Preparing your eCommerce business for Christmas
Christmas is arguably the most profitable time of the year for businesses. With increased online spending this past few months, eCommerce businesses have the chance to increase their revenue and close the year with a bang. Here’s how eCommerce businesses can prepare for Christmas.
Stock up on extra inventory
There’s nothing worse than running out of your best-selling products during one of the biggest sales of the year. Check-in with your suppliers early on to ensure that you are well-stocked. Other than the actual products, remember to order packaging, seasonal decorations and branded thank you cards.
Develop an in-depth marketing plan
A well-planned marketing strategy is crucial for eCommerce businesses during peak seasons like Christmas. You’ll need a combination of marketing channels to create awareness, drive traffic, and improve conversion. The most effective marketing methods include:
• Email marketing: Send an email blast to all your current and potential customers, informing them of upcoming offers. If you have VIP clientele, use email marketing to send them exclusive offers and discounts.
• Social media: Use creative promotions such as holiday giveaways, 12 days of Christmas promotions, customer appreciation campaigns, etc., to boost engagement and increase your follower count. Also, create a unique hashtag for your business and use it together with the usual holiday hashtags.
• Content marketing: Create gift guides, recipes, how-to videos, and tutorials to boost your traffic from organic search. Do not forget to optimise your content for SEO by using keywords and backlinks.
• PPC marketing: Paid ads help you put your business in front of your target market. Ideally, it would be best to run the ads for a week or two before the main event to get the best results.
Prepare for increased traffic
As people begin to shop for the holidays, sales are expected to increase over the next weeks. As such, ensure that your website is set up well to handle the surge in traffic. Here are some ways you can prepare:
• Go through your visitor numbers for the past few months and prepare forecasts for Christmas. Using these numbers, check your site capacity together with your hosting provider and make necessary adjustments.
• Test your site to ensure that it is responsive and easy to use on both mobile and desktop. Pictures and text should not be distorted.
• Ensure that your cart is optimised for desktop and mobile devices.
Optimise the user experience
Customers are very sensitive to delays when shopping online. If your website’s load speed is too slow, potential customers will click off your website without hesitation. Therefore, before the Christmas sales begin, test your website to ensure it loads in two to three minutes. Google Page Speed is a great tool to test your website’s load speed.
In addition to that, ensure that you simplify the order process as much as possible. Add a search bar to help customers find products faster and map out the ordering process if possible. Customers appreciate it when you let them know where they are in the ordering process and how many actions they have left.
Review your logistics plan
Your ability to offer fast and reliable shipping could make or break your Christmas sale. Finding free or cheap shipping is also vital as it incentivises customers to check out abandoned carts and order from your business multiple times.