E-commerce continues to rise this year as more people choose to do their holiday shopping, or at least part of it, online. The top shipping companies expect a 14% increase in parcel deliveries this holiday season.
The main question is, is your business ready?
Kelly Spors discusses this in the OPEN Forum article “Online Shopping Will Be Red-Hot This Holiday Season. Is Your Business Ready?” The article lists four areas that businesses need to focus on to be prepared for the holiday online shopping season.
Here are they key points for businesses to consider in preparation of the upcoming holiday season.
- Make sure your website is up to par. Your website is your central hub online so make sure it is easy to navigate and up to date with the latest in-store promotions and news. Point all of your online activity to your website and cross promote your in-store and online shopping. Highlight gift products and make it easy to search.
- Make sure your business can be found online. There’s nothing worse than having a holiday-ready website that no one can find. Optimize your website for search engines and add a blog to highlight new products, services, promotions and more. Carefully choose keywords with three words or more to help with holiday gift searches.
- Offer something more. Offer low cost shipping or free gift wrapping or special services to stand apart from competition. What would your customers want? Ask them.
- Target your customers on their busiest online shopping days. Cyber Monday and Black Friday are just two of the top online shopping days. Learn which days are best for your customers through research reports from Google Analytics. Spors writes about this in “The 5 Best Days for Online Retail During the Holiday Season.” Experiment with some pay-per-click or sponsored ads to boost online sales.
A fifth point is to reach out your best customers through holiday email marketing. Offer VIP type specials that only subscribers will receive. Have them bring a coupon in to the store or give them a special online shopping code for extras.
With planning and preparation, small businesses can compete with the larger retailers during the holidays. What has worked for your business?
Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.