Ultimate Guide to Prepare Your eCommerce Store for the Holiday Seasonby Akashdeep Sharma The Brihaspati Infotech
The holiday season is the most profitable time for any ecommerce marketplace. From Black Friday 2017 to the New Year, the holiday sales are pegged to go way beyond $1 trillion this year. Big retailers have already begun to prepare for the season. What are you doing?
Here’s a checklist to prepare your ecommerce store for the holiday season.
1 Free Shipping
Holiday seasons are the time to improve sales. Offering free shipping has been statistically proven to increase sales. In 2015, Target offered free shipping and removed the minimum order value criteria, and experienced a 3% increase in average order size. With free shipping, offer a liberal return time and exchange policy.
2 Payment Channels
Online shoppers usually have a credit card as the option to purchase. Include other payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and Cash On Delivery (COD) to give buyers multiple choices to make a payment. You can also offer EMI options by partnering with fintech companies like ZestMoney and Simpl.
3 Upgrade Ecommerce Hosting
The holiday season is the right time to upgrade to a better hosting plan, ideally to a VPS or a dedicated server. Based on the holiday season marketing plans, the ecommerce marketplace is bound to receive tons of traffic and shared hosting servers won’t be able to handle the traffic inflow. Poor web hosting can cost you business. Upgrade hosting and install a CDN plan to improve the customer user experience.
4 Google Analytics Performance
Setup the Google Analytics to track ecommerce performance. You can track it through Conversions > Ecommerce > Product Performance. The data will give detailed insights on which products are in high demand and their sales volume. Retrieve data on most visited pages and optimize them with better sales offers and CTR. The high traffic pages data is accessible through Content > Site Content > Content Drilldown.
5 Pre-Holiday Campaign
You need an email list for this activity. Announce to your ecommerce site subscribers that special offers are in the pipeline for the holiday season and share a link to confirm their pre-booking or their permission to send relevant notifications as the products go live. You can share a special discounted coupon code to apply during checkout. With few months to go, this is the right time to prepare for the Christmas sale 2017.
6 Responsive Website
The Criteo State of Mobile Commerce report for 2015 says there is a 20% higher chance of buyers completing a purchase if the ecommerce marketplace is accessible on multiple devices. Start working on a mobile outreach strategy and test the online store performance on multiple devices. Also, ensure that the checkout options are working smoothly on all the devices.
7 Promote Sellers
Use the homepage space judiciously to promote the top products or top sellers in the ecommerce marketplace. If it’s a standalone online store selling your own products, analyse sales data to ascertain the top selling products and promote them on the homepage.
8 Specific Landing Pages
An online store can get messy quickly. It is tough to track all the product placements, listicles, and their sales possibilities unless you’re using designated ecommerce CMS like Magento. Anyway, irrespective of the current CMS, it’s a good idea to create specific landing pages to attract buyers to specific product line. Design the landing pages well with minimum diversion. Keep it product focused and run paid marketing campaigns to pull buyers to the specific product pages.
9 Influencer Marketing
The holiday season is the right time to invest in influencer marketing initiatives. Find and contact influential marketers who are active on Instagram and Snapchat. Your ideal influential marketers should have at least 10,000 followers, impressive reach and good CTR on their shared links. Ask for their previous campaign reports to judge whether they are a good fit for your holiday sales campaign. If they are, offer a financial benefit and free products for testing, and a promotional schedule. Ensure that the tracking links are perfectly set up to analyse the marketing performance.
Giveaways and contests are recommended to increase buyer engagement. Put up a product that’s in demand as a prize and send newsletter updates to the email list requesting them to participate. Share the content on social media channels, and run paid social media campaign on Facebook to increase the reach of the Facebook Page. Giveaways and contests are good for increasing social page reach, improve engagement, initiate communication, promote the ecommerce marketplace, improve traffic, and increase sales.
11 SSL Certificate and HTTPS Connection
Buyers are more aware than ever. Sales will be dismal if the ecommerce store doesn’t have an SSL and HTTPS connection to secure buyer data. The HTTPS protocol implies secure communication over any computer network and prevents hacking attempts. The SSL certificate is a cryptographic protocol to encrypt communication between the server and the client. Search engines like Google have already begun to give preference to SSL and HTTPS encrypted websites in SERP as they are now unanimous with data integrity, authentication and encryption. Buyers want their data to be safe and protected. Buy a HTTPS connection and SSL certificate from any leading registrar like GoDaddy, and migrate the online store. A small tweaking will drastically improve the product sales.
12 Customer Support
If required, hire additional staff to help with managing the holiday season sales. The holiday season shouldn’t become an excuse for delay in business operations. Hire extra staff on an hourly basis to help with order management, product packaging, inventory management, product deliveries and so on.
13 Email Marketing
Email marketing is the oldest and proven online marketing strategy. Billions of emails are exchanged every day and the holiday season is the right time to utilise the ecommerce site email list through automated email newsletters. You can also buy ecommerce data from trusted data sellers and run a transactional email marketing campaign. Get a clearer understanding of email laws and regulations here. On a specific note, email laws are relaxed for transactional emails.
The holiday season is nearing. Be proactive and prepare the online store in advance to avoid last minute delays and mess ups. If you have the ecommerce marketplace ready in advance for the holiday season, you won’t get distracted and would be able to focus on the sales completely. Furthermore, if you are looking for an Ecommerce Design & development company, you can consider The Brihaspati Infotech to take care of all the design development and hosting migration for your Ecommerce Store.
Created on Aug 28th 2017 08:04. Viewed 631 times.
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