I have recently had several discussions with online store owners and a few of my peers concerning online sales for the Christmas season. As any online store owner knows, there is a strategy for having a successful ecommerce business. In fact, there are a number of things that online store owners need to accomplish before the holiday shopping season is in full swing. The topics discussed revolved around the “do’s and don’ts” of online marketing targeted specifically for the holidays. Some of the tips were common business sense, but I compiled a list of the “not-so-obvious” tips we talked about. I realize this article should have come earlier in the season but you have ample time to prepare for the next big holiday.
The tips below aren’t in any particular order as they are all equally important.
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Make sure you have deadlines.
This can easily lift a lot of tension from your shoulders early in the season, so we highly recommend that you sort this right from the beginning! You should also consider having an early cut-off date the first few weeks of December to make certain your packages can be delivered in time.
Make sure your server can handle the extra load.
Normally through the holiday season, your server may get up to 5 times more traffic. The last thing you need is to impede your shoppers. We would recommend that you simply check with your hosting provider to ensure your bandwidth allotment and server specs are equipped for the additional load during this busy season!
Optimize, optimize, optimize?
There have been too many times when we are asked to assess a customer’s website for efficiency and notice each page lags due to excessive large images. Ecommerce sites are particularly prone to this because of the significant number of images, so it is crucial to make certain that your image sizes are not too large. There are a variety of ways to reduce the images to a decent file size and still maintain visual quality for your customers, and won’t increase the load time of your website.
Market like there’s no tomorrow!
Standing out amongst the crowd during the frantic Christmas season is key. You will will need to consider how you will inform your customers as to what offers are available and how frequently. Your marketing needs to be distinctive, with the focus drawn to vital information such as special pricing and dates.
Be more social.
Every know the best opportunities to get people engaged with your brand these days is by way of social media websites. A couple status updates and a few tweets every now and then, will help spread the news about your offers. I find that holding some kind of competition is an excellent resource. Remember to try and keep it festive.
Have the goods on hand.
Make sure that you have sufficient numbers in inventory for all your merchandise. The last thing you need right now is for your hot ticket item to be out of stock. If you are concerned about your overstock not all selling, that is what January is for!
We highly recommend that you make your website responsive to cater to the smart phone shoppers. It is not the quickest of tasks, but you will soon start to enjoy the benefits.
Advertise your best sellers!
I mentioned above about the importance of having your hot ticket items in stock. But if you do not actively advertise your best selling items they will not sell so well. Advertising makes it possible for you to show possible customers what other customers are liking and buying. Another effective strategy is to create a gift guide highlighting your products to the customer.
During this season everyone is trying to be frugal looking for ways to save a little money whilst shopping for presents. If you have special offers on your site it is sure to draw in the customers. A good practice is to compare offers with your competitors. Make sure that your site stands out with the best offers!
Other Tips for Online Store Owners
- Utilize registries and wishlist to the fullest
- Offer customer rewards
- Accept more methods of payment and backup gateways
Author: LA Pride
LA Pride is a native Floridian who is interested in many things including temporal physics, critical thinking, board games, kite boarding and photography to name a few. His primary areas of interest include web CMS, vector and 3D art. He is also the Founder and Sr. Web Developer of NQN Media Group. You can visit his website, or friend him on Facebook.