The holiday season is just around the corner. It’s the best season to be in business – assuming you’re adequately prepared.
It’s easy to under prepare for the approaching season as a business owner. This is why many online retailers fail to grab the opportunities by the horn by offering discounts and promotions.
But if you want to make 2015 your best year to date, it’s time to start planning.
Here are several steps you can take to ensure your ecommerce store is ready for the Christmas rush.
Create A Plan
The sooner you make a plan, the better. Many companies actually start putting together their Christmas strategy in August. You may not be able to do that, but the point is to get started as early as you can.
Here are the key elements to a good strategy:
- A promotional calendar. Think about which holidays you’re going to have promotions for. Be sensible in your approach. Participating in every holiday will prove challenging at best. Make note of the most important dates in your calendar. Determine when the promotions will go live on your website, and when you will be stopping them.
- A revised return policy. It’s a good idea to have a more lenient return and exchange policy for the holiday season. It is not advisable to make an adjustment like this on the fly, but if your processes are agile enough, it will be a value-add for your customers. Consider whether or not it makes sense for your store.
- Free shipping. As with your return policy, you should also evaluate whether or not you can offer free shipping. Those making last minute orders aren’t going to want to pay for exorbitant shipping fees. They’re going to want to get through the checkout process as fast as they possibly can. Offer free shipping if it fits with your plan.
- Gift wrapping. Packaging makes a big difference during the holiday season. Make sure to offer your customers a few different options.
- Diversified payment methods. Could you add additional payment methods in lieu of the holiday season? This will help you convert more shoppers.
- Marketing. You need to make your buyers and potential customers aware of your holiday promotions. Do you know how you will be marketing to them? Take some time to figure out how you will be using content, emails, social media, ads, and retargeting to get more customers into your digital doors.
Adjust Your Website Design
You could have the best promotion on the planet, but if no one is aware of it, you’re not going to drive more sales:
Display prominent banners on your website showing your customers what products they can save money on. Create a festive design, and assure holiday shoppers that they’re in the right place.
Create a page where visitors can see all of your offers at a glance. Highlight best sellers and special offers. This is particularly great for shoppers that don’t necessarily celebrate Christmas.
Here in the mobile age, it is also wise to prepare your website for mobile commerce. Assess whether or not your site is properly optimized for smartphones and tablets. Ensure that your mobile checkout process has as little friction as possible. Otherwise, converting mobile shoppers will prove daunting.
When you have Christmas offers you want to promote, don’t forget to audit the look and feel of your website and optimize it for best effect.
As an ecommerce business, preparing for Christmas is not a walk in the park:
There are a lot of different things to think about, and you may want to temporarily adjust your systems to allow for more flexible pricing, shipping and packaging options. You also need a marketing strategy that grabs the attention of your target prospects.
Keep your eyes on the goal of generating more sales during the Christmas season. This will help you get through whatever challenges you might encounter on the way to offering a great holiday shopping experience.
When you are ready to expand your market, or don’t have a simple solution to your international ecommerce fulfillment, talk to Floship, get a free evaluation of how we can help you grow, here.