Digital Prep For The Holiday Sales!

Getting Ready for Holiday Sales Before Your Competitors 

picjumbo.com_IMG_4326opens IMAGE file Is your website ready for the holiday season yet? Ask that question during this time of year, and you’ll always be met with a groan of annoyance. I hope you’re not one them. But if you are, consider this: while you’re preparing for end of summer days and fall sales, your competition is already gearing up for the holidays.

Why is that important?

92% of shoppers will go online to either research or purchase gifts this holiday season.

That’s up from 78% last holiday season, and the numbers keep rising. Is your website prepared to handle the strain? What about your e-commerce platform?

John F. Kennedy once said that “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining”. You don’t want to find out on Black Friday that your e-commerce platform and website can’t handle the load, aren’t prepared for the sales, and that you haven’t drawn in the customers you need for the holiday season.

Most e-commerce marketers will have created and launched a holiday marketing campaign before Halloween. That doesn’t mean you should launch in September. Instead, iron out your kinks before the end-of-October launch.

Here are seven ways to get ready for holiday sales before your competitors.

  1. Optimize your Mobile Platform. Make sure your emails contain a single call to action. Simplicity over complicated, especially when you’re talking about an overstimulated shopping force who just wants someone to tell them where to shop and give a compelling reason why. Gear up to send three emails or so a week to effectively remind them about your products or services without annoying them. Also, make sure you personalize your emails to your clients/customers. This is especially true for those who are already valued customers. Use both email and social media to publicize your upcoming holiday deals. DON’T FORGET to link back to your website.
  2. Will you be offering Live Chat as a customer service option? If so, don’t wait until the holiday season to use it! Live chat offers opportunities to help customers if they get stuck on a page. That assistance could be the make or break in your conversion. Find and repair problems now and train your personnel on its use.
  3. Have you set up a “Hello Bar”? This is a bar that shows new discounts or offers. Popups work well here, too, but they can be annoying if they’re too intrusive. One thing you should keep in mind is that 74% of shoppers say they’re influenced by coupons and offers online. Those are numbers you don’t want to ignore.
  4. Limited Time Offers and the Fear of Missing Out. You’ve seen the countdown clocks and timers on sites before. You’ll want to test them early on to ensure they don’t cause havoc with your system, site, or e-commerce platform. Another thing to consider is using the post purchase confirmation page as a chance to offer an up sale at a discounted price and a way of saying thank you for shopping.
  5. Analyze your previous year’s data. What sold the most? Which keywords were most effective in your ad campaigns? Look back at your social media accounts and determine which posts were shared, liked, etc. the most. If you have a social media share plugin for your site, you can easily access those analytics. Where did you fall short?
  6. Optimize your website for holiday SEO. This takes a lot of time, so make sure you get a jumpstart early. You want to rank high in your preferred keywords.
  7. Finally, if you are a product company (as opposed to a services company), one way to be ahead of your competitors is by offering a free shipping campaign if they spend over x amount of money.

These are our tips for setting yourself up for success. How are you gearing up for the holiday season?