Holiday shopping has begun early, but you still have time to prepare your website, campaigns, and operations. Here are five strategies and elements you can implement now to prepare for a successful holiday selling season.
1. Refresh your Brand Story
Amazon continues to lead eCommerce brands’ holiday sales. Last year, 11% of consumers planned to buy all holiday gifts on Amazon. Inspire shoppers to buy by creating a compelling connection. Thankfully, Amazon’s A+ Content Manager provides a customized set of content tools. Optimize your Amazon Brand Story with content, photos, and visuals.
Describe your company in the Brand Story. You can add a logo and some products, as well as a brief description. You can customize this for holidays. You can highlight your charitable giving, environmental efforts, or holiday spirit.
Many businesses use this feature to promote holiday products or best sellers. They are eager to read and see what you have to offer.
2. Test those targeted emails
Holiday campaigns introduce new targets and market segments. Personalize based on past habits, age ranges, or who someone is shopping for. People are willing to share valuable data directly for content or indirectly through their website usage. Create an audience with that.
Then test, test, test. That’s useful for seasonal branding or expanding a standard campaign. It can also help with timed events like Black Friday campaigns or emails that count down to a sale. Visual elements should work but have alt-text, and so on. Create a holiday checklist for each campaign. So you don’t lose money at the end of the year.
3. Verify your sales SEO
Because most of your sales occur during the holiday season, you need to plan ahead. For starters, keep your site loading time to a few seconds. Improve overall performance and test mobile and desktop page elements.
Examine site elements first, then trends. Are you using last year’s trends? Updated product descriptions and keywords for this year’s shoppers? Combine the two to ensure you have the right product and holiday keywords. Using Google Trends to capture long-tail keywords for holiday sales is smart.
Also, don’t forget online store SEO. It all depends on your platform and tools. WordPress plugins check meta descriptions for keyword use, while Shopify plugins check product descriptions. The goal is the same, but the path is unique. Using sales SEO tools for your sales platform reduces the risk of elements breaking or forgetting eCommerce essentials.
4. Think of new deals or discounts
It’s not hyperbole to say that this holiday season is unlike previous years. We’re all facing a carrier shortage, supply chain delays, and record eCommerce orders. That can cause issues when you need to move goods quickly. But it also opens doors.
Many suggestions we hear involve deeper discounts or product giveaways, but this does not address supply chain issues. However, some eCommerce businesses now offer bulk shopping discounts to their regular customers and end-users. That could be a great deal for your company and customers. You get to move more product for less money, and your customers get everything they need in one big order.
This also shifts last-mile fulfillment to consumers. With a significant discount for bulk purchases, they get the large package and split it. That prompts them to take the packages to the post office or a carrier store. A win-win situation where you more than make up the discount provided by saving on fulfillment.
5. Consult your partners
This holiday season, businesses like yours need a clear path forward. It all starts with a discussion with your fulfillment partners. Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) should be in constant contact with carriers regarding shipping status. They can help you set holiday shipping expectations with customers.
Carriers tell my company where capacity issues are expected and which regions should be safe. They give updates on shipping times, capacity reductions, and more. eCommerce businesses should discuss these issues with their 3PL to plan ahead. Moving inventory, shipping early, and using expedited options for every order are all examples.
Planning for returns is part of this. Work with your fulfillment partners to understand their return policies. Do you need to clarify acceptable behavior? How many returns do you expect? Could they charge you more if you cross a certain mark? Plan now to manage various volumes during the holidays.