The big holidays are just around the corner for us. It’s that time of year that those who work in online retail and ecommerce management both love and hate in equal measure, but when you get it right, it’s hands-down the most rewarding and lucrative time of the year.
No matter how you go about preparing for this holiday season, make sure you start right away. The holiday season begins earlier and earlier every year, which means online retailers need to be ready way before the big holidays roll around. So stock up early, optimize your site and make sure you’re ready to handle the increased holiday volume and you’ll be in the black before New Year’s rolls around.
Here are 5 quick tips to help you get your ecommerce house in order before the holidays hit.
1. Optimize Your Site
In ecommerce, every second really does count. That’s because according to a report by the Aberdeen Group, even a one second delay in your webpage’s load time can cost you 7 percent of your conversions. And while that might not sound like much, it actually equals a loss of $2.5 million in annual revenue for a company making $100,000 per day. Make sure your site is as streamlined as possible while still providing a pleasant user experience. And if you have a click-through site, you might want to look into converting to a scrolling-based design to cut down on page loading.
2. Especially Your Mobile Site
Mobile devices have now surpassed desktops when it comes to ecommerce traffic, so having a slick mobile-optimized site is absolutely crucial this holiday season. If you’re in the process of building or rebuilding your website, I recommend a mobile-first approach. If you start with the mobile site and build up, you won’t have to hassle with trying to figure out how to pare down your more robust desktop site to suit mobile devices, you’ll already be ready to go!
3. Viral Holiday Giveaways
If you’re already in the online retail biz, you probably have a pretty robust social media strategy in place already. No doubt you’re posting product images and advertising sales and promotions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. all year long. And you should keep doing that by all means, but you should also be doing a little extra this time of year. Viral giveaways are a great way to get people excited about your shop while getting your name out to a wider audience in the process. Simply post a picture of a product that’s appropriate for a holiday giveaway and then ask your followers to share it for a chance to win. This is a super easy and inexpensive way to create some extra holiday buzz.
4. Dress for the Occasion
Show your holiday spirit by decking your webstore out with some holiday themed graphics and language. It might seem silly, but it will help to ensure that your customers are constantly aware of the occasion, which will keep them in the holiday shopping (money spending) mode. It’s also extremely easy to do and it makes customers smile, which is always a plus for you, because, after all, a pleasant shopping experience is the key to repeat business.
5. Flash Sales
While everyone is waiting for those big Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday discounts, you can surprise your customers with a few tempting flash sales to help them beat the rush. Hitting your customers with a surprise post and/or email the day of, or the day before the sale will increase the excitement about it, and setting a tight one-day, or weekend-only time limit on the sale will turn up the pressure to buy, while making it feel more exclusive.
Karen Miranda is a Marketing Specialist with Zobrist, Inc.