The holidays are coming and it’s important that you get ready for them. With that in mind, here’s a complete e commerce holidays checklist from your friends at Fetchy.
1. Ensure theCheckout Process is Stable and You have a Streamlined Shopping Cart
You should always be aware of the check out process, but it needs special attention over the holidays. You want to make sure your website runs smoothly across all browsers before the holiday rush.It’s no good when a customer puts something in their cart and then abandons it for completely avoidable reasons.
2. Don’t FixWhat Isn’t Broken
The holiday season isn’t the time to try and change your website if it’s already working properly. You run the risk of introducing a new bug or problem at a time when you can’t afford for your website to go down. Wait until the holidays are over before you go ahead with a major change.
3. Ensure your Marketing Matches the Holiday
Things such as big discounts and free shipping are great for the holidays. Consider running some ads that reflect products that you offer that would be a good fit for the holidays. Creating a separate ad campaign that only runs during the holidays is a great way to boost holiday sales.
4. UpdateNavigation Elements to Suit Holiday Shoppers
You should add some temporary navigation elements to your website over the holidays. Consider allowing customers to organize gifts by price range. Have an option for “gifts under $10”, “gifts under $30”, etc. Also allow people to search for gifts by person. Have a section for “Gifts for him/her”, “gifts for boys/girls”, and so on.
5. Show Off the Stocking Stuffers
Do you have small and cheap items that you feel would make great stocking stuffers? Show them off. You can even use themas part of “cross promotional selling” to boost average order value and encourage customers to buy more.
6. ClearlyDisplay Shipping and Return Information on Product Pages
While shipping information is always important ,it becomes doubly so during the holidays. People want to know that their products will arrive in time. One of the first places they look for this information is the product page. Make sure that you display the shipping and return information on the product page or, at the very least, have a link to that information on the page.
Learn a lesson from the big retailers and implement a “tabbed” experience to your product pages. They have separate tabs on product pages that display things like product descriptions, shipping and return information, reviews, etc. It’s a great way to include all the information a prospective buyer might need without cluttering up a page.
7. Offer GiftWrapping if you Can
You should consider providing gift wrapping to customers if you can. It can be used as an “up sell” option through the product page – or as a cross-sell on the shopping cart page. Just make sure that you charge enough to cover the costs of the wrapping paper and the labor costs of wrapping packages.
8. CreateHoliday Bundles
Product bundles make for a great way to boost sales and average order value. Consider putting several similar products together in a grouped “gift package” for a discounted rate. Offering products together for less than they would be individually is a fantastic way to boost sales. It’s much easier for a customer to buy gifts when they can just buy a bundle or basket of several similar presents at once.
9. ConsiderAdding Gift Messages
If you’re able to, then you should let customers add their own personal messages to a gift. Keep things simple by having the message be written on the packing list included in the box. If you don’t have the option for this directly, then consider adding an “AdditionalComments” box – which is an option most carts have – that lets users add a gift message. Just make sure that the message is on the packing slip.
10. Understand Cut-Off Dates For Shipping
This is one of the most important things that you should do to prepare for a holiday. You need to understand the shipping cut-off date for yourself and make sure that customers know too. Add a note that tells customers the final date they can order something to ensure it arrives before the holidays.
11. Showcase your Return Policy
Your return policy should always be clearly displayed, especially during the holiday season. Consider adding that it is a“hassle-free” return policy to assuage the fears of first-time buyers, assuming your policy isn’t already hassle free.
If you have a stiff return policy, then consider easing it up for the holiday period. A 30-day return period is generally considered the norm, but holiday customers might be scared off by it.Be sure to let customers know you’ll accept any and all returns and exchanges on gifts. That way they will be ore comfortable making purchases.
12. Add Some Holiday Flair to Graphics
You decorate your home for the holidays, so why not decorate your website? Add some holiday flair to the graphics of your website. If you look across the internet, you’ll see a lot of websites – evenGoogle – decorate for the holidays.
13. Make Sure Your Server can Handle the Strain
The holidays bring with them a lot of extra customers. If you are worried about whether or not your website can take the extra strain, talk to your hosting provider about it. The fastest way to losesales online is to have a slow and unresponsive website. Not only will it cost you holiday sales, but the negative reputation lasts into the future and reduces post-holiday sales too.
14. Allow Customers to Ship to Locations Other ThanWhere They are Buying From
You should allow customers to ship to anywhere they want, within reason. They might be buying something for someone who doesn’t live near them. They want to have it delivered to the recipient asa surprise. Give them the option to do so.
15. Keep in Touch with Customer Service andFulfilment
Make sure that everyone involved in the process is involved with the conversation. Don’t surprise the customer service and fulfilment staff with a sudden 24-hour sale. It’s great to take 10,000orders in one day, but it’s no fun if your warehouse is only able to handle5,000 at the most.
16. Consider Providing Gift Certificates
Even if you don’t normally offer gift certificates to customers during the rest of the year, you should consider making an exception for the holidays. They give shoppers who don’t know what to get with an option. They are a great way to encourage last minute shoppers to make a purchase. Give them the chance to make a digital gift card that is sent and redeemed online to increase your holiday takings.
There are lots of things that your business can do to prepare for the holidays. Make sure you can take all that extra traffic, keep everyone in the loop about promotions and special offers, and spruce the place up a bit. With these tips on your side you’re sure to have a successful holiday shopping period.
If you want to be ready for the hot season,schedule a call with our shipping ecommerce expert.