Yes, It’s Only The Beginning Of September, But Is Your eCommerce Store And Your Staff Ready For The 2018 Holiday Shopping Season?

And yes, we just did a recent post about the upcoming Holiday Season in regard to your webstore. But because the 4th quarter is usually the “Make or Break Month” this important selling season needs to be discussed a bit more. And I’m not saying that there won’t be a few more follow-up posts regarding achieving those holiday sales!

If we learned anything from the holiday shopping season of 2017, we learned that holiday shoppers are checking ads and prices a lot earlier than in previous years. In fact, some shoppers are using their smartphones to compare different stores against each other to make sure they are getting the best price for every dollar spent. So how can you capture
That elusive cash? It means making sure your store is ready to receive the influx of shoppers looking to spend money but are willing to take a few extra steps in order to make sure they are getting what they want, for the best possible price.

After all, it just makes sense to use this sometimes called downtime in August, to get your store and a game plan ready so that your staff, your suppliers, and shippers are all on the same page as to what you expect from them, and them from you. You need to make sure everyone knows your “Turn-Around-Time” for picking, packing and shipping any orders that come in from now, till the 2nd week of January. This way you’re heading off any problems that may arise from packages NOT arriving on a date that is promised by you, via your online store.

Keeping a running history of items sold, items that sold out early and items that you had problems with receiving them in a timely manner from your suppliers is a “MUST-HAVE” administrative tool that every store owner needs to have on hand. Especially if your going to want to promote various products based on any incentive pricing provided to you by your manufacturers!

Make sure your promotional emails are created along with eye-catching graphics and short, one-liner subject announcements that will make your email recipients want to open those email blasts and follow the links back to your store.

Make your plans early, from now till the end of September, is the time to cement how you’re going to implement these plans so that you have a game plan to follow. Remember, based on past retail reports, this year most online shoppers plan to have the majority of their holiday shopping completed by Black Friday since the trend is to start the holiday promotions as soon as November 1st!

We’ve mentioned this in previous posts and I’m sure we’re going to be following up with more posts about this important point before the  2018 Holiday Shopping Season takes off in earnest, which is to make sure your online store is shopper friendly! We can’t say this enough! Consumers do a lot of their holiday shopping online. Even if they make their purchases in person at small local shops, they’re still likely to do their “window shopping” online. To be sure your online store is consumer-friendly, ask a friend who has never used your site to make a purchase. Give them something specific to buy, then watch as they try to find the item and buy it on your website. Do they quickly locate the item? Can they figure out how to put it in the cart, and then how to view the cart and pay for the item? Or are they clicking around in frustration? Fix any problems you see now so you don’t frustrate and lose shoppers during the holidays.

Below are a few points that you want to make sure you go over with your team regarding the usability of your online store:
Can visitors quickly find products and product descriptions?
Can they find price information?
Are there links to related products (accessories to wear with a ladies suit, for instance)?
Can they tell what to click on to place an order?
Can they find the checkout button when they are ready to pay for their order?
Can they find your phone number from every page in case they have a question?
Can they find shipping information and costs easily?
Can they find your guarantee and return policy?
Can they find information about the company and its management?
Can they find any other important information you want them to have?

After you’ve done your own review of the website, ask some people who don’t know much about your business to look at the website while you watch them. Why not offer them a Coupon Code to thank them for the time they spend providing you with honest feedback?

Look at the things they click on and how they proceed through the site. Note whether they seemed confused or unsure what to do next at any point. Make changes to the site both on the basis of your own answers to the checklist and any problems you detect when observing others viewing the site.

Remember, the time is ticking, and just because its early September does NOT mean you have more than enough time to get ready. If you’re not ready for the 2018 holiday season by the end of September, your going to find it hard to start playing catchup if some of the points mentioned above are not followed through on.

If you think you may be headed for trouble by not being prepared for the shopping season. Give the online, eCommerce specialists at Black Arrow Marketing a call to have them give you an honest review of your store and how they think it will stand up to your competition this holiday season. But remember that clock? Yes, its still ticking and time is counting down to give the team at Black Arrow Marketing a call today, don’t wait, your competition may be dialing the number right now ahead of you. You can contact Black Arrow Marketing @ 1-888- 225-4780