Hey there peeps, it’s nearly THAT time of year again! It’s amazing what a little holiday buzz can do for your sales. Even better though is when you can get through the holiday period without losing your mind. The best way to stay sane during Black Friday and Cyber Monday is to stay ahead of the game. Good thing we’re looking out for you! Try these 8 easy ways to prep your store and you’ll be ready to go in no time.
1) Put your store up now.
Don’t have a store yet? Putting yours up now and getting it looking great is the first thing on your to-do list. Not only does this take the headache out of the last minute scramble, but it means that even before the holiday season hits potential buyers can come and check out your products, bookmark what they like, and make a mental note to visit again when the clock ticks over. It also obviously makes it much easier to prepare all your promotional materials by having all your links ready to work with. Popping up a new, professional store is made super easy with Selz.
2) Choose and prepare your discounts now.
First, pick an objective for your sale and stick to it. Take a look at your suite of products and decide which products you want to apply a discount to. You might simply want to make more sales and rake in some extra dollars in the short term, or you might have a more strategic approach that will give a slower and more lasting effect. For quick sales, consider applying a discount to your bestselling product, the one you’re best known for. This will create a rush of traffic to your store, increase the word of mouth spread about your product, and result in some quick sales. Alternatively, you could try out discounting some of your less popular items to encourage sales of your popular items at full price.
*Tip: Keep a spreadsheet of all your discounts and codes so you’re ready to go when the times comes.
3) Get your creative ready.
To get your store into holiday mode you’ll likely need to switch out your banner images to promote your sale. You might even want to update some of your product images to match. It’s important to keep things looking professional and slick, so use tools like Canva (used for the graphic below) along with high-quality stock photography if you don’t have your own. This way you can create a range of cohesive images for different parts of your holiday marketing from store images and social post images to email marketing visuals. It’s important to start early on this because it’s always one of those tasks that takes longer that you think it will. If graphics just ain’t your jam it’s worth getting someone on Fiverr or Elance to do this for you.
PS. We have a list of over 100+ resources for selling online with a handful of free stock image sites, so definitely check out this page and bookmark it for the future!
4) Consider ads and set aside some dollars.
Depending on your product and your niche, ads can be a great way to spike your traffic even more during the holiday season. Using Facebook ads allows you to target specific persona types such as “women who live in San Francisco between the ages of 25-40 and are interested in fashion” which is a great way to find people without them having to look for you. Of course, you can go the other way around and use Google Adwords to place your ads in front of people searching for specific keywords that are relevant to your business. You might want to test out which is best for you, or what balance you’ll require before the holidays kick off because ad prices can rise a tad during the festive season.
5) Get your Abandoned Cart emails ready.
During the holiday season, buyers tend to get a little, well, crazy. There’s so much to click on and buy, so many distractions online, that shopping cart abandonment is a real issue. Luckily, it’s a preventable one with the Abandoned Cart app! Using the app means that every time someone puts items in their cart in your store but then leaves before completing the purchase, they’ll receive a friendly reminder from you that their cart is still waiting for them to complete their purchase. It’s a great opportunity to show your personality, drive home a few points about the benefits of your products and the great deal they’re getting. It’s worth preparing a more holiday-themed message for Black Friday through Cyber Monday for a less automated feel as well.
6) Customise your receipts.
Post purchase communication is key to gaining repeat business and increasing customer engagement with your brand. Sale time is the best time to really leverage this because buying is on the brain! By customizing the message that buyers receive when they purchase, you not only have a chance to say thank you in your own words, but you’ve also got a great excuse to talk about other products, offer them a discount on future purchases, or drive them to a specific page on your site with a custom link.
7) Hook up your mailing lists now.
Your mailing list is your most important marketing asset when it comes to sales. It’s the most direct way to reach people that are already interested in what you have to say! Start collecting emails as early as possible so that as the holiday period draws closer you’ve got a bigger audience to promote your upcoming sale with. It’s also great to get this in place in time for your sales. With all the extra sales and traffic you’ll be getting you’ll want to be capturing as many leads as possible. Make sure you connect up Mailchimp, AWeber or Campaign Monitor to your store so that every buyer you get becomes a subscriber to your mailing list.
Pro tip: Check out our 11 tips for increasing holiday sales with email marketing.
8) Gear up for customer service.
Make it easy for customers to contact you should they have any questions about your products, the promotions or your business in general. It’s important to not only have a great looking Contact page in your store, but that you’re ready to answer emails as they come in. Quick replies are essential if you don’t potential buyers to lose interest and move on. If you’re expecting high volumes, consider getting a free account with Helpscout or Desk to help you manage enquiries in a systematic way. Desk even has a mobile app so you can be of service on the go. Having an FAQ page will also help with email volume for you and make it easy and fast for customers to find what they need.
Most importantly, have fun, and don’t forget to keep some holiday cheer for yourself. We’d love to hear any tips you might have for the season in the comments below.