Preparing for the Holiday Rush

It’s November now, and that means the dreaded (and beloved) Holiday Rush is right around the corner. Every year, e-commerce stores brace themselves for the onslaught of traffic and new customers that typically accompany the holiday season, as buyers around the world look to take care of their gift-buying from the comfort of their homes. If you’re the owner or administrator of an e-commerce store, it’s important to prepare yourself and your store for this potentially massive opportunity. In this post, we’re going to go over a few aspects of the seasonal rush that you should probably be thinking about and planning for.

Mobile Optimization

E-commerce in general is rapidly shifting towards mobile platforms, and this trend can be even more pronounced during the holidays. Busy shoppers are looking to make purchases quickly and while on-the-go, and it’s essential that your storefront is ready for their mobile device. Make sure all the pages in your store render well on phones and tablets, and consider utilizing push notifications or SMS marketing to reach customers directly on those devices.

Holiday-specific Copy and Marketing

Holiday shoppers often need to buy items for a long list of gift recipients, so they’re particularly keen on finding deals and sales. Featuring a holiday sale or discount of some kind is a great way to attract significant customer interest. Additionally, remember that the holiday season includes holidays and noteworthy events in many different cultures. For example, the months of November and December include Diwali, Singles’ Day, Thanksgiving, Black Friday / Cyber Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other noteworthy days. By recognizing and celebrating several of these in your marketing materials, you can tap into large swathes of customers that might feel neglected by the exclusively-Christmas-focused marketing deployed by many stores. Regardless of which holiday(s) you target, make sure your storefront reflects some seasonal cheer, with large banners, themed product pictures, and festive design elements.

Highlight Shipping Time

When making holiday-season purchases, shoppers are often limited to considering only products that will arrive in time for a certain holiday occasion. If your store can offer rapid shipping, now is the time to make that information as prominent as possible! Make sure shoppers know that an order from your store runs no risk of being too late for their needs. Similarly, it’s also a great time to focus on an efficient order fulfillment process to make sure that shipment occurs as quickly as possible.

Offer Auxiliary Services

For certain kinds of products, the holiday season can be a great time to offer value-adds and upsells that are tailored to the needs of holiday shoppers. For example, if it makes sense for your product, offer gift-wrapping! Gift wrapping is a perpetual hassle during this time of year, and busy shoppers will appreciate having that duty taken care of for them. Similarly, gift-givers often seek customization options to make gifts seem more thoughtful and personalized; if any sort of engraving, monogramming, or tagging makes sense for your product, that could be the factor that makes it the perfect present.

Check Inventory

This one is obvious, but it’s still worth listing. Expect higher than usual demand for your products, and make sure you have the inventory on hand to rapidly fill orders. Check for any out-of-stock products, and see if you can remedy that situation right away.

Engage customers

Finally, remember that shoppers during the holiday season are constantly being bombarded by advertisements and promotional materials for thousands of different retailers and marketplaces. Try to stand out by connecting with customers individually. For example, try sending email content to past customers with customized gift suggestions based on their purchasing history. Create authentic, unique, and useful content for social media. Have staff ready to answer customer service questions over the phone or email, and make sure that everyone is on the same page regarding return policy, shipping times, and other relevant details. And, to offer guidance and clarity to the already-overwhelmed shoppers that come to browse your catalog, consider trying out Toucan AI!

- The Toucan AI Team