Making a List and Checking it Twice—A Holiday Prep List to Help your Online Store Part 2 of 2
This blog is Part 2 of 2. To read Part 1, please click here.
Retailers need to address holiday preparation as early as possible to ensure a successful season. It is never too early to get ready for the holiday season. In the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Ensure your online store’s success this season by following these holiday prep steps:
Internally coordinate marketing efforts to ensure consistent messaging and brand personality across all of your marketing channels (i.e. email, mobile, website, brick and mortar store). People access your website from all different types of devices. Considering that by the end of 2014, the number of mobile-connected devices is projected to exceed the number of people on earth, now more than ever, there is a real need to think of device ubiquity and how your marketing can be optimized for any device. Make sure your customers are able to experience creative, reliable, and user-friendly sites across all viewports.
Avoid Traffic Jams
Examine recent traffic trends on your site and look at last year’s number to figure out when your customers will shop. After analyzing analytics, prepare your site for the influx of traffic. While Cyber Monday is clearly the busiest shopping day for online retailers, it could easily become a wash if your site goes down. Make sure you your servers can handle your top projections. Share your numbers with your development agency or internal IT support team.
You can take control of your online sales by setting parameters around your promotions. You can create a sense of urgency by setting time limits on your sales, i.e. “Redeem Now,” or “Offer only valid from 3-7 Eastern today!” Entice people to spend more by offering free shipping at a certain price point or offering a gift card with a certain purchase amount. The latter will get customers to come back to your store to use the “free” money they received. Customers will also appreciate you giving them a friendly reminder about the last day they can order and receive their items in time for the holidays.
Appreciate Mobile’s Impact
The use of mobile devices has made a huge impact on the past holiday seasons, and use of these devices is only expected to increase. It is important to realize that the customer intention for mobile varies by industry. Know if your customers use mobile devices to browse product that then then will purchase later on in-store, or if it is reasonable to expect a lot of mobile conversions on your site. Let customer usage inform your mobile strategy and then shape which direction you take.
Improve the Checkout Experience
Improve shopping cart abandonment. Have a 3rd party do a simple site assessment to be objective about where usability can be optimized. Clarity needs to be inherent at all touch points—from messaging, to design, to customer service. Consider Live Chat, Email Forums and survey to get the best feedback possible to make improvements to your cart as well as your site.
Want to learn more about how your online business can be fully prepared for the holiday shopping season? Register for our Holiday Readiness Webinar here!
 Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013–2018 (White paper). Cisco 2014.
Danielle Savin is the Director of Digital Consulting Services at LYONSCG, working with client teams to help define scope and recommended approach for major digital projects and retail strategy for clients. Danielle has spent over 15 years in the eCommerce industry and has seven years of digital consulting experience. Danielle loves traveling and is a champagne enthusiast.