Getting Ready for Christmas Selling
Come September, everyone starts thinking of Christmas and online stores begin to go into the ‘busy mode.’ There are so many things to be done, so many issues to be handled if they want to achieve ‘peak sales’ during the holiday season.
While you may be sat there thinking that it hasn’t even been Halloween yet, never mind Christmas, remember that Christmas and New Year are the most important retail and online selling periods and stores need to be ready to exploit the holiday advantage to the full.
Many stores always think they have lots of time and leave it too late, but don’t make that mistake; early September is a nice time to start preparing for the busy period.
Spring Clean Your Online Stores
It might be autumn but it’s time for a spring clean. The first thing to do is to de-clutter and organize bargain sales so that you can get rid of all those overstocked items. After all, fashions and tastes keep changing, new collections keep coming in and those old items need to make way for the new.
As Christmas has always been about giving gifts to others and making purchases, online stores can take advantage of this and categorize their old stocks at heavily discounted prices to tempt both young and old into buying. This gets a lot of stock off your hands.
Get Ready with New Stock
This is tricky business as you have to buy new stock early to avoid disappointment but this can have negative cash repercussions on your business. Use any relevant data that you have to hand about your customers and current trends to make the right decision.
As you’re not going to be the only one stocking up, you need to invest in a good, funded online search engine marketing campaign to divert traffic to your stores and make sure the public finds you.
And while you’re at it, do ensure that you add the proper keywords, Christmas category names and descriptions to match them. By doing this early enough, you can be assured that it’s crawled by search engines well before the holiday season begins.
Promote Your Products Properly
Promote products with special offers: free gift-wrapping and free cards are always welcomed, incentivize by offering free delivery, advertise special ‘Christmas only’ quality novelty products that will be snapped up in no time, set up special category gifts for different members of the family, adopt a budget-conscious approach to suit everyone’s purses, come forward with gift buying ideas for people who don’t know what to buy–in short, offer unique selling propositions that make your store stand apart.
Having multiple shipping addresses helps buyers to ship directly to an alternative address, but do ensure that the gifts are delivered on time. For customers that want to buy on ‘Christmas Eve’, clarify about delivery times and premium rates. Give correct information regarding returns and refunds.
We all know how stressful Christmas shopping can be, so it’s not too hard to put yourself in your customers shoes and consider what would make their experience a little easier – great offers with clear information and guidance.
Increased Bandwidth and Enhanced Security
The months before Christmas are busy ones with more traffic, lots of orders and lots of purchases. Online stores need to make sure that they have the hosting capacity and bandwidth to deal with surges in traffic volumes. They need to sort these issues out with their service providers well before the mad rush begins. The last thing you need is your site crashing during Black Friday!
Moreover the value of a safe checkout process cannot be emphasized enough– adding SSL certificates, tightening security while buying online increases the credibility of the stores and add to buyer confidence.
Before and After Christmas
Transform your stores and give it a ‘Christmassy look’ to keep in tune with the buying spirit. Make it as colorful and as stylish as possible, include small Christmas messages, add some banners and logos—live it up in style. And when the fun is all over, set up those vacation bargains, which people love. If you’re smart enough, you can make fast bucks with special Boxing Day and New Year day specials. It’s almost a guaranteed winner.
In general, make it a point to focus on providing quality products at good prices, review your ecommerce strategies, keep your promises to customers regarding delivery and you’ll have a whale of a holiday season with thumping sales.