Ecommerce: How to Give Your Online Store a Profitable Holiday Season

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  1. 1. Holiday Success StrategyHighlights 1. Determine promotions and featured products This crucial step allows you to build timelines and ensure that your business is on track for Four Steps to a Profitablethe holidays. Holiday Season2. Adjust your online marketing efforts Whether you need a few design The holidays are of the utmost importance to online business tweaks or a complete overhaul, owners. This is the season when customers come to the Internet start making enhancements now with credit cards in hand to find the perfect gift for loved ones.to prepare your site for the rush of Even amid the recent recession and retail sales decline in 2009,holiday shoppers. holiday ecommerce grew to an all time high. According to leading online analyst firm ComScore, $29.1 billion was spent online3. Remind customers the during the holiday season an increase of 4% from 2008. More holidays are coming importantly, this figure is expected to climb even higher in 2010.As the holidays come closer and closer, remind customers that youre the perfect venue for their These growth numbers make sense when you think about the gifting needs. unique advantages ecommerce has to offer. Online shopping allows customers to satisfy even the most specific tastes 4. Optimize your site for by quickly browsing through millions of unique products.holiday conversions Ecommerce also lets customers shop from the comfort of theirOnce the holiday season arrives, own homes instead of fighting lines at retail stores. Because ofthere are several ways to adjust these trends and growth, the upcoming holiday season is far too your site to convert more holiday sales. Read on to find out more. significant for you to enter unprepared.Luckily you can start crafting your strategy now to help capitalize on this golden opportunity. All it takes is four important steps.
  2. 2. 1. Determine your promotions 2. Begin adjusting your online and featured productsmarketing efforts This is a crucial step as it allows you to build timelines The holidays are a completely different ballgame and ensure that your business is on track for thefor online shoppers, particularly regarding product holidays. Remember, youll be spending a lot of your searches. Thus, you should start making adjustments time processing orders, so having a set strategy takes a to your search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per- big weight off your shoulders. click (PPC) efforts early on SEO results takes patienceand PPC requires fine tuning to find the right mix. First, decide which promotions you want to run. To determine which deals to offer, look back and seeTo get started, use your analytics tool to find which which offers fared well during the year and the previous keywords are driving traffic to your site. Also, pull a holiday season. Free or reduced shipping is one of the report from previous holiday seasons to see which most popular promotions for any industry. Discountskeywords brought the most visitors. Then, perform upon purchasing a certain number of products or dollar keyword research to see which industry keywords are amount are also well-received. important during the holidays many of these willsimply add the word gifts, holidays, or presents to In regards to timing, the retail and ecommerce industryyour standard product keywords. Once these terms both acknowledge Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) are identified, start increasing your ad spend and as one of the biggest shopping days of the year. optimization efforts. Another huge day in ecommerce is Cyber Monday (the Monday following Black Friday). In 2009, over 80% of Another frequently overlooked online marketing online retailers offered promotions specific to Cyberaspect is design. Many of us think design is completely Monday. These are both prime opportunities to launch separate from marketing, but its actually one of the special offers that entice customers to buy. most powerful tools you have. Take a look at your site is your design impressive to first-time visitors? Does the To coincide with your promotions, decide which appearance encourage shoppers to trust your business products you want to feature. This requires analysis ofand purchase something? If not, youve got a problem. which items performed best throughout the year and Fortunately theres plenty of time and options to make previous holiday seasons. Its also recommended to improvements. Whether you need a few design tweaks conduct market research for any developing buyingor a complete overhaul, start making enhancements trends in your industry. Deciding on these featurednow to prepare site for the rush of holiday shoppers. products allows you to make plans on site adjustments and marketing campaigns once the holidays come closer.3. Remind customers the holidays Finally, set specific timelines for your promotions andare coming featured products this will allow you to focus onTheres nothing wrong with asking customers for bigger priorities like marketing and shipping. their business. As the holidays come closer and closer,remind customers that youre the perfect venue fortheir gifting needs. Even if customers arent ready topurchase holiday gifts now, theyll remember you andcome back later.
  3. 3. During the holiday season, highlight your business and Tell shoppers the last day to purchase. promotions with tailored customer communications. YouYou can create a sense of urgency by letting customers can do this by providing featured products and couponknow the last day they can buy with guaranteed shipping codes in your newsletters, e-mails and social mediaarrival. If orders have to be made by December 22 for outlets. Include the dates for customer communications arrival on Christmas, inform customers of this ahead of in your plan so you have time to make your content astime so they wont be disappointed later. effective as possible.Highlight your promotions everywhere.Sometimes the final push a holiday shopper needs is a 4. Optimize your site forsimple reminder that they can save money. This meansthat you should spotlight your promotions throughout holiday conversionsyour webpages for continuous customer reference. Once the holiday season arrives, there are several ways to tweak your site to convert more holiday sales. HereWhatever the case, be sure to track results against your are a few tips how:metrics to see how youre performing in each of yourchannels this will allow you to make Make holiday design adjustments.proper adjustments. This late in the game, theres no time for a complete site makeover. You can, however, make updates to your homepage and category graphics to give your websiteAnd voila! By following the above steps and a holiday feel. The idea here is to get site visitors into thecatering them to your business, youre well on holiday spirit so theyre more likely to spend.your way to one of the best holiday shoppingseasons on record. Regardless of industry, this Adjust your categories for easyprime e-tailing season is ripe for revenue, so holiday shopping.make the most of it by planning ahead and Take your best gift items or featured products and placeworking hard. Once your done, youll be able to them in holiday-specific categories. Some examplesenjoy the best holiday gift of all online success! include Gifts for Her or Gifts for Dad. This tactic gives last-minute shoppers a quick way to dive into your products and find the perfect gift idea.Prominently offer gift certificates on your site. In 2009, over 60% of shoppers purchased gift cards or gift certificates during the holiday season. These items provide a quick option for shoppers and present you an opportunity for easy sales. With this in mind, promote gift cards throughout your site as a featured product or within your design template.
  4. 4. Month by Month Playbook for Holiday Success The most wonderful time of year for your online business iscoming quick. Make the most of it by following our Month byMonth Playbook for Holiday Success to keep you on track. Youcan print it out, laminate it, stick it on your fridge whateveryou need to take advantage of whats sure to be a boomingholiday season! JulyAugust Build your overall holiday strategy and timeline Define your holiday promotions Conduct keyword research for holiday SEO and Identify which products will be listed as PPC effortsfeatured products Establish a budget and wish list for siteStart your design projects if undergoing a major design changes site overhaul Begin research to identify any oncoming buying trends in Optimize site content based on findings from your your industrykeyword researchBegin general PPC advertising September October Begin testing of email subject lines and promotions to Finish your overall site design see which resonate best with customers Move your featured products to the homepage of Check with suppliers to ensure inventory levels are secure your store for the next few monthsInclude a section in your email newsletter reminding Install Live Chat software on your site to handlecustomers of the holidays customer inquiries Acquire any holiday or seasonal graphics for your Revisit and finalize your customer return policy site designContact your shipping provider to check for any new orreduced rates NovemberDecember Add holiday oriented ads to your PPC campaigns Send reminder emails to customers with promotions and Insert holiday design elements to your store featured productsSend a dedicated holiday newsletter to customers Indicate the last day to purchase with guaranteed arrivalon your website Create holiday specific categories (Gifts for Dad, etc.)Enable an overnight shipping option for Launch promos for Black Friday and Cyber Mondaylast-minute shoppersSell, sell, sell time is ticking! www.volusion.com Send us a note. sales@volusion.com Give us a call. 800.646.3517 op. 2 Experience Out of this World Support at support.volusion.comTM