Holidays are a favorite thing for children to adults and old people as well. They light the spark in the eyes of everyone as most get bonuses for shopping and enjoy their life. And now the trend of eCommerce provides comfort and convenience to shop anything to everything online. And the holidays are golden days for consumers and retailers both as retailers will have a boost in their store sales and consumers get their favorite deals at cheaper prices.
The most sought after shopping holidays in the USA are Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. And overall, the last six to eight weeks of the year account for about 20% of yearly sales. And one report by eMarketer, holiday retail sales in the US reached $1 trillion out of which eCommerce holiday sales were approx. $135 billion with a 13.2% growth rate.
Not only that but sales on Cyber Monday and Black Friday hit a record of $9.4 billion and $7.4 billion with a growth rate of 19.7% and 19.6% respectively. Thus, prepping your store for the holiday season especially the last six weeks of the year is substantially important for every eCommerce retailer.
Ecommerce Store Readiness Checklist for Holiday Season
With this blog, we are giving a ready-made checklist that eStore owners should implement before the holiday season approaches. This eCommerce holiday readiness checklist will help enhance your store’s sales and conversion extensively.
1. Design Your Website for a Merry Place to Shop
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Well, that may be true for a book but not certainly for when it comes to the design of your eCommerce store. Beautifully designed stores always win the hearts of customers. And design aspect of your store is significantly important for the holidays.
What’s more important is the color palette and combination of different colors that bring out the liveliness of your store. They set your store apart from others and match the moods of holiday buyers. Thus, designing eCommerce stores with clear CTA always work in the favor of retailers.
2. Image Help Set the Mood for Holiday Shopping
Product pages are where the real magic takes place. As per the NewsCred survey, 93% of the people feel that visual imagery is the #1 aspect that impacts their buying decisions. And this is important for eCommerce stores especially during the holiday season.
However, uploading ultra high-quality product images can make your website buggy and load slowly. To overcome this challenge, you can compress images in size without losing on the image quality. Also, mobile shopping is of utmost importance so, make sure that your images are optimized for mobile too.
3. Offer Time-Sensitive Daily Deals
Holidays start and end within a specific period. This means that holidays have time-sensitive factors and so does your sales. Thus, inculcate time-sensitive daily deals to create FOMO (Fear Of Losing Out). And one great way to do so is by offering flash sales of products.
Flash sales are time-bound sales that start on a specific day at a specific time and end after a certain period or until stock lasts. This will bring more customers to your store due to the FOMO experience and entice them to buy more from you increasing your sales and conversion.
4. Free Shipping is a No.1 Incentive
Free shipping is another tool in your arsenal to increase sales and AOV (Average Order Value). 9 out of 10 consumers feel that free shipping is the top incentive for shopping online. Free shipping helped encourage 93% of online shoppers to buy more and orders with free shipping are 30% higher in order value.
However, offering free shipping can hit your revenue generation drastically. Because it poses a challenge for retailers to offer free shipping while still being profitable. One way to overcome that challenge is by setting the order threshold value. Also, you can offer free shipping on select products that are highly profitable or increase prices to compensate for the loss you will bear.
5. Make Social Media Work for You
To use social media in your favor, the first thing you need to do is to set clear goals and strategies on how you should use it to drive more traffic and conversion. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are dominating when it comes to running ad campaigns to boost sales, especially on holidays.
Entice social media users with discount offers. A/B test ad campaigns with a percentage or number of dollars saved to see which impacts more and drive sales. You can use a percentage off, e.g. flat 20%, for all products or specific category products while the number of dollars saved is more suitable for marketing specific products that can drive more conversion.
6. Use Emails optimally
Emails are not new yet they still hold a significant place in marketing. In 2017, Email marketing contributed almost around 23% of total sales made on Black Friday. This makes a phenomenal communication and marketing channel eCommerce retailers can’t afford to ignore.
Prepare email copies in advance and deploy them as per your holiday marketing calendar to target your customer base. Create a sense of urgency in your email copies by including words such as Shop Now, Final Hours, Last Chance, Hurry, Buy Now, Now or Never, Don’t Miss Out, etc. However, don’t overdo it.
7. Offer Product Bundles, Up-Sell, or Cross-Sell
Holiday shoppers are in the mood to buy more and can’t resist perfect product deals in the form bundles, up-sell or cross-sell. Amazon generates around 35% of the revenue by cross-selling items. Because selling to existing customers is easier than selling to a new customer.
Also, every product is not suitable for upselling and cross-selling. Choose the best sellers and most reviewed products on your eCommerce store and up-sell or cross-sell items most relevant to them. You may use a tool or do it manually to choose the products that are most relevant to the product being sold.
8. Design Banner and Popup to Advertise Holiday Deals
The homepage holds the precedence to advertise and show your holiday special deals. Excite your customers with elegant banners and popups that showcase special deals and discount you are offering. Design your banners and popups in such a way that catch the eyes of visitors instantly as soon as they enter your store.
There are tools such as Canva where you can create beautiful and eye-catching templates for banners and popups. Because shoppers will be in rush, they need information like coupon codes, discount details, and other deals right when they enter. And banners and popups are perfect places for that.
9. Streamline the Checkout Process
The checkout pages need to be optimized for flawless conversion. Checkout page optimization can drastically affect sales during holidays. Customers need fast and secure checkout. Also, not allowing customers to checkout as a guest can make them abandon your cart. So, incorporate that and include a one-page checkout facility as well.
10. Offer Live Chat Support
Integrate eCommerce store with Chatbots to offer live chat support to your consumers. While shopping online, many customers may need some answers to their questions quickly so that they can go ahead in their holiday shopping. And with a live chat system, you can resolve their concerns whenever they need. Also, it can help persuade users to buy from your store. Facebook Live Chat is a great and free to use tool that helps your support team to communicate with customers effortlessly.
Along with all this holiday checklist, you should take care of your inventory and ramp it up just for the holidays. Make every day count as the holiday season can be very messy. But prepping your eCommerce store with a solid holiday marketing plan will help you generate more sales and revenues.
And the above eCommerce readiness checklist will amplify your holiday season with more goodies. So, get started today and work to achieve your goals. And if you need help to plan out a successful campaign, then you can consult our eCommerce experts.