How To Prep Your Online Store For The Holiday Shopping Season
People just love the holiday seasons. It’s an exciting time that brings about memories of our childhood, feelings of togetherness, warmth, and merriment. It’s a time that unites all people, family, friends, and all our loved ones.
Right now, the holidays are right around the corner, and for dropshipping store owners, you know what that means—we are talking about the biggest shopping season of the year. People are going to be buying gifts not only for themselves but for their loved ones, colleagues and even pets.
It’s an exciting time for everyone, especially for ecommerce business owners who are working to generate more sales and revenue from their online shops in the coming weeks. And we aren’t just talking about Christmas, we are talking Halloween, Black Friday, Boxing Day, and more. These last two months of the year are all really important ecommerce shopping dates for any shop owner.
According to a data analysis on internet retail in 2018 during the period of November through the end of December, shoppers spend $122 billion USD on online retail alone. That’s a rather steep 17.4% increase from 2017 online shopping expenditures. It’s safe to say that we might expect some pretty great results during 2019’s shopping season as well that you can enjoy.
If you know what’s up, you’re probably telling yourself that you need to get your online store ready because we are looking to make bank in the coming weeks. If you are wondering where to get started in prepping your shop up for the season, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we are going to be talking about what you need to do for your online business to get ready for the holiday rush.
Now let’s get right to it, and get ready for the coming holiday shopping season together:
1. Choose Your Holiday
The first thing you’ll need to do is to select which important holidays you’ll want to participate in. The months of November and December are jam-packed with holidays from various religions, national holidays, and non-official holidays. Coming to the decision of participating in them all is simply not feasible.
If you know your target audience, then you’ll know which holidays are important to your target market that they’ll be celebrating. Some really important holidays to participate in though are Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas.
2. Create An Action Plan
When you have come to decide which dates you want your ecommerce store to participate in, the sooner you start prepping, the better. There are people who start planning out their Christmas presents as early as August, so you better get busy and start creating a schedule that will help you map things out during the busy holiday shopping season.
It’s important for you to map out the days and times when you will:
- Update your store’s graphics to reflect the holiday season
- Advertise your promotions over Google, social media, and email
- Update product range
- Special Offers
3. Develop Plans To Promote Your Shop
The whole point in getting excited about the holiday season for an ecommerce shop owner is that you want to be making more sales. To do this, you’ll have to create some special themed promotions to get customers in your store. Here are some ways you can promote your shop for the season:
Emails- If you have been running your online store for some time, then you’ll have captured the emails of your customers. You’ll want to make sure to create an email campaign specifically to let your customers know about your special promotions, new products, and coupons for them to avail of when they shop with you.
Ads- Make sure to run ads on your chosen social media platforms, whether it be Instagram, Facebook, etc., to acquire new customers who are on the lookout for holiday buys.
Ads- As the most popular search engine and browser, people will be searching and shopping using Google and Google Chrome. This makes the holidays the perfect time to launch special holiday-themed campaigns.
4. Update Your Store Design
If you’re going to be joining in on the festivities, then you might as well update your store’s design to get your customers into the festive spirit! For instance, if you are looking to join in on the Halloween festivities, then don’t be scared to give your shop a spooky or fall-themed feel! It will give your customers a much more enjoyable shopping experience to shop in a themed store, after all.
Make sure to change your shop’s header on your homepage to match the holiday’s theme. You’ll also want to update your social media as well and change your banners to reflect the season’s theme. Maybe even update your logo and give it a small tweak to reflect the season’s cheer.
5. Update Your Product Selection
Your job is to help people find the perfect gifts and to make money off of their great buys during the holidays, so you have to carefully consider the items you are already selling and decide whether you want to update your product line for what you think may sell like hotcakes during the holidays.
It's also important to develop at least one holiday focused product category range. This will help you to maintain the holiday spirit throughout your website, help your customers shop by enhancing their experience, and help them find holiday-specific buys. Here are some category ideas that you can include:
- Gifts for moms
- Gifts for men
- Black Friday deals
- Cyber Monday sales
6. Sales And Promotions
One thing that shoppers are looking for during the holiday, especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is the great bargains. The holiday sales are a cause for excitement all on their own, and this is why you’ll want to set up some competitive slashed pricing to provide your potential customers with the best holiday offers that they can find.
Remember that, while holiday shoppers are looking for bargains, they are also willing to spend more and buy more than any time of the year. One other way that you can make more sales and take advantage of a holiday shopper’s proclivities in the next few weeks is to offer your customers bundle discounts—a classic strategy to get your customers to buy more items and spend money on your shop than your shopper originally intended. Just make sure to offer your customers a great bundle offer that they can’t resist.
7. Review Your Return Policy
Your return policy is one of the most important features of your online business. Not only does a return policy function to protect your online store and your customers, but a lot of your sales can also hang on this page. Many holiday online shoppers consider a store’s return policy before making a purchase. If the return policy does not seem customer-friendly enough, they might not bother to buy anything from your store.
The return period can be especially important for people buying items online as gifts because, often enough, the original purchasers during the holidays aren’t the intended users of the items. For instance, a wife might buy her husband an electronic shaving kit in late November, only to find out on Christmas day that the gift is defective.
Some shops stand by an extended return period during the holidays so that holiday shoppers can shop for gifts without much worry on the backs of their minds.
While you do want your return policy to be generous enough to allow your customers to feel confident about completing a purchase in your store, you don’t want it to be too open for the less than genuine types of customers. This means that you shouldn’t make returns too easy in your policy. To do this you can opt-out paying for return shipping, for instance.
Back To You
The holidays are a great time of year for many reasons, and for the ecommerce entrepreneur, it can be an especially busy period, and that’s great! This is why you need to prepare for the holidays early for things to really pay off.
The months of November and December are jam-packed with important holidays and sales than any time of the year, and you are going to take full advantage and be a part of this year’s crazy shopping season.
Just make sure to prepare your brand in advance so that you can keep a handle on your operations and keep things smooth, not just for yourself, but for your customers as well. Who knows, you might acquire new customers this holiday season who will become your frequent buyers.
Now, it’s time to get your shop ready and to have a successful and lucrative holiday season!
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