Happy Holidays! Whether you’re celebrating the New Year, Hanukkah, Christmas, or any other holiday this time of year; we need to make sure both our business and personal lives are covered. For those who run an online store, like Amazon sellers: it’s important to be aware of the promotional opportunities and obstacles that may arise around this time of year. Is your site prepared for increased traffic? Following these simple tips will ensure your success during all aspects of these upcoming holidays!
1. Product Images
Make sure you have plenty! Many people decide whether they want something based on how it looks in their hands- so stock up on images. Use creative angles such as “top view”, “side view”, and “underside” to show off different aspects of your product. Make sure you have plenty of pictures up for each color available, and also make sure the shots are very clear so customers can get a good sense of what they’re getting. Jungle Scout vs Viral Launch vs Elite seller, which one do you think is better? Drop your answer in the comment section.
2. Stock Up!
This time of year is when shopping is in full swing- so stock up on inventory so you can restock any items that sell out quickly while keeping your prices low. You don’t want to run out of popular holiday gifts- especially during this time of year! If you’ve done some serious prepping leading up to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas Eve; then you should be able to avoid costly price hikes on items that fly off the shelves.
3. Social Media & Online Advertising
With online sales prices expected to rise this year, many consumers are already looking towards Cyber Monday deals in order to keep their budgets in check. Make sure you’re advertising your low-cost items through social media in hopes that they will be shared and re-posted for an even wider audience! You need to stay active on social media sites like Facebook all week long leading up to the holidays in order to see success with Cyber Monday sales.
4. Start Promotions Early
While it may not seem like a holiday deal yet; by having higher coupons or promotional codes early on, you will show customers that you appreciate them and give them incentive to shop before the holidays arrive. If an item happens to sell out before the big day; you’ll at least be able to pull in some of that business by offering a higher coupon or promotional code.
A lot of people wait until the last minute to shop; but they also wish for items which require shipping (i.e. home decor and clothing) to arrive as soon as possible. Consider using expedited shipping options like: 2-day, next day, overnight, etc., so your customers can get their products ASAP! You can even offer free delivery on some orders if you want them to come as quickly as possible!
Oftentimes during the holidays there are special gift bags and boxes available for purchase, so make sure you’re stocked up! Smaller items might not warrant this, but larger items like (jewelry, watches, small figurines) will most likely require some sort of pretty packaging. You can also use festive tissue paper or stickers to add an extra special touch to your orders.
7. Be Transparent
If you know certain competitors of yours are running deals; make sure your customers are aware of it! This way they won’t feel tricked into buying from someone else because they had no idea there were better deals elsewhere. Not everyone does their homework on the holidays- so let them know what you’re offering on each item if it’s different from what others are.
8. Customer Service
The holiday season is infamous for stressful shoppers; so make sure your customers feel like they’re in good hands when they shop with you! There can be a lot of pressure to get products out in time for holidays, but if the item doesn’t come in time (and hasn’t been marked as “out of stock”) then communicate this right away. If there’s any other disruption during the checkout process- try to resolve it immediately.
9. Inventory Management
Make sure you have an up-to-date inventory management system so you aren’t stuck with leftover items which don’t sell well around Christmas or Hanukkah. Some ways to deal with these would be: offering them at a 50% discount after the has passed, offer them at a discount during the New Year, offer them at a discount during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. No matter what you do- make sure you’re using your leftover inventory to your advantage since it’s money in the bank for you already!
10. Sales Tax
If applicable in your state or province; don’t forget to charge sales tax when applicable. Customers are often surprised how much sales tax they need to pay on top of their order- so be sure to let them know before you process payment! At least with this tip; if they decide not to buy the item- there’s less of an impact than having charged inaccurate sales tax.
The holidays are stressful enough without throwing in extra to-do’s that you didn’t know about. Fortunately, these 10 tips & strategies will help you be more prepared for the holiday season this year!