Last-Minute ECommerce Checklist for Your Holiday Sales

You need to solidify all marketing plans to be ready for holiday sales.
This means running your eCommerce site through a mini-audit.

Ecommerce planning checklist

Last-minute eCommerce preparation is common before the holidays.

We are here to help guide you through one of the most unpredictable holidays in our lifetime! Undoubtedly, the biggest shopping time of the year begins Black Friday and continues through December. Typically, this is a crazy busy time for retailers (online and in-person) but throwing a pandemic on top of it makes it even crazier…

It’s time to turn the busiest in-person shopping time of the year into sales for your online business with eCommerce sales. According to the latest reports, online sales are going to grow by 14-18%, bringing in more than $1.1 trillion from November-January.

You need to solidify all marketing plans and ensure you are ready for an influx of visitors. This means making sure you have enough inventory and that your website can maintain the increased traffic and activity. This means running your eCommerce site through a “mini audit.”

Forrester Report

Working Discount Codes

The holiday shopping begins when the deals begin, as everyone is looking for a bargain. Online users will be searching for the best codes to complete their shopping list without breaking the bank. If you want to attract more customers, you need to have a well-planned discount strategy. Analyze your margins to determine what kind of deals you can give to your customers and still be in the black.

By offering a discount, you will bring more customers to your site, and by adding expiration dates and flash sales, online visitors will be motivated to spend more in your store.

And, if you want to make a sale, you need to be sure your codes are strategically placed where they will be seen and, most importantly, that they are functioning! If you want to know how to get your codes out there, submit them to online coupon vendors such as Retail Me Not.

The best way to ensure that your codes are working and correct is to communicate with every department and thoroughly test each and every code. From your social media team to graphic designers and even your developers to ensure you provide a “hassle-free” experience to your website visitors. 

Prepare Your Inventory

If you sell physical products, you need to be sure you have enough product in stock to get you through the holidays. The last thing you want to do is have sales stop because your inventory ran dry. 

Your company may only make so many products at a time, so you need to plan ahead to satisfy projected customers. 

If your stock does become low or runs out, you need to be sure your customers are aware that you are out of stock. As holiday sales progress, be sure to keep a careful eye on your inventory and mark out of stock as soon as the last remaining item is sold. Too often, sites lag on putting alerting their customers a product is out of stock, resulting in unhappy customers. If you want to check your inventory, use a system such as NetSuite or ShipBob

Increased Website Traffic

Another issue websites encounter this time of year is high traffic, and your server needs to be able to handle the increase. The backend of your website is going to be working overtime to deal with all the active visitors. You will need to prepare beforehand to ensure that your website can handle up to a 63% increase in traffic. Talk with your hosting providers and triple-check that your being proactive will eliminate site shutdowns and lag on your server.

Website Loading SpeedHaving a site that becomes sluggish or even crashes in the middle of a rush can significantly impact whether customers purchase from your site. Don’t lose out on sales because your server couldn’t keep pace with incoming traffic. 

Optimal Loading Times

People can be impatient, especially around the holidays. They are stressed and want to get everything on their shopping lists before things sell out. There are expected to be 63% more site visits during the holiday season.

Data shows that if your site loads between 500 milliseconds and 2 seconds, the customer is more likely to complete the actions.If your site speed has been less than optimal, it’s time to start basic page speed optimizations. The holiday rush will only amplify slow loading times. 

You can check your site speed on Google’s Page Speed Tool. Be sure your site is running as quickly as possible and ready for the increased traffic that could slow loading times.

Mobile Site

Don’t forget to check all these things on your mobile sites as well! Every year, more and more shoppers do their shopping on their phone, so you need to be sure your site is mobile friendly to capture these sales. Share Insider Intelligence forecasts that m-commerce will reach $284 billion, or 45% of the total U.S. e-commerce market, by the end of 2020.

Optimize your mobile eCommerce site, and don’t be forgotten by your customers on their phones. Make sure it is simple to use, and your site is easy to navigate. A mobile site that is complicated and uneasy on the eye is one sure way to chase away potential customers.

If you have a mobile app, make sure you are sending out notifications to remind your customers of your sales or trending items.

Trending Products

There are always going to be products that are higher in demand than others. You may have noticed that some of your products sell better than others. These are the ones you want to make sure are seen when someone lands on your site or sees an ad or post on social. The idea is to capitalize on these trending products that you sell by adding them to the homepage or at the top of any pages that your customers are on. 

Let’s take a look at some trending products on Google Shopping this holiday season by some of the top retailers on the market, broken down by category:

  • Tech: Apple Watch Series 6, LG OLED-CX 4K UltraHD TV, Samsung Galaxy Watch, Apple iPad Air 4 
  • Kitchen: Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker, PowerXL Vortex Air Fryer, Cotton Candy Makers, Stonewear Kitchen Canister Sets
  • Toys: Fat Brain Simpl Dimpl, Anki Vector Robot, Barbie Dreamhouse, Chuckle & Roar Pop It!, Harry Potter HP Mystery Want
  • Gaming: Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PlayStation 5, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, NBA 2K21
  • Sports and Fitness: Fitbit Versa 3, North Face Women’s Shellista III Mid, Airwalk Men’s Snowboard, The Coldest Sports Water Bottle
  • Health and Beauty: Dior Men’s Sauvage, Oral-B iO Series 9, Dyson Supersonic, Cloud by Ariana Grande, Blue Light Blocking Glasses
  • Home Goods: Bissell Crosswave 1785, Personalized Christmas Stockings, Comfy Wearable Sherpa Blanket, Patio Heaters, Shark VM200 Wet/Dry Vacuum

This holiday season, you’ll notice these major retailers promoting these items, because they know this is what people are looking for. You should apply these same strategies to your website. 

What are people searching for when they land on your site? What is your most popular item, and how can you capitalize on it to maximize your profits? Monitor your internal analytics to understand what is selling and use data to promote your best sellers top of page

Amplify Your Social Media

Social media is one of the most effective ways to attract customers to your website. You can promote all your different products and target specific groups of people within your audiences.

Instagram

On Instagram, you can have ads or just boosted posts, which will help more people see it. When boosting a post, you can put as little or as much money behind it to get it in front of users in your target audience.

You can also use this opportunity to reach out to influencers to help you promote your products. Most influencers will promote your product in exchange for the product you are promoting or a small fee. Send out your products and have them post your products to their followers. This can help you get more exposure and drive more traffic back to your site. 

When utilizing influencers, be sure their audience matches your audience. For example, if you are selling beauty products, you don’t want to reach out to influencers who generally post about tech. You may also want to avoid influencers whose social feed is oversaturated with many promotional posts. Your product and brand will be less likely to stand out.

Facebook

Facebook is a great place to run ads. Facebook’s algorithm for shopping is one of the most accurate platforms out there. If you have ever been on Facebook after searching for something on Google, you know what we are talking about! You can place ads on Facebook and target the correct people and increase traffic to your site while also increasing your sales.

Twitter

Twitter is not as helpful for promotions for businesses unless you have a large following, but it can still be successful if done right. You can promote posts and target specific groups of people, just as you can on Instagram and Facebook. Nevertheless, you want to make sure that those users are active and are genuinely interested before you throw your money away.

YouTube

If you have the opportunity to create videos, this would be a great way to show off how your products work and add more content to your site. You can embed videos onto your site, as well as share them onto other social media platforms. Reports show that video content makes up 65% of all of the ad impressions on Instagram alone.

Social Media Ad Revenue

Increase ROI All Year With Get Visible

If you are worried about your site being fully optimized for the 2020 holiday season, don’t! You still have time, and you will want to get started on these items as soon as possible. If this is your first holiday season online, you may need some extra help making the right optimizations. Plus, getting started now will not just get you through this holiday season but will help you prepare for the next and the year in-between.

Ensuring your site is ready for customers is crucial, whether you are preparing for the holiday season or promoting sales throughout the year. You should always try to stay ahead of your competition. By optimizing your site for SEO and providing secure hosting and maintenance, your website will climb the rankings and continue to increase in traffic. Contact Get Visible today for a free consultation on our personalized digital marketing plans.

Article By:

Jason

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