Prepare for the Holidays: Holiday Ecommerce Tactics

Prepare for the Holidays: Holiday Ecommerce Tactics

The holidays are not only known for festivities but also for the increased buying behavior of consumers.

Sales are off the charts around the holidays and stores are pulling off deals and gimmicks so that more and more customers would buy from them.

Ecommerce also rake up sales during the holiday season, with numbers going over those of retail sales.

Holidays is the Best Time for Ecommerce

Sales go through the roof over the holiday seasons. Reports from the National Retail Federation, Adobe Digital Index, and IBM Watson, gave out crazy numbers for the 2015 holidays.

Billions of dollars are spent by Americans starting Black Friday, the day right after Thanksgiving. In total? Shoppers online spent $4.45 billion online on Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day.

E-commerce is so popular that more shoppers bought online than in stores. An estimated 102 million Americans have shopped in stores while 103 million shopped online.

Among these online shoppers, 57% were on mobile devices, with smartphones making 36.8% of the traffic for Cyber Monday and 44.7% on Black Friday. Black Friday sales were the highest for tablet users who averaged at $136.

Cyber Monday sales, however, were highest again for desktop users who averaged at $128. Indeed, e-commerce is a hit during the holidays, making the season the best time for the industry.

And with more and more online shops popping out like mushrooms, and more and more people seeing how convenient shopping online is, there is high expectation for this year’s holidays.

READ: 12 Thoughts That Could Prove Devastating To Your Ecommerce Sales This Holiday

Ecommerce Holiday Dates to Remember this 2016

Sales numbers truly go up during the holidays. Here is a list of US holidays that online stores should keep in mind so they can ready their supplies and promotional materials:

• October 31 – Halloween
• November 8 – Election Day
• November 11 – Veteran’s Day
• November 24 – Thanksgiving
• November 25 – Black Friday
• November 26 – Small Business Saturday
• November 28 – Cyber Monday
• November 29 – Giving Tuesday
• December 12 – Green Monday
• December 14 – Stamp and Ship Day
• December 18 – Free Shipping Day
• December 21 – First Day of Winter
• December 23 – Festivus; Gift Card Day
• December 24 – Christmas Eve; Beginning of Hanukkah
• December 25 – Boxing Day; Coupon Code Day
• January 1 – New Year’s Day

Get Ready for the Holidays!

You now know that the holidays offer great opportunity for businesses in the ecommerce industry.

You also already know which dates you should look out for. Now, you should know what to do in order to make the most out of the holidays for your online shop.

Here are a few tips from us on how you can get ready for the 2016 holidays:

1. Shoppers Are Doing Research Now so Prepare Early

Halloween is just a few days away and the terms “Halloween” and “Halloween costumes” are getting high volume of searches. Black Friday is also getting a lot of searches and it’s still a month away.

With this information, you should take an extra step to prepare.

Get your supplies ready to meet the upcoming demand. Strategically carry out your marketing campaigns. Prepare early, the holidays are coming.

2. Test your site’s ability to handle a surge of traffic

Your ecommerce site is your store. Make sure that your website is able to handle the expected traffic.

What use would having so much supply in stock if you won’t be able to sell them because your site is down? Ensure that your site would be able to function optimally.

3. Guarantee your inventory has the items as listed

Make sure that you have a decent amount of merchandise for your online shop.

If you are selling products that you get from a supplier, discuss your plans with your supplier and ensure that you agree on how you will deal with the expected demand.

You should also consider ordering high-demand products ahead of time.

If you are making your own products, start preparing now. It is best to have your products ready before things get tougher. Your last year’s sale is a good estimate for this year’s potential sales.

4. Run through your shipping service plan

Shipping is one of the biggest concerns for online shops. Evaluate your shipping performance last year and come up with a better plan this year.

Don’t make promises you cannot keep so add a day or two to the expected delivery date – it is better to be able to deliver earlier than expected than to disappoint your customers when you deliver later than promised.

Free shipping is also one of the best way to convince visitors to buy. It can also justify that delivery will be later than charged delivery.

Did you know that comScore and UPS found out 83% of the consumers are willing to wait an extra day or two for free shipping.

5. Product Packaging reflects your company

As the cliché goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover”.

This line should not be adhered to by businesses as packaging should be given much attention. Packaging is important, and serves as an easy yet effective marketing tool.

6. Your website must be accessible using mobile

Smartphones and tablets should be able to access your ecommerce site easily and comfortably.

Again, smartphones gave the most traffic last year, while tablets got the biggest ecommerce sales for Black Friday. The Lander Blog has some tips on providing a better experience for mobile customers.

7. Check out the competition

Knowing your competitors is the first step in knowing how to beat them.

Check out what their deals are and make similar or better deals. Counter what they offer but make sure that you are still making profit.

Check their reviews and see where they are doing well and where they are doing poorly. Try to simulate and improve their strengths and then correct their weaknesses.

8. Dress up your page

Just as you would decorate a physical store to match the holidays, make sure that you design your website accordingly.

Try to incorporate the colors related to the holiday, or add images and gifs, but make sure that you are not taking your ecommerce site’s performance over looks.

9. Capitalize on good reviews

Use good reviews on to leverage your reputation.

As nobody’s perfect, you are bound to receive negative ones but still highlight on the positive reviews.  Also ensure that you have dealt with the reasons why you got negative reviews.

10. Strategize your pop-ups

Coupon pops and exit pops, when properly placed, will do you good. Make sure to blend them well with your page and that they entice visitors to buy more. Read on Lander Blog’s testing for pop-ups here.

11. Engage in Social Media Marketing and encourage user-generated content

More and more businesses make use of social media marketing as a marketing strategy. As there are lots and lots of people on social networking sites, the chances are high for you to reach customers.

Use social media to show your products, to share reviews, to talk about promotions, and to reach out to potential customers. Studies show that user-generated content encourages sales from the younger shoppers.

User-generated content refers to images, videos, or statements from potential customers that connect to your products or your business.

Using a hashtag is the most common practice in encouraging user-generated content.

12. Come up with a genius abandoned cart email

65% of carts are said to be left abandoned.

While some believe that coming up with an abandoned cart email is irrelevant, we suggest that coming up with a brilliant email that capitalizes on the holiday spirit, or makes use of humor, is an effective strategy to have them coming back!

13. Strategize your Flash Sales

Strategically make use of flash sales so that your customers won’t need to wait for Black Friday before making a purchase.

Give them a sense of urgency to buy. When customers feel that they are letting go of a good deal, they will more likely buy immediately.

14. Offer Live Chat

Making live chat available is almost a must nowadays.

Live chat is a guarantee that you are ready to serve your customers, even just in answering their queries. You don’t need to be online for 24 hours a day.

15. Clearly state your return policy.

Ensure that you have a clearly understandable return policy. Also place it where your customers would be able to find it.

Proudly displaying your return policy is a manifestation that you are confident in your products’ quality.

What Now?

These are the Holidays ecommerce tactics that we have for you. We hope that you learned a lot with our guide.

There is, however, more to do as the holidays come nearer and nearer. Expect more guides from us to help you face the holidays head on.

For the meantime, make sure to practice what you have learned from our guide so that you will be able to prepare for the holidays in the best way.

Always remember, preparation is key – but this is true only if you are preparing right. Prepare your ecommerce business for the holidays now!