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2014 Holiday Season eCommerce Checklist

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Believe it or not, the holiday shopping season is already here. The Halloween costumes have been pushed to the clearance racks and have made room for the Christmas decorations in stores across the country.

Whether it snuck up on you or you’ve been planning for weeks, this article will share some of the quickest ways to get your website and your business ready for the holiday shopping season:

1.If you don’t have your holiday sales planned, now is the time to do it. 

Turning_Pages_of_the-Calendar

Shoppers are already starting to look for holiday gift ideas and sales leading into the biggest shopping days and weeks ahead. The two biggest shopping days are just over a little 3 weeks away.

  • Black Friday is November 28th 
  • Cyber Monday is December 1st

Consider making your holiday sales more prominent on your webpage in the coming weeks. You could add or update your banner, you could add a link to a page of all your deals. You could write about your upcoming sales on your blog or consider creating special PPC campaigns. Some sites show countdowns to holidays or big sales (23 days, 2 hours, 26 minutes until Christmas, until our Black Friday Sale, etc.).

Whatever you do, make sure it’s clear to customers what specials you will be offering them for the holidays.

2.Get your shipping game-plan ready

Free shipping
Shoppers are looking for the best price. When a competitor’s products are just a few keyboard clicks away, you should strive to have the best shipping policy.
Will you offer discounted or free shipping? Will you create a free shipping threshold – if a customer spends at least $X, they get free shipping.
In a recent report released by Price Waterhouse Coopers, 84% of consumers consider price to be the most important factor in their purchasing decision. Customers may find your products on other sites but if you have the best price for shipping, you stand a greater chance of winning the sale.

3.  Consider implementing a holiday return policy

Much like your shipping policy, you may want to consider creating a more lenient holiday return policy as well. This helps customers feel better about buying from you when they’re not certain someone will want to keep their gift. If your current policy allows returns within 30 days, you may want to extend that to allow for a few weeks after Christmas. That way, customers won’t hesitate to buy gifts from you if they’re shopping early.

4.  Review your customer service information

Online shopping offers a lot of convenience but one downside is that customers can’t just walk up to a customer service desk and ask questions. So it’s very important that you make sure that your policies are clear and easy to find – especially if you’re offering special holiday policies, like the ones mentioned above.

5.  Create Holiday gift guides for your products

In recent years, large online retailers like Best Buy, Macy’s, Target, Amazon and others have been creating gift guides to help shoppers looking for ideas. This can be a great way to showcase your products or create bundles that would work for certain people.

You could create a variety of guides, depending on what makes sense for your products and customers.

  • Gift Guide for him
  • Gift Guide for her
  • Gift Guide for kids/boys/girls

Every business is different. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to planning for the holiday season. But while time is running out, you do still have a few weeks to get your site primed to get more sales this holiday season, however you decide is appropriate for you.

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