According to the U.S. Census Bureau, last year’s holiday sales season showed a 14.8 percent increase in year over year eCommerce sales.
This year promises to be just as profitable for virtual retailers, but the competition is still fierce. Just because you build a website doesn’t mean that shoppers will come, and it’s not too late to get that site all spruced up for another crazy shopping season.
Here are four of our top holiday eCommerce tips:
- Dress up for the holidays. It may take a little extra doing to dress up for the holiday season, but some festive window dressing never hurt a retailer.Just like your brick-and-mortar counterparts, you can help put your shoppers into the holiday spirit, provided you do it in a way that includes everyone. There are lots of holidays that take place between Black Friday and New Year’s Day, so shooting for more generic winter decor or a rotating holiday display can make sure everyone feels included at your shop.
- Use your sales data! Data isn’t just for your 3rd party logistics company, it’s the future of eCommerce.Instead of guessing at what will be the most popular item this year, use your historic data to make really well educated guesses about what products will be big hits. You can also use this information to prune out items that aren’t moving so your site loads faster and your fulfillment is more streamlined.
- Increase your shipping options. The holiday season can be an eCommerce shop owner’s biggest nightmare. After all, some of the most important gifts of the year are being transported during the most unreliable and unpredictable weather.Instead of leaving it to chance, give your shoppers even more shipping options so they can get ahead of that big storm or allow them to choose a shipper that can reroute their packages on the fly if problem weather appears while their order is in transit.
- Make it easy to buy. Even though this advice is repeated again and again, some eCommerce site owners continue to ignore it. There’s nothing more important than making it easy to buy from your store. Your customer service can be top-notch, your products can be well-described and your pricing right on, but if it’s too hard to buy from you, you will absolutely lose sales. Allow customers to check out without registering, give them easy ways to pay with tools like PayPal and make it simple to check order statuses with an integrated customer web portal for those who do choose to sign in.
You’ve still got some time to get ready for the holiday season, but the clock’s ticking. Keep in mind that everything you can do to increase your site’s usability and make popular merchandise more visible will be the most impactful, so if your time is limited, focus on these areas first!