It’s almost Fall. Christmas trees and snowmen are likely not yet on your mind. But few things put people into the shopping mood quite like the holiday season. And it seems to start earlier every year! Should you start preparing in September? Absolutely – and here are the ten things you should be checking:
Get Your Holiday Graphics Ready
Now’s the time to start designing your creatives (or have them designed) for the holiday season. Make sure to have a variety of sizes and placements in mind not just on your website, but on every website you advertise with as well.
Prepare Your Inventory to Avoid Disappointment
Nothing’s worse to a customer than trying to buy that special thing on the list, only to find it’s out of stock. If you think a particular item will be a huge hit this year, have plans in place to refill inventory quickly, and notify customers that although you may be out of stock, more will be on the way.
Double Check Your Shipping Logistics
During the rush of the holiday season, shipping logistics can likely be out of your hands. It’s a hectic time, making sure packages get delivered on time. Make sure that your information is all up to date and working with your major shipping suppliers – free shipping is one of the biggest reasons customers shop online during the holiday season!
Make Your Site Mobile
This may take a bit longer to prepare, but it’s absolutely worth it. Many customers will be shopping on their mobile phone or tablet this year, and sites that are prepared are sites that get the sale. Learn about the benefits to making your site responsive and then take steps to make it happen.
Tag Your Products Correctly
Product tags are becoming even more important as shoppers have less and less time to spend browsing search results that don’t adequately meet their needs. By tagging your product (color, size, style, even audience – like parents or beginners) you’ll help them shortcut the search process and find exactly what they need, faster and easier.
Create Landing Pages for Campaigns
Now is also a great time to start crafting landing pages. You’ll likely have a few in-demand products, and nothing converts better than a landing page offering customers a coupon (see free shipping above) or more information on finding the perfect gift in your e-commerce store!
Plan Out Your Social Schedule
This is also a great time to plan out your promotions across social networks. People are going to be looking at what their friends and family are recommending, where they’re shopping and what they’re buying. By analyzing your target audience carefully, you can reach them with convincing ads on the very sites they use the most!
Update Your Product Page Copy
Are your product pages out of date? Oftentimes, particularly for product that change often like electronics, products pages can be years behind. Don’t let your pages be a victim of stale, outdated copy. Update them to be more relevant to today’s searcher by including relevant words that they’re likely to look for relating to your products.
Prime Your Email Marketing Engine
People are going to be inundated with emails announcing sale after sale. Don’t let yours get lost in the shuffle! Plan your email marketing campaigns now and focus on how you’ll get to the top of the inbox stack. Find out what customers are looking for and then give them what they want – it’s the fastest way to make sure your name is on their email whitelist when it comes time to ask for the sale.
Double Check Your Site’s Security
Last but certainly not least is security. Make sure your SSL certificate is up to date, and that your client/customer information is stored securely. Have a website security audit done and update your relevant content management system and their plugins to the latest versions if you haven’t already.
It may seem like you have plenty of time to get all of these things in order, but the holiday shopping season will be here before you know it! By starting today, you’ll avoid the rush and be able to focus on increasing your sales and improving the customer service experience. Good luck!