Prepare your online shop for the holiday season!

Prepare your online shop for the holiday season!

The Hague, 23 November 2016 - With the holidays at the doorstep, it is crucial to make sure you are well prepared for these busy days that will arrive soon. A strong planning with careful preparation can make all the difference. Therefore we would like to share some actionable advice to prepare your online shop for the upcoming global shopping spree in order to generate more sales for your business.

Preparing Your Website 

Clear Landing Pages are the best way to convert traffic into leads. It’s where you will send all your traffic that comes from social ads, SEM, retargeting, etc. Your landing pages often offer a discount or membership in exchange for the customers e-mail address. This will be useful in communicating with visitors that did not convert to customers yet. 

A Shipping Schedule should be clearly laid out. Because customers are usually buying for a specific date or holiday, they will want to be confident that their item will be delivered in time. Be sure to display shipping options and timelines prominently on your site. You might even consider creating a dedicated page for holiday shipping information. Remind customers about guaranteed-delivery dates across your site, but especially at checkout. Late delivery is never good, but it can be downright catastrophic around the holidays. 

Your Return Policy will be reviewed by customers before purchasing. Your return policy should be easy to access from any page on your site. It should be written in easy-to-understand terms. A good return policy should answer all the questions customers have about what happens if a purchase doesn’t work out. What can and can’t be returned? Who pays for shipping? How long will it take? A good return policy can also help ease customer anxiety and boost conversions, so it’s worth investing the time to get it right. Our new International Returns service can provide you with the right solutions.

Analyzing your stock

Talk to your suppliers about increasing your Inventory. Estimating how many orders you’ll receive and how much stock you need is part art, part science. Art, because developing an intuition for what people want to buy comes with experience. Science, because there’s still a lot you can gain from analytics and trend reports.
Start by taking a look at last year’s analytics. How many orders did you receive? Was there anything that flew off the shelves? Then broaden your search to what’s trending in your industry. Keep an eye on social media for products that are getting picked up and shared. Come up with some rough estimates, then talk to your suppliers about the increased demand you expect during the holiday season.

Advertising and Marketing

Create some New Content. Capture existing customers by offering discounts in advance. Consider emailing exclusive Promo codes or running a contest on social media.
You can also queue up blog articles, social media posts, and landing pages for your promotions.
Gift guides are another great idea that can both alleviate shoppers’ anxiety about finding the right gift and give your sales a boos. By Expanding Your Reach you can get your brand in front of new customers. Once you identify your target customers, advertise on social media, SEM, retargeting ads, print ads, and affiliate marketing in order to get in contact with them.

Think about payment methods

Holiday shopping season is a great time to consider Additional Payment Options for your online shop. Let’s say you traditionally accept Visa and MasterCard, do you think your store would benefit from maybe adding PayPal as a third option? There are many customers who prefer this kind of payment method and it’s nice and profitable to meet their expectations. This small change could lead to a nice boost in your conversion rate.

Maintain a high level of service

Have constant Customer Service on standby. Have a representative available to answer any e-mails, Facebook messages, and tweets concerning promotions and products. You can even consider hiring more people before and during holiday season. There’s nothing worse for a customer than waiting a few hours for a reply. It causes bad customer experience and irate customers which likely will lower the number of sales. If you surprise customers with an excellent Customer Service they are more likely to use your service in the future.

With this holiday game plan you can immediately start preparing for the holiday season. Take advantage of the holiday traffic and make it the most profitable time of the year for your online business!