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How to Prepare for The Holidays: A Guide for eCommerce Brands

2022/11/29

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The holidays are getting closer and closer! People are starting to plan grand reunions to celebrate the season of giving and are preparing to shower their loved ones with gifts. While the holidays present many opportunities for eCommerce brands, businesses must be on guard for looming problems amid the festivities.

Consumer spending tends to spike during Christmas as people rush to brick-and-mortar and online stores for their holiday needs. The season brings many profit opportunities, but brands must prepare for incoming surges in holiday sales. Otherwise, they may fail to deliver effectively, leading to missed sales, a decline in customer loyalty, and more.

As an eCommerce business owner, it’s essential to understand how to prepare for the holidays and be the solution that meets your customers’ Christmas shopping needs. Leverage this chance to increase sales and give your brand an edge over competitors.

Must-Know Holiday Spending Statistics

During the Christmas season, it’s important to double your efforts and maximize any opportunities that may arise. Here are some statistics for you to consider in your decision-making processes.

  1. Online shoppers around the world will spend a total of $209.7 billion over November and December - Statista

    The holidays are synonymous with promos and sales, so it’s no surprise that shopping activity tends to spike up during this season. Whether your brand sells electronics or furniture, you can expect more customers to inquire about your brand during these months.
  2. On average, each customer will spend $1,430 for lifestyle purposes - PwC

    Millennials are expected to spend the most on gifts, entertainment, and travel during the holidays compared to other generational groups. Lifestyle brands should leverage this data by adjusting their marketing strategies accordingly.
  3. 50% of customers want more flexible payment options - Kount

    RUSH - Holiday Shopping - 1Convenience is king during the holidays, especially in terms of payment options. Buy now, pay later (BNPL) services are a popular option, giving buyers more legroom to finance expensive items hence encouraging them to spend more.
  4. In a survey that examined 2000 respondents, 83% will buy gift cards for the holidays - Kount

    The convenience of gift cards has made them immensely popular as last-minute gift options. Gift cards also benefit businesses as users tend to spend more than the card’s allotment.
  5. 25% of buyers will minimize spending on apparel - ShipStation

    Customers spend less on clothing and footwear to save money during this year’s holidays. In response, over a third of merchants are anticipated to increase delivery costs, while over a quarter are willing to prolong delivery times to compensate for losses.

How to Prepare for the Holidays: 8 Steps for Improved Holiday Sales

Preparing for Christmas can be hectic, but the effort is worth it. Leverage the holidays to increase your shop’s profitability with the following steps.

  1. Develop your holiday sales plan

    Like any other endeavor, planning is vital to ensure smooth implementations. You’ll need a comprehensive sales plan to prepare your brand for incoming financial challenges.

    Start by setting objectives for your finances. Strategizing your budgetary operations beforehand can aid your decision-making processes. An effective way to do so is by examining last year’s data to project this year’s developments, including your expected sales, inventory needs, and marketing efforts

  2. Stock up on inventory

    RUSH - Holiday Shopping - 2

    To prevent your business from going out of stock, ensure that your inventory can accommodate every purchase. Doing so can help keep your customers from waiting in long queues, which can otherwise lead to negative feedback and support. It’s best to assume that you might be overwhelmed by the increased number of holiday shoppers.

    Forecast inventory demands by analyzing past years’ data. For instance, if your brand lacked adequate merchandise in 2021, you should increase your stock for this year, especially since the world is opening up after the COVID-19 pandemic.

  3. Optimize site speed to accommodate increased traffic

    On the same note, it’s crucial to ensure your eCommerce website’s reliability in the face of incoming traffic. Keep in mind that optimized loading times can significantly improve your customer experience, conversion, and sales. There’s a 3% increase in conversions for each second removed from 7 to 15-second loading times.

    Talk with your eCommerce platform provider about how you can improve the website from the backend. Moreover, maximize your platform’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) support to ensure that your site can load swiftly from anywhere worldwide, especially if you deliver overseas.

  4. Offer vouchers, coupons, and other freebies imize site speed to accommodate increased traffic

     

    Promotions can boost your sales and customer engagement by making it easier for customers to choose what to buy. You can compile bestsellers on your homepage for easier promo navigation.

    As consumer expenses continue to grow, product costs can discourage shoppers from purchasing. To entice them, you can provide coupons and vouchers to meet their shopping needs. If you want to distribute promos easily, consider partnering with reliable voucher platforms such as Rush Plus.

  5. Implement holiday email campaigns

    Market competition is at an all-time high during Christmas, emphasizing the importance of standing out among competitors. A great way to boost your brand is by directly communicating with customers through email.

    Email is one of the best channels to promote new deals and products since it allows you to connect with your customers directly. It can give customers a sense of urgency and push them to avail of the promo. Additionally, using a countdown timer for deals is a popular tactic in email campaigns, limiting coupon and voucher use only for a few days or until Christmas Eve.

  6. Deliver on time

    RUSH - Holiday Shopping - 3

    The holidays are when delivery schedules are of utmost importance. Customers purchase presents before Christmas Eve or the New Year, and your punctuality dictates whether they get to give gifts to their loved ones on time.

    Besides your internal timeline, external factors such as courier schedules and weather can also influence delivery times. If you expect your product to arrive later than what’s agreed upon, it’s crucial to inform your buyers about the delay. Doing so can help customers manage their expectations about your delivery timeframes.

  7. Focus on your strengths

    Your large-scale market competitors may slash their prices to encourage purchases despite the ongoing inflation. It’s understandable if you can’t match their discounts, but being competitive will be crucial to your success. If you’re a small to medium enterprise (SME), you can remain in the competition by highlighting your brand’s uniqueness and strengths.

    For instance, consider offering something simple but valuable, like free gift-wrapping services, if you're a retailer. This level of personalization can make you stand out among fast-paced corporations that, at most, might only provide gift wrapping at a cost. Moreover, it can also engage customers who don’t have time to wrap presents themselves.

  8. Design your eCommerce website for the Holidays

White it may seem insignificant, preparing your website’s user interface (UI) for the holidays can capture shoppers’ attention and engage customers. You don’t have to overhaul your entire website completely, either. Adding Christmas elements to your homepage and applying a festive color palette can work wonders.

Aside from improving your site’s visuals, you can also use timely designs to signal discounts and promotions. For example, Christmas-themed entry pop-ups are a popular tactic to inform site visitors about your brand’s holiday deals.

Preparing for Online Holiday Shopping

The season of giving is truly the most wonderful time of the year. However, it can also be the most hectic, especially for business owners. Planning and implementing the strategies discussed can help you prepare for increased shopping activity and make your Christmas operations seamless!

As you go about this season, it’s vital to have experts who can guide you and ensure that your end-of-year sales go smoothly. Fortunately, Rush is the premier eCommerce platform in the Philippines, elevating brands with tried-and-tested solutions that work. Power through the Christmas season with Rush today!

author-avatar
Michelle Bilan

Product Marketing Manager at RUSH Technologies

Michelle Bilan is a Product Marketing Manager at RUSH Technologies - the go-to e-commerce services partner of every business in making digital easy, efficient, and effective in the Philippines. She is highly skilled in field of brand and project management, specializing in digital marketing, corporate communications, and content creation. During her free time, she enjoys singing, reading, and watching legal or period dramas.

author-avatar

Michelle Bilan

Product Marketing Manager at RUSH Technologies

Michelle Bilan is a Product Marketing Manager at RUSH Technologies - the go-to e-commerce services partner of every business in making digital easy, efficient, and effective in the Philippines. She is highly skilled in field of brand and project management, specializing in digital marketing, corporate communications, and content creation. During her free time, she enjoys singing, reading, and watching legal or period dramas.

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