Missed Opportunites: Don’t Panic

If you own a retail or e-commerce business, you may feel as though you haven’t done everything possible to prepare yourself for the holiday season. Did you know that according to a survey conducted by CreditCards.com, as of Labor Day weekend, 70% of Americans had already started their holiday shopping?

This is cause for an “uh-oh!”

Sooner or later, every company faces the unpleasant prospect of missed sales numbers. And falling short of a 4th quarterly or yearly goal feels terrible, but rather than dwell on this fact, use it as an opportunity to root out the problem and get back on track. In other words, regroup and become a standout in Q1 2018!

Website Updates

  • Update your security software if needed and display security credentials on all pages of your website.
  • Test your checkout process to make sure it is simple to follow and works properly.
  • Clearly state shipping costs and deadlines (for guaranteed holiday delivery) at the top of your home page.
  • Make sure your search function works well.
  • Place customer service contact information where it’s easy to find.
  • Finally, do some load testing, which is making sure your site will stay up even if it experiences heavy traffic.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Reboot Customer Service

  • Educate your staff
  • Offer incentives
  • Create unique after holiday sales
  • Create a strategy for deals and discounts, how you will reach out to customers and prospects (e.g. email, direct mail, social media, traditional advertising, etc.).

Socializing

Remember many of today’s shoppers use social media and online reviews when choosing where they want to shop online or off. Take some time now to review your social media presence, including any online ratings and reviews of your company, and make sure your reputation is in good shape. Develop a plan for monitoring social mentions of your business during the holidays so you can respond quickly to any negative comments or reviews.

You Still Have Time To Get Ready for the Post-Holiday Rush

That’s right: The days between Christmas and New Year’s can be almost as profitable as the holiday shopping season. Create a strategy for handling returns in a streamlined fashion, which includes a strategy for encouraging customers making returns to buy something else from you. If you don’t already do so, consider selling gift cards for your site or store as holiday gifts. This can really ramp up your post-holiday sales.

Following these steps can set your business up for a very happy new year. Furthermore, it will keep you always prepared and there won’t be any missed opportunities in your near future!

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