With the holidays fast approaching, online retailers everywhere are scrambling to prepare for the shopping surge. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), total retail sales for the 2018 U.S. holiday season are expected to reach between $679.75 billion and $682 billion. If you're a retail business owner with an online presence, you should consider the following tips to maximize your holiday sales.
Offer Promotional Deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Occurring the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving respectively, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest consumer shopping days of the year. Millions of consumers will head to local shopping malls -- and the internet -- in search of the best deals. To capitalize on this, you should offer promotional deals exclusively for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Use High-Quality Images
A picture really is worth a thousand words, especially for online retailers. Since consumers aren't able to see the product in person when shopping online, they'll look at the images to determine if it's right for them. Failure to use clear, high-quality photos that accurately depict your products in the best manner is a serious mistake that will cost you sales this holiday season.
One of the most cost effective ways to promote your products during the holidays is social media. Assuming your business already has a Facebook Page, with users following that Page, you can post links to your site's products. However, you should schedule your posts to accommodate your audience's schedule. Normally, this means posting on social media in the early morning hours, noon and 7:00 p.m.
Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
Statistics show that more than two-thirds of online shoppers abandon their carts. While it's nearly impossible to avoid all instances of abandoned carts, you can lower your site's abandonment rate by following some basic tips:
- Allow shoppers to check out without registering an account
- Simplify the checkout process
- Use a buyer-friendly return policy
- Provide clear, upfront pricing with no hidden costs or fees
- Offer multiple shipping options
Check Website Speed and Functionality
Make sure your website is technically prepared for the holiday season by checking its speed and functionality. As your website receives more traffic, it may strain the server's resources while subsequently causing longer load times. To prevent this from happening, choose a reputable web hosting service and optimize your site for faster load times by consolidating CSS, enabling browser caching and reducing the file size of images.
Choose the Right Fulfillment Center
You can optimize your business's website and marketing strategy, but it's not going to offer much value unless you're partnered with the right fulfillment center. Some fulfillment centers drag their feet when shipping products, resulting in headaches for both the retail business owner and the customer. To ensure that your customers get the right product at the right time, use a reputable fulfillment center like Specialty Fulfillment Center.
Following these tips will give your online business the upper hand this holiday season.