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07.19.22 - Marketing

Christmas in July: Holiday E-Commerce Guide

an illustration of Santa Clause relaxing in the ocean

Like prepping to host your extended family and in-laws for the holidays, getting ready for holiday e-commerce sales takes a lot of hard work—and patience. Just be thankful it doesn’t involve listening to your uncle opine on the hot political issue of the day.

Although we can’t help with your reunion (a flask of eggnog?), we’re happy to offer a few pointers when it comes to planning and executing a successful holiday sales season.

Plan Ahead

Obvious, right? Well, there are some specific steps you can take to stay ahead of the game and avoid that last-minute chaos.

Create a content calendar with important dates like Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Holiday shipping cutoffs. Front-load as much of the work as possible by getting assets like photos, videos, and copy prepared early. You’ll free up time and make yourself agile for on-trend content like Tik-Toks or Reels throughout the season. Use a collaborative work tool to plan your content and store files for posting. Our team enjoys using Asana to help keep track of all the moving parts in creating effective content.

Plan ahead for promotions and sales. Have a resource plan for customer service and for developer assistance during big sales or high-traffic times. On that note: conduct stress-testing for high traffic. Make sure your site can support any unique functionality that you might dream up with specific promotions.

Put Mobile First

With mobile e-commerce sales projected to hit $431 billion in 2022, your website should be optimized for mobile users. That means integrated social shopping, one-click checkout, and a multitude of checkout options. The best part? It’s not hard to put yourself in the customer’s shoes when we’re all addicted to our phones!

Get your website right

The website user experience should be smooth and easy to navigate (more on the importance of UI design here). Optimize site speed by checking image and video size, updating plugins (and ditching the unused ones), and checking your Google page speed. Make sure your website is secure by conducting essential maintenance, ensuring ADA accessibility with accessiBe, and securing payment processing. Finally, test changes on a staging site before you go live.

Holiday Hosting

The how-to wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t throw in a word of caution about what to avoid: overserving Uncle Rick, forgetting to ask about dietary restrictions… Nevermind, we’ll avoid the party planning and stick to e-commerce planning.

You should avoid sticking to the same old thing just because it worked last season or in past years. Consumer demands change rapidly and a year is an eternity on the internet. The e-commerce space has never been more active, but there’s also more competition than ever.

Don’t rush it. When launching a new site, give yourself a window of time—two weeks’ minimum—for testing ahead of big events like holiday shopping.

We’ve prepared for a holiday season, or two, and never once overcooked the ham. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help kick off the process, no eggnog necessary.