5 Ways to Prepare Your Online Store for the Holiday Season

Tis the season for eggnog, holiday parties, and heightened consumer spending. From November through to the end of the year, shoppers flock to malls and the internet to find their loved ones the perfect gift or a 'too good to be true' deal. 

Is your online store prepared?

For the first time, 54% of U.S. consumers said they would do their holiday shopping online resulting in Black Friday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores to drop by 6%.

Long gone are the days of lining up at a big box retailer at 3 am to snag that 80% off 50” plasma TV. Today, it’s all about shopping online in the comfort of your PJs at home. (Thanks, Amazon.)

Here are 5 ways to help you capitalize on the most wonderful time of the year and boost your online store sales:

1. Plan your seasonal promotions

Sensormatic Solutions recently predicted that the busiest shopping days of the year are during the Black Friday weekend and the weekends throughout December, showcasing how important November and December are for all retailers.

A few years ago, large promotional sales were limited to special days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Today, retailers boast week-long to month-long promotions for shoppers that aim to get ahead of their holiday shopping. Strategically planning your seasonal promotions ensures that you are one step ahead of your competitors and that your messaging is clear and consistent across all platforms. If you know you will be offering a 50% discount for a week, you will also want to consider altering your ad copy and marketing emails to support this. Planning your promotions ahead of time is the first step to a successful holiday season.

2. Send a promotional email

Did you know that consumers who purchase products through email marketing spent 138% more than those who don’t receive email offers? Email marketing has proven to be an effective form of communication and driving sales. In 2018, 7.6 billion emails were sent during the Black Friday weekend with 24% converting into sales. If you are running promotions during the holidays, it’s important to send out multiple promotional emails such as a preview email of the sale, when a sale launches, and reminder emails throughout the promotion to engage the consumer.

3. Update your website

Whether it’s adding a holiday theme to your logo or changing your website hero banner with a wintery theme, an updated website lets customers know that your website is up to date and can help showcase which holiday promotions you are running.

4. Get your ads approved early

At this point, you may already have ads running throughout the monthHowever, it’s important to plan your ads ahead of time that are based on particular date ranges. For example, the majority of November you may be running your typical brand awareness ads, but during Black Friday, you should adjust your ads with copy that focuses on your Black Friday key messaging. Not only do you want to segment and customize the ads to align with specific dates, but you will also need to schedule your ads ahead of time to ensure that they are reviewed and approved by your advertising platform of choice to ensure your ads launch on the correct days, but also enough time to adjust if your ads are not approved. This means setting ads up weeks in advance as they can take from a few hours to nearly a week to be approved and let's be honest -  it’s best not to gamble on your approval chances.

5. Offer free shipping

What is more appealing, a $50 cart + $5 dollar shipping, or $55 cart + free shipping? It equals to the same price, but most consumers will gravitate towards the perception of value. With 79% of US consumers saying that free shipping would make them more likely to shop online, it’s clear that free shipping plays a key role in converting customers. During the holidays, consider offering this value add given that 93% of consumers are encouraged to buy more when free shipping is available. It’s important to note you can incentivize larger purchases by setting a threshold for your free shipping promotion. For example, if you know your average customer spends $35 per order, consider setting a threshold as high as $50 to help increase the average value of your consumer.

E-commerce is continuously growing and evolving. It is important to identify trends, doing so will allow you to adapt to the constantly changing industry.

Whether you’re planning for the Black Friday weekend in 2020 or need assistance boosting sales for your online store, reach out to our team of digital marketing experts today to help take your eCommerce campaign to the next level.