The holiday season can be a stressful time for ecommerce sellers, but with a solid plan in place, you can ensure a successful holiday sales season and plenty of happy customers. Get ready to learn how to optimize your ecommerce site (and brand) to attract customers and convert them to buyers this holiday season.
Prep Your Ecommerce Site for the Holidays
A great-looking site that is streamlined, working properly, and offers exclusive deals and efficient fulfillment choices goes a LONG way in keeping customers happy, especially during this time of year. Logicblock’s eCommerce solutions provide the tools to create an effective and fully customizable eCommerce site that offers cutting-edge tools to optimize both your storefront and your back-end operations.
Here are some ways to prep your site for the uptick in buying.
- Prepare for an influx of traffic by checking how your site looks and operates on different website browsers and across devices.
- Install any third-party eCommerce apps you need early on so you can test them properly before the shopping rush.
- Optimize your UX (user experience), making sure your navigation is clean and that your products are easy to find.
- Fine tune your product pages with good and accurate descriptions and attractive product images.
- Optimize the checkout process with ecommerce checkout process best practices.
- If you haven’t already, sign up for the Google Merchant Center to take advantage of its deep reporting tools, which include a handy performance tab that provides information on your top-selling products and brands, competition, and pricing benchmarks.
- Integrate your ecommerce ERP system with your wholesale distribution system to consolidate customer databases, streamline marketing communications, forecast product demand, keep track of inventory, and ensure proper and timely order fulfillment.
- Sophisticate your internal search bar to deliver the most relevant matches by employing faceted search that offers filters such as price, size, and availability.
As a note, avoid re-doing your site or launching a new app mid-season so you don’t encounter any service and site problems in November and December.
Prep Your Operations
During the holiday season, it is crucial to ensure that your operations are on point, and that means your inventory availability and on-time fulfillment must meet expectations and is optimized for inventory flow. Ideally, you’ve already done this to keep up with the demands of the Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday rush. However, if you haven’t, you can achieve this with the following:
- Expand your pickup and delivery options and, if possible, accommodate those last-minute shoppers with free overnight delivery.
- Pay attention to peak shopping times and make sure you are adequately prepared with plenty of customer service reps available during those times.
- Use demand forecasting.
Demand forecasting is used to help optimize supply chain and inventory management. It analyzes past sales data to predict the potential demand for a product or service in the future and what customers are likely to buy. This information then enables more accurate inventory planning, warehouse management, and sales projections.
There are so many ways to utilize marketing, and each brand has a specific combination of tools that work best for them, so there is no one magic bullet strategy. The trick is finding what works best for optimizing your brand and increasing sales of your products and services while providing value to your customers. Logicblock’s eCommerce solutions offer the following options, plus many more.
- Boost conversions and loyalty by scheduling email campaigns and offering gift cards with cross-channel flexibility. According to Hubspot, email campaigns are still very effective marketing tools when employed correctly.
- Employ strategic nurturing, such as tailoring welcome emails for new customers or offering incentives such as free shipping or discounts to encourage shoppers to purchase items they have been considering or placed in their online carts.
- Create a content calendar for your social channels that engages customers in a variety of ways (such as through blog posts, videos, and gift guides) and adjust as often as necessary.
- Create dynamic content such as live streams and videos.
- Consider partnering with another brand to maximize reach.
- Get some user-generated content from your customers (like asking for reviews or rewarding customers for sharing your content).
- Leverage AI-powered campaigns and tools to help you uncover fresh shopper demand and enhance your ROI.
- Synchronize product listings and promotions such as themed selections, trending items, and unique gift picks across channels.
- Cross-sell or upsell by providing video lookbooks, quizzes, and gift guides, and adding “related products” recommendations for shoppers who aren’t sure what they want.
- Use seasonal adjustments in campaigns to capture increased demand during peak times (but use them sparingly and only for a short duration).
Another tip: use multiple channels when it comes to search and SEO, focusing on locations where your customers are likely to spend time. The more customer-targeted locations where your brand shows up, the greater the visibility and chances of increased business from people in those areas.
Reduce Buyer Stress
Gift guides (especially last-minute gift guides) are extremely useful for shoppers. These can be especially helpful for people looking for something for a holiday party or a gift swap or a stocking stuffer, and for those last-minute shoppers who are desperate to find something quickly. Create guides like this to highlight popular items and/or bundle several small items together in one package. Provide an array of items from various price points and cater to different potential recipients.
Previously, ecommerce holiday shopping would taper off 10 days prior to Christmas, but this time frame has been shortened to 7 days due to increasing efficiency of ecommerce sellers and carriers. As a result, expedited shipping deals (and even offering free and discounted shipping) are even more of a selling point for shoppers these days, especially last-minute shoppers.
People are heavily influenced by a brand’s social presence, so make sure yours is engaging as well as useful. Simple videos and reels are a great tool for this, and with apps like Canva, increasingly easy to create. Show some personality in your posts and language to remind customers you are human first and foremost, and that you understand their holiday shopping concerns and stress because you experience them as well. Then follow that up by showing them how your business can help alleviate that shopping stress for them.
Be nice – this should go without saying, but it is especially valuable to be kind, courteous, positive, and patient during this time of year. A good attitude towards customers not only makes the process enjoyable for everyone, but it also improves your brand’s reputation, which leads to a better bottom line.