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Is Your Ecommerce Site Ready To Bring In The Holiday Shoppers?

November 20, 2020

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Is Your Ecommerce Site Ready To Bring In The Holiday Shoppers?

How can I make sure my ecommerce site is ready for the busy holidays?

  1. Make sure your inventory is well-stocked.
  2. Make sure your website is performing as it should.
  3. Your site should be optimized for mobile.
  4. Make a plan for holiday content.
  5. Roll out sales emails and automations.
  6. Offer free shipping.
  7. Make great customer service a priority.
  8. Include a strategy for repeat customers.

As an ecommerce business, the holiday season is your time to shine. 

The holidays have the power to make or break your overall financial success for the whole year. It’s crucial. Do-or-die.

And being in the midst of a global pandemic, you’re sure to see more traffic to your site than last year as shoppers try to avoid crowds.

That’s why it’s so important for you to make sure your ecommerce site is ready for the most wonderful time of the year.

Answer these questions to prepare your business for a profitable season.

8 Questions To Make Sure Your Ecommerce Site Is Prepped

Take the time to answer each of these questions and ensure that your holiday season is highly-profitable.

1. Is Your Inventory Well-Stocked?

The last thing you want to do is to run out of one of your biggest sellers.

Make sure you have a system in place for reordering inventory when something’s running low – especially for those most popular products.

2. Is Your Website Performance Up To Speed?

You’ll be getting a lot more traffic during the holidays. Your ecommerce website needs to be prepared to handle the greater demand.

Even increasing site speed by mere milliseconds can keep customers from leaving products in their virtual carts or bouncing to another store.

It’s a good idea to have a member of your team test how quickly each page of your website loads. 

Pay attention to the small details like how long it takes an image to load and how quickly the checkout process moves along.

3. Is Your Ecommerce Site Optimized For Mobile?

The truth is, many, many people are shopping from their mobile devices. Add that to the fact that they want what they want NOW, and it’s a no-brainer that you’d better be prepared.

It’s vital that your store’s site is mobile-friendly and that all the elements function as they should on a phone or tablet.

Do this before the busiest part of the season hits so you don’t risk losing customers who will bounce to another site that is more responsive.

4. Do You Have A Plan For Holiday Content?

This isn’t a one-and-done type of thing.

You should be providing your audience with great content during the whole holiday season.

Social media should definitely be a part of your holiday content strategy, too. 

Did you know that peer recommendations carry a much bigger weight with potential customers than almost any other factor? Don’t miss out on a golden opportunity and get people talking about – and share-share-sharing – your product.

Create gift guides and list posts, and write blogs that focus on the holiday season.

5. Do You Have Sales Emails And Automations Ready To Roll?

The bottom line? Email works.

Is there really a better time of year to create a series of sales emails than the holidays?

No way.

Here are a few examples of campaigns you can run:

  • Do a promotion before the holidays to get your audience to start thinking about what they’ll be buying this holiday season.
  • Target last-minute shoppers with emails that convey urgency. 
  • Abandoned cart reminders are more of a MUST than a suggestion. Hit the customers who leave items in their cart with a message about an hour after and then another reminder at two hours.

6. Have You Considered Free Shipping?

If free shipping isn’t one of your usual offerings, think about rolling it out for your customers during the season of merriment. 

Don’t think it’s that big of a deal? Consider the fact that 88% of ecommerce shoppers would rather have free shipping than fast shipping. 

Considering how much more online shopping people will be doing this year, the impact could be huge.

Little girl running away, free shipping

Still not convinced? The #1 reason people leave items in their carts and move on is….yep, you guessed it: Shipping costs.

Take that issue off the table and you’ll see a rise in the value of each order, the volume of your orders and an overall greater profit.

7. Are You Putting Special Emphasis On Customer Service?

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most frantic, rushed, frenzied time of the year, as well.

Customer service that goes above and beyond will score you big points with frustrated, impatient shoppers.

Here are some ways to strike the right note with your customers:

  • Include an FAQ section on your site. It may relieve the demand on your customer service reps. Of course, FAQs won’t handle all the issues, but it works as a way to reduce the number of requests.
  • Be straight with your customers. Your return policy should be clear and easy to understand. Is shipping moving slower during the holidays? Let your customers know that, too. It’s all about communicating and managing expectations. Don’t promise what you may not be able to deliver.
  • Think about using customer service software. Do some checking around online and find one that suits your particular business; there are plenty of them out there.

And first and foremost, remember that kindness always matters!

8. Is Creating Repeat Customers On Your Radar?

This is the perfect time to think about customer loyalty.

You want – need – repeat customers to keep your business thriving throughout the whole year. Take the opportunity to cement relationships and build new ones during the holiday season.

If you’re thinking, “Sounds great, but I have no idea how to do that,” don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with some ideas that will make your customers keep coming back.

Create Engaging Email Campaigns

Before you get into the thick of the season, prepare welcome emails, nurturing workflows, and sales emails, too.

Reward Loyalty

Who doesn’t love to get their card punched at the coffee shop or take advantage of the “special” price in the grocery store when you swipe your card?

Take the same idea and create a customer loyalty program for your brand. It could be based on a points system, or another creative idea you come up with.

The important thing is that you show customers that you recognize and value their loyalty to your store.

Go Above And Beyond

Try to exceed the expectations that customers have for you and your business. Provide great customer service and a product that solves their problem and you’ll have a buyer who keeps coming back. (Plus, they’ll probably spread the word to family and friends, too!)

Final Thoughts

Preparing your ecommerce site for the onslaught of holiday shoppers may seem daunting. But asking yourself each question on this list and putting the tips into practice will ensure that you see your best year yet in terms of holiday season sales.

If you’d like some help with ideas, direction, or implementation, get in touch with us today and we’ll put a plan together for you!

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