5 Tips for Preparing Your Online Store for the Holiday Rush

Online shopping for the holidays is growing year after year, and this year online shopping is expecting to skyrocket. According to one study done by Google, 75% of U.S. shoppers who plan to shop this season said they will shop online more for the holidays than they did in previous seasons.

With that in mind here are some tips from SBDC Business Advisor Rich Gannon for getting your online store ready.

1. Upload your inventory

Most online shopping platforms allow you to add an inventory to your online store. You don’t want to process transactions for products you don’t have in stock. Take sometime to upload your inventory to your online store – and be ready to post “out of stock” ribbons and graphics to items you run out of.

2. Update your product photos

Quality product images can be the best salesperson your business has.  Don’t just post blurry snapshots of your products.  Photography lightboxes for products are a good start, here’s a list of best sellers on Amazon, –  PRO TIP! Create a descriptive keyword rich file names for your product images.  Change that name file from 50674.jpg to fuzzy_chrismtas_sweater.jpg   

3. Nail down your shipping options

Review current shipping rates and make sure your store’s shipping rates are up to date.    Most online consumers are used to being offered free shipping.  Consider what your free shipping price point might be. For example, “Free Shipping On Orders of $50 or more” – Here’s a great article that might help you determine when to offer free shipping 

Consider adding a curbside pickup option upon checkout.  Having a curbside pickup option might help you capture some of those last minute local shoppers.  

4. Create a return policy

Review or write a return policy for your online store.  This doesn’t have to be complex, but make sure your policy is posted somewhere on your site.  Some of the basics you need to address;  

    • Do you pay for return shipping?   
    • How long does a customer have to make a return?   
    • Where should they send returns? 
    • What condition does the product have to be in to be to be eligible for a refund 

5. Optimize your sales funnel

How many clicks does it take your customer to find a product, add it to a cart and begin the checkout process? Look at ways to reducing the number of steps it takes a consumer to get from the start of this process to the end of the process.  Some ways to do this, add a search bar to your site or add a filtering feature to your product page.  

Finally if your business doesn’t have an online store and would like to get ready to create one check out our Website Boot Camp: Holiday Edition.