Welcome to the 4th quarter of 2021 and what a year it has been for eCommerce. Online sales are higher than ever, more and more people are shopping from their computers and smartphones than ever before due to the pandemic, and there’s no sign of slowing down.
Let’s face it, COVID-19 changed the way most consumers purchase – whether it’s home goods or dinner from their favorite restaurant, orders are being placed online and being delivered right to their door quickly and hassle-free.
As we get set to usher in the holiday season, it’s crucial that your business, and eCommerce platform, are ready and able to handle the rush. We’ve put together a checklist of some things to start working on right now:
More orders mean you’re going to need more inventory. If you have items that are sure to be a holiday hit, make sure you have adequate stock. Keep in mind that many manufacturers and distributors are having supply issues, don’t get caught off-guard by not ordering in time.
Additionally, communicate item status to your customers. Make sure items that are out of stock are marked appropriately with an estimated return date, or better yet – collect email addresses on that item page to have customers automatically notified when it’s back in stock. Be sure to mark items that have an additional lead-time for processing as well so customers know those items may take a bit longer to arrive.
If you happen to drop-ship, be sure to find out if your vendors will need additional time to process your orders. Don’t let a 3rd party’s delays result in your customers complaining!
Is your warehouse ready? Often times this is an overlooked part of the equation. While you’re busy ordering inventory and stocking the shelves, simple things can be done to make your warehouse more efficient when it comes to organizing for quicker picking.
Each year, I share an article I wrote over a decade ago that talks about this very subject and how simple tweaks can help your staff get more orders out the door. Be sure to check it out!
If you’ve looked at your store’s analytics lately, you’ve probably noticed a trend – more shoppers are shopping from mobile than ever before. While desktops and laptops still make up a good portion of visitors, the numbers keep going up for orders placed from phones and tablets.
With that said, site speed is more important than ever. Having a store that loads quickly from a phone over a 4G/5G connection is more likely to have higher conversion rates than slower loading ones. In fact, a recent survey found that 70% of consumers said page speed affects their decision to buy from an online retailer.
Take the time to test your site now and then reach out to your developer to see if tweaks can be made to speed things up.
Capture Lost Sales
Cart abandonment stinks, we all know it. But there are ways to reduce your abandonment rate by employing a very simple tactic – email. If you’re on BigCommerce or Shopify, abandoned cart emails are already built-in to the platform and work remarkably well. Enabling them allows you to send an automated email to customers reminding them of products they left behind convincing them to make a purchase.
Sweeten the deal by offering them a deal such as a percentage off or free shipping if they click through to complete their purchase. Based on data from Moosend, abandoned cart emails have a 10.7% conversion rate.
When it comes time to check out, keep it simple! BigCommerce store owners already know that the optimized one-page checkout that was developed after years of research, is a hit with shoppers.
If your checkout experience uses multiple pages, is not mobile-friendly, or contains a lot of hullabaloos that are unnecessary for the checkout experience it’s time to streamline for conversions.
Also, give your customers options. This includes allowing guest checkout – which doesn’t require them to create an account in order to order. If you can enable alternate payment methods such as PayPal, ApplePay, etc, you can tap into a group of shoppers who use those methods exclusively. Don’t just assume, “my customers don’t use PayPal,” you may be surprised just how many do!
Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines!
Finally, make sure you are making your deadlines for placing holiday orders perfectly clear. Nobody wants to place an order expecting it to be delivered by Christmas and it arrives for New Year’s.
Let your customers know when the last day they can place an order is in order to get it in time for the big day. This can be done via simple graphics, such as our Holiday Graphics Package.
These are just a few of the things you should be working on right now! Of course, if you have any questions or need some help, feel free to reach out to us. Our team is ready to help you have the biggest holiday season ever!