The yearly holiday season is the most important time for online retailers. It’s the time when most retailers make a big proportion of their yearly sales. According to McKinsey & Company, in the weeks between last Thanksgiving and Christmas, US consumers spent a record $850 billion in 2018. Nearly all this growth was due to accelerating momentum in online sales.
As an online retailer, any critical mistakes can impact buyer transactions and interrupt orders. With the holiday season just around the corner, here are some of the most common eCommerce mistakes that you need to avoid.
1. Advertising VS Marketing
Some business owners mistake advertising with marketing. It is important to adjust your holiday Ad spending and marketing strategies in order to stay relevant online. If you do not spend on pay-per-click ads on a regular basis, consider doing so for the holidays. That will make your business be seen online and give some competition to your competitors.
As far as marketing is concerned, your focus should be on email and social media marketing. Pre-schedule your email and social media marketing strategy. It’s a smart tactic to send a higher than normal amount of emails during the holiday season, especially before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Remember, your competitors are already sending bulk marketing emails to potential shoppers during this period. You don’t want to lose out to the competition in this race to the finish!
2. Checkout Process and Website Problems
Too many steps in your website’s checkout process will make shoppers lose interest. Prioritize the checkout steps to ensure a quick checkout. You may want to disable certain features like customer registration that collects too much information. Enable a guest checkout for shoppers who do not wish to create an account with you. Remove promotions for related products that aren’t related to holiday sales. The lesser the clutter, the quicker the checkout and the happier shoppers will be.
Some online retailers make major updates or changes to their website during November. Any planned changes or updates should be made way before that. Also make sure to test all changes and modifications in different browsers and on desktop as well as mobile platforms. Make new website pages for promotions or new products in June or July so that you have enough time for search engines to index. That will help your SEO.
Related: eCommerce Order Processing
3. Confusing Returns Policy and Shipping Dates
Most holiday shoppers want their purchases to arrive like yesterday. They are more likely to abandon their cart if they are unclear on when their holiday gifts will arrive. One of the biggest eCommerce mistakes is not to have a set delivery date. With shoppers doing a lot of last minute shopping, if you clearly indicate the delivery options and dates, you will get more sales. Using an experienced shipping partner, you can easily forecast shipping and package receiving dates for your customers.
A confusing returns policy is big distraction for customers. They want to make sure any returns or exchanges would be easily processed. If you don’t have a clear returns and exchange policy, shoppers will never come back. With a clear returns policy and shipping dates, customers feel more secure with going ahead with the purchase. Use your marketing emails and social media marketing to highlight your returns policy and shipment process.
Related: Shipping and Reverse Logistics
Avoid these common eCommerce mistakes and you will have a profitable holiday sales season. Be confident in your product and clearly explain your returns process and shipping schedule. You showing confidence in your processes creates trust with your customers and gets new shoppers on board too.
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