Get Your eCommerce Business Ready for a Successful Holiday Marketing Season!

For business owners, the holiday season is the busiest and most stressful time of the year. Every year, store owners prepare for the fourth quarter to keep up with consumer and economic demand. After all, this is where most businesses generate the bulk of their annual revenue each and every year!

With COVID-19 pushing more and more retail volume online, you need to be prepared for an influx of orders over the next few weeks so you can reap the benefits of this record-breaking holiday shopping season. A few ways you can start doing this is by running paid ads, making sure your checkout process is seamless, and having those discount codes ready to go on your website.

Below are a few more helpful tips to get your ecommerce business ready a successful holiday marketing season.

Get your Website Ready

Since most people will do their holiday shopping online this year, expect an increase in traffic to your site. You want to make sure your website can handle a surge of traffic and transactions. Also, check your site speed. According to Google page speed insights, your website MUST be mobile friendly FIRST (Google no longer considers Desktop load speed a ranking factor) and it should load within 2 seconds.

Your customers also expect fast-loading web pages and a simple, streamlined shopping and checkout experience. Your site speed should be under three seconds. Otherwise, you’ll be looking at very high bounce rates. Lastly, check your third-party integrations. Make sure they’re up to date and can handle the load. 

Make sure your website has a solid infrastructure, updated third-party integrations, and can handle the increased traffic this holiday shopping season.

Plan your marketing early

Most ecommerce businesses start planning their holiday marketing campaigns as early as July and August. Some even start planning in January right after the current holiday season (it’s the best time to review your campaigns, what worked, what didn’t and how to improve for the coming year). Take note that holiday shopping is expected to start early this year due to longer shipping times because of the pandemic. People have been searching for gifts as early as mid-October. Don’t panic if you haven’t started your marketing yet…there is still time to get a quick plan together (market to your email list, start a paid campaign, develop a strong content strategy for the next 6 weeks).

Make sure you have enough inventory

The presence of a global pandemic this year has even changed the way we shop. For instance, you might notice a decrease in inventory at your favorite stores where you normally shop. This is due to supply chains being pulled back or completely becoming non-existent this year.

While online shopping is nothing new, there has been a significant increase in online purchases this year. And the holiday season is set to center around ecommerce stores for the first time. 

You want to make sure that you’re adequately stocked and can re-order inventory quickly when it becomes necessary. If possible, you should plan to ship at least 10 to 12% more products, especially your best-selling items. The last thing you want to lose sales to your competitors because you ran out of inventory. If you are worried about having too much and not being able to sell it all, you can catch up next year will close out sales and spring deals that will bring your inventory and your profits back to stable.

Up your social media game 

Your customers are on social media. Use it to reach potential customers and grow your customer base, and most importantly use it as a shopping platform to make more sales!

In 2020, due to the pandemic crises, Facebook made it easier than ever to set your business account up as a storefront. They redid the entire Catalog and Commerce manager to set your business up for success during this hard time so many small businesses are facing. Intenerate these new features with your website and you have a whole new sales channel to help you generate even more sales on autopilot.

Make sure that your social media marketing campaigns are in place before the holiday marketing season. Some good ideas for camping’s this holiday are buy-one-get-one, 50% off storewide, or special discounts on your most popular items. Its even an great time to start building your email list so you can notify your people of all your seasonal sales and special offers.

For more information about social media strategy, read our article on organic social media content and strategy development.

Offer free shipping

Do you offer free shipping? If not, then we encourage you to introduce the feature this holiday season. Then keep it all year long!

It has been proven time and again that consumers would rather spend more on products that pay for shipping fee. In most cases, consumers abandon their carts due to shipping costs. Especially if that cost is coming from overseas. Nothing is worse than paying more for shipping than the cost of the actual product you are selling. If you can remove that point of friction, you’ll see an increase in your average order volume and value. 

Automate whenever possible

Once the holiday rush hits, you and your team will be busy fulfilling orders. You may not realize it, but small tasks such as printing shipping labels, sending emails, and other similar tasks can add up. 

Use automation tools to help you save time and to make things easier for everyone. For instance, having a chatbot can provide numerous benefits for your business. A chatbot can provide customer service 24/7 and engage with your prospects. Also, utilizing email marketing software like Klaviyo or MailChimp allows you to automate your email marketing communications. Integrating a bot can help you with essential marketing and shipping commination’s including discount code delivery, welcome email, cart abandonment follow up, order tracking, text messaging on delivery and SO much more! To learn more about integrating a bot to your ecommerce sales process take a look at our chat marketing services!

Ensure your customers will have the best user experience

We live in an age of convenience. Customers, in general, appreciate uncomplicated online transactions. With that in mind, try to minimize the hassle in the checkout process. 

Since the holiday season is usually the busiest season of the year, it is important to have a dedicated team to respond to inquiries quickly. Be prepared to handle any questions and concerns, and make information readily available. The ideal turn around time for these communications should be no more than 24 hours. 

Remember, happy customers spend more, they tell their friends about you, and leave glowing reviews! Ensure your customers have the best experience engaging with your brand at every interaction they encounter while shopping with you. 

Here’s to a prosperous and successful holiday marketing season!

Published November 17th, 2020 by Deonnah Carolus