It seems like the “holiday season” comes earlier and earlier every year, especially for online retailers. By the time you read this article, you’re likely neck-deep in your holiday rush.
This year, we want you to not just survive the holiday season, we want you to thrive. Here are five tips from one of our marketing specialists, Aaron Lehman, to do just that.
We hope you already have a game plan for holiday business. If not, it’s never too late to start.
Think through how you are going to staff your business, and stock and deliver product as your traffic increases and your sales get a boost.
If you own a brick and mortar location in addition to your e-comm site, make sure to mark clearly on your website when your holiday hours are, any days you may be closed and how customers might take advantage of both your online and offline offerings (e.g. return to store after purchase online).
Give the People What They Want
The majority of online businesses should plan on running sales, specials, BOGOs etc., throughout the holiday season.
Customers expect better deals this time of year, and most businesses comply. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and shop local days are a great way to promote an older product or capture that first big uptick in excitement over a new product.
Think in terms of both gaining new regular customers and quantity of sales over profit margins. Deals this time of year are less about discounting a product and more about leveraging a promotion to entice and retain customers.
Which is why, along with your deals, you should…
Provide World-Class Customer Service
We get it…the holidays are supposed to be about good cheer, but the fact is, this time of year is stressful for some shoppers.
Be extra-vigilant about communications for their orders, do not argue with returns (within reason), and thank them for their business. The holidays are your time to outshine your competition with your laser-like customer focus.
Ship Fast (and Provide Cut-off Times for Delivery by Christmas)
Even though the shopping season starts early, some customers never fail to wait until the last minute to purchase.
Make sure to communicate clearly on your site (perhaps prominently and universally in your header) when orders have to be placed for guaranteed delivery by Christmas.
Not sure when that date is for your company? Check out your shipping carrier’s website, where you can find shipping time estimates as well as their own delivery cut off dates.
Get Into the Spirit
E-comm business tactics aren’t limited to what you do online. Get offline and connect with your community and the traditions that it has around the holidays.
For example, donate a basket packed full of your product for a community event, give your time to help decorate the city for Christmas, sponsor a family in need or volunteer at a food bank.
Getting involved in the “real world” will not only give you a sense of cheer but also will help people connect with your business in a new and different way.
We wish you your best holiday season yet! Contact us if you have questions about how we can partner with you to boost e-comm sales all year long.