How To Prepare Your Site For Online Holiday Shopping 2014
Most retailers make at least 20% of their annual sales during the holiday season. It has been predicted that in the US alone, retail ecommerce will grow at least 16.6% this year. The typical holiday season of a year starts early to mid-November with the last-minute preparations for Thanksgiving, and goes all the way to mid/ late January of the following year. To cater to a shopper’s needs, retailers should be armed and ready much before the season commences. Thanks to the never ending innovations in gadgets, shopping on-the-go has become a trend that refuses to go away. The global market has a vast array of options for any and every need of customers, hence staying ahead, relevant and visible are the key essentials to raking in the profits and to become the best ecommerce platform.
This article talks about some essential preparations every ecommerce solution needs in order to make the most of the holiday shopping season. These are steps that need to be taken a little ahead of the holiday season.
1. Big Data Analysis from your ecommerce solution: Refer to the data from your previous year’s holiday shopping season. Analyze the things that worked for you as well as your competitors. What were the ideas that delivered results? Is there room for improvements? How can the strategies be tweaked to increase their impact? This helps in ensuring that the offers and deals you formulate are designed to deliver results and also that they cater to the exact needs of your customers.
2. Go global, go mobile: Trends show that shoppers prefer the comfort and convenience of shopping on the go from their mobiles and handhelds, especially so during the holiday season. Customers know that the best e-commerce platforms churn out many attractive offers and to make the most of these, they constantly check their devices so as to not miss out on any of the good deals. Popular websites cater to gadget-crazy customers by having a mobile-optimized website rather than just a mobile-friendly website.
3. PPC campaigns & Landing Pages: Shopping enthusiasts browse random e-commerce websites and click on offers and deals they may be interested in. By creating and having PPC campaigns and attractive landing pages ready on your e-commerce solution, all you have to do is make the campaign go live as soon as the early bird shoppers start hunting. How would you know when the early bird has risen? Check out the next tip!
4. SEO to stay visible: The concept of early bird offers has always clicked with shoppers who prefer to have everything ready and organized before the shops are crowded. The same applies to e-commerce solutions too. Keeping your website up-to-date with result oriented SEO strategies ensures that your website is seen by these early shoppers. When you see that your website is getting hits based on search terms related to holiday shopping, you know it is time to make your PPC campaign go live! You may also include these relevant keywords in your PPC campaigns to ensure that you get more clicks than your competitor.
5. Develop unique conversion rate optimization ideas: The online holiday shopping season is when the traffic to most e-commerce websites goes up. But merely increasing traffic will not bring in optimal revenue. Conversion is what brings home the bacon. Holiday returns can be maximized by developing innovative and unique conversion strategies like attractive offers, value-added benefits, special deals on popular products, seasonal promotions etc.
6. Content Marketing: Most online businesses underestimate the power of content marketing, but they do not realize that most shoppers research quite a lot before they make a purchase online. Given that many do not use this extremely useful and powerful tool for marketing, marketing content the right way will definitely benefit your business. Let’s say your e-commerce website is selling Christmas decorations. Marketing content related to the tradition of Christmas decorations and later adding a link to its product page on your website will surely produce results. Shoppers will be impressed by your knowledge in the product and be compelled to buy it from you!
7. Have social media content ready: Simply having great offers and waiting for customers to come and avail them doesn’t work anymore. People should not only know that these offers exist, they must be able to let others know the same as well. The role of social media in holiday shopping is so huge, that making the best & most of it requires a well-planned strategy. Having social media content ready so that you can reach out to your customers consistently with relevant content.
8. Engage in PR: Despite social media and aggregator websites playing the role of “news” sources for latest deals and offers, the power of real news portals and other infotainment websites cannot be underestimated. Developing the right relationship with the right websites is critical in reaching out to your target audience.
9. Analyze current trends to stay relevant: Analyzing your past success is good, but to stay relevant in the current season, you must know all the current trends and popular choices for your audience. Selling apples when people are only buying oranges doesn’t do your e-commerce website any good. Stay up-to-date with holiday season predictions, stock up on all the trends that are sure to follow and watch your profit graph scale heights.
10. Hire more executives: There is bound to be a lot more work than usual. Staying efficient and flawless throughout the season is critical for success. Eliminate even the possibility of delay by hiring more associates for competently managing the higher number of client enquiries, orders, packing and delivering them on time, being there for customers whenever they want to reach out, etc makes a favourable difference to your business.
11. Educate employees to deal with the rush: While it is a good idea to hire more people, it is also necessary to make them aware that there is bound to be a lot of rush and to train them to handle the surge efficiently. Inefficient or slow service reflects a poor image of your business and the plan to hire more may backfire.