The holiday season is officially upon us. The holidays are one of the most profitable times of year for retailers, with the 2021 season raking in more than $211 billion in online sales. When it comes to profiting from ecommerce, the opportunities are endless - as long as you have an effective strategy going into the season.
As an ecommerce store owner, you’ve probably been planning for the holiday season for the past few months, stocking up on inventory and crafting your marketing strategy since September (or even earlier)! Whether you’re approaching your first peak season or already have taken on a few rounds of holiday shoppers in years past, it’s always good to improve your strategy when wrapping up the year.
We’re sharing our top tips when it comes to building out your business strategy for the season of giving! Get the most out of your ecommerce business this holiday season and prepare your company for a strong start to 2023.
1. Develop a holiday sales plan.
Every ecommerce business starts with a strong sales plan. Although it should come as no surprise, many ecommerce businesses have had a holiday sales plan in place for months. If your business has yet to put a plan together for holiday sales, it’s time to get drafting before it’s too late!
Holiday season is all about attracting new customers and retargeting your existing audiences. Prioritizing customer support, stocked inventory, gift packaging, sales promotions, and more can guarantee you reel in a new and loyal customer base if your holiday sales plan is effective.
2. Plan inventory ahead of time.
When it comes to fulfillment, it’s vital to prepare your inventory for an influx of sales. Running out of your best-selling products can lead to unhappy customers, so plan ahead and stock up for a massive sales increase come the holidays.
We recommend analyzing previous years’ numbers and predict potential growth rates to set a realistic expectation for sales throughout the holiday period. It’s important to meet and prepare for the season with your suppliers to guarantee you are receiving inventory on time and can restock easily when needed. Develop open communication and strong relationships with your product suppliers so you can inform them on your inventory and stocking needs in the coming months.
3. Prepare your ecommerce site for masses of online visitors.
Your website needs to be developed for a rush of online shoppers. A shopper’s initial impression of your ecommerce store can make or break if they stay on your site - not to mention the actual path to purchase. Your website must offer strong branding, extensive product information, easy navigation, and quick load times to keep individuals online.
Along with this, make sure your landing page experience clearly articulates what your business is selling and what makes your products great, guiding your shoppers to the latest promotional sales and where to head to on your site. This will greatly benefit your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking and help your paid Google advertising get seen by potential customers.
Better yet, transition your site for holiday sales, with features for specific products, holiday-specific messaging, sales promotions, and gift guides for product offerings (more on this later). Small but effective site developments can make or break a sale, so get developing!
4. Improve your holiday search terms and product sales.
Your paid ad campaigns can make all the difference! Don’t overlook the opportunity to transition your paid advertising strategy into holiday mode. Holiday-related keywords can be a huge advantage for businesses that navigate them effectively.
With that being said, you must continue to be mindful of budgets and bid allocation when running campaigns. Throughout the holiday season, many campaigns have a tendency to get out of control when trying to grasp Christmas shopper visibility.
Another great idea? Bundle together existing products and related items to create holiday season SKUs and advertising them across all channels. Not only are you selling more products, you’re also increasing cart spend per order. It’s that easy!
5. Communicate with your consumers.
Ecommerce is all about the customer experience. Once business starts picking up, it’s so easy to take a step back from communicating quickly and effectively when drowning in incoming sales. It’s important to set expectations for your customers and stick to them, updating your website with notifications when potential shipping delays occur or stock outages are predicted.
Adding shipping information and sending detailed messaging on any delays or backorders can make or break if a customer returns or not. Communicating with your customers quickly and effectively about any potential issues can go a long way in avoiding negative feedback on review sites and marketplaces.
6. Plan your holiday promotions ahead of time.
Holiday promotions can help your business stand out from its many competitors! Boost your sales by showing your customers what’s discounted for the season and what the hottest offers are on your site by showcasing your promotions on your home page.
Not sure what to promote? Take note of your top-sellers throughout the year and highlight these products through promotions come the shopping season. We also recommend going for the upsell, creating urgency among customers to try out a more expensive or upgraded version of their chosen item at a discounted price. Better yet, offer a discount on gift sets or bundles, reeling in greater sales and selling more items in record time.
7. Take a multi-channel approach to sales.
The more outlets you have for selling, the better your numbers will look come the end of the holiday season. Social selling should be a key part of your sales strategy in today’s organic-media-strong climate. Square found that 74% of retailers who sell online also sell on a social channel, and data shows that 98% of consumers planned to make a purchase on social media in 2022.
Integrating your online store with your social channels makes your products more visible to an organic audience of potential customers. Creating shoppable Instagram posts, including product links in TikTok videos and developing a strong Pinterest plan can accelerate sales. Your buyers can now benefit from moving straight from their feed to your online store at the click of a button.
8. Cue up marketing emails and remarketing lists.
Never underestimate the power of email marketing! If you plan your email strategy in advance, you can constantly remain top of mind for your customers throughout the holiday season. A holiday email strategy can key in on your customers’ spending habits and promote your upcoming sales and gift promotions.
Remarketing through email campaigns is also a highly effective email strategy. Creating abandoned cart emails and re-engaging past customers encourages them to take advantage of the current sales to follow through with a purchase. Research shows that more than 40% of cart abandonment emails are opened and 50% of users who clicked through the email made a purchase. Reach high-quality customers through these remarketing tactics and boost your sales effortlessly.
9. Create gift guides and improve your content marketing.
Face it, we all love a good holiday gift guide! Take part in the fun and create a gift guide for your business that covers all the hottest (and best) sellers from the past year, keying in on top presents for family members, significant others, and friends.
Different gift bundles are also often a splash hit with consumers looking for an all-in-one, perfect present without much hassle. Our advice? Offer gift wrapping for an additional fee to bump up the final sale price and create a seamless experience for your customers. Along with this, presenting your customers with discounts on bundles and highlighting some of the best deals through your gift guides guarantees your marketing plan is sure to be a hit!
Even better, create blog posts and work with online influencers to promote some of the awesome gifts and products your business is promoting this season. From there, watch the sales roll in!
10. Optimize your fulfillment strategy.
We know as well as anyone that planning for the holiday season is just as hard as actually taking it on. But with the right fulfillment partner, this online shopping season doesn’t have to be so stressful. A third-party logistics service (3PL) is an outsourced business that takes care of a company’s supply chain and logistics operations.
Throughout the holiday season, it’s important to work with a team that has your best interest in mind. Here at Saltbox, we prioritize your businesses’ needs, from all things warehousing to picking, packing, and fulfillment. Focus on your customer experience and product marketing this holiday season, and let Saltbox focus on your business logistics.
High Sales for the Holiday Season
At the end of the day, your customer experience is what sets the good businesses apart from the great ones. If you’re offering the right advertising strategy that works cohesively with your customer journey and sales experience, you’re set for a successful season and some astronomical sales.
With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s not too late to plan and develop any last minute strategies to optimize your sales plan. Spend more time improving your marketing and less time struggling through meeting order demands and fulfillment. Saltbox is powering your logistics from start to scale, solving the hardest parts of logistics and fulfillment support in a community-focused workspace. Interested in touring a Saltbox space near you? Book a tour and start improving your fulfillment strategy ahead of the new year.
At Saltbox, we want to grow your small business with you. Offering the key fulfillment services all businesses require across a wide variety of locations, Saltbox benefits your growing business by focusing on those personal needs that many 3PL services overlook.
Saltbox offers hands-on care when it comes to logistic solutions and fulfillment, letting owners take the lead on running their business and improving their marketing while we handle everything else. You don’t have to expand your business alone. Get started with Saltbox Fulfillment and let’s grow your business together.