Is your ecommerce business holiday-ready?

People don’t shop in even bursts throughout the year, but rather in spurts centered around the key holidays. Most of us can pick out the big ones, like Christmas, Easter and Mother’s Day but there’s also the public holidays to take into account which often fall over weekends turning them into big bonanza weekends for online sellers.

The big ones coming up you’ll want to get ready for include:

Thanksgiving (US)

Black Friday - November

Cyber Monday - 27 November

Christmas Day, 25 December

Boxing Day, 26 December

New Year’s Day, 1 January 

In between those are another couple, like Free Shipping Day (usually in December when shipping is guaranteed for Christmas) and Super Saturday (the last Saturday before Christmas). While these may seem minor, they’re actually of pretty major significance for sellers because of shoppers’ tendency to leave present-buying to the last minute. For you, this means extra opportunities in the last two months of the year to cash in on extra sales that you may not be able to take advantage of the rest of the year. There's also Amazon 'Prime' Days to factor in too! 

So how can you bag yourself a slice on this online shopping pie? First, you have to decide which of these holidays you actually want to be a part of. Not all online sellers have products that lend themselves to seasonal selling. How do you know this? Research the market, look at trends and set up a trial to test the holidays first hand. Logistically it may be too much of a stretch to get involved in every single holiday and you’ll most likely need have to choose which ones are likely to give you the biggest benefit.

What next?

You’ve decided which holidays you’re going to target so the next step is to formulate a plan as to how you’re going to take advantage of them. Here are the key considerations…

1.     Shipping policy:  Offering free shipping during the holidays is a brilliant way to distinguish yourself from your competitors

2.     You will need to scale up your advertising budget – just think of all those extra eyeballs online. If your market is affected by the holidays, it likely means you’ll have holiday-related search queries coming through your paid ads. Beware of targeting generic keywords like “christmas deals” and “holiday sales.” This will bring in a lot of traffic, but unless you’re selling a wide variety of products across different categories, your visitors will likely find themselves looking at very specific products that may not interest them.

3.     Create seasonal graphics and reconfigure your listings (visuals and copy) to reflect your holiday approach. (Amazon doesn’t like ‘temporary language’ in the listing so best to avoid making unnecessary changes to the ‘title’)

4.     You’ll want to pay extra attention to your stats and analytics so you can see what’s working well what needs to be tweaked. You’ll be looking for increased conversions that lead to an increased average order price.

Having a ‘holiday’ Action Plan you can begin implementing and preparing for immediately will assist you in helping to drive sales and traction online. 

Here’s to your holiday success!