Prepare Your E-Commerce Business for the 2020 Holiday Season Now
The holidays will be here before you know it!
During November and December, companies see around a 25 percent jump in revenue, comprising roughly half of all their yearly sales. Even though people are still shopping and buying, this holiday season will be different. Due to COVID-19, more customers will look to online retailing, which is good news for e-commerce companies.
Online Shoppers Will Be Ready, Whether You’re Ready or Not
Traditionally, the holiday shopping season kicks off Thanksgiving weekend, which begins with Black Friday and ending on Cyber Monday. COVID-19 pushes more customers to shop online, from the safety and convenience of their homes. You need to have your website, social media accounts, online ads, customer service, warehouse, and e-commerce shipping ready for increased traffic this year. If your e-commerce and online presence aren’t working at optimal efficiency, you risk losing customers.
With online holiday shopping starting earlier, it is important not to rush your sales and marketing campaigns. Early planning will help you strategize, will prevent rushing, and will allow you to see problems in your e-commerce store beforehand. Effective campaigns include a variety of tactics and channels aimed at meeting your goals and objectives. Website optimization, online and social media ads, email marketing blasts, and product promotions are a few common marketing elements.
Prep Your Website
During the holiday shopping season, websites have an average of 63 percent more visits. On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are up to 120 percent more website visits. Your website needs to be able to handle this type of increase in traffic. It also needs to be easy to navigate.
Mobile shopping accounts for 39.6 percent of purchases throughout the year and 43.8 percent of holiday season purchases. While it’s good to have a user-friendly website, if it isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll risk losing customers who don’t have ready access to a computer. Make sure your e-commerce site is responsive.
Make Sure There’s Enough Inventory
If you’re planning on having a promotion or if you have a #1 selling item, make sure that you have sufficient inventory of those products. Remember that if you run out of stock, your customers will buy the product from your competitor.
Run Online Ads
When people shop for gifts, they look for deals. If you want to promote your products or if you are having a sale, you need to invest in online ads. With many customers shopping online, Google Ads, retargeting ads, and social media ads, such as Facebook Ads, are essential in getting the word out and attracting customers.
Build a Gifts Page
Creating a gift page on an e-commerce website makes shopping easier and more personalized for customers. Gift pages spare customers from having to look around a website for a particular item and offer suggestions to inspire customers about possible gifts. Gift pages often organize company merchandise based on broad categories like men, women, children, accessories, and gifts under $20.
Don’t Neglect Customer Service
During the holiday shopping season, more customers will contact your customer service department with questions and concerns. If you don’t have enough customer service reps or utilize various customer communications tools, your customers will be waiting for a response. People don’t want to wait, especially during the busy holiday season.
Improve your customer service:
- Employ help from other departments
- Increase seasonal hiring
- Have extended service hours
- Build a chat bot
- Use Facebook Messenger
- Utilize extra channels
Be Ready for Returns and Exchanges
According to the National Retail Federation, 55 percent of shoppers will exchange or return gifts within a month. If your e-commerce store is not set-up to handle the barrage of returns and exchanges, you’ll fail to deliver a fast and pleasant experience for your customers. Make it as easy as possible for customers to return or exchange gifts.
Partner With a 3PL to Reduce Holiday Season Stress
The holiday shopping season may bring in a lot of revenue, but it entails much marketing, logistical, and customer service planning to be a success. Avoid holiday season stress by partnering with an e-commerce warehouse that provides e-commerce logistics and e-commerce fulfillment services.
More customers will turn to online shopping this year, so be ready for it. Prepare digital marketing and online advertising strategies. Make sure your website provides a pleasant shopping experience, good customer service, and easy return/exchange options. The best way to do this is to let a 3PL handle your e-commerce order and fulfillment services. Don’t be overwhelmed – partner with Ship My Orders for a less stressful holiday season!