The holidays are almost upon us and before we know it, consumers will be diving right into full-on shopping mode. When that happens, expect to find retailers everywhere battling for a share of Christmas revenues. 

Is your e-commerce site ready? 

But it’s only November and too early to think about Christmas, isn’t it? Perhaps. But consider this: Between now and the end of the year, there is Black Friday, Super Saturday, Cyber Monday, and every weekend in between.

This is your last chance in 2019 to catch up on your annual sales targets, and there is no better time than now to batten down the hatches and prepare for the inevitable buying frenzy. This guide is your best companion to maximise your bottom line before the new year starts.

 

Recalibrate your strategy for a big, final push

Whether your marketing campaigns so far have delivered on your expectations or just missed your targets, it never hurts to revisit your tactics. Especially at this time of year, you need to make sure that your strategy is still on point and poised for the end-of-year push. 

How do seasonal trends affect demand for your products? What are the best dates to run a discount promotion? Did you make the right assumptions about your buyer personas? Every purchase situation is unique and demands a tailored approach. Take this time to quickly identify any gaps in your campaign and get into position for the year-end ramp-up.

 

Optimise your website for trending topics

The fourth quarter drives everyone into a mad rush and in a last-minute effort to sell, sell, sell, it can be easy to overlook your own needs – your SEO needs, that is. 

Less than a week ago, Google came out with its findings on this year’s holiday shopping trends. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Do you usually drop your prices around this time of year? Shoppers will love you for it! The number of people using their mobile to find “best deals” have increased 90 percent.
  • “Black Friday deals” is an even more popular search term, which has doubled in volume this year.
  • If your storefront is difficult to navigate, you will lose out on a major sales opportunity. Some 70 percent of buyers want to be able to find their way around your store, without having to ask for assistance. It’s all about user experience.

Optimise your content based on trends like these, in order to boost your traffic. And while you’re at it, you might want to follow Neil Patel’s advice on how to tweak your existing content with the right set of keywords.

 

Avoid a dead inventory situation

Overstocking now can be tempting, for fear of missing out on potential sales. However, finding yourself with excess inventory come January can be just as costly, if not more, what with your cash flow tied up in unmoved goods.

Avoid this all too common scenario, by looking at last year’s sales figures, for starters. Create tailored promotions, offer bundle discounts, target your repeat customers – there are several revenue streams hidden in your data, if you know where to look.

You can also push your products on different online marketplaces like Amazon and Google Shopping. The more channels you use, the wider your reach and potential for converting new traffic into sales.

 

Automate wherever possible

It’s all hands on deck throughout the Yuletide season; the sole focus should be to close every sale that comes through your store. But you won’t be able to do this, unless you allow certain manual tasks to be automated.

How do you manage order confirmations? How about customer queries? Sure, sending out a quick email or picking up the phone will only take minutes, but if you’re not careful, these can add up fast and hurt your service quality and delivery times.

Worried about losing the personal touch your brand is known for? There are several ways you can offer the same amazing level of customer experience with marketing automation. For example, triggering personalised emails at crucial points of the sales funnel can help improve your conversion rates – something that will be difficult to achieve using only manual means. You can put in place an AI chatbot to handle the most common customer queries received on your website and also on social media, which can be an important source of leads during this peak period.

 

Streamline your end-of-funnel operations

First, the basics: Are all your landing pages working perfectly? Can your website handle large traffic without slowing down? Are you collecting the right set of data on your customers?

Now, take a minute to review your sales checkout process. Is it as frictionless as it needs to be? Optimise your website’s checkout process by:

  • Removing any unnecessary elements, like irrelevant form fields.
  • Keeping your checkout steps to the bare minimum.
  • Implementing a guest checkout option, to reduce drop-off.

Ensuring a smooth checkout process immediately lowers your cart abandonment rate and in turn, increases your potential conversions. Besides, simplifying the job for your customers will benefit your bottom line, even beyond the holidays. Never lose a sale again!

 

If you don’t yet have a plan in place for your e-commerce website, you’re already behind… but not too late! Need help to tick things off this to-do list? Let’s have a chat about getting your e-commerce site geared up for the biggest shopping season of the year.

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