10 Ways to Prepare Your eCommerce Store For The Holiday Season
As the smell of cinnamon fills the air and the nights start to draw in, there’s one thought which is looming in everyone’s mind – Christmas is coming! You might be thinking that October is far too early for the ‘C word’ but 22% of people start their holiday shopping in October, so when the leaves start turning you need to start getting your business Christmas ready.
With online shoppers getting ready to tackle their Christmas shopping list, you need to get ahead of the Christmas rush and get your eCommerce Store ready for the holiday season traffic to ensure you don’t miss out on any sales.
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Undoubtedly, Christmas is the busiest season of the year for eCommerce businesses, with some website traffic increasing by over 50% within the holiday season. To make sure your website is prepared for the seasonal rush, we can help you review your eCommerce Store to ensure your website is fully optimised and ready for the increase in sales. For more information, get in touch with us on 0800 088 6000, today.
Table of Contents
- Get Organised
- Test Your Website Speed
- Mobile is Key
- Plan your Holiday Content
- Email Promotional Plans
- Optimise your Promotional Copy
- Decorate you Website with a Holiday Design
- Invest in PPC
- Give you Customer Service some TLC
- Go the Extra Mile with Holiday Gift Wrapping and Personalised Features
1. Get Organised
In the calm before the storm, take some time to ensure all your products are stocked and organised in a seamless inventory system. eCommerce companies should prepare for a spike in holiday sales and you don’t want your customer demand to catch you out. Make sure that your inventory monitoring system is up to scratch and reflects what you have available online.
2. Test your Website Speed
For all eCommerce businesses, website performance should be your top priority. Can your website infrastructure handle the holiday spike?
The average website load speed is 3.21 seconds, a good target to get your website speed to. A recent study showed that website bounce rate spiked by 90% if the load time was over 5 seconds. Don’t let slow loading steal your sales this Christmas.
By trusting your website traffic and speed you can iron out any hiccups which might result in a loss of sales – no customer wants their basket being abandoned, or site pages being lost. Test your web speed and page loads to ensure they can handle the increase in traffic. Your eCommerce sales should be a smooth and enjoyable process for your customer as it would be browsing in a brick and mortar store – perhaps with less screaming children and holiday stress!
3. Mobile is Key
Mobile truly is the way forward, with a staggering 70.4% of the total eCommerce spending coming from mobile devices, you need to have a mobile-friendly web page ready for the holiday season.
If you’re not sure where to start with this, ensuring that your website images are responsive for mobile devises is a great place to start. Again, thinking back to the customer’s experience, think of your mobile website as a form of window dressing – draw your audience in, wow them with your products and land those magical holiday season sales.
4. Plan your Holiday Content
Show your social media and blog content a bit of holiday sparkle. When it comes to delivering the Christmas magic, a well-organised content plan will make your life a lot simpler when it comes to the rush of December.
Having a clear content schedule will help you capitalise on the digital buzz around Christmas. Yes, despite the hectic running around trying to find wrapping paper and a novelty jumper, our social media usage increases. Facebook reported a 26% increase in user activity over December, so targeting festive social media content is a perfect way to boost your eCommerce sales. To help you on your way, here’s some easy content Ideas:
· Best Black Friday Deals
· How to make the most of Cyber Monday
· Gift Guides
· Gifts for her or him
· Best ways to treat yourself this Christmas
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5. Email Promotional Plans
The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to create relevant sales emails focused on the joy of the season. From pre-holiday sales promotions to gift guide promotions, a well-crafted email campaign can guide your customers to your website when their considering their holiday shopping list.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales on the horizon, now is the time to start planning your sale strategy and how you’ll market it. These pre-Christmas events bring a rush of inflated sales as consumers lap up the pre-Christmas deals – and you want to make the most of this!
Get your customers pre-sale browsing with gift guides and product recommendations to boost your site traffic ahead of the sale. For during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, have a scheduled ‘abandoned basket’ reminder to reach out to uncompleted customers and grab their attention. A simple “buy today or your basket price will increase!” will spur sales and increase your conversion rate.
6. Optimise your Promotional Copy
Ecommerce sites are perfectly primed to take advantage of SEO to drive your Christmas sales. Get prepared with focused keyword research and interesting content to make your promotional copy increase your website traffic.
Build your web-page content with ‘top of the funnel’ shoppers in mind – these are people who haven’t quite decided on their purchases, giving you a perfect opportunity to build your copy to target key phrases such as ‘Gift ideas for Him’.
7. Decorate your website with a Holiday Design
Go on – embrace the tinsel themes and snowflake backgrounds, it’s Christmas! Decorating your site’s homepage is the perfect way to spread some Christmas cheer and give your customers a festive welcome. Yes, there’s a fine line between festive overload and overcomplicated design, but there are multiple tasteful ways you can spread some Christmas sparkle to your website
Create a unique Christmas landing page from your PPC or email marketing campaigns, fit with festive imagery and links to your product gift lines. Or update your product page banners to get the gift buying momentum going. Design is all about grasping your user’s attention and making them want to make a purchase now, to stop the scroll and push a sale consider implementing:
· Images and videos for each page: Christmas themed and product focused imagery will bring your product or service to life.
· Keep navigation simple: yes, make it colourful, eye-catching and exciting, but make sure that the page is easily navigated and clear to use.
· Original content: make sure that your content always works for you, selling your business’ values, promoting unique products or adding a fresh perspective to an industry conversation – the power of content is endless.
· Word of mouth marketing: business testimonials, client or customer reviews and all round glowing reports of what you do will help drive potential customers through the sales funnel as they buy into your good reviews.
8. Invest in PPC
As mentioned earlier, the holiday season sees leap in digital use and your PPC ads can be tailored to hit this peak in online use and boost your seasonal sales. Integrating the festive season into your PPC campaign is a prime way to prepare your eCommerce store for the festive period.
By integrating Christmas keywords into your PPC ads you will climb the SERPs rankings and see an increase in searches. Your festive ad can take new potential customers over to your Christmas-decorated landing page to immerse buyers in the festive season and drive them towards your festive focused product lines. As well as funnelling your traffic, a festive landing page will help highlight the fun and friendly culture of your business, encouraging new customers to get to know your brand more.
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9. Give your Customer Service some TLC
An extra helping hand for potential customers can go a long way during the Christmas season and help drive your sales. You want to make it as easy as possible for your potential customers to feel confident about purchasing your product or service.
Invest some time into building your self-help tools via a FAQ page to give customers instant reassurance and guidance when browsing your website. FAQs won’t solve every problem, but they will reduce the pressure on your customer service team and act as a good information source for your customers.
For times when FAQs don’t quite cut it, make sure you’ve created clear communication lines for your customers to use if they need extra help. The Christmas season can bring a lot of queries and concerns about shipping. If for example, you know there is going to be a delivery delay, give your customers advanced warning with a pop-up message at the checkout.
10. Go the extra mile with Holiday Gift Wrapping and Personalised Features
The Christmas season is a golden opportunity for upselling and elevating your products or services – and customers are likely to spend that little bit extra on a gift for someone special.
By providing an opportunity for gift wrapping or personalisation, you will give your product a USP which will stand out to customers in your sales strategies. The added extras will help develop a strong sense of customer satisfaction and encourage customers to become repeat customers – and the promise of a returning customer is an added Christmas bonus for you!
Make this Christmas your best yet by optimising your eCommerce website in time for the seasonal rush. For more information or to get in touch with our own team of elves (our expert, friendly marketing team!) call us today on 0800 088 6000.