Holiday Shopping: Prepare Your Online Store
The holiday season is fast approaching, and it’s the time of the year to start preparing for the online rush and get your e-store into tip-top shape. If you did not already know, the holiday season generates an average of 20-40% of total sales for online retailers. That means a massive amount of customer traffic and sales will be generated during Q4.
We have already covered the importance of blogging during the holiday season, and our Executive VP, Jenna Warren, has talked in detail about how to prepare for the upcoming shopping explosion, but it may also be helpful to consider these quick tips:
Keep Your Inventory Up-to-date:
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to keep up with your inventory at all times. Your customers will shop on your site looking for available products, items, etc. They need to know what you currently have in stock. This is eCommerce 101. You need to display what is and what is not available.
Let customers know if they need to buy quickly, i.e. “Only 10 left in stock.” Otherwise, you will have a lot of angry guests who want to purchase your products, but are frustrated in finding out that an item is no longer available or will not be available anytime soon.
Keep the Checkout Process Simple and Quick:
Another easy tip, but an important one. Customers who are shopping on your site do not want to spend a lot of free-time trying to fill out forms just to checkout and complete a purchase. This leads to abandoned shopping carts and dissatisfaction.
Try to keep the checkout process as simple and quick as possible. Offer one-click checkouts, and try to keep everything limited to about one page. Add some “related products” before the order is complete to potentially boost sales. Otherwise, don’t bog the customer down with extras.
Fast Shipping is a Must:
It is estimated that roughly 38% of customers expect a package to arrive within 3-4 business days. This is especially true during Q4 when last-minute shopping and big-spenders are making purchases online. No one wants to wait for weeks to see a package arrive on their doorstep.
Make sure your eCommerce site offers multiple shipping methods, including a fast shipping method. This will easily guarantee sales with potential customers.
Communication is Key:
Nothing will drive customers away faster than poor communication. If an order has been delayed, or an item has suddenly become unavailable, or if you need to immediately refund a purchase, make sure you do so post-haste. Do not keep customers in the dark. Keep guests informed and make sure they receive all of the information they need. And make sure all information concerning purchases is available on your website. Otherwise, say good-bye to your clients.
Deliver the Goods:
This seems obvious, but it’s essential. Make sure your stay current with purchases and keep up with any refunds. Deliver on what you promise your customers. Make sure items have been shipped and orders have been processed. Refund anything that needs to be refunded. Replace any items that are in need of replacement. Keep up and re-order items to replenish your inventory. Deliver the goods to your customers.
With these tips in mind, you should be in good shape for the upcoming holiday rush. And, if you are in need of some site work, maintenance, or if you need to improve on your eCommerce store, contact Creatuity immediately. Let us help you build a professional, amazing site so you can thrive during Q4!