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In case you haven't already performed these 7 issues to get what you are promoting prepared for the vacation season, put what you are promoting behind the eight ball

10, 2020

5 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

The Christmas sales season has arrived and if you have not already started preparing your business to maximize your time and profits. In 2019, over $ 135 billion was spent during the Christmas sales season.

For most small business owners, especially those in the retail / consumer goods sector, the fourth quarter is the biggest quarter for gross sales. Most small business owners, however, leave money on the table during this time because they are insufficiently prepared.

Here are seven things you should be doing now to prepare your business for the upcoming holiday season.

1. Update your website

Online sales for my customers have skyrocketed this year. When everyone is at home, online shopping is a necessity for most. Hence, one of your top priorities should be keeping your website current and user friendly.

This may include updating your product photos, reviewing the descriptions of your products and services, confirming that your prices are correct, or making any necessary adjustments to shipping costs.

Also use this time to plan promotions or to set up promo codes to use in your marketing during the holiday season (think Black Friday, Cyber ​​Monday, etc.).

Related: How To Win As An Online Business During The 2020 Holiday Season

2. Test your checkout process

If you haven't tried your check out process recently, now is the time to do it.

Potential buyers are looking for a seamless experience. If the check-out process is cumbersome and cumbersome, you can lose revenue. Remember, one click purchase is now available to consumers. So simplicity is the key.

3. Consider additional payment methods

Most online businesses accept payments by credit cards, debit cards, or Paypal, which is great, but customers are looking for more flexibility and an easy shopping experience.

For example, Apple Pay makes it easy for users to pay with their phone (online and in person). With AfterPay you can offer customers payment plans.

Consider adding alternative payment options if it makes sense with your ecommerce system and it makes it easier for your customers to shop with you.

4. Register customers who have left the car

Shopping cart abandonment results in $ 18 billion in lost sales in ecommerce stores annually. It's an amazing number.

Get back customers who fill their carts but don't complete the checkout process by sending abandoned cart emails.

Send two or three fun branded follow-up emails to remind your customers to come back to your shop and complete their order. You can set these up in advance and automate the process.

By reminding and stimulating customers who have abandoned their shopping carts, connections are made with your customers and your profits increase – with little effort on your part!

5. Cell phone friendly is a must

A mobile-friendly website is an absolute necessity. 34.5% of e-commerce spending during the 2019 holiday season was made on smartphones.

Use tools like MobiReady to test your website in different browsers and devices and make sure it works fine for the customer.

Related: 10 Christmas Presents For The One Who Has It All

6. Communicate clearly

Communication is always key, but it is critical during a pandemic. Now is the time to communicate and educate your customers so that they know about your company's return policy, shipping delays or deadlines, etc.

An example of this are the shipping deadlines for public holidays.

Most online retailers have strict deadlines on when to place orders to ensure they arrive by Christmas. Make these deadlines clear on your home page or in an announcement bar at the top of your website, mark them in your check out process where customers choose their shipping options, and speak on social media and in your marketing emails about these deadlines.

Communicate important details clearly and precisely with customers.

7. Provide excellent customer service

Exceptional customer service creates loyal customers who are willing to refer your business to everyone they know. In the same way, poor customer service can also be magnified.

How are your customers engaging with your brand? How are you affected? How could you make it a better experience for everyone?

For example, create a self-help resources section on your website to reduce customer inquiries. An FAQ page doesn't solve every problem, but it can minimize questions and give you the ability to guide customers when needed.

The aim is to strengthen the interaction with your customers at every point of contact. This includes replying to comments on social media, responding to email inquiries in a timely manner, and finding ways to surprise and delight them at different stages of their customer journey (sending out birthday cards is one example!).

These seven strategies will ensure that you start the Christmas sales season with a strong foundation. You can easily incorporate your sales and marketing strategies because your products are ready, your website is ready, and your company is focused on delivering a positive experience to your customers.

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