Preparing for the Best Holiday Season.
The holiday season is just around the corner. Small businesses must up their game to have the best holiday season. eMarketer research forecasts a big increase in 2021 holiday season sales and revenue while cautioning that the state of the economy will ultimately decide actual sales. In-store retailers might be happy to hear the news that many big box stores will be closed this year after the depressing in-store Black Friday shopping.
Total US holiday retail sales in 2021 will rise 2.7% to $1.093 trillion, while the season’s eCommerce sales will rise 11.3% to $206.88 billion. eCommerce will account for a record 18.9% of total holiday season retail sales. – eMarketer
Here are some tips to make it the best holiday season for your business.
1. Get Set, Ready, GO
Start preparing for the two big days of the start of the holiday season – Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving Day. Make sure your site is updated to handle the increased incoming shopping traffic and does not go down during rush hour. Besides, it is equally important to check your website for any glitches so it loads quickly in seconds and is easy to navigate too.
2. Fulfill Customer Needs
Be prepared for the holiday shopping demand all the time. It would be a cardinal sin not to stock your inventory with stuff that is in demand. When shoppers do not find something in your eCommerce store, they will go elsewhere. Upgrade your website with a festive look and feel while reflecting your brand. Additionally, customers do not hesitate to abandon their shopping carts if the checkout process is complicated and takes time.
3. Highlight Your Merchandise
It’s a smart selling strategy to highlight your products for online and in-store customers. Assemble gift baskets and create bundles to make the job easier for shoppers, though give them the option to plan their own baskets. Additionally, it is a good idea to create a separate holiday section on your website so customers can easily find what they are looking for.
4. Personalize Customers’ Experience
Make customers feel heard and valued. In order to make this the best holiday season, personalize the shopping experience of customers. You could do this by asking them who they are shopping for and then send them promotional content that is relevant to their interest. This will give them a reason to shop with you, thus helping increase your sales and revenue.
5. Expand Payment Options
Make it easy for shoppers to pay. There are several payment options to consider, such as Google Pay, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Venmo.
6. Expand Sales Channels
If you are selling only in your eCommerce store, then it’s high time you shifted your sales efforts to mega-marketplaces, such as Amazon, Etsy, and eBay, among others. Besides, harness the power of social to expand your sales efforts on social media.
7. Convenience is the Key
Customers expect a seamless shopping experience all the time. eCommerce stores should not disappoint consumers by keeping things complicated. Rather, add more convenience to their shopping experience. Free shipping, curbside pickup and buy online, pickup in-store are some of the most attractive ways to entice customers. Not only this, make the process of returns and exchange easy too.
8. Holiday Promotions
To generate a new, organic traffic to your eCommerce store, you must focus on a robust SEO strategy. It is a smart idea to add gift cards too. Any value-added service or extras always make the deal more attractive for consumers. A free gift-wrapping service is another great idea. You want to add to their shopping experience with a loyalty program. Time-sensitive promotions always attract big sales. So consider offering them all season long on different products.
9. Community Marketing
Work in a team with other nearby businesses to boost sales and make it the best holiday season. Together you can host a shopping event for the holiday season and offer discounts to each other’s customers. Join any community holiday-related events to promote your holiday sales.
10. Sketch an Outline of Your Strategy
It always helps to have a marketing and promotion strategy handy. Plan out your strategy to cater to the festive season ahead. For example, start preparing for Christmas after Halloween by the end of October. Send your first batch of emails to existing customers to grab a certain deal. In the beginning of November, send out a Christmas promo email to the same customers. As you hit mid-November, it’s time to drop an email message to all of your customers, highlighting your Black Friday offers. You may want to drop them links to the offers they shouldn’t miss out this Black Friday as well as Cyber Monday.
Continue with your promotions every week after Cyber Monday. What’s new in the store is always a big attraction for customers! Mix and match products to show them what pairs well together. Finally, you want them to know that you don’t want them to miss out their orders unless they place one before a specific date. That ensures they get their orders delivered by Christmas.
Preparing for the best holiday season should get easier with these points in mind. Get started now!