Your ecommerce website should always be equipped to handle incoming customers, but this necessary preparation is never more important than the holiday season. This is when your business should be putting its best foot forward to capitalize on customers looking to spend their money on goods and services for their friends, family, and colleagues. As the holidays inch forward, here’s what you can do to prepare for them:
Think About Black Friday & Cyber Monday
No matter what industry you’re in, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are important holiday dates for retailers and service providers. In fact, there are more sales that occur on these dates than any other date leading up to Christmas. Case in point: Fortune Magazine found that in 2016, Cyber Monday brought in more single-day sales than any other day in history. Therefore, it’s crucial that you think about your sales and plan in advance to accommodate these holidays.
As a business owner, you don’t want to blindly decide on a discount or deal. Choosing your holiday sales deals is a very strategic process, and involves sorting through your inventory and making numbers-based predictions about what margins need to be met at what price points. A thorough inventory check will also ensure that you don’t run out of product, or conversely, have too much product that doesn’t sell.
Spread the Word
Once you’ve decided on the best deals, it’s time to start spreading the word. First and foremost, your holiday deals and marketing materials should all be cohesive. You’ll want to start a holiday email marketing campaign, for example, and your email campaign branding should be in line with your social media promotional efforts, as well as your website promotion.
You should also heavily consider social advertising, where you can hone in on your target audience better than ever, and bring in valuable customers who can also spread the word about your sales. Consider combining your deals with a referral strategy, which incentives consumers to get even better deals than you’re already offering, and lowers your cost of customer acquisition.
Make Sure Your Site Is Ready
Your website should be prepared for the holiday season, and there are several ways you can do this. First and foremost, if you expect plenty of traffic, you may want to take a look at your hosting setup. For instance, if you have shared hosting, and too many visitors come to your site at once, it could crash your server, and no purchases will be able to be made. In fact, many major retailer’s sites have gone down during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Best Buy is a great example of this: back in 2014, too much traffic resulted in three hours of downtime, which consequently cost them dozens of thousands of dollars.
It’s also crucial that your website is optimized for mobile viewing and purchasing. If it isn’t, you should highly consider a website redesign and use a responsive theme to capitalize on consumers who are shopping on their mobile devices. According to IBM, in 2014, more sales occurred on mobile devices during Black Friday than desktop devices. This is huge potential that you can’t afford to waste.
And lastly, you want to be sure your website has the proper security measures in place. Hacking attempts are even more popular than ever, and hackers prey on small businesses who are vulnerable to these attacks.
Decorate Your Website
Just in time for the holiday season, allow your website to show off its holiday spirit! This is a great time to great creative and have fun with your brand. For example, why not take your logo and add a little Santa hat? Most importantly, you’ll want graphics that clearly show visitors what sales are going on. They shouldn’t have to look through products to discover which are on sale; the biggest deals should be up front and center.
Enlist the Services of a Professional Agency
A professional ecommerce digital marketing agency can help you handle each of the aforementioned tasks. With so much experience in the ecommerce space, they’re well-equipped to handle an influx of customers, and can prepare your site to be more readily discoverable. Most importantly, they can create an effective strategy designed to garner additional sales during the busiest time of the year. Additionally, many digital marketing agencies have design teams on deck as well, which means they can be a one-stop shop for all your holiday needs.