Kids aren’t the only ones excited about the coming holiday season – most online stores generate half or more of their revenue in November and December.
That means the next few weeks could make or break your fiscal year, so shouldn’t you be as prepared as possible? Sadly, a lot of e-commerce website owners haven’t taken the basic steps they need to run their holiday marketing campaigns effectively.
To avoid making the same mistakes, here are a handful of ideas and activities you should take advantage of today:
Set up new product pages. Even if they aren’t ready to go live yet, you shouldn’t leave the design of new product pages until the last minute. Having them in place now, even if they’re unpublished, makes it easier for you to plan your email and pay-per-click campaigns. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your web design team being too overwhelmed to design and activate them during the holidays.
Put express shipping options into place. Every year, certain online retailers get a big boost of “last-minute” sales simply because they offer express shipping and fulfillment options for gift buyers who waited longer than they should have. Are you going to be one of the ones who profit from holiday shopping procrastination, or the kind of company that watches those sales go elsewhere?
Put together a strong pricing strategy. You may not have decided what kinds of discounts to offer during the holidays, but you probably already have a good sense of what your pricing strategy is going to be like. In order to ensure your margins stay intact, envision your campaigns from start to finish and think about what kinds of coupon codes or special sales you’ll add into the mix, as well as when you’ll use them.
Make a calendar for emails and social updates. Timely emails and social updates are two of the easiest things for a smaller e-commerce retailer to overlook during the holiday rush. They also happen to be two of your most effective tools for promoting specials and building sales. With that in mind, put an editorial and promotional calendar in place now that you can follow later. It will stop you from missing important steps when you’re overwhelmed.
Stress test your website and shopping cart. It’s critical you know your e-commerce site can handle the increased traffic and transactions it will see during the holiday season. Also, note that thieves and hackers are especially busy during that time of year, too, so it makes sense to beef up your encryption and make sure all software is up to date.
The holiday season is too important to online retailers to ignore or to leave things to chance. Take the time today to review your pages and campaigns to see whether there are parts of your site that need to be reimagined or redesigned before the holiday shopping rush.
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