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Running an eCommerce Business

Last Minute eCommerce Holiday Season Checklist

Last Minute eCommerce Holiday Season Checklist

by John Larkin

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

A year ago


Last Minute eCommerce Holiday Season Checklist

Why will a customer choose you and not a competitor this festive season?

What do you do that makes you stand out of the pack?

Whether or not you have clear answers to these questions, let’s determine some last minute ways to get your online store ready for the crucial and busy festive period. 
Close the deal this festive season!
Really try to understand the value that your product or service is perceived to bring to the market & figure out how to emphasise it even more at this busy time of year.

Many traditional retailers and shopping malls have already begun to garnish their stores, giving them a special touch this holiday. Your online store needs to be ready for it as well.


1. Planning

First and foremost do some quick business planning. The holidays are a peak retail period of the year and preparation should have already started. During the holiday rush it's better not to improvise, so be sure to: 
  • Sales forecast
A gift that cannot be bought because it is completely sold out is a lost sale and a negative impact on the consumer. Not to mention that they will likely buy it elsewhere. So, how much stock will you need to hand? 

It's never too late to start planning
  • Organise your resources
Foresee if you are going to need extra packaging or other resources for any last minute sales and make sure you have them available. 
  • Double check logistics
As discussed above, a gift that isn’t delivered on time can be such a dramatic disaster that it can remain in the consumer’s mind for a substantial period of time. Likely effect: no repeat sales. Key thing to highlight is the expected delivery dates when ordered by a specific date.
  • Align Promotions and Communication
Use every channel available to communicate with your customers and potential customers. Be sure and highlight your trendy products, special offers, best value deals and free shipping options. 


2. Preparation



Prepare your TO-DO list
When your plan is solid make sure you bear in mind that any production and shipping will have to be accelerated and that your website should suit consumer expectations at this time of year.
  • Content changes
What content transformations have you considered for your online store? Try to innovate and break the rules. People like groundbreaking things. Instead of displaying a button saying  “Christmas Deals”, it would be nicer to call it “Santa’s Specials”.
  • Structure changes
Giving your website a holiday-inspired design makeover is great if possible. Reserve some space to highlight your special offers and bargains. Consider some themed navigation buttons.
  • New products
Do you have new images and stock information from your suppliers? Have you already thought how to display your new releases?


3. Giving extra value


What else can you include?
Start by making it as easy as possible for your consumers to find what they are looking for. It is very important to have filters either by category, availability or price. 
  • Free Shipping
Free shipping is a key factor to increase the volume of your sales and your total order value. According to Compete.com’s Online Shopper Intelligence Survey, 93% of people said that free shipping is the biggest source of encouragement to buy online. 
  • Gift cards and wrappings
Consumers view gift cards and gift wrapping as added value to their purchase. If you can afford to include these, they will make a difference.
  • Discounts
Set up some specific discount codes for the holiday season. It’s a fantastic way to make people feel like they are getting a good deal and hopefully spread the word.


4. Communicating


Gaps holiday campaign on Pinterest and Facebook
Giving off the holiday spirit is very important. Soak up in the festive mood around you and project it in your communication and messaging to your current and potential customers either on social media or in your store. 
  • New products
Photograph any new products showing off what they do really well. Show some ingenious pictures of your favourite products and focus on how they can be a great gift. 
  • Have fun
People love to add a little fun to their holiday shopping so make them enjoy shopping with you! Gap’s holiday campaign last year showed that it is a forward-thinking brand when it comes to digital marketing. Users who pinned Gap’s favorite holiday items to their Pinterest wish lists were automatically entered to win a substantial Gap Gift Card.

The holidays are all about connecting with people, sharing traditions and building memories so it’s natural that social media is an integral part of the holiday season. 

Be ready for this important period of the year and try to surprise your customers! Try to astonish them and make them appreciate your online store so much so they are willing to share their experience with friends and family. If you achieve that, then you have done a wonderful job.


What are your plans for the next few weeks before the holidays? It is not too late to run an advertising campaign and start shifting some last minute goods!

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