November 22, 2013 By BJ Cook,
This holiday shopping season is going to be the shortest it's ever been since 2002. Sales are expected to increase this year 3.9% to be well over $600 billion. With Holiday retailing accounting for anywhere from 20-40% of annual sales, it is important for eCommerce sites to do everything they can to maintain sales and gain consumers. But, every holiday season there are eCommerce managers that make the same mistakes which costs them sales and more importantly a successful holiday season. Here is a list of 5 mistakes some eCommerce managers make during the busiest time of the year.

1). Not collecting data for after the holiday season

You need to think about planning for after the holidays - So you need to keep communication open with consumers who visit your site during the holiday season. Set up mailing lists for your consumers to register for. Offering special deals and promotions to be mailed to them throughout the year. Use the resources you have during the holidays to set yourself up nicely for the new year.  It is important to remember that over 50% of consumers who sign up for mailing lists will be back to use special promo codes.

2). Not being prepared for the influx of traffic

"Tis the Season" - Which means the shopping insanity is among us. Be prepared for an overload of consumers. This year is the shortest shopping season in years which means the 3.9% increase in sales is going to come at a more rapid rate. BE PREPARED! Make sure your platform has the capability to handle all of the potential traffic you may get. Do Research and set yourself up for the worst possible thing to happen. Use companies like Peer1 to help you with an influx of traffic. And Order Monitor, to make sure you are tracking your sales during the Holidays - it is a busy time of year and things can go unnoticed, so receive daily summary emails and monitor your promotions.

3).  Not having a plan for abandoned shopping carts

Know that 9 out of 10 shopping carts will be abandoned during the holidays which is why you need to plan for re-targeting  If you don’t get their email at any point, you can use re-targeted ads. Be strategic with your messaging, you want to convince the visitor to come back and complete the transaction. Make sure you don't continue serving the same ads over and over. Serve up a few different ads and make sure your ads are converting and make sure you get rid of the ones that aren't.

4). Not answering the right questions on product descriptions

During the holidays no one wants to have to search a website for what is included with the product or what it is made from. You want to make your consumers feel like they can have a quick and seamless shopping experience. "Time is money" is a valuable slogan during the holidays. If you don't offer the consumer the information they are looking for, consider that consumer as good as gone. Also make sure your consumers can leave reviews on each product - On average reviews increase sales by about 18%. Reviews will produce product and site credibility.

5). Not offering different Gift options with all the info

Always, always, always use the power of suggestion. Offer outfit options - when a consumer is looking at a shirt, target them with a scarf or pair of jeans that other people have also viewed. Also, a great way to make your eCommerce store a one-stop-shop, is to offer gift wrapping and packaging. So it can be mailed directly to the recipient. Save the consumer the extra step and gain a happy customer. You can also offer a "gift finder" - let the customer search by a specific target audience and find gift ideas that might be suitable for him/her. Christmas is in T-minus 33 days! Are you ready?! Contact us at Digital Operative and we can help you get ready for all your holiday needs!

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