Holidays! It's that magical time of the year when people spend the most money on gifts for friends, loved ones, and themselves.
A recent study has indicated that the holiday shopping season in 2021 generated more than $886.7 billion. And reporters are projecting this year's numbers to be even higher.
During this occasion, shoppers have very, very limited time and absolutely no clue what to buy.
As a professional eCommerce store, you need to make sure everything is smooth and convenient for your shoppers.
Here are the best ways to prepare Your eCommerce store for the upcoming holiday season.
Be sure to stick with us until the genuine bottom end of this article.
Decorate Your Site
If you ever went to the mall during the holidays, you would see that most stores have Christmas-themed decorations to attract more customers.
As an online company, you should do the same thing. Don't just maintain the same appearance you had throughout the year. It's a holiday; spice things up.
For instance, you can add a couple of images and customize them. Or, you can even change the whole theme of the website to bring that holiday spirit.
In addition to all of that, you can also add a few holiday-themed category pages.
Here are a few examples:
- Black Friday deals
- Christmas deals
- Gifts for men (boys)
- Gifts for women (girls)
- Gifts for mom (or dad)
There are a ton of different functional page builder apps that can assist you with this specific step.
Just remember - don't make any changes to the functionalities. Your past shoppers might get confused with the brand-new layout and leave.
Add Holiday Promotions
People spend a lot more money during holidays, that's correct.
But remember, thousands of stores like yours are trying to capture as many sales as possible.
Launching a brand-new flash sale can help create awareness and boost shopper interest.
For example, you can create a "Christmas Sale" that starts on December 24th and ends on December 26th.
During that period all of the products have a 20% discount.
And, if you want to surprise your loyal customers, consider adding a little holiday present (free of charge).
This will improve customer satisfaction and increase the chances of getting a positive review.
Speaking of which…
Focus On Product Reviews
Product reviews can be incredibly important to your business - especially during the holiday season.
Believe it or not, they can help you improve sales conversions in the most effective way possible.
Nearly 88% of all customers trust customer ratings and reviews as much as individual suggestions.
Apart from sales, they can build your store's reputation and even assist with your SEO efforts.
The easiest way to gather and showcase reviews is through apps like Fera.
Beautiful, simple reviews for your siteEasily collect, show & grow customer reviews, photos & videos for your business.
Optimize Page Speed
A report from Kissmetric has stated that over 40% of shoppers abandon sites that take more than 3.0 seconds to load up completely.
You don't want to discover slow load times late during the holiday season.
Most customers that leave a website won't consider returning, which means that you will miss out on a lot of sales.
Consider using a page speed app to completely optimize your site and fix any faulty areas if needed.
Around 230 million US consumers have smartphones. And nearly 79% of those individuals use their devices to make purchases online.
So, if you want to capture those sales, you have to ensure that your site is completely mobile-friendly.
Here are a few tips:
- Ensure your website UX is optimized for mobile users
- Select a responsive theme and plugin
- Redesign the pop-ups for mobile devices
- Consider average phone sizes and holding positions
- Test your mobile version websites before the holiday
Send Email Campaigns
Email marketing is unquestionably the most notable marketing method available right now.
It can help you remind customers about the magical holiday season and bring them to your store.
In order to stand out in the overflowing inbox, you need to get creative.
Here are a few tips:
- Offer holiday promo codes and discount
- Include a clear CTA button
- Add a countdown to create urgency
- Position your reviews at the bottom
- Segment your email lists
Another great tip is sending emails to users who abandoned their shopping carts.
Some studies have shown that these types of emails have an open rate of 45%.
Speaking of email marketing…
Create Personalized Ads
But, what if you want to pull some new customers to your brand? Should you just print out some flyers and start handing them outside?
One of the best ways to capture new leads is by using paid advertising.
All you really need to do is create a couple of holiday-themed ads and target them toward the right customers.
Some of the most popular platforms for running ads are Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Reddit.
They are straightforward to use and come with a ton of tools that can help with personalized advertising.
Offer Free Shipping
Just take this from the respective of your customers:
Product A: $19 + Free Shipping
Product B: $19 + $1 Shipping Fee
Even though the main difference is only $1, you would still end up choosing Product A. Why?
Because FREE is always better!
But let's get back to reality...
Not all of the stores can offer free shipping.
On the one hand, you are more likely to generate additional sales; on the other, you will still need to pay for the shipping out of your pockets.
So, in order to do this, you should consider adding a free shipping threshold to improve the AOV (average order value) and ensure that the orders are profitable.
At the very least, you can only offer free shipping for a couple of days during Christmas.
Alternatively, consider offering fast shipping, such as 2nd-day-delivery, to ensure that the products reach the desired destination on time.
Improve Your Customer Service
Customer service is essential, specifically during the holiday period when shoppers want to get the answers as fast as possible.
One of the best methods to deal with all requests is by implementing chatbots and live chat.
You can consider hiring a part-time virtual assistant just for a holiday - it will all pay off in the end.
Have Flexible Payment Options
The main reason why people shop online is convenience.
Offering multiple payment options is crucial for a smooth checkout procedure.
Some of the most popular ones are:
- Basic credit or debit cards
- Mobile payments
- EMV chips
- NFC card
📝Note: Just make sure that the processing system will be capable of handling all of these payments without an issue.
Hopefully, now you better understand how you can prepare your store for the upcoming holiday season.
Don't waste even a minute and start implementing these techniques as quickly as possible.
If you want to continue learning more about the intensive world of eCommerce, check out our blog.