How to Increase Holiday Sales on your Online Store

Holiday Season is a hectic time for both shoppers and shop owners. For e-commerce businesses, it means **more customers** leading to **more sales**. That’s why extra efforts towards you online store are of vital importance now – from making sure that your website is handling heavy traffic to ensuring all gifts are shipping on time. Below are important aspects of holiday shopping season for online store owners.

by Lauren Schneidewind on December 7, 2016

Holiday Season is a hectic time for both shoppers and shop owners. For e-commerce businesses, it means more customers leading to more sales. That’s why extra efforts towards you online store are of vital importance now – from making sure that your website is handling heavy traffic to ensuring all gifts are shipping on time. Below are important aspects of holiday shopping season for online store owners.

Coordinate your holiday e-commerce activities

If you want to finish the year as a super selling e-commerce trader, then you need to have your team follow a plan. All holidays are important but the last quarter of the year is especially significant to retail.

You can use any calendar – for example an app to share with your employees or a paper calendar to hang on the wall. Mark all the important dates and related activities on it and don’t forget to keep it updated.

Leave drastic website changes for another time

If you implement changes related to user experience, or to your online store’s functionality, this may confuse your customers. As a result, they may decide to switch over to your competitors and buy from them.

Instead, focus your efforts on improving website content, preparing attractive holiday offers and products, and increasing your marketing efforts throughout all channels to enhance customer experience.

Apply smart sales techniques

Did you know that around 30% of annual sales happen during the holiday season? Moreover, predictions are that 2016 will be even bigger than last year with the main increase being online sales. That’s why you need to adjust some of your sales methods.

Many online stores relax their usual sales rules for their customers during the holiday shopping season. Try offering them more flexible options for ordering and returning items. If you usually require a minimum order to qualify for free shipping, temporarily suspend that rule.

Also, reconsider your return policy for the holiday season. Be more liberal regarding your return and exchange policy. The reason? Many people buy the presents they wish to receive and forget about the person for whom they are buying.

Consider providing more payment options

To be more competitive, offer additional payment options for your online store. For example, if you only accept Visa and MasterCard, why not also allow payments through PayPal or Bitcoin? It’s easy to switch to these options, and you will enjoy a boost in conversions and revenue from online shoppers who use those payment methods. 

Is your website handling the heavier traffic?

One of the most important things to check is the speed of your website and its ability to handle an increase in traffic. If you have national and global customers, you need to have CDN (content delivery network) enabled. CDNs gets rid of the annoying delay when a customer launches your website and navigates between pages.

Another thing to pay attention to is if your server is powerful enough. If necessary, you can increase your website’s power by using bigger hosts in the cloud. Overall, the best thing you could do is to scale your system – meaning your site can automatically handle an increase in traffic.

There's even more to do. If you want to ensure your website’s stability, it’s wise to turn to professionals.

Allow shopping on multiple devices

If you don’t have a mobile strategy yet, then it’s time to create and implement one. What’s important here is to have a responsive website, reliable mobile site, good mobile app, or a smart combination between them. The newest tendency in the U.S. is cross–device shopping which means that modern consumers may find an item on one device, research it using another, and then decide to buy the item on a third device. Give your visitors the opportunity to shop from their computers, smartphones or tablets.

Offer the best customer service

The increased traffic on your website during the holidays means more questions from visitors to your site. Be ready to assist them through all communication channels - social media, live chat and email messaging.

If you don’t have enough people to handle each of the channels, don’t hesitate to hire seasonal help. It’s unthinkable to leave a customer waiting for a reply hour after hour. A negative customer experience will decrease sales while positive customer experience will gain you loyal customers.

Behind every successful store is a team keeping it running. So, don’t forget to take care of your employees and show appreciation for their efforts.

If you find the preparation of your online store too technologically demanding or time-consuming, it’s best to ask a professional for help. The LD Studios team is at your disposal. Let us take care of your online store and focus on growing your business.

We are LD Studios, an Atlanta based software consulting business. We would love to hear from you! Please contact us for your free consultation.

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