How to Get Your eCommerce Store Ready for the Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner and for eCommerce store owners, this means the busiest time of year is on the horizon. The best thing you can do for your business and your sanity is to get things ready for the holidays ahead of time. Not sure where to start? Here are a few steps you’ll want to take now to get your eCommerce store ready for everything the holidays can throw your way. 

Review What Happened Last Year
You should always start your holiday preparations by looking at what happened last year. Take a look at the sales you ran, the marketing strategies you implemented, the profits you made, your overall costs, and any pain points you experienced with your site or learned of from your customers. These should help you create a strategy for the current year to maximize your profit potential and ensure a successful and easy holiday season. 

If you struggled last year, look at the methods you had success with in previous years and consider whether you want to implement them this holiday season. 

Make Sure Your Site Is Optimized
Repeat customers may be able to find your site with ease, but that doesn’t mean new ones will. You’ll need to make sure your site is fully optimized so it shows up when customers search for services and products like yours. At a minimum, you’ll want to optimize your site for mobile devices so everything displays correctly when customers are using their phones or tablets. But ideally, you’ll take it a step further.

Proper search engine optimization strategies can help your site show up before your competitors, even when people are searching for your competitor’s products. Keep in mind that these strategies take time and can be difficult to implement on your own. It’s best to work with an experienced SEO team. 

Order Enough Inventory
If there are products you know will be popular this holiday season, stock up on them now. The last thing you want to do is have to display “sold out” banners on your product listings early in the shopping season. Take a look at your projections, any planned promotions you have for the season, and adjust your ordering accordingly. This should help you have enough inventory to meet at least most of the demand throughout the season. 

Not having enough inventory will send your customers running to your competitors immediately. Worse, they could switch their loyalty and start supporting the stores that had what they were looking for, even if it cost them more.

Create Holiday Gift Guides
Holiday shopping can be stressful for your customers. Take some of the stress out of the situation by giving them access to holiday gift guides featuring products you sell. This can give customers inspiration and help them create a shopping list for their loved ones. But it goes one step further. It also creates an opportunity for you to upsell products and encourage customers to spend more at your store. They’ll see more products than they may otherwise view when just browsing your store.

You can write these guides on your own or work with a content marketing team and let them create the guides for you. Content marketing specialists will ensure that each guide is fully optimized and written with your customers in mind.

Set up Different Promotions for Each Holiday
Though the winter holidays are the busiest time of year, it may be a good idea to create promotions for each less popular holiday during the fall and winter months. Halloween promotions, Thanksgiving sales, Black Friday deals, and New Year’s promotions are all great options. But make sure the language and marketing surrounding each promotion is unique even if you’re offering the same or similar deals. This way, you’ll speak to the holiday and create a sense of urgency around the promotion which may encourage customers to buy sooner or to spend more money.

Set up Cart Abandonment Notifications 
Nearly 70% of customers put products in their carts only to click away and abandon the site. Though some may return later and complete their purchases, most simply forget about what they were doing and the products they were interested in. Luckily, there’s a workaround. You can enable cart abandonment notifications which send emails to customers who are already on your email list or have accounts with your store. These emails can remind them that they have items in their cart and may help boost conversions and purchases during the holiday season. 

Offer Multiple Payment Options
One of the best things you can do to help you close sales is to make purchasing from your store as easy as possible. That means you’ll want to accept as many payment types as you can to accommodate more customers. Remember, some customers may not feel comfortable providing you with their credit card information directly. 

If you’re not already, consider accepting PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other similar payment methods on top of the normal credit cards you accept. The more flexible you can be and the more payment types you can offer, the more comfortable customers will feel when purchasing from you. 

Update Your Site With Shipping Info and Return Policies
Customers want to know who will be delivering their packages so they can make the appropriate arrangements ahead of time. Make this information clear and accessible on your shipping page. Tell them which providers you use, how long it takes to process orders on average, and how long it may take for them to receive their package. You’ll also want to make any return policies easy to find and understand since many of the purchases will end up being gifts for others who may want to return or exchange them. If you’re not comfortable writing these on your own, a content marketing specialist will be able to help.

Get Your Site Ready for the Holidays
As long as you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be able to get your eCommerce store ready for everything the holidays bring. But remember, you don’t have to go it alone. At Denver Website Designs, our experienced website development, content, and SEO experts are ready to help you update your site and your content so your customers will enjoy every visit. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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