What is E-commerce?Since the start of COVID-19, U.S. consumers have been shopping more frequently online. U.S. consumers spent $2.2 billion on Nov. 2, the day before the U.S. presidential election, a 31% year-over-year increase. And they spent $2.0 billion on Nov. 3, Election Day, which was a 27% jump year over year. Experts predict this trend will continue and that online businesses will see a significant online shopping presence for the holiday season. What does this mean for your business? It means that e-commerce is booming. You need to sell your products and take payments through an online marketplace to prepare for the upcoming Holiday season. What is E-commerce? E-commerce, or Electric Commerce, is the process of buying and selling products through the internet. There are a few ways to set up an online store, but the easiest way is through the WordPress plug-in,WooCommerce. WooCommerce is now known for powering 8% of all e-commerce websites. It has gained popularity because it is free to set up, most themes in WordPress work with WooCommerce, and it allows unlimited products and visitors. This means you’re essentially able to sell anything you want through WooCommerce, from physical products to online services, all through one platform.
Here are my top tips and tricks to prepare your business for the holidaysHere are my top tips and tricks to prepare your business for the holidays Once you have your e-commerce platform set up, it’s time to optimize your site to make the most out of the upcoming holiday season. Here are my top tips and tricks to prepare your business for the holidays:
1. Visit your WebsiteThe first thing you should do is make sure everything is live and working correctly on your website. This includes checking every page and link and making sure your content is still timely to your customers. In addition, you want to make sure the pictures are loading, descriptions are available, and prices are reflected appropriately for your products. While website owners should do this task every few months, it’s imperative around the holidays. In addition, potential customers want a website that is easy to navigate, so broken links and inappropriate content will drive them away.
2. Have your Holiday Promotions and Specials ReadyAre you offering any special deals to customers who shop on certain days? Are you releasing any unique products? Do you plan to offer free shipping after a certain amount of product is purchased or offer a discount code to frequent customers? These questions can be used as strategies to maximize your sales during the holiday season. So many major retail holidays are right around the corner. You want to make sure you set before customers start to shop for the Holiday season.
3. Update your holiday hours and delivery timesMost customers will check online for the most updated information concerning hours and delivery times. Make sure to update your business hours through Google and on your website. You want to make sure if you have changed hours or plan to close on the holidays that your customers are aware. An easy way to showcase new hours could be through a pop-up display when a customer opens your website. Delivery times are a common concern for customers. What is the latest date they can order from your shop and have a delivered product before the holidays? A quick breakdown of shipping by dates: For USPS, they suggest getting all retail ground shipments in by Tuesday, December 15th. For USPS Priority mail, you have until Wednesday, December 23rd. If you use UPS, ground shipping needs to be in by December 15th, and USPS Next Day Air shipping needs to be in by December 23rd. FedEx has a wider range of services with similar dates. Their suggested ground shipping date is Wednesday, December 9th. By having multiple shipping options available, you can maximize your holiday sales. If you’re still having trouble figuring out what dates you should offer, check directly with your preferred shipping source for updated information and pricing.
4. Build a Gift SectionBuilding a gift section of your website is easy to help match customers to products they’re looking for. You can do this by creating areas of your websites with tags such as “Gifts for him,” “Gifts for her,” “Gifts for Mom,” “Unique Holiday Gifts.” This takes the guesswork out of shopping for your customers and highlights how your products/services can fit different people. Adding Bundles to your gift section is another simple way to maximize sales. So how do you create a bundle? First, look through products to find similar things that can go together. Then create a bundle (or box of products) that your customers can purchase with one click, instead of having to buy everything separately. For example, let’s say you are in the coffee business. You could bundle a bag of coffee, a mug, and a French press together for a “Coffee Lovers” bundle. Not only is this selling more products at once, but you’ve created more value for the customer. In addition, selling bundles is a great way to sell more of a product that may not be your bestseller to make sure you’re moving inventory.
5. Don’t Focus on one holidayMost companies cater to the Christmas season because it is the most popular holiday in the United States. However, there are many cultures and customers you could be attracting by adding selections for other holidays such as Kwanzaa or Hanukkah. By offering bundles or specials aimed at these customers, you increase the reach your business can have.
6. Hire Extra Support as NeededYou can hire freelancers or part-time contract work through online services such as Fiverr or Upwork. If the holidays are super busy for your business, consider hiring extra support. You can hire freelancers or contract work through online services such as Fiverr or Upwork. Part-time workers can help you by answering customer inquiries, filling orders, interacting on social media and staying in touch with customers. Extra hands can help you make sure that every order lives up to your expectations.
7. Plan for New YearsAlthough the holiday season is essential, don’t forget to create your New Year’s strategy. You should be ready to roll out your specials as soon as Christmas is over. New Year’s is often associated with resolution setting for the upcoming year, so it’s a great time to position your services to fulfill those goals. In addition, you can double down by creating special deals and discounts for unsold Christmas stock to make way for future inventors.
Are you lost on trying to get your web design ready for the holidays? Check out my other article on the importance of Website Design in 2021 here.
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