Online store owners often ask us about the best time to start preparing their eCommerce store for the holiday shopping season. Successful eCommerce managers can agree that planning should start as soon as May and June, and that August is a good time to deploy tactics. However, with the assiduous and unpredictable nature of everyday business life, you might find yourself right upon the season to be jolly, not fully prepared for what’s to come. Do not worry; we have a last minute guide on how to get your eCommerce store ready for the holiday season!
It is important to note that if you don’t have your holiday shopping season promotions the week before Black Friday; you will be giving a tremendous advantage to your competition. Online sales certainly boom during the magical season, running from late November to early January. In 2018, eCommerce shoppers spent $517.36 billion online with U.S. merchants, up 15.0% from $449.88 billion spent the year prior, according to a new Internet Retailer analysis of industry data and historical U.S. Commerce Department figures. So if you waited until now to start prepping… the good news is: it’s not too late to have your online store optimized for the holidays!
Let’s take a look at top last minute recommendations to get your online store ready for the holiday shopping:
- Offer free in-store pick up & returns
In order to give your online store a competitive advantage during the Holidays, you might want to reassess some of your policies in order to get it ready for the Shopping Season. During a time when many restrict returns and exchanges, allegedly for efficiency purposes, liberalizing these procedures may prove to be an attractive differentiation tactic. Since many of the purchases are likely going to be gifts, it might make sense to extend the return & exchange period, and seamlessly integrate the process into your customer experience by allowing these to be done in-store. Moreover, click & collect, the marketing buzzword for in-store pickup, hides an untapped potential for many online retailers. Over the 2016 Holiday Season, 69% of shoppers who used click & collect in the US Christmas purchased additional items. Each of these eCommerce generated walk-ins represents an upselling opportunity. Featuring free in-store pick up and returns is a great way for eCommerce sales to drive in-store traffic, offering easy means to maximize the benefits of your online store over the Holiday Shopping frenzy.
- Prepare your discounting tactics
Today, types of discounts as well as manners of presenting them are endlessly available to online businesses, from retargeting to traditional seasonal discounting. These shall be used wisely to realize hopes of delighting shoppers and driving positive results to the bottom line. Discounting is really an art and its adverse effect could hurt your online businesses if misused. Through comprehensive analysis of past customer behaviour, competitor performance, and industry trends, you will be able to determine the most relevant strategies in driving sales and amassing engagement from your customer. Otherwise, you run the risk of deploying campaigns which do not match the expectations of your shoppers, that attract the wrong type of consumer for your brand, or worse, that deem your business unprofitable. However, if prepared well, your eCommerce discounting tactics deployed over the Holiday Shopping Season will drive sales up.
- Integrate Dropshipping
Securing the most efficient fulfilment will certainly set your eCommerce for a successful Holiday Shopping Season. How? Well, dropshipping entails a practice of order fulfillment where a manufacturer or distributor ships a product to a consumer on behalf of the retailer. It minimizes the risks and costs of inventory management, while reaching consumers in record times. This is slowly becoming an expectation, topping the ranks of reasons why businesses sell on marketplaces. Indeed, advantages to this model are already proven in print-on-demand businesses, especially for trendy products. Dropshipping opens the door to even taking your business a step further by allowing you to feature the ability to customize products through a Product Personalization Software. This ability has become a request of 58% of consumers, while 20% would be willing to pay a 20% premium for such option. A business featuring Dropshipping has certainly done all the research to prepare its eCommerce store for the Holiday Shopping Season.
For now, we will take a break here with these three hands-on tactics which will prepare your eCommerce for the Holiday Shopping period. At this date and time this should form a good base to give your online business a competitive edge. If you have any questions about these three points, or are interested to learn more about the benefits of product personalization options for your online business, you can reach Mediaclip at email@example.com.