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Preparing Your Small Business for e-Commerce During the Holidays

November 19, 2019 nancy

Is your e-Commerce all it can be for the holiday shopping season? According to Deloitte’s annual holiday forecasts, ecommerce sales are predicted to be as high as $149 billion during the holiday period, which it defines as November through January. This would be up from $126.4 billion spent online in 2018, according to Deloitte’s estimates. If you are looking to increase your e-Commerce sales this holiday season, here are a few tips:

 

Make Sure Your Small Business is Prepared for Major Shopping Holidays

In addition to being prepared for Black Friday, you should now be ready and prepared for brisk business on Small Business Saturday—a day to encourage people to shop locally as they kick off the holiday season; Cyber Monday—a day promoted by retailers as offering exceptional bargains; and even Cyber Week—the heavy shopping period from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving until Cyber Monday. Some lesser-known days to keep on your radar are Giving Tuesday, Green Monday, and Free Shipping Day, which you could highlight if you are offering free shipping that day.

Here is a list detailing the schedule:

  • Small Business Saturday – the Saturday after Thanksgiving
  • Cyber Monday – the Monday after Thanksgiving
  • Cyber Week – the entire week after Thanksgiving
  • Giving Tuesday – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving
  • Green Monday – the second Monday in December
  • Free Shipping Day – in 2019 will be on December 14th

 

Optimize Your Website for Mobile eCommerce Activity

More than 230 million US consumers own a smartphone.  That means it’s more likely than ever that your customer reaches your eCommerce site from a smartphone or tablet than from a desktop computer. Research indicates that 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months, and almost 40% of all eCommerce purchases during the 2018 holiday season were made on a smartphone. If your site isn’t optimized to offer the best mobile experience, your customers will miss out on important sales.

Here are some tips for optimizing your mobile experience:

  • Make sure your website is responsive. A responsive design using flexible layouts means your webpage will adapt to different devices so your webpage will look great on any size screen.
  • Buttons and links should be easy to click and there should be plenty of spacing between different clickable options. Trying to hit a tiny “buy now” button on a small screen is frustrating, especially when there are other links or buttons positioned too close together that may be inadvertently selected.
  • Ensure that all phone numbers on your site are clickable so users can simply tap them to contact you.

 

Simplify Your eCommerce Checkout Process

Streamline your checkout process. Recent data suggests that cart abandonment during checkout happens about 69% of the time. If you want to be among the 1/3 of retailers who are closing the online sale, your checkout process needs to be as simple as possible. Ways to make this process the best that it can be are:

  • Don’t ask for the same information more than once. If you have already obtained a shipping address, don’t ask for it again. Shoppers lose interest if you ask for them to repeat their information or waste their time.
  • Have a one-page checkout process where paying is easy. If you can keep the entire checkout process to one page and offer easy payment options such as ApplePay, PayPal, and Google Wallet, customers are less likely to get frustrated and abandon their purchase.
  • Remove unnecessary distractions. The checkout page is not the time for pop-up ads, or extra banners, etc.

Pay Attention to How Voice Search Impacts eCommerce

A simple step to take in optimizing your SEO strategy is to try to predict how consumers will ask questions and use the information to create your content and meta data. Instead of keywords shift towards answering questions—such as “What are the best Black Friday deals on laptops?” instead of “Best Black Friday deals on laptops.”

 

Look for Ways to Offer More eCommerce Perks Than Your Small Business Competitors

Are there areas where your company could go above and beyond what is expected? Could you offer free delivery, or expedited shipping? Could you create a how-to video on YouTube to walk your consumers through setting up or installing one of your products once it arrives? Could you add more photos or customer comments to your site to better illustrate your amazing products? Find ways to stand out from your completion to surprise and delight your customers. Consistently offering great service will help you create loyal consumers who sing your praises to their network and return to buy from you again.