The snow is falling, American Thanksgiving has snuck up on us, and even the unpopular Halloween candy that languished at the bottom of the bag for weeks has been eaten. You know what that means: It’s holiday season. Even though it’s a little too late to make any drastic changes to your E-Commerce site now, you still have plenty of time to pull up your sleeves and optimize your store for the holiday season.

Holiday shoppers expect a lot from e-businesses: With everything from out-of-the-box inspiration, to better-than-normal customer service and super fast shipping times, a lot of pressure lies upon you.

So, we have assembled some last-minute tips to make your online shop shine during the festive season!

1. Adjust your shipping, refund, and return policies

Chasing down the perfect gift for all your loved ones is stressful enough. Take some of that pressure off your customers shoulders by offering free shipping, spread the word about your shop’s full refund option, and consider extending existing return policies (until at least mid-January) to give your shoppers all the flexibility in the world.

Best Buy holiday shipping offer

2. Create holiday sections

Unless you know precisely what gift to give and don’t even need to look around anymore, having a million things to choose from is just exhausting. No one wants to deal with too many options. You can do your online customers a great favour by creating a manageable selection of holiday specials. Since people don’t tend to shop for themselves during the holidays, creating interest-based sections is a huge help especially for those of us who might be running a little late. I personally wouldn’t suggest creating gender-based sections simply because in my experience we are all a little more complex than that. Not every man is going to be overjoyed by the hunting jacket you got them. Ideas for video gamers, for travellers, for foodies, for cat-lovers, for Star Wars fans and so on have a much better chance for success. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Etsy Holiday Gift Categories

3. Simplify things for customers

Many statistics from previous holiday season analytics suggest that a more focused shopping experience is likely to create more sales because people don’t constantly feel the need to compare and choose elsewhere. You can use that by channelling your products even further. Set up some ideas for stocking fillers, for Secret Santa and maybe creating prepared gift-baskets or gift-combos is an option for your shop. Price-range-based selections like “gifts under $5” are also a great crowd-pleaser especially if your online shoppers are budget-savvy.

Targeting Millennials? Two things about that:

  1. Millennials are said to be a price-sensitive crowd, so “Buy Online. Pick-Up In Store.” is a big incentive you can use to your store’s advantage if you have the option.
  2. Millennials love gift cards – giving and receiving – and that’s not for reasons of lack of creativity (maybe in some cases?) but mainly because gift cards are considered a great way to let a person chose what they really love.  

millennials-graphs

4. Step up your email marketing

By “stepping up,” I don’t necessarily mean you should increase the quantity of emails but rather the quality of your campaigns. Strategize your content carefully and offer only valuable information in bite-size. Email campaigns throughout November and December are a great way to introduce your new holiday shopping categories, advertise your customer friendly shipping and return policies, and market your holiday sales (with free gift wrapping for early birds, for example). To stand out from the crowd and to give your brand a little extra personality, spread some love during the season: let your subscribers know which charities your company supports or how they can contribute.  

5. Track your campaigns

Whether it be different ads, landing pages, or sales, you need to know what is gaining and converting customers. Which investments are successful? Is a certain landing page generating more leads? Are your SEO efforts taking off? What AdWords strategy is paying off?

“Once you’ve implemented appropriate tracking, ensure you have the space to compare your investments and check your ROI on each effort.” says our SEO Specialist, Lindsay Kavanagh, “Having a high influx of shoppers looking to buy allows you to really measure campaign success and even adjust your marketing strategy for the rest of the entire quarter.”

Now is the time to get in shape for the holiday season. With mobile browsing reaching an ultimate high this year promises to be a big one for E-Commerce sales! The tips above secure you a head-start to outshine your competitors and earn the love of your customers.

Need a little more advice to optimize your E-Commerce website? Get in touch with our SEO specialists to learn more about how to get the most out of your online presence.

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