The holidays are upon us and preparations for the influx of holiday shoppers are vital for a profitable season. As eCommerce online store owners, it’s an opportunity you should never pass up on. But before you can jump in and aim on getting revenue, you need to prepare your eCommerce store so that your efforts will bear fruit.
1. Optimize user experience.
Make it easier for people to order and checkout. Having a one-page checkout minimizes the time it takes for pages to load. Also, try not to ask for the same information twice, and if you can, make the account creation optional.
It’s also a good idea to ensure your site is mobile-friendly as most shoppers simply use their phones when shopping. While helpful, there is no need to roll out a mobile app version of your store as long as you site has a great flow when opened and presented through mobile devices.
2. Be transparent with your shoppers.
Not being upfront with the shipping costs is one of the reasons why online shopping carts are abandoned. Try to put all pertinent information early on, particularly the full disclosures and the fine print, near the call-to-action buttons.
3. Revamp your policies for the better.
If you don’t already have it, consider offering free shipping and discounts — at least during the holiday season. Not only will this attract more shoppers, considering free shipping costs will eliminate the time it takes for your site to compute for shipping. Make sure to update your exchange and return policies, especially if it’s been a while (it’s good to update it every now and then!). If you can improve them by eliminating the complex steps and complicated fine print, then all the better.
4. Prepare for heavier traffic.
Website navigation changes as well as any migration should be done BEFORE the holidays so that your store will be working efficiently once the time comes.
Aside from people shopping more in general, your holiday promotions could be attracting more people. Hence, it’s best to ask your hosting provider for more bandwidth especially if you’re expecting some traffic. This is an insight to take from what happened to Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star’s Shopify site last November 1 when the site broke down for hours because of too much traffic. What you can do is just try your best to be prepared and anticipate the high volume coming in to your online stores and avoid losing customers through an overwhelmed site.
5. Manage a promotional calendar.
Having a visible schedule, a calendar of events that will help you and your employees be up-to-date on when to roll out certain eCommerce marketing actions. Prepare what time of promotions you’ll want to do, and decide on which holidays you’ll be participating in. This takes us to the next point.
6. Choose your preferred ad channel.
Aside from email marketing, you can choose from a bunch of other things: retargeting, Pay-Per-Click, blog posts, Facebook ads or social media. Once you’ve decided which you will be utilizing, it’s time to integrate specials with your seasonal marketing. Visit your ad settings and change how your target demographic is setup to keep up with the seasons.
Prepare a special landing page for top seller items so visitors know what’s popular. Come up with holiday banners and advertisement images beforehand. You can even get creative, just like Paez with their must-have items from their holiday collection.
You can even use email marketing automation to get your subscribers’ attention. If there’s a promotion going on for an item they left on their cart, you may inform them that they could be missing out on a great deal.
7. Analyze the data in your hands.
If you’ve been using email marketing tools for the past few months, the rich data from your previous promotions would provide information on sending the perfect offers and emails to your customers. Some of them show trends to help anticipate how many interested shoppers you’ll get and which items they are interested in. With enough preparations, adequate training and a good eCommerce automation platform, you can get the behavioral data you need to personalize the online shopping experience. Best to restock and get extra for items that are most likely to get sold out.
While it’s a meticulous process to prepare for the holidays, it will be all worth it. And you can avoid setting yourself up for failure as long as you know how to adjust and adapt with the seasons.