders will be ready for pickup on the date you're back – put it in as many places as you possibly can on your site. You can even add a pop-up through Klaviyo to show while you're away. 

Update your confirmation + post-purchase emails as well as a reminder.

Yes, as a business owners we want to support our customers and give them amazing customer service, but sometimes logistics are hard and as long as we set expectations and communicate with our customers there’s no reason why we can’t train them to work within our boundaries. 

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The Lounge: Membership for eCommerce Business Owners

Hey, I'm Jessica

I support scrappy female entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow and scale the traffic, sales & profit in their eCommerce businesses. 


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