Cyber Monday 2015 was so epic that it crashed the huge discount retailer Target stores online. It’s very obvious that online shopping is here to stay, and understandably so. After all, it’s hard to beat the convenience of being able to do comparison shopping from the comfort of your home or on the go, anywhere and anytime. And while Cyber Monday has passed, the holidays have not, so take the time to brush up on some tips to help you be ready for the next onslaught of last minute shoppers looking for the best deals.
1. Get your Ecommerce site ready for heavy traffic
It can be hard to predict how much traffic will be hitting your site during the holidays, so it’s best to play devil’s advocate and assume the worst (although maybe the best at the same time!) and be ready. Make sure your site can respond to extraordinary traffic to your site. For example, your cart should use minimal resources, load quickly and be ready to handle multiple orders per second without delay or order corruption.
Additionally, be ready to present online messages apologizing for any delays and of course, be ready to reward customers for their patience with extra special deals and discounts. This minor gesture will go a long way in soothing frustration with your customers.
2. Be ready to compete
It’s all about having the best offers. The number one reason most people abandon their shopping cart is the shipping fee. The Ecommerce owners who offer free shipping almost always avoid the abandoned cart situation.
So consider getting rid of shipping costs or offer it for free with a minimum purchase. Another easy way to get people to come back is to offer them a special discount if they come back to shop. Set a deadline of few days or the buyer will forget or move on to another Ecommerce site that sets a firm deadline.
3. Make sure you can quickly fulfill your orders
Regardless of the product you sell, be sure you have enough products and can ship them by having a great fulfillment center ready to quickly fill your orders. Nothing screams “unprepared” louder than running out of a special offer. Not to mention that it makes you look as though you are trying to pull the old bait and switch on your customers.
Ideally, your fulfillment center should also have a real time customer service available 24/7 or extended hours during the holiday shopping season. Customers appreciate being able to get fast answers to their questions. And this may save a sale as online shoppers are looking to make purchases quickly and will more likely buy when their questions are answered and any concerns explained away by a customer service representative.
4. Plan ahead of the competition
Start sending your loyal customers advance notice of your upcoming sales. While getting new customers is always a great, don’t forget about your longtime and repeat customers. Sending them reminders of your promotions ahead of time through newsletters and direct mail offers, consistently, will help your products stay on their mind.
Final note: At the end of the day, holiday or not, almost any plan is better than no plan when trying to market your Ecommerce site and trying to get a jump on the competition. These four easy and effective tips can help you not only survive but thrive during the busy holiday online shopping season.