Do you feel overwhelmed trying to get your online store ready for the holidays? You know you need prepare, but sometimes it can feel like a daunting task.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite “how to” articles from industry leaders so that you can tackle the holiday season with confidence.
1. Know the Trends
A new study released by a team at Google lists 5 trends shoppers and retailers should be aware of. Once you know what shoppers expect, you can be smart in how you promote your products through the holiday. Here are a few of the stats that caught our eye:
- Some shoppers (29%) will start holiday shopping before Halloween.
- Free shipping was deemed the second-most important factor for shoppers when purchasing online (Shop.org, Spring Planning Guide, 2014).
- Mobile engagement will be paramount to holiday success. Your products need to be easy to find and purchase across screens. Make sure consumers are always seeing the latest, context-relevant information.
Read the rest of the article: Holiday is (Almost) here: 5 shopping trends marketers should watch.
2. Holiday Planning Guide
Black Friday is 70 days away. Are you ready?
The best way to make sure you thrive (not just survive) during the holidays is to make a plan and stick to it. Bigcommerce has put together a great Ultimate Holiday Sales Campaign Guide and Holiday eCommerce Checklist that will help you plan your steps between now and the end of the year.
Read the rest of the article: Ecommerce Marketing Infographic: The Ultimate Holiday Sales Campaign Guide for 2014
3. Be Creative
While you’re creating your holiday plan, don’t lose your creativity! Kabbage has listed 30 ideas for brick-and-mortar and ecommerce stores that will help them be unique in the holidays. It’s definitely worth a look. Here are some of our favorites:
- Run holiday email campaigns
- Offer complimentary shipping (Bonus tip: One way to do this without losing your shirt is by using Express 1)
- Feature pre-wrapped gifts
Read the rest of the article: 30 Creative Ideas to Promote Your Business for the Holiday Season
4. Holiday Email List: Naughty or Nice?
It’s no secret that email is a great way to drive sales. In fact, a study by Convince & Convert indicated that “people who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than people that do not receive email offers.”
If you need inspiration for your holiday emails, don’t miss Bronto’s look-book featuring the best holiday email campaigns from last year.
5. Be Prepared
It’s impossible to pinpoint what your holiday sales will be, but you can estimate a potential range. And if you give your customers a Wish List on your site, they’ll help you do your research.
AppAppeal has put together a great list of 13 free Wishlist Apps, and Brightpearl has summed it up the benefits of wish lists better than we could – “Wish lists can also provide an opportunity to collect email addresses for future marketing, and the great thing about this data is that it’s linked to specific products.”
Read the rest of the article: Preparing for profitable holiday sales: Catching the early bird
6. Helping Hands
Once you’ve completed a holiday plan and estimated your holiday sales, it’s time to decide if you need more help packing and shipping.
SkuVault highlights the difference between hiring seasonal workers or paying overtime during your peak season. It’s a good read and will help you think through both scenarios.
We completely agree with them that, “There is no one best solution when it comes to choosing between seasonal workers and permanent employees during peak season. You’ll have to analyze your current employees, define your business’ objectives, and then select the method or combination of methods that suits your business best.”
Read the rest of the article here:Seasonal Workers vs. Paying Overtime during Peak Season.
7.Know What’s Working
Shopify gets to the heart of it when they say, “without proper tracking and analysis, you’ll always just be guessing the true success of your campaigns.”
Follow the steps in their Google Analytics Guide for Beginners and tracking your marketing campaign, and you’ll know exactly what’s working for you this holiday season. Keep doing what is working, and stop doing what isn’t working so that you grow faster.
Read the rest of the article: Google Analytics For Ecommerce: A Beginners Guide
Your turn. Join us on Google+ and discuss your favorite tips for preparing for the holidays.