The holiday season is approaching fast. Whispers of Christmas are already around, and before you know it, people will be hitting the stores to start their holiday shopping.
The move to online shopping is already well established after the last few years. According to Adobe Analytics, 2020’s holiday season saw the eCommerce industry grow by a massive 32%!
Even if restrictions ease before Christmas, many consumers will still opt for the ease and convenience of online shopping.
So, if you run an eCommerce business, now is the perfect time to check that your team is ready for the holiday action!
Here are the five most important things you need to review to ensure your eCommerce business is prepared for the holiday season.
1. Online Experience
Over the holidays, the traffic to your online store is likely to be higher than usual. If your eCommerce site isn’t optimised, this can lead to it being slow, lagging, or even crashing.
Your customers choose to shop online because it’s supposed to be streamlined and straightforward. If there are problems with viewing products, getting information, submitting an order or payment, they’re unlikely to have the patience to stick around for another try.
Spend some time reviewing and optimising your store to make sure everything works well. Focus on usability and site speed, but don’t forget to make sure your product details, shipping information and other relevant details are up to date.
2. Inventory Control
More shoppers will mean more sales! This, of course, means you need to ensure you have the right inventory to cover all the orders!
Make sure you are fully stocked and have systems in place to re-order inventory quickly if needed.
Remember that supply lines can be slower in the lead up to the holiday period, especially if that is coupled with lockdown restrictions!
3. Shipping And Fulfilment
Are you ready to prep, package, and post more items at this time of year? Ecommerce sites are heavily reliant on effective and efficient shipping. But, there are already considerable delays due to lockdowns and restrictions.
How will your eCommerce business ensure prompt delivery in time for the holidays?
If you handle shipping and fulfilment in house, do you have the capacity to handle increased demand during the holiday season?
You may choose to outsource to a third-party logistics provider to handle the surge in orders.
Either way, it’s essential to have a streamlined shipping process to make sure everything runs smoothly, and your customers stay informed about the status of their order.
4. Customer Service And Support
Consumers are an impatient bunch these days! We have come to expect high standards when we shop online, so paying attention to the small details can really make your business stand out from the crowd.
Things like email confirmations, delivery updates, and prompt responses to questions can make all the difference to your customers.
Do you have enough staff to handle increased inquiries on your website, social platforms, and via email?
If not, consider a comprehensive FAQ page or introduce a virtual assistant or chatbot to your site to expedite your customer service.
5. Marketing And Personalisation
Will you be offering seasonal sales or discounts over the holidays? How about promoting specific products or throwing in free shipping?
Spend time now planning what deals you can offer your customers while remaining profitable.
Sit down and go over your marketing calendar to decide what you will offer and when you’ll publicise it. Think gift guides, holiday-themed content, product reviews and how-to videos. You can even create and schedule all your content now before things get busy.
That way, your content will roll out automatically, and you can focus on the important things like fulfilling those orders and keeping your customers happy.
Is Your Ecommerce Business Ready For Christmas?
There’s a lot to think about to get your eCommerce business ready for the holiday season.
It can feel overwhelming, but there are solutions for every problem – and many of these solutions lie in automation.
Look for systems and processes that could be automated, such as invoicing, order fulfillment and managing, inventory management, payment, and even marketing.
By automating even simple tasks, you free your team up to focus on ensuring your business meets the demands of this busy time of year.
Remember, that you also have to meet your tax and GST requirements during these times. So, it is really helpful to have a skilled accountant to take care of the intricate financial aspects.
If you need some help getting your numbers in line, then get in touch with the Wise Advice team today!