Each year, business owners rely on the holiday season to make a hefty portion of their annual revenue. In today’s environment, relying just on brick-and-mortar sales is no longer an option for most businesses. Two years ago, only 17.8% of sales were made from online purchases. Since then, the adoption of eCommerce has only grown, with 14.3% of all retail sales in the first quarter, up 6.6% from last year.
The eCommerce share of the retail market remains high, and so does the level of competition in the space. To make yourself shoppers’ go-to for gifts, you need to make the shopping experience easy. Now is a great time to get started, so you have time to tweak your plans and make them perfect.
This guide looks at everything you need to get your online store ready to make holiday magic. Read on to be prepared!
1. Prepare for Incoming Website Traffic
An eCommerce website is like the front door to your brand. Customers navigate your site to find information and new products and manage their subscriptions. Identify your highest trafficked pages from organic search and the pages with the most views to determine where to focus your efforts. Are there new and exciting ways to show off your holiday promotions without being obtrusive to the user experience?
But your homepage shouldn’t be the only place you showcase your deals. Not everyone will land there while they’re doing their online shopping. If they find a different page in a Google search, you’ll want that page to include your promo language and advertisements to capture the most eyeballs from potential customers.
2. Update Your Merchandising Strategy
Explore all the ways you can showcase your products this holiday season. You can start by deciding which products to sell. Are there specific holiday bundles your target audience wants? What about seasonal favorites? Also, review last year’s numbers – which products sold the best, and do you stock anything similar? Next, consider how you’ll display these items on your site. For example, you could organize gifts and bundles in one place. You can also consider creating categories around the recipient, or “Gifts for Mom,” “Gifts for Dad,” etc. This will help your customers easily navigate your site and find what they’re looking for.
There are additional things you should consider this year as well – pricing sensitivity, rising costs, and supply chain disruptions will likely impact this year’s holiday spending. Staying nimble and aware of the changing market will help you prepare for a successful season.
3. Create Strategic Holiday Marketing Campaigns
Marketing is often a long game, so it’s essential to start getting your ducks in a row long before your customers even think about shopping for the holidays. When considering long-game marketing, SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) will be something you need to plan well in advance. SEO campaign results often take more than six months to develop, and the most significant results often take more than a year to manifest. So, now is a great time to get started on your website’s SEO!
Additionally, keeping a constant stream of content flowing is essential to planning a marketing strategy for the holidays. You can do this with social media channels, blog posts, video content, and more. For example, if you create a blog post on how to properly decorate for the holidays and feature a variety of your products, you have a higher chance of making a sale from customers visiting your blog.
4. Get an Overview of Your Business
As a business owner, you know how important your time is – and it only becomes more critical as things start to ramp up closer to the holiday season. What if there was a way for you to get a bird’s-eye view of your business processes in one place? The Markaz Dashboard does just that – on the Dashboard, you can see your company insights, securely store, organize, and send key business documents, explore business resources at a discount, receive proactive alerts of what needs your attention, and so much more. This will save you time and money, which is invaluable during the craze of the holiday season.
The Bottom Line
Online merchants have had to adapt to myriad new challenges over the last couple of years. Yet, eCommerce continues to grow. It’s never too early to start planning your holiday campaign, and it’ll be much easier to prepare if you use this list as your guide. By preparing your website, updating your merchandising strategy, creating great marketing campaigns, staying aware of changing market trends, and ensuring you have a good view of your business, you can weave together some holiday magic for an unforgettable end to a challenging year.
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