"If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got."
I see this quote taped to the window of a local business just down the street from our Studio. I walk by it everyday on my way to lunch, and today, it led me to think about our Yahoo! Merchants. With the holiday season fast approaching, many of them have still neglected to start the process of preparing their online stores for the holiday season.Question:
Do you have a formal Q4 plan in place this year? Result: NO - 71%, Yes – 29%
News flash- the Holiday season is just around the corner, and based on economic trends, e-tailers MAY expect to see an improvement in sales over last years numbers.
So, what are you doing to prepare? I can talk to you at lengths about holiday promotions, holiday graphics, and various tried and true features that are sure to help you boost those conversions and average orders. But to simplify things, I came up with a wish list of what you can do to keep your store gliding along through the holidays like a shiny new sleigh.
Give your store some holiday cheer -
Update your store with holiday graphics, book ends, or a holiday themed header, something to help get your customers in the mood for some holiday shopping.
Recommend gifts to your customers -
Every year I buy something for my father and he either already has it, or never uses it. I need a store that will tell me what I should buy for him, instead of having to spend an entire day shopping at the mall. I just want to log onto a site and have someone say “Buy this, they’ll love it” and I know I am not the only one.
Give timely and consistent feedback -
Spend some extra time answering emails and providing your customers with the feedback they need to make their purchases. If you are small, take advantage of your “family owned and operated” business and let your customers know they are talking to a real person.
Keep your promises -
Make your customers aware of when to expect their orders, if you say "guaranteed two day shipping" make sure you fulfill that guarantee. Nothing irks a customer more than orders that show up late.
Run a Cyber Monday sale or promotion -
This is the biggest online shopping day of the year, don’t miss out on this opportunity. Run a package deal, offer savings on some of your most popular items, or offer a product “loss leader” to entice more purchases. Run your promotions for a week to give your customers time to take advantage of them.
Send out newsletters in regular intervals -
Be consistent when sending out your newsletters, but don’t spam your customers. Also, make sure they are well crafted and professional. Newsletters are great for attracting customers with great gift recommendations, coupon offers, shipping deals and any other holiday promotions.
Take advantage of social media -
Connect with your customers, solicit feedback and recommend gifts on Facebook
, or another social media site. Become more interactive with your customers, and as I said before, take advantage of your ability to let them know you are a real person.