Running an online store requires a lot of commitment and the ability to cash in on certain days/events when people are readily happy to spend their money, splurging it on online shopping. The festive season is one such time that strongly impacts E-commerce sales and marketing. If you own an online store, this is always your most profitable and busiest time of the year. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, 20% to 40% of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers take place within the last two months of the year.
Shopping around festive holidays includes a lot of impulsive and last moment shopping. To fulfill all this outrageous demand, your online store needs to be decked up to handle all the inquiries and sales. Since an online store operates through an eCommerce website, this means that your website should be ready to handle all that crazy traffic and potential downtime issues.
So, if you are a new online store owner who is rather inexperienced at handling the festive season, our guide below will help you effectively prepare your online store for festive sale and drive maximum profits.
Update your online store
The best thing about the festive season from a business perspective is that you are aware of the timeline of events when the sale starts kicking in. Things start rolling out post-September and this is the time when you should update your online store website with fresh content and new products if any.
Updating your online store is a compulsion because people look forward to finding a revamped website during the festive season where they shop regularly. It is also important because you have to add new inventory, as per the trend alerts and also due to the fact that you need to specify shipping, return, and replacement terms for all of them.
Brace your website for all that crazy traffic
The festive season means that hasty shoppers are scouring the internet looking for attractive deals; only making a purchase when they find something that suits their pocket and taste. Handling this heavy traffic can only come easy when your website is prepared to face this surge.
So, make sure that your online store has invested in a decent and reliable web hosting service that offers maximum uptime, even during heavy traffic. A great web hosting service will also ensure the speed and security of your online website.
Take stock of your inventory
Every year, during the festive season, people go looking for trending products for their personal use or for gifting purposes. Hence, in order to stay relevant, your store needs to stock up its inventory with the latest products that people are showing interest for.
It is also very important that you carefully assess the inventory stock and make sure the supply can satisfy the demand. It would be really unfortunate if your store ran out of stock at the peak sales time. So, be prepared for inventory management and restock your inventory as needed.
Make your mobile website as seamless as possible
During a festive season, 40% of all online sales are likely made via Mobile Devices. That’s definitely true because given the amount of time and the attention span of the current audience, who now has all the time in the world to find a desktop before they want to place an online shopping order?
This is where the performance of your mobile website counts. Your mobile eCommerce store should be able to offer a seamless shopping experience to a hasty audience who is probably too busy to struggle with the navigation issues on a shopping website. Consider hiring an experienced eCommerce web design agency to make sure that you are able to crunch the content in a manner that the shoppers are easily able to find out the products that they are looking for. This online mobile website should also ensure optimum user experience.
Work on the payment integration options on your website
There are just so many payment gateways out there that it can get really overwhelming for a website owner to include them all as a part of payment options. However, you must try and add as many payment options available so that you don’t miss out on a purchase due to non-availability of a specific payment integration on your website.
Work on your return/replacement policies
You can maximize your sales graph during the festive season and this is an opportunity that you really shouldn’t miss. If customers are visiting your online store to make a purchase, strict return/replacement/shipping policies should be the last thing for them to encounter. Having liberal policies for the above during the festive season will help you immensely spike your sales and maximize your profits.
You can get rid of policies like minimum order to qualify for free shipping, super strict return policies, short return and exchange time, etc. Do away with the hassle of returns because they happen to be the most common reason people hesitate to buy gifts online.
Prepare to offer impeccable customer service
Get a helping hand and be ready to answer customer calls so that you can help your online visitors tackle their product queries and help them complete their purchases. The person entrusted with this duty must be advised to stay calm and polite because there are definitely a lot of calls coming in from irate customers looking for last time deals. Also, be sure about helping customers through all communication channels like social media, live chat, and email.
Implement a seamless checkout process
The best way to prepare your online store for a festive sale is by tweaking the checkout page or the process. You must make this step so seamless that with just two clicks, people should successfully be able to place an order with you. It is also advisable to let new customers make a purchase on your online store without forcing them to register an account with you. Guest purchase can immensely hike your sales. If possible, offer a guided checkout process to your customers.
The festive season is a sweet time, indeed. For the shoppers out there, this season holds awesome sale discounts and for the online stores, it is about maximizing the profit on the sales. Hence, an online store that is ready to welcome the festive sale season is everybody’s favorite. By following the steps mentioned above, you can also prepare your own online store for the festival sale and plenty of customer satisfaction.
Author Bio: Mark Coleman is a passionate writer, currently working as an Editor at MarkupTrend. Markup Trend offers free resources for developers, designers and webmasters and is updated daily. Mark is available for hire for product and business promotions.