How to prepare your online store for holiday shopping

5 easy ecommerce tips to attract more customers during the holidays

For some businesses, the holidays provide a slow period to take care of end-of-year tasks and planning for Q1. For B2C owners, however, the holiday sales usually provide a big portion of total annual revenue. Within most retail stores, there’s a rush of customers that come beginning around Black Friday to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones. With its rise in convenience, online shopping has continued to grow in popularity year after year, with $123.39 billion in online sales expected to come from 2018’s holiday season – a 16.6% increase from last year projected by Statista.


This year, use the following tips to spend some time boosting your digital efforts and optimize your online store for the season.


  1. Plan your sales calendar

First, determine which holidays you’d like to center your promotions around and when you need to begin promoting sales. For most online retailers, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas are big holidays to target, though dependent on your target customer you may also want to focus on New Year’s, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or others.


If you can, look back on any data or analytics you have from previous years to determine which products were most popular, and which time of year customers began making bigger purchases. This will help you determine which items to put on sale and when you should start promoting them.


  1. Update your site

Make small tweaks to your site so that it matches the holidays’ festivities and looks more attractive to users who are looking for specific presents. By using a red, green, white or blue color palette on your site, it’ll be more apparent to users that they’ve come to the right place in search of a winter-specific gift. Furthermore, updating your product imagery to include holiday or winter-specific backdrops will also queue users to pay special attention to the products that you have on sale for the holidays.


  1. Market your sales

Let your customer base know that some of their favorite products might be on sale for the season. If you’ve gathered customer data into an email marketing list, be sure to send out a newsletter as soon as possible to alert them to your deals so they can prioritize their shopping and take a look at your site.


If you’re a fairly new business and need a quick way to send an email blast to prospective customers, you can set up an “abandoned cart” auto responder in most email marketing platforms. All you need to do is develop an email that points to your sales and have it deliver to any customers who put items in their online shopping cart but leaves the site before they’re able to check out. These types of emails are some of the most successful for retailers as it entices customers to come back and finish their sale or even look into additional products.


Incorporate your sales promotions into your social media schedule, and make sure the language you use is enticing and time sensitive. The holidays don’t last forever, after all, and neither should your deals. Customers should know that this is the time of year when they can access some of the best deals available to them, and after that, they’re gone for another year.


  1. Create seasonal content

Attract new customers to your site by generating season-specific content. If you have a blog, this is the best and easiest way to optimize your content. With such high rates of online shopping during the holiday season, that means customers are also looking for advice and shopping tips. Your blog should help answer some customers’ questions while also pointing them to your products. For instance, if you own a jewelry store where you have a promotion running for New Year’s engagement rings, you could create a blog post about tips for selecting a high-quality ring, then link to some of the rings you have on sale. Customers will view you as an authoritative seller, and be more likely to make a purchase from you.


  1. Boost your customer support

With an influx of customers around the holidays comes an influx of questions and concerns. Don’t risk your store’s reputation by not being available to address your customers’ needs. Instead, scale up appropriately for your size as well as the season’s time period. An easy and cost effective way to make sure your customers are getting the help they need is to install a chat bot on your site that assesses questions and answers through a series of prompts that you can create based on your customers’ most common questions.


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