Get Your eCommerce Business Holiday-Ready
The 2020 holiday shopping season was unlike any other. Many holiday shoppers spent time away from family and relied on online shopping to spread holiday cheer. eCommerce sales have seen a boom, with two years of growth in just one season. While most people plan to resume their normal holiday plans, it is clear that the eCommerce market share will continue to grow. One, 2/3 of shoppers increased their online shopping during the COVID-19 epidemic. 35% of shoppers predict that they will shop online more than before the pandemic. This is setting up for an 11% YoY increase holiday eCommerce sales. Your competitors also know this.
Merchants need to make online shopping easy, flexible and memorable in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
01. Expect a significant increase in traffic
Nothing is worse than a website going down, especially during holiday shopping season.
You must ensure that your website is reliable. This is the right time to check your site’s load times. These two elements are perhaps the most important to holiday readiness.
Experts agree that page loading speed is directly related to revenue. Your website must be able to scale and maintain its stability in order to meet increased web infrastructure demands.
This can be done by evaluating your integrations and third-party code to ensure they are current. Third-party codes should be used sparingly if possible. You should test them to make sure they can handle higher bandwidth loads. Don’t add any new plug-ins, or third-party apps, for now.
Wix stores can handle thousands of visitors at once. We are constantly improving our underlying infrastructure to provide industry-recognized speed & performance.
02. Offer a stellar onsite experience
The website experience of an online store can make the difference between a full shopping cart or an empty one. A positive digital shopping experience is possible only if you can navigate quickly and have easy access.
One of the best homepages should be simple to navigate. This will allow new visitors to easily find categories pages, special promotions and gift guides. The homepage experience should be optimized for all devices. It is helpful to provide quick links that answer the most common questions, such as shipping information and return policy.
These are five more tips to ensure a memorable experience on-site
- Create category landing pages -Holiday shoppers frequently browse online shops without a specific product in mind. It makes it easier for visitors to find what your store offers by providing category landing pages. It encourages cross-selling and upselling.
- Offer recommendations–Product recommendations help those shoppers unsure of their purchase. Wix eCommerce lets you create custom store modules which recommend products based upon characteristics such as price, brand, and category. These modules are a great way to meet your shopping intent and increase your Average Order Value (AOV). All of this can be achieved with Velo Wix’s open source dev platform.
- Optimize search capabilities – Your product search function on your website should be optimized to provide relevant information to searchers. Your search should not be hampered by missing letters or typos.
- Make the checkout page as simple as possible – Having to create a store account can prevent potential sales. Make sure you offer a guest checkout option. Customers can easily access the payment page and can complete their checkout quickly.
- Expand payment options – Online shoppers love the ease of using payment options other than credit cards. PayPal, Klarna and Square make it easy to check out from any device and in any region. Wix payments provides these options and many more. Our native payment provider can handle seamless checkout all by itself, without the need to connect to any third-party providers.
03. Shipping and fulfillment made easy
Now is the right time to examine how your supply chain operates, and if you haven’t already prioritized shipping and fulfillment in holiday eCommerce strategies. Delivery delays and out-of-stocks can have a devastating effect on your brand and bottom line. Customers are becoming less patient due to the pandemic.
Many retailers are preparing for the worst case scenario by preparing for increased online orders and ongoing supply chain problems.
Alternative fulfillment options will grow as merchants try to reduce shipping costs. You can avoid shipping fees and disappointments by using curbside pickup if you own a brick-and-mortar store.
If you want to reduce shipping costs, Wix eCommerce lets you set-up pickup. If you plan ahead of any supply chain issues, you can also offer pickup as an option for local delivery or shipping.
You should also decide as soon as possible how to handle shipping and fulfillment in order to prepare for higher online sales. There are three main options.
- Shipment and fulfillment can be handled in-house
- Third-party logistics providers (3PL) can help you outsource shipping and fulfillment
- Dropshipping is a great way to outsource fulfillment and shipping
Wix offers dropshipping services for all types of eCommerce businesses. Existing businesses can use Wix to test new markets during the holiday season, without needing additional inventory. In seven simple steps, you can begin dropshipping using Wix.
Automating the process can help you avoid holiday-induced headaches, regardless of what decision you make. Merchants can use shipping software to manage their orders, compare rates, print labels and reconcile shipping costs.
Don’t forget to include returns in your holiday planning. An online shopping environment is making it more difficult to have a clear and flexible return policy. Online shopping doesn’t allow for the same experience as a try-on experience.
Remember that a strict return policy could make the difference between a lifetime customer and a lost sale. This is especially true during holiday season, when the majority of purchases are gifts.
For building customer loyalty and trust, a transparent and fair return policy can be a powerful tool.
04. Create holistic holiday marketing campaigns
eCommerce Marketing can be a difficult game. Do not wait for big holiday sales days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday to prepare your online shop for holiday promotions and campaigns.
Your strategy must be optimized and ready to go, regardless of whether you are deploying new technologies, marketing strategies, or both.
Based on the needs of your customers, the promotional strategy you choose will look different.
Many people are drawn to seasonal services like free shipping and gift wrapping. Offering limited-time deals create urgency, which encourages people to shop faster. Gift cards that allow them to upsell or check out can also be an effective way to boost sales.
Giveaways and holiday contests are another effective marketing strategy to increase customer satisfaction. This in turn increases sales and loyalty. This can be done directly from your store’s site, or many merchants use social media to engage customers.
Don’t hesitate to use loyalty or rewards programs. These promotions not only work in your favor in attracting holiday shoppers but also make a good investment in returning customers. Reward programs are a great way to convert holiday shoppers into lifelong customers .
A rewards program that is effective should be simple to use, offer members-only benefits, put a greater value on your products, increase member interaction and engagement. Wix’s CRM lets you reward VIP members with special content and products.
No matter what your marketing strategy is, it’s important to keep a steady stream of content coming. You can consider paid advertising, email campaigns and social media channels.
Good traffic is any web search traffic that directs to your business. Customers are more likely to visit your store if your content is unique, current, and relevant to the holiday season.
05. Provide outstanding customer service and support
All of this being said, the eCommerce landscape is centered on responsive and fast customer service.
You can stand out from other eCommerce sites by having the right information and fast support. People understand when things go wrong. Wix Chat allows you to address customer concerns and help them find the right holiday items.
Support is essential during stressful holidays. A great customer service can seal a sale, especially during busy shopping seasons, and keep customers coming back.
Wix’s customer management suite helps you organize customer communication between your support team members. This will allow you to turn your eCommerce platform into a multichannel communication hub.
Positive customer experiences can make a customer loyal and turn a problem into an opportunity.
This holiday season, make it easy and quick
If there is one thing you can take away from this guide: a smooth purchase process will make this a great holiday shopping season.
As shoppers search for the perfect gift for every person on their shopping list, you want to make sure that your online shop offers a seamless experience across all channels and marketplaces. You should be able to provide the necessary framework to satisfy customers’ demands. Customers value convenience and speed above all else.
As buyer behavior shifts to digital, eCommerce sales will continue to rise. Take advantage of this peak shopping season to set yourself apart and seize the opportunity that lies ahead.