12 Steps To Get Your eCommerce Site Ready For Holiday Season

No matter if you’re a brand-new online retailer or have been around for awhile already, festive sales represent almost 2 to 4 dollars of your earnings from each sale made during festive sales season. Now is the time to prepare your store properly for festive sales season!

  1. Conduct Your Due Diligence Early

Start planning ahead now for an incredible holiday sales boost by carefully reviewing both desktop and mobile websites in August. Does the design need updating? How fast is checkout? Are there new items needed in stock or trends happening within your industry that could change things for you? Doing this now will set you up for success come November/December sales season.

  1. Launch Email Campaigns Now

Don’t send too many emails at once. Plan early; review and prepare your mailing list by November, then carefully schedule and execute updates, pre-holiday sales, gift suggestions and last shopping day notices as necessary. Measure response rates closely so you can tailor tactics as necessary to maximize email campaigns.

  1. Plan Your Social Media Efforts

By October, your social media announcements should be well planned out. Include discounts, campaigns, urgent offers and follower rewards as part of this plan. Blog about gift ideas and suggestions on your blog; increase email and RSS subscription; host contests on social media with prizes like coupons; use Pinterest boards to showcase gift items available in your store – these should all be prepared beforehand for optimum effectiveness!

  1. Prepare For An Expected Traffic Jam

Holiday season means extra traffic; test your servers to manage additional load management needs and monitor for transaction errors during checkouts – nothing puts people off like 502 and 404 errors! Brush up on all aspects of your site, servers and internal business processes in order to handle maximum traffic flow.

  1. Launch PPC Research Early

Research the search terms that buyers will use to locate your site. Analyze last year’s keyword list and optimize those that could benefit. Be wary when investing – spending too much of festival sales funding on keywords can quickly gobble up funds for sales at festivals!

  1. Tailor Your Holiday Messaging

Design multiple landing pages tailored to the traffic sources that bring in visitors – newsletters, PPC Ads, search engine results pages, social media links, blog links etc. Incorporate holiday-specific messaging and product details that remain consistent across pages.

  1. Determine How To Manage Shopping Cart Abandonment

Analysis and segmenting cart failures. Try and capture customer emails while they leave, emailing them with an attractive offer to lure them back, if you don’t already have their emails then retarget through an Ad campaign if necessary. Furthermore, monitor where these cart failures are happening so as to address any lingering issues and correct them where necessary.

  1. Get Creative With Shipping Solutions

Make plans and determine your shipping schedules ahead of time to accommodate last-minute shoppers and their priority shipping needs. As an incentive for purchases above X amount, offer overnight or free shipping with heavy discounts attached – for instance.

  1. Stock Up
    Before sales commence, keep an eye on your inventory needs and replenish any that will quickly sell out. Communicate with suppliers early about expected shortages; and stock up on items which make good gifts or popular picks that could sell fast.
  2. Make Post-Holiday Plans

People don’t just look forward to festival shopping; many anticipate post-festive sales as well. You should start targeting these shoppers a week or more prior to Christmas and promote special post-holiday discounts and sales shortly thereafter in order to maintain momentum throughout 2019.

  1. Offer Gift Vouchers
    Not knowing exactly what to get their loved ones for the holidays can leave many searching for gift vouchers with attractive discounts. Your business can benefit from offering them and offering even greater incentives by adding added value with bulk orders.
  2. Offer Freebies
    One way you can drive sales this holiday season is to offer early bird and minimum cart value offers, offering free gifts to shoppers who buy early for Christmas or exceed a set amount in their shopping. No one says no to free gifts during Christmas time!

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