“If your business is not on internet than your business will be out of business” – Bill Gates

If the lion’s share of your online sales comes in Q4 of the year, you should make the firm plans to exceed year end goals. The time is ticking and if you haven’t started prepping for the biggest e-Commerce shopping days, you may fail to get the slice of the pie. Q4 is just not only about the Christmas but it is also about Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Super Saturday and a lot more. In fact, the buzz you create in Q4 lasts till 14th Feb i.e. Valentine’s day.  Furthermore, as per the research, it is predicted that, USA e-commerce market will further grow by 15% as compared to the last year’s $394.86 billion.

Is it feasible to miss out such exciting opportunity of holiday season? Of course a BIG NOOO…!

To make the things little easier, we have designed a game plan to maximize your traffic, conversions, engagement etc. and leverage your online business with the best strategies this quarter.

  • Gather consumer’s data

For this holiday season, gathering consumer’s data enables the company to enhance the customer’s shopping experience, making them satisfied and helps in increasing revenue. Check out the data and marketing strategy of previous year to win over the customers and drive more sales. Make the use of web analytics that can provide you some important information like Bounce rate, unique visitors, Direct Traffic etc. Additionally, you can make the use of Big Data to understand not just the customer but how your entire business is doing. With such insights, you can come to know what your best selling products were. Which marketing channel is proper for your business? By putting focus on last year’s data, web analytics, Big data etc. you can get the bird’s eye view to predict cash flows, customer acquisition rates and some other parameters crucial for your eCommerce business.

  • Create a sense of urgency and offer personalization

Apart from selling the products, you are also selling your brand which is a key to build the loyal customer base. So, how would you build up the customers for holiday season? You need to touch base with your subscribers by creating the excitement of online offers and promotions. Hence, when it comes to the purchasing decision, they will have your brand at the back of their mind. Sense of urgency via mails, social media campaigns, banners etc. always influence the decision making process as people want to grab it before the product snaps out. Personalize your content at least 2 months before and segment your mail lists based on the purchased history. Send your valuable customers personal recommendations, offers, promo codes and make them feel special so that they are bound to take action. Stay in touch with your customers over the course of year and encourage them to shop more by giving them gift cards on larger purchases.

  • Make sure to check your Fulfillment Integration

To ensure customer satisfaction, improving fulfillment operation must be at the top of priority list; but it’s sometimes complicated to handle a high volume of products while also delivering the right products at a right time and that too at a reasonable cost.  Additionally, an inefficient shipping method in online sales not only eats your bottom line but also creates bottleneck which is nearly impossible to recover from. So to avoid this, you must integrate your store with the right shipping system to streamline and timely order fulfillment. You can also make the use of fulfillment apps, fulfillment software, auto fulfillment to reduce preparation time, cut costs, and get orders shipped quicker to provide better customer experience. Also, have backup options in case bad weather or other unforeseeable events delays a delivery. Having backups, even if more expensive, can prevent bottlenecks.

Returns are also the key-point to consider in order to having repeat business. Plan for hazard-less return policy and track your returns and make a note of why items are being returned so that you can take care in future orders.

  • Control your Inventory

Make sure you do inventory checks during this time because when the holiday season will start, you will be too busy to get the stock replenished. If you are selling on multiple channels, it is highly complicated to manage this stuff and so, you end up with the bad customer experience. But, you can have a smooth holiday season if you have a robust inventory management solution. This solution will keep your inventory up-to-date in real time across multiple online channels. It will give you edge over your competitors by tracking and updating your stock, monitoring inward and outward logs from the time the product was created and much more. The inventory management system will also provide you with advanced reports and analytics that represent your sales, gross profits, top selling products, least selling products across days, months and years.

Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain

Finally, to stand out of the crowd, it is necessary to start planning for your online business and craft your e-commerce marketing strategy right away. Remember you don’t need to have big budgets to compete with the online retailers, just use your creativity to make the most out of this holiday season. By following this game plan, you can boost your holiday season by connecting with your customers well in advance.

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