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Tips to Help eCommerce Store Owners Prepare for the Holidays

We may not be Boy Scouts, but we’re firm believers in their motto, “be prepared” especially when it comes to getting ready for the big holiday shopping season.  You can never begin your planning too early and it’s essential that you’re ready to tackle the influx of holiday orders head-on to avoid disappointing your customers.

While every holiday season is busy, this year will be somewhat different.  Due to the global pandemic, businesses are still struggling with staffing, shipping carriers are dealing with excessive amounts of packages, and consumers are shopping online more than ever before.  All those can add up to disaster if you’re not thinking ahead and planning how to handle your own challenges while making sure your customers get their orders in time.

As you begin your planning, here are some tips to consider:

  • Encourage customers to shop early by offering special deals or incentives.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday are expected to be huge sales days this year, so you may want to start offering some of those deals even earlier.
  • Set your warehouse up for success by reviewing every step of the order process (pick, pack, ship) to make sure it’s efficient.  We also have a helpful article that you should read on how to prepare your warehouse for the holiday rush.
  • Make sure you’re stocked up on shipping supplies.  Check your inventory of boxes, dunnage, packing tape, etc. as well as your carrier-specific boxes and supplies to make sure you have enough on hand to meet demand.
  • Check in with your shipping carrier to receive updates from them on service standards, delivery guarantees, any surcharges that may be introduced, cut-off dates, etc.

On the marketing front, make sure you:

  • Have landing pages created for key sales days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday to showcase your special offers.
  • Create a calendar for all your promotions and get everyone in your operation on the same page as to when emails will drop, sales will start and end, etc.  You can reference our list of 2022 Key Holiday Dates.
  • Have email drops prepared well in advance so you’re not running around at the last minute creating one the day before your sale.  Be sure to test all links, tracking and coupon codes, etc before sending.
  • Offer the best deals you can to lure shoppers and get them to purchase.
  • Provide various options for shipping, even if it’s just for the holidays.  Many will wait for the last minute so make sure you give shoppers the option for expedited delivery.

Speaking of shipping, it’s important to provide clear messaging as to order cut-off times to make sure they order in time to receive any gifts before Christmas.  We offer a very easy way to do this with our Holiday Shipping Graphics that can be used on your website, social media, and email marketing.  Shipping carriers are recommending these deadlines, but of course, they will vary based on your operation:

  • Ground Service: will vary by zone, but
  • 3-day shipping: December 19
  • 2-day shipping: December 21
  • Next-day shipping: December 22

All of us at Your Store Wizards are here to help you with all your eCommerce store needs to make this year your best year ever!

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