Top 10 tips for eCommerce stores during Holiday Season 2020

Jake was super anxious because the holiday season was close approaching. But the entire COVID situation has put a halt on in-store shopping. Now, all he had to rely on was online shopping sites which from his past experience were dreadful during the holiday season. To no option, he went down searching to find two sites that had a plethora of amazing options. 

The first site had varied options ranging from home decor items to fashion accessories. But every time he tried opening the specific page, it crashed. 

While on the second site, the product options were not that varied but had a discount scheme strategy, an easier checkout system, and was visually appealing. 

Although, both the sites had incredible features, both lacked in overarching customer experience. 

 

Why is it important for eCommerce stores?

The million-dollar question is why do eCommerce sites need special makeovers during the holiday season?

Let’s look at it statistically:

  • In the year 2019, the percentage of the annual sales spiked 18.8% from the year 2018
  • In 2019, the US holiday retail sales reached 1.01 trillion dollars surpassing  the $1 trillion mark for the first time
  • While cyber Monday witnessed sales of $9.1 Billion, up from $7.6 Billion in 2018
  • And the most sales-driving item last year was smartphones. Almost 48% of revenue was driven by smartphone sales.

Now, if we look at the entire 2020 situation, we realize the dependency on the online market is going to be manifold times. 

In fact, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast, eCommerce sales will increase by almost 25%-35% in 2020-21 against the 14.7% increase in 2019. 

Looking at the stats, fathoming the increased need for a proper online store is not difficult. 

But where do the eCommerce sites fail?

The power of undervaluing the scenarios.
The holiday season is one of the biggest events to let you stand out as a store. Even then, a multitude of them fail, why?

  • Underestimate the power of order load
  • Underprepared
  • Don’t cater to specific audiences
  • Do not plan strategies in advance
  • Create no boilers, excitement, or surprises
  • No in-place discount strategies
  • Difficult navigation to find holiday-specific items

With so many problems, you need to follow a few tips & tricks to maintain your name in good books. Let’s look at the top 10 tips!

10 tips for your store during the holiday season

After you have diagnosed that your store might need a seasonal revamp, let’s dive into the practical tips that you could possibly incorporate: 

  1. Better homework, better save in the future

    While everyone awaits the holiday season, start preparing for it by raising the serotonin cells of your audience. To get your arms around, create a content strategy for your promotional week.

    Let your content strategy include:

    • The type of content you need to post
    • Social media channels you’d target
    • The visuals that will attract attention
    • The subtle use of early discount codes
    • The frequency of emails or posts
      For a lot of social media posts, 65% of impressions on social media posts are also because of video marketing. Try leveraging more of what’s working in the current market. Post creation of your content strategy, you make yourself prepared to stand ahead in the season in the upcoming uproar.
  2. Personalized content

    The only reason Jack went navigating for the first site even though it acted so sloppy was a personalized email content. 

     

    Hey Jack, 

    We know you’ve been searching all day long for a perfect holiday gift for your friends & family.

    But no more blind searching, you’ve got us. 

    We at, fluff free shopee, are offering a 20% discount just for you. 

    Have a look for yourself here: ----

     

    And just like that, they garnered one customer. Let’s look at one such example from the brand Spotify.

    Personalization indeed makes the audience feel wanted, welcomed, and acknowledged. Prioritizing convenience, 87% of shoppers admit to buying more when they receive personalized messages from brands. So, tweak out a few problems that your audience is facing and create personalized emails for them storyboarding around it.

  3. Discounts for loyal customers

    When you are offering personalized ingredients to your shoppers, make sure to channelize your loyal customer list. The loyal customers are the ones who have either stayed with you for long or have ordered multiple times over the course of 6 months or so.

    Such customers definitely would like a special discount on holiday items for themselves. This ensures a contingent stay with you for even longer whilst also market you online, organically.

  4. Prepare enough for handling all the order load

    Now that the pre-setup of marketing it well is done, work on your website. The number of orders based on your marketing would increase like crazy. 

    Imagine, you offered, 

    Enter the Happy Code HP50 for 50% off on all the holiday products. 

    And the not-so-happy site acts bedraggled and asks them to wait before the request is processed.

    Urgh..

     

    So, better let your developers and testers do every possible beta testing while making server upgrades to handle the entire order load. As we saw above, the increase in sales this year is going to be much-hyped, almost 63% of visits, therefore, make sure it doesn’t fall down like a game of Jenga.

    • The ones who have specifically visited for holiday items: For them, custom-curate holiday-specific  landing pages with discount visuals for easier placement of orders
    • The ones who are regular shoppers: They don’t care about the holiday season but visit for regular needs. Cater to them  highlighting the products they are more likely to buy from your online store
  5. Your brand-specific landing page:
    When our backend is pumped up to handle any sorts of order hit, our front end should now bring us the leads.

    To prep up for your holiday season, you need to pay serious attention to your audience:

    • The ones who have specifically visited for holiday items: For them, custom-curate holiday-specific  landing pages with discount visuals for easier placement of orders
    • The ones who are regular shoppers: They don’t care about the holiday season but visit for regular needs. Cater to them highlighting the products they are more likely to buy from your online store.
  6. Monitor your site analytics
    Keep an eye on ‘How is your website performing’ and ‘How many visitors does it receive on a usual day’. Also, monitor the landing page loading speed to not lose out on customers during the holiday season. In fact, in 2012, Amazon lost $1.6B because of a delayed site loading experience. This reminds us so much of how careful we need to put our bets on when it comes to creating a visually-heavy site. 

  7. Easier checkout

    Imagine, Jack visits your site, likes a product, and tries ordering it. But every time he tries to order it, the discount doesn’t work. What a waste of holiday vibe!

    So, don’t let any Jacks ever leave your site because you were incapable of handling them. Offer a superfluous process of adding and ordering the product with applied discount rates.

  8. Avoid frequent displays of ‘Out of Stock’
    Whatever I search, if the site keeps displaying ‘Out of Stock’, forget the holiday season, I wouldn’t return for usual shopping. So, it’s better to either keep proper stock of the inventory or mention the number of available items. Having a tag that displays the count of In-stock inventory is a great idea to not disappoint the shopper later. People would love such transparency and also will also create a sense of urgency to buy something before it rules out!
  9. Platform-Agnostic 

    Be it Mac OS, Linux, Android phone, or an iOS. Your customer base can vary from any platform to any device, so prepare your site to be platform-agnostic.

    Company X had a planned strategy to send emails and SMSs to their potential shoppers. The intrigued shoppers clicked the link from the messages only to find ‘This link isn’t working’ or ‘The webpage not found’. This happens primarily because of a wrong link that has been sent to millions. Even if the link works, it is more surprising if the UI is crumpled and spread all across the screen. So, make sure your shopper enjoys the liberty to grab the opportunity from anywhere – desktop, mobile, or tablet using Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer for that matter.

  10. Perfect customer service:
    You have a perfectly organized strategy in place. 

    The site is up and running. 

    Shoppers are hogging on the discounts day in, day out. 

    What can possibly go wrong?


    Well, a lot of things.

    And even without a problem, your users expect a solution. 

    So, be prepared for the same. 

    How?

    By serving the customers through your Live Chat services. 

    People who face any issue would love to have an on-the-spot chat to resolve their queries.
    Chatbots are a great way of addressing customers’ queries and requests in an automated and faster way.  “Don’t know if the delivery address was correct”.

    “What about the return policies”?

    “My payment method is not available”.

    “Is COD available”?

    Answer all your customer questions with a responsive answer with an option to talk to a customer executive if the problem persists. Having a dedicated FAQ to answer the most basic queries during the holiday season can be really helpful in building trust with the customers.

I guess with all the aforementioned tips, you are going to nail the holiday season. But as said earlier, this is definitely no cakewalk. So, plan for the holiday season and try to fix your site as much as you can to leave your shoppers happy at the end of the purchase. 

In case you are looking to fix search queries, zero search results, spelling mistakes, and stemming errors on your website or you want to deploy slick merchandising techniques to boost products or create landing pages or banner redirects for holiday curated shopping list, Unbxd does a great job at it. From setting up the site search and deep diving to advanced analytics for your online store to have an in-depth view of your funnel metrics, Unbxd has got you covered. If this interests you, you can request for a demo here

For now, wishing you and your teams a happy and rocking Holiday Season 2020!

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