Preparing eCommerce for a Much Different Holiday Shopping Season

We are just about a month away from the beginning of the annual holiday shopping season. In the past few years, eCommerce has accounted for nearly one half of all holiday purchases. As you know, this year has been nothing like a normal year and this holiday shopping season will likely follow the same abnormal trends and cause online shopping to become the primary method of shopping. What does that mean for merchants?

1. Perform a Website Audit

Before we arrive in the season, perform an audit of your website and/or online store. This involves checking for HTML coding errors, security vulnerabilities, search engine visibility, and technical issues such as broken links. This is an important part of examining the sales environment your customers will experience. Don’t let simple unseen errors affect your ability to attract customers or engage with them. If you have a webmaster or third-party consultant, ask them to perform a website audit and then review the audit results and take appropriate actions to make your page ready for the increase in traffic you are about to experience this year.

2. Use Upsell Techniques in Your Shopping Cart

Generate upsell opportunities with special offers that pop-up at the time of check-out. Maximize the value of every customer visit and sale. These kinds of last-minute deals and/or combinations are very enticing to buyers, much in the way that gum and candy displays near a cash register are to cause impulse buying. Explore the tools included with your online store and see if a few tweaks could double your holiday season sales volume in the coming month with pop-up offers.

3. Use an Effective PPC Strategy

Whether or not you use Pay-Per-Click to steer visitors to your site is a personal decision. In this economy, it is hard to determine whether you should up your bid amount, hold it the same or reduce it. Look into the history of your previous PPC campaigns to see if you can identify trends that worked well for you in the past. Focus on successful campaigns in the past and cut off any campaigns that were risky or speculative.

4. Use Targeted Content to Your Advantage

You can improve your sales by publishing buying guides, sharing online video demonstrations, and customer testimonials. These three things reassure your website visitors that they are making good decisions and will be happy with their purchases. You need to reduce any sense of fear that customers experience when it come to the check-out process of the transaction.

5. Keep Your Website Fresh with Advance Planning

We don’t have the crystal ball that everyone wishes they had to predict what the shopping season will actually look like in a pandemic. Our best recommendation is to make plans, search for opportunities to get ahead, and stay adaptable to change. This means building two or three sets of promotions in advance and then let your week-to-week analytics guide your strategy on keeping a promotion or ditching it. You can also prepare various ads, landing pages, and email blasts in advance for different sales scenarios. You could consider designing new webpages in advance that introduce new prices and promotions that can be uploaded on the fly. Keeping your website fresh with new weekly content causes your customers to come back week after week to check for price drops or new promotions and every visit becomes a new opportunity to sell.

6. Start Making Plans Today

The best possible advice we can offer is to begin planning your holiday shopping season today. Get an early jump on eCommerce preparations. Don’t find yourself under the gun in the middle of the season without predefined promotions and supporting webpages. It’s much better to spend a few hours each day right now building a strategy for email campaigns, social media campaigns, or ad builds so that you don’t find yourself scrambling to create one when you’re desperate to generate online sales.

Need Help with Your eCommerce Strategy?

If you feel like your eCommerce system needs help, reach out to your Chosen Payments account rep with your concerns. At Chosen Payments, we are not simply a credit processor, we are your Partner in Success™. Our team of marketing experts and Solutions Architects can assist you in capturing more money during this holiday season. If you are not with Chosen Payments, what is your processor doing to help you build your business?

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