Is your eCommerce store ready for the onslaught of customers about to log on this holiday season, looking for sales, deals, promotions, and everything in between? Times have changed, and so have shopping habits. While people used to look forward to one day a year, shopping trends—especially after the COVID-19 crisis—have caused one day to stretch over a weekend (or more) of online sales!
The good news for eCommerce stores is that many shoppers are looking online rather than in physical stores. When I entered the eCommerce world back in 2013, I immediately realized the benefits of making the most of the online retail boom.
And, since a recent Shopkick survey found that 47% of shoppers are still somewhat unsure about in-store shopping, now is an even better time for eCommerce stores to make the most of the seasonal holiday demand. Here’s how to get started:
Implement an Automation Plan
This is a busy time for customers and eCommerce stores alike. And honestly, it’s probably busier for the stores! You’re potentially competing with large corporations, stores that have larger warehouses, more direct sales, and targeted marketing campaigns, and a ready customer inventory to pull from.
It can seem overwhelming initially (and if you’re not prepared), but there’s a way to ensure you’re ready for the rush, even if your store is more passive income than your entire business. In fact, when I started my Amazon store, I realized I wanted to make more passive income—and that involved a high amount of automation. It’s one of the things that led to the founding of Ecom Automation Gurus, where we specialize in drop shipping, private label, and wholesaling opportunities.
If you’re having trouble getting shipments out on time or competing with online competitors, it’s a good idea to consider using automation. You can speed up everything from customer service to inventory and shipping, which in turn can bring in more sales, more profits, and more income.
Cater to What People Want
Do you have the right products to make the most of the Black Friday rush? You can never tell precisely what customers will want, but you can have a pretty good idea. Black Friday and Cyber Monday seem to blend into one another now, and tech items tend to rank highest on people’s wish lists.
Make sure you research the market thoroughly in the months leading up to November, see what products begin to trend, do a little scouting to see what other brands are offering and make sure you’re stocking the right products. Remember that customers will be planning for the next holiday, so there’s no use selling things like autumn scents when everyone is already looking for Christmas aromas.
Once you know the trends, make sure your inventory is stocked, and you spread the word about what you’ve got in store.
Plan Well in Advance
While Black Friday is officially on November 26 this year, it’s essential to offer your customers variety starting as early as possible. Stores may open their doors as early as Thanksgiving, but you have the advantage of being able to start small with a few deals sprinkled through the month—even earlier if you can manage it.
Buyers prefer to start shopping as early as October, and for a decade now, stores have heard what they want and followed suit. Since some sales can begin at the very first sight of fall, you should plan your sales and stock updates accordingly.
As I found during my eCommerce journey, it’s an excellent idea to harness the increased traffic on sites like Amazon for your own benefit. Since you’re going to see an increase in direct competition on these sites, too, it’s best to plan things out.
Figure out everything from what you’re selling to how much it’s going to sell for. What promotions can you offer customers? Are your deals in line with that of your competition? Do your research and start your planning well before you need to – because it’s probably right on time.
Focus on the Details
Do you have an efficient sales and marketing plan for the holidays? It may seem silly, but even if customers are likely to come to you through a platform like Amazon, it’s an excellent idea to ensure you’ve got everything working right.
If you have an eCommerce store, learn a bit about SEO practices, and make sure you have product descriptions that entice buyers to buy the products. List things as final sale, consider having a limited-edition version of a product that usually sells well—the more you focus on the little things, the more customers you’ll draw into your store.
Link things to an updated blog, website, or social media page, and increase your online presence significantly during the holiday season. Effective advertising and spreading the word are always effective, but they’re even more so during the holidays.
With a good amount of automation, using social media and other eCommerce platforms to your advantage, and proper planning, you’re all set to start the holidays with a successful sale—or several. Happy selling!
Author: Kirk Cooper is the founder of Ecom Automation Gurus, which creates fully automated eCommerce stores for its users to assist in making passive income. The founder and CEO has been featured in Success Profile magazine and is an Entrepreneur.com contributor. To check out their services and book a call, visit their website here.