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Running an eCommerce Business

7 Tips to Help you Prepare your Store for the Holidays

7 Tips to Help you Prepare your Store for the Holidays

by John Larkin

John runs the blog here at eCommerceLift and is a verified Shopify Expert. Interested in an initial growth consultation? Click here

7 years ago

7 Tips to Help you Prepare your Store for the Holidays

It’s that time of year again for eCommerce merchants. You need to start focusing on getting ready for the holiday season. Coming up to Christmas can be one of the busiest times of the year for stores and you can’t leave anything to chance as it could mean losing out on a substantial amount of sales. It is essential to plan ahead and get yourself organised so that you can have a less stressful more successful season.

Today, we are going to be talking about what eCommerce stores should be doing to prepare for the upcoming holiday season and how to remain organised so that your store can gain the most sales.

Prepare your stock 

Stocking up for the Christmas season is the most vital aspect when it comes to organizing you store. Having a detailed assessment of what you will need and ordering it early so that you can be organised and assured that you will have enough for the upcoming high sales season.

Do this by investigating what is likely to be your biggest selling product and what will likely be in less demand and plan accordingly. Look at buying trends over the past year and what customers responded to and this should help you gauge what you should stock up on.

Stocking up also doesn't just mean plan your inventory. We also suggest stocking up on everything you deem essential to ship a product. Aspect such as the shipping packaging, company cards or everything else you need to effective have a successful transaction with a customer. Doing this will make you more organised and lessen the chances of losing sales as you weren't prepared.

Make a Holiday Marketing Plan 

Throughout the holiday season it’s inevitable that you will be doing some extra marketing strategies to promote your store through this hopefully busy time. These need to be expertly planned out so that your marketing efforts deliver their highest potential. From Facebook Ads to social media content. Plan each one down to a tee so that you know what and when you are marketing your store. 

In addition, don’t forget to adjust your marketing budget as you will be marketing more than usual so make sure you are aware of what you will be spending while also having a realistic expectation of what your budget will get you.

Plan your Holiday Offers

Throughout the Christmas period many brands do holiday themed events and offers. These can be fun and are great at effectively engaging with customers and encouraging them to buy.

However, these must be planned as simply creating one without thought can lead to a marketing disaster. Strategically mark out what offers and promotions you will be doing and when you plan on carry them out. This will allow you to be prepared while also allowing you to plan how you will effectively promote these offers so that they make the maximum impact for your brand. 

Set a Shipping Deadline 

A big mistakes merchant’s make is accepting orders and not being able to fulfill them on time. We know that is hard to refuse an order as you are losing out on a valuable sale but the truth is it’s impossible to fulfill some orders within the last few days of the holiday season.

To stop customers feeling disappointed or annoyed at not having their order fulfilled on time, you should pick a shipping deadline to notify customers that orders after a certain date will not be delivered in time. Sticking to this deadline will encourage customers to buy earlier and allow you not to get stressed at the idea of shipping last minute orders that may or may not arrive on time.

Plan for Mobile 

Mobile and tablet devices are a fast growing sector in eCommerce as the number of customers that shop on mobile has significantly risen. It’s definitely no longer second fiddle to desktop especially around the holidays. Despite this rise in popularity, so many store have inadequate mobile stores that turn customers off shopping on mobile. 

Having a mobile compatible store that looks stylish and as appealing as possible for customers is an essential as customers will look elsewhere if they cannot shop on mobile. Hence, making your store mobile friendly could be the key to getting extra holiday sales.

Check your resources

Over the holiday and Christmas period all of your resources will be stretched but it’s important that you are prepared to deal with this. Look at all aspects of your business such as customer service, ordering and marketing and think about what is likely to struggle and develop a plan on how to avoid this. Whether it be hiring extra staff or streaming lining your ordering process, this will help make the season pass without any hiccups that interrupt your ability to sell.

Get into the holiday spirit 

Although not essential, it can be inviting for customers to see that your store is in the holiday spirit. Making little alterations to your website that add a festive edge can be a big draw and put you ahead of the competitors. By adding design features that are holiday related to changing emails to making them Christmas-esq. Customer will notice these touches and be compelled to do their holiday shopping with your store.

Christmas can be a stressful time for store but also highly lucrative. If you are well organised and prepare for all outcomes, you could have a successful holiday season that could grow your eCommerce store. 


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