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10 eCommerce Holiday Planning Tips: How to Prepare Your Online Store for Holiday Sales

Summary: Learn how to prepare your online store for holiday sales. Our 10 tips will help you get your eCommerce shop ready to make the most of the incoming holiday rush.

The holiday season is almost here, and that means retail sales are about to pick up. If you run an online store, you know how important this time can be. Our 10 tips will help you get your ecommerce shop ready to make the most of the incoming holiday rush.

10 Things You Can Do to Get Your eCommerce Website Ready for the Holidays

Prepare Your eCommerce Website for New Visitors

The first thing you should do is update your ecommerce website design. You will need to verify that your website has the bandwidth to deal with the influx of new shoppers, especially during extremely busy times like Black Friday events. Remember to also test any third-party apps you are using to make sure they function as expected and do not slow your website down. You should use as few of these apps as possible to mitigate the risk that any of them will break.

Once you have the fundamentals in hand, review your website’s aesthetics and usability. It should have a clear, attractive layout that showcases key information like product categories, product descriptions, pricing, sizing, and stock levels. Speaking of which, now is the time to restock your inventory. There is nothing more frustrating to a would-be customer than finding out that the product they are interested in is not available.

Update Your Product Photos

eCommerce products with attached photographs sell much better than products without them. This makes sense – your customers cannot see your products in person, so without the photos, they would have no way of determining what your product looks like or whether it meets their needs.

Hiring a professional photographer or a local marketing company is the best way to get high-quality photos. However, there are some apps you can use to shoot professional-looking photographs with a phone camera if that is all you have available to you. Take some new pictures and upload them to your website to give your holiday shoppers a clear look at what you have to offer.

Acquire Some New Reviews

Reviews are an integral part of every successful ecommerce business. Most of your leads will look at the reviews on your products to determine whether they are of good quality. This kind of social proof is extremely convincing, and once you get a few positive reviews under your belt, more generally follow.

Now is the time to work on getting those initial reviews. Create an email campaign that sends a message to customers after they check out asking them to leave a review. Be warned that although it is a common practice, incentivizing reviews is technically against Google’s terms of service. It’s best to avoid this tactic if you can. Many customers will be happy to give you a review in return for nothing more than good service, especially if you go out of your way to make their shopping experience a good one.

Make Sure Your eCommerce Website is Easy to Find

None of your website improvements will matter if no one can find your site in the first place. Working on your search engine optimization (SEO) before the holidays will ensure that your site appears in a high position on search results pages for relevant queries. Not everyone who finds your site this way will buy from you, but it is a good first step toward higher sales.

There are many ways to improve your SEO. You can research relevant keywords and incorporate them into your website copy, publish helpful content that will draw in new users, work on your technical SEO, and more. The best strategies combine several of these aspects to provide a bigger overall boost. As an ecommerce company, you are in competition with every other online retailer who ships to the same markets you do, so you need all the help you can get.

SEO is paramount to successful ecommerce ventures during all times of the year, so it is well worth investing in now. Unfortunately, it can take some time for these tactics to become fully effective. To mitigate this problem, you may want to supplement your SEO efforts this holiday season with pay-per-click (PPC) ads. These ads grant you a temporary boost to your search ranks and will improve your website’s visibility while you wait for your larger efforts to take effect.

Use Social Media Channels to Promote Your Products

These days, social media accounts for an incredible amount of total web traffic. No matter which platforms you use, these channels offer an easy way to reach massive audiences with bite-sized bits of content that show off the best features of your products.

While old standbys like Facebook and Twitter are still useful social media marketing arenas, the real profit in lies in newer, more visual channels like Instagram and TikTok. This is especially true for younger users in the 18-to-35 age range that is specifically targeted by many retailers. Think about your desired audience and their browsing habits, then make a few posts, videos, slideshows, or other content to post in the appropriate places. You can even use integrated selling features like shoppable Instagram posts to make it as easy as possible for users to pick up that shiny new item you are showing off.

Create Some Marketing Emails

Email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise your business. The holiday season is the perfect time to send out a new email to all of your subscribers. Show off some of your most popular products or offer a small exclusive discount as a kind of holiday gift. This not only gives the wares you showcase some extra exposure, but also reminds your subscribers that your store is a great option for their holiday shopping needs.

Marketing automation tools can help you take your email strategy even further with abandoned cart emails that will remind leads to come back for an item they leave sitting in their cart. Many people do this when they are strongly considering an item but want to do just a little more research before they commit. A quick reminder is often enough to nudge them in the right direction.

Create Easy Gifting Options

Many people find shopping for holiday gifts very stressful. Online shopping already takes much of this stress away, but you can make this process even easier for your customers with a few simple tweaks.

Consider adding a “Gifts” category to your website to help users quickly find common gift items like mugs, stationery, and candies. If you do not offer many products like this, adding a set of gift cards provides a similar easy gifting option. You can take this a step further by adding optional extras like gift wrapping and personalized messages to your products. Your customers get an easy way to tackle their gift-giving duties and you get some extra revenue for helping them out.

Kick Off a New Product Launch or a Special Promotion

The holidays are a busy time for all ecommerce retailers, but you can make this time even more lucrative by giving your customers something new to get excited about. This is a great time to launch a brand-new product, especially one that your customer base has been asking for. Limited-time promotions also work well in these instances. You can give your subscribers a coupon code in a marketing email or apply the discounts directly through your website.

The important part of this strategy is creating a sense of urgency in your leads. If people are afraid of missing out on your latest product or your new big sale, they are more likely to make a purchase. This also reinforces your branding by enticing customers to engage with your marketing for personal gain.

Give Your Customers Multiple Ways to Pay

These days, customers expect to have a range of payment options available to them at checkout. This includes standard options like debit, credit, and PayPal as well as digital wallet options like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

If you really want to make your customers happy, consider adding a buy-now-pay-later option like Afterpay or Klarna. These payment options are especially popular with younger consumers who often lack the cash flow to get the things they want right away. Offering them can make buying gifts from your ecommerce shop an option for people who might otherwise have had to shop elsewhere.

Use Smart Marketing to Keep Customers Coming Back

10 eCommerce Holiday Planning Tips: How to Prepare Your Online Store for Holiday Sales
High holiday sales numbers are great, but high sales numbers all year round is even better. Capitalize on your boost in holiday traffic by wowing new customers with an experience they will want to come back for after the season is over.

Personalized marketing is one of the best ways to do this. With the right technical infrastructure, you can allow leads to pick up a new browsing session right where they left off the last time. You can automatically generate a list of products they might like based on their browsing history. You can even offer them loyalty points in exchange for their purchases to incentivize repeat business. The idea is to show them that you understand their needs and value their patronage, creating a stellar customer experience that they are sure to return for.

This Holiday Season, Let Us Help You with eCommerce in Toronto

Your ecommerce store is your pride and joy, and it deserves some expert marketing support to help it shine. WSI Comandix is here to give you that support. Our friendly team of SEO specialists, graphic designers, content writers and more will get your ecommerce website design and marketing campaigns in optimal condition for this year’s holiday season. Contact us today to get started!

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