The last trimester of the year will undoubtedly be, yet again, the best in terms of sales for commerce and, with Coronavirus yet not contained, especially for online businesses. Most top 1000 companies started preparing for the holiday season from July and August, but there is still time yet to tackle the challenges that come with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and, of course, the Christmas-New Year Eve interval.

The holiday season is “make or break” for plenty of ecommerce businesses; Q4 sometimes doubles the sales on all year, or even more. Let’s first take a look at the calendar of 2020 holidays – these are the dates you need to highlight in red on your calendar:

Holiday Dates 2020

2020 Shipping Deadlines for Christmas

Shipping Christmas Dates

 

Here are a few quick tips before we go into more detail on some of the most lucrative holidays for ecommerce.

  1. Prepare your site and make the necessary changes – now

If you’re aware you need to make site changes and improvements on UI/UX, don’t postpone it. NOW it’s time to do it. One of the best methods to check out if there are changes to be made is using a Visitor Replays app, like to one from VITALS. In a nutshell, you can “spy” (real-time or recorded) on your clients’ every move on your site and then make the necessary adjustments to your store.

  1. Test your website load speed

You absolutely need your site to be as speedy and stable as possible – any second a client waits is a missed opportunity. Check more on the importance of having a fast store and what you can do to improve upon it in this handy article.

  1. Know your top sellers

By now you probably have a good idea of what sells and whatnot, which products are the most popular, and which are less so. What you need to do for the upcoming 2020 holidays is to push forward even better the ones that sell the most and stay up to date with your clients’ habits. You need to make sure you have enough inventory and/or talk with your providers in order to be 100% sure they will be able to cover you for the holiday season.

  1. Upsell and cross-sell effectively

It is THE best time of the year to upsell and cross-sell in your store. Many customers will be happy to get as much as possible out of their shopping experience, get discounts, and buy more, in as few transactions as possible. Don’t underestimate the power of impulsive buying as well.

You should definitely add the option to purchase related products on the product pages and during the checkout process to entice shoppers.

      5. Communicate with your customers

The worst thing that could happen during this season is for the purchases to arrive AFTER the holidays. Be very proactive and straightforward about their shipping options, so that their orders will reach them in time. Consider sending eMails with this subject in mind, posting on the site the shipping deadlines. You should also push smart(er) newsletters with the hot products, promotions, and such.

     6. Provide real-time tracking for the packages

Holiday shoppers want extra assurance that their packages will arrive on time, and intact. You’ll not only give them peace of mind, but it’ll make life easier for you as well, not having to answer plenty of questions from concerned clients. You could add a small gift inside, as well – after all, it’s holiday time!

     7. Don’t forget about security!

This is something plenty of ecommerce owners let aside, even if cyber attacks have exponentially increased in the last decade or so. More people shopping equals, unfortunately, more opportunities for cybercriminals to hack into your store or your account, stealing either customer information or even money from you.

So it’s time to really boost your site’s security and address potential vulnerabilities. Make sure your site is SSL secured with encryption, safely destroy any unnecessary data, and review your disaster plan. You don’t want your site to be hacked right on Black Friday, do you?

Tips for Halloween

Recent Sales and the Smart Bar apps in VITALS are already prepared for Halloween! You just need to change the theme in your store’s interface, and that’s it! Try it now and celebrate it together with your clients.

Drive traffic to your store by advertising your Halloween offers on Social Media and/or Google. Don’t forget to promote your “Halloween treats” by email marketing.

Preparing for Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Research strongly indicates that the effects of lockdown will permanently change consumer behavior. Scurri has recognized a 74% growth in online shopping since Covid-19 began. Moreover, 45% of UK adults have received more parcel deliveries during coronavirus lockdown than before.

Two-thirds of adults say they will continue both current levels of spend (66%) and the frequency (68%) they shop online post-lockdown, while 26% said they will increase their digital spend after restrictions are lifted.

Be prepared to scale – while online sales have skyrocketed for many retailers, many of them also weren’t prepared to handle the increase in traffic and sales. It is the all known problem, but unfortunately, still few ecommerce businesses take this seriously.

The ability to scale is now critical every day, not just on Black Friday or Christmas Eve. To thrive in today’s retail climate, retailers must invest in scalable technologies to help them prepare for unpredictable spikes in online business. This strategy likely includes upgrading to a flexible ecommerce platform that’s ready to scale with fast-changing traffic demands. And retailers new to selling online (or selling at a much higher rate than before) must also consider the security implications of shifting to online sales. Malware blockers, firewalls, and security certificates are critical to protecting customer data.

Tips for Thanksgiving

What Amazon cheekily calls the “Turkey 5,” we know traditionally as the long Thanksgiving weekend, stretching from Thursday to Monday. But for ecommerce owners, those five days are some of the highest-selling all year. Not surprisingly, online sales during Thanksgiving weekend grew 19.2% from 2017 to 2018, with a total of $22.55 billion in 2018.

How should you prepare for Thanksgiving, as an ecommerce business?

Tips for Christmas – New Year’s Eve

Since at least 2017, the traffic on ecommerce stores increased even during after Christmas and until after New Year’s Eve, and, all things considered, 2020 won’t be different. Analysts attribute the increase to a number of factors, including incentives from retailers, promotions, and even the cold weather, which encouraged more people to shop from indoors. Factor in the unfortunate events from 2020, and you have the perfect setting for a thriving New Year’s Eve business.

Christmas 2020 sales