The holiday season is just around the corner and, pandemic or not, these special days could make things extra hectic for businesses within the eCommerce industry. After all, the Christmas shopping season entails a variety of big “holiday sales” such as Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. According to Statista’s latest study, this five-day period translated to an estimated $28.5 billion in sales during the 2019 holiday season.
Taking an even closer look, Forbes also suggests how online sales for retailers in popular gifting categories are set to get a significant boost this coming season. For instance, health and beauty sales are projected to go up by 23%, consumer electronics by 20%, fashion by 19%, and home furnishings by 16%.
This holiday season, health and beauty sales are projected to go up by 23%, consumer electronics by 20%, fashion by 19%, and home furnishings by 16%.
These dramatic spikes make it imperative for businesses to try their hardest to come up with the right strategies that could help them make the most out of the season. With that in mind, here are some of the ways eCommerce businesses can be successful during the holidays:
3 Ways eCommerce Businesses Can Conquer the Biggest Sales Days
1. Review Your Product Listings
An article on Inc outlines how competing with the likes of the big eCommerce businesses such as Amazon and Walmart will be extremely difficult in the coming months.
So to give yourself a better chance, the first thing you have to do is to ensure that your products are readily available, in stock, and visible to consumers searching for them online. For instance, you could try listing your products on Google Shopping for free. This simple trick will not only strengthen your digital presence but also make your products more accessible to the millions who shop through Google Shopping every single day. It would also be a good idea for you to use a variety of point-of-sale systems like Shopify.
2. Make the Most of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing can be very complex and generally incorporates a number of different disciplines. For most eCommerce businesses, digital marketing campaigns will either be done in-house or if you don’t have the expertise, it will need to be outsourced to an experienced agency or consultant.
Ayima Kickstart highlights how your digital marketing is often made up of three key aspects: technical SEO, content SEO, and Link Development. Technical SEO involves making sure your website is up to scratch. Meanwhile, content SEO involves publishing content that is relevant to your target market’s search queries, and turning visitors into potential customers. And finally, link development involves improving your brand reputation by creating a strong backlink profile. All these efforts put together will help ensure that your site ranks for your main keywords during the holiday season when you can generate the bulk of your annual sales.
3. Establish Clear Return Policies
With the pandemic forcing many of us to shift into the digital space, a high percentage of shopping is expected to happen online. This reality makes it crucial for eCommerce businesses to re-evaluate and re-establish not just their shipping policies but also their return procedures.
In one of our previous posts ‘How Businesses Can Handle Holiday Returns’, we mentioned how over 21% of online shoppers consider return policies as the biggest hurdles to shopping online. It is for this very reason why the first consideration you have to take into account when establishing return policies is simplicity. As much as possible, stick with clear and concise English, and avoid verbose language or complicated sentences. It would also be a good idea to offer flexible returns as well as a free return policy for specific items.
Things You Should Avoid
Of course, if there are things you have to do, there are also things you have to watch out for. These are as follows:
1. Starting Too Late and Having No Marketing Plan
As mentioned, the holiday season is expected to be longer this time around because much of today’s shopping will happen online. If you start out too late and with no solid marketing plan, catching up with your competitors would be far too difficult.
2. Neglecting Mobile Experiences
As smartphones continue to advance through the years, more and more consumers are relying on their phones for a multitude of things, including shopping. This makes it vital for eCommerce businesses to focus on what will make their sites more compatible with mobile.
3. Ignoring Loyal Customers & Last-Minute Shoppers
The holiday season may be the perfect time to appeal to new clients but it shouldn’t be a reason for you to neglect past and loyal customers. Make sure to introduce campaigns that will make them think about you and your brand once the shopping mood hits them.
4. Failing to Prepare Your Site
The shopping season is about to begin and the worst thing you can do is to fail to prepare your site for the wave of traffic the holidays will bring. As early as now, try to understand the load capability of your eCommerce platform, as it will be stretched to the limit in the coming months. It is also important that you understand the limits by checking-in with your hosting company and seeing if your plan supports the amount of traffic any seasonal campaigns could bring in.
This article is a contribution by Roxie Joyce.
How LateShipment.com’s DEM Platform Can Help You
Issues in the holiday season can seriously damage your online reputation and lead your potential customers into believing that the post-purchase experience you offer is flawed and deter them from shopping with you again.
On the other hand, getting your customer’s delivery experience right is crucial to building a loyal customer base. And repeat customers spend 65% more than new customers. Acquiring new customers is 5 times more expensive than retaining existing customers.
This is all the more reason to not overlook the post-purchase experience you offer by handing it over entirely to the shipping carrier but instead taking control of it to drive success.
Having a one-stop solution for all post-purchase issues would be great, wouldn’t it?
That solution is LateShipment.com.
LateShipment.com’s Delivery Experience Management (DEM) platform helps businesses like yours effortlessly bridge the post-purchase CX gap and discover new ways to delight and retain customers by enabling them to:
Stay on top of order deliveries, particularly those facing delays
- Track in-transit shipments in real-time across carriers you use on a single dashboard.
- Get predictive alerts for shipments facing delays & proactively take corrective action.
Over Communicate and reduce customer anxiety post-purchase
- Proactively identify and communicate with customers facing critical delivery issues.
- Automate order status notifications via email or SMS throughout the delivery lifecycle.
Impress customers with brand-consistent order-tracking experiences
- Build brand-consistent and beautiful order/tracking pages for your customers; on your custom domain.
- Embed “Track My Order” widgets on your website and shipping emails to make parcel tracking self-service.
Leverage order-tracking moments to increase sales and reduce returns
- Increase sales with marketing campaigns & product recommendations on tracking pages.
- Reduce returns by providing relevant product usage information on order tracking pages.
Know how good or bad your customers’ delivery experiences were by collecting delivery experience feedback
- Capture your customers’ Delivery Satisfaction (DSAT) rating after every order delivery.
- Monitor the average DSAT scores of customers to optimize shipping & delivery processes.
The claimed amount is directly deposited into your account. This can save you up to 20% of your overall shipping spend.
Our automated refunds solution
- Audits your monthly shipping invoices
- Submits refund claims to your carrier(s) on your behalf
- Deposits the refunded amount directly into your account
How good is that?
The best part is, it takes less than 2 minutes to see LateShipment.com in action without any change to your existing workflow.
The value we add to businesses is most evident when experienced first-hand. Try LateShipment.com now.