Ten tips to get your online store ready for the holiday season

by guest author Andreea Ayers

It’s (almost) that most wonderful time of the year. As an online storeowner, the holiday season can get very stressful. Not only do you have to find the time to do your own home holiday prep work, you have to worry about your customers too. Banish holiday stress by following these 10 tips:

Start now: This first tip applies to all of the other tips. As soon as you finish reading this post, pick a few tips and get started. The sooner you start the sooner you’re prepared and the less stress you’ll feel as the holidays approach.

Craft your shipping strategy: Shipping will be on your to do list every day in December, so think ahead. Make a list of the last shipping days before Christmas for popular destinations to post on your site, stock up on shipping supplies and decide what types of shipping offers you’ll provide like overnight shipping, free shipping, or shipping offers newsletter subscribers or blog readers.

Stock up: Shipping supplies won’t be the only things you go through fast in the festive season. Replenish your stock early to avoid delays. Focus on your most popular items and those you plan to highlight as great gifts. 

Be social: Consumers take many of their shopping cues from their friends, so plan to have your URL on everyone’s news feed. Host social media holiday contests, offer your fans discount codes and build Pinterest boards suggesting holiday gifts from your store. 

Holiday greetings: Avoid overloading your subscribers’ inboxes by planning your holiday email updates and newsletters with a calendar. Remember to schedule reminder emails for pre-holiday sales, notices of your last shipping days, gift suggestions and any other events you want to share with your customers. 

Seasonal SEO: Update your SEO with holiday keywords like fast shipping, stocking stuffers, unique gifts for parents or great gifts.

Make Boxing Day plans: Many shoppers are as eager for post-holiday sales as they are for the big day. Start promoting your event at least a week before Christmas to make sure your customers know where they need to be on the 26th.

Offer the gift of choice: Online vouchers make perfect gifts because they let the recipient choose their favorite item from your store. Use online voucher codes to make your customers’ shopping easier and reduce your shipping burden.

Give gifts: Who doesn’t like getting something for free? Offering gifts with purchase over a certain amount entices shoppers to top up their carts. Start promoting your GWP in the weeks before Black Friday to win the early birds. 

Do you need help?: If you anticipate a deluge of holiday orders, plan to offer gift wrapping or craft your product by hand you may need holiday help. Think seriously about your time restraints over the holidays and either enlist help from family and friends or hire a student to give you a hand on the weekends. 

Andreea Ayers is a mom of three and a successful entrepreneur who has sold two businesses. She currently works with entrepreneurs to help them grow their business by getting their products into stores and in the media. Get more great tips for product based businesses at her site LaunchGrowJoy.com