2016 GWA Holiday E-commerce Checklist

christmas giftsWe are hosting our annual e-commerce mini-conference this Saturday.  This event was specifically designed for small business owners who want to sell products or services online, especially during the holiday season.  Unfortunately, this event has already sold out, but we created this quick checklist of a few important things that you need to know if you want to pursue online holiday selling:

  1. Review Your Previous Holiday Marketing Plans (if you had any): Take a look at what worked and what didn’t last year, and strategize what you will do this year. Did you run out of stock early? Did your costs overrun? Did your website crash?  How did your shipping and handling work out last year? Did your social media strategy help you make sales?
  2. Advertising, Marketing, and PR: How do you plan to advertise your company? Social media? Email newsletters? Are there reporters or bloggers you could contact to get holiday coverage. Are there keywords you can use in your website for better SEO?
  3. Plan Out Your Holiday Content Strategy: Now is a good time to put together a special editorial calendar for holiday-themed content.  This includes blog posts, videos, social media content to showcase any sales, discounts, and promotions.  
  4. Create a Clear Payment & Return Policy: Make it clear on your website, preferably in the Terms of Services page, what your payment and return policies are so that customers understand what to expect.
  5. Create A Sign-Up Form On Your Website: During the holidays, your website will have a higher than an average number of visitors.  No, email marketing is not dead.  In fact, customers are more likely to see your emails than your posts on Facebook!  Strategically place a sign-up form on your website to capture email opt-ins.   
  6. Make It Easier For Your Customers: Holiday shoppers are busy and will not spend a lot of time interacting with your content if they don’t find what they want.  Creating recommended or wish lists (along with special discounts) makes it easier for users to identify your products and services.  Even if they don’t actually purchase anything during the holiday season, they will remember your lists and might come back to make a purchase after the holidays.
  7. Three-Click Rule: Again, holiday shoppers are busy, so don’t have users go on a scavenger hunt on your website.  Reorganize your website so that users can find anything in three clicks or less.
  8. Shipping and Handling: It is a good idea to have an online fulfillment plan, especially if you are working with third-party vendors, to make sure deliveries are made on time.
  9. Costs: You are doing online selling because you want to make money, not lose it?  With that said, how much will all the above objectives cost your business? Do you need to hire temporary bloggers or a web designer to support your online strategy?  Calculate your budget before embarking on such a strategy.
  10. Plan B: When all else fails, what do you do?  You need to think about the worst-case scenarios, like if your website’s server goes down, run out of stock early or social media gets hacked.  It is better to start thinking about these now then when it actually happens.

These are just a few steps.  If you need more help with your online holiday strategy, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Happy Selling!

Global Wire Associates

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