5 ways to prepare your eCommerce store for the holiday season

5 ways to prepare your eCommerce store for the holiday season
Story of AMS
Story of AMS
4 min read

As we set foot into the holiday season, ensuring your eCommerce business is ready for the festive rush is top of mind. Every year, the holidays cause orders to soar while consumers stock up on gifts, causing a buzzing time for all eCommerce brands. A festive period allows eCommerce businesses to significantly increase the number of their sales. It’s an extraordinary chance for increasing profits and growing your revenue rate. 

 This is why it's crucial to keep up with the demand and provide your customers with a flawless shopping experience. To become any consumer’s go-to for gifts, you need to make sure the shopping experience is easy, fast, and enjoyable. All while making sure you’re fulfilling their needs. As you can imagine, it asks for a lot of priming. And although managing the simultaneous increase of orders from holiday shopping can be challenging, there are several ways to ensure your eCommerce store is ready to take on the holiday trials.

 Dive into the article to learn about 5 vital approaches to successfully prepare for the festive season.

 1. Prepare your store for incoming traffic. 

While the holiday season is coming closer, traffic on your website is most likely increasing. Consumers have been shopping and searching for the perfect gifts, and your products might be their jackpot. To make sure you can provide every single customer with the best experience, you’ll need to double up on your services. 

During the holidays of 2018, Walmart lost approximately $9 million caused by their website crashing down for only 2,5 hours. Seeing outstanding amounts like these lost in such little time shows how crucial it is to set a good prime for your website's abilities. 

To avoid such a disaster, check with your third-party integrations to see if they’re up to date. Test them out and confirm they can handle the load. If they can, do not add any others. Additional or last-minute app add-ons can break certain aspects of your flow or slow down your website.

2. Ensure a hassle-free customer experience.

This is a big one in the world of eCommerce, where customer service is the bread and butter of the industry. Keep in mind that while good discounts have a tendency to attract customers, poor customer service is just as good at steering them away.

Today’s holiday shopper wants to be able to get what they need easily and with as little friction as possible. That means your site needs to provide options that are catered to their specific needs and a seamless path to checkout. Is your online store up to the job?

 There are several ways to ensure your website is delivering optimal holiday magic. Think of upgrades like:

  • Enhance your site speed

  • Decorate your storefront using a custom holiday theme

  • Strategically showcase your holiday products

  • Fine-tune site search to create a seamless shopping experience

  • Optimize check-out by simplifying the process, allowing guest checkouts, and offering a variety of payment methods.

3. Clear up your shipping and fulfillment options.

When shopping online, more than 65% of customers will delete the item or drop their entire order when they see the out-of-stock sign. Having said that, failing challenges such as insufficient stock, shipping delays, or wrong orders could ruin a consumer’s entire shopping experience.

To dodge extended shipping periods and running out of desired products, you’ll need a clear plan on where to sell your products and how to ship and fulfill orders. Does your business have the right tools to stay on top of inventory management and track real-time as well as forecasting future demand? Think of the several apps Shopify offers to manage your inventory. Other than that, make sure to check in with suppliers on time to confirm they can provide your raised demands for the upcoming season. 

Considering shipping preparations for the heightened traffic and increased orders, you’ll need to determine your shipping procedure. Whether it’ll be in-house, outsourced, or by making use of dropshipping, you’ll want to automate your shipping process. Shipping software gives you access to one dashboard where you can compare rates, print labels, manage orders, print shipping labels in bulk, and arrange shipping bills. This will definitely lift some weight off any merchant’s shoulders. 

4. Get your audience excited

Ensuring your eCommerce store is fully optimized and ready to take on the holiday madness is one challenge, promoting your brand to end up on top of all wishlists is another! Preparing campaigns and promotional strategies before big holiday spendings are crucial for a successful outcome. 

Keep in mind these key planning points to be fully equipped and ready for the festive period: 

  • Plan far in advance. Ensure your strategies are thought through and effective. Start predicting and planning your methods long before your customers are even thinking about their wishlists. Communicate all the necessary information to your partners as well- making sure they’re ready and set up when it’s go time. 

  • Engage with customers through promotional strategies. Utilizing strategies like limited-time offers, upselling gift cards, and offering seasonal services such as free gift-wrapping or shipping are great marketing techniques. It will cause consumers to be more eager to buy your services or products and it adds a positive urgency to their actions. 

  • Integrate your marketing efforts. A constant stream of content is essential for any eCommerce business. Especially during the holiday season, you’ll want to be focussing on creating original, relevant, and up-to-date content. Your online presence will most likely direct yearning holiday shoppers towards your store, and therefore boosting your holiday sales significantly. 

  • Exploit festive packaging. Implementing strategies to increase conversion does not stop at check-out, festive packaging has grown to be a trending desire within the eCommerce industry. Up to 81% of eCommerce companies state they intend to spice up their usual packaging or even order new festive bundles for the upcoming holiday season. This is the cherry on top of your customer’s order. You’ll leave a memorable and positive impression, causing your retention rate to increase!

5. Ramp up customer service and support. 

 Although you’ve gathered all the information you need to prevent your website from malfunctioning during busy holiday times, a sturdy customer service plan is still a crucial feature for your store. The holidays can get hectic, so by making sure all question marks get eliminated in the most efficient way possible you’ll save yourself a lot of spare time.

If your website does not offer 24/7 global support yet, now is the time! Ensure your customers can receive support at any time of the day, from any place on the globe. By adopting qualities like an uninterrupted live chat, premium security features, and a clear FAQ page, both you and your customers get through the shopping experience seamlessly. Resulting in positive customer experiences, the foundation of any successful eCommerce company!

Wrapping up

The festive season is right at our doorstep, and with the right preparations, it could be the most exciting time of the year for any eCommerce business. 

Ensuring you and your team are up-to-date with any hurdles your business may stumble across is the crucial first step to creating the hassle-free shopping experience we’re all aiming for. Providing a positive shopping experience for your customers goes a long way, you’ll most likely bring a lot of new, loyal customers with you into 2022! Take a step-by-step approach, and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to welcoming jolly shoppers with ease.

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