eCommerce Prep for the Holiday Shopping Season

The holidays are right around the corner, and it’s essential to have your eCommerce business ready to accommodate the inundation of seasonal shoppers. According to Adobe Analytics, the 2020 holiday season saw two years’ worth of growth in a single year. Because of the global pandemic, eCommerce has experienced a massive increase in the last 18 months. In 2020, online holiday shopping grew 32.2% from the year before, totaling a record $188.2 billion. 

Cyber Monday 2020 was the single biggest online sales day in U.S. history, totaling $10.7 billion in online spending. Black Friday 2020 broke an online shopping record, as well. Since these Black Friday and Cyber Monday trends are expected to continue, it’s essential for eCommerce owners to fine-tune their businesses and prepare for the influx, especially during the holidays.

Experts say these online spending patterns will continue because many places are still under movement restrictions and because consumers are now more accustomed to the convenience of online shopping. As much as 95% of consumer purchase-making decisions take place in the subconscious mind, due to an emotional connection, so inevitably, tapping into your customers’ psyche is a key strategy for success. 

In the age of TikTok and social media, one video from an influencer could wipe out your entire stock of inventory overnight. Having an accurate inventory forecast is a must, especially in the rapidly changing world of eCommerce. Inventory forecasting is the practice of using data and trends from previous years to predict the inventory needed for the future. This ensures online businesses have enough product to fulfill customer demand. In addition to inventory forecasting, let’s explore some of the trends and strategies that will allow your eCommerce business to maximize its growth during this holiday season.

1. Prepare for a boost of incoming traffic

Increased traffic to your online business will require that your business website can handle the heavier flow of customers and increasing sales. Shoppers will be looking for holiday deals, so capture their attention by making sure your site is in tip-top shape.

Ensure that your site is up to speed and performing.

As you add more items and features, make sure your website is able to compensate for the added pull.

If any of your landing pages are slow or overworked, your valuable patrons will spend their time (and money) elsewhere. In fact, statistics show that a business loses roughly 25% of its online visitors if its site takes over 4 seconds to load! It’s vital to your business that your website performs optimally.

Prepare your inventory now.

Being able to supply the demand is imperative. Do the work and research last year’s numbers and prepare for this year’s holiday season.

Having strong inventory management is having the right amount of stock in place, at the right time, and at the right cost. If you find that your business is low on inventory, there are ways Payability can help you get stocked to serve the influx of holiday shoppers. More on that below.

Evaluate your web security and adjust accordingly.

Consumer trust has always been a big deal. Studies show that 19% of digital shoppers in the United States abandoned their shopping carts in 2019 because of payment security concerns. Reassuring your customers that their information is protected by using SSL certificates and display security badges on your website and checkout pages will create conversions and minimize “cart abandonment”.

2. Make your customers’ experience as hassle-free as possible.

Good customer service is vital in a world that is all about convenience. Using voice search is one convenient way that online consumers are doing their shopping. Since the pandemic began, 62.5% of all shoppers report spending more time shopping online than before, and 84.5% of shoppers make a purchase directly from their mobile phone at least once a month. You can provide the best customer experience possible by:

Ensuring your eCommerce store is intuitive, user-friendly, and mobile-friendly.

Keep it clean and simple with clear calls to action. Refrain from cluttering your site with unnecessary images, copy, and additional steps. Maintaining a fully functioning online store, whether the consumer is on their laptop or their mobile device, is essential.

Optimize the checkout procedures.

ECommerce businesses are also encouraged to offer guest checkouts to make the process as quick and simple as possible for those who have lots more shopping to do. Avoid creating extra work for the customers.  As many as 23% of online shoppers in the U.S. will abandon their shopping carts due to a complicated checkout process.

Double check the search functions.

When your customer enters a key search term for a product, it’s important that your website provides accurate results. Make sure that your site search is set to understand misspellings and typos, so simple mistakes don’t return an empty results page.

Additionally, you want to make sure the search is visible. Place it where people are used to looking for it, and make it very easy for patrons to discern exactly what it is. It may sound trivial but things like that will affect your conversion rate. If your online customer is looking for peach hand towels, peach tablecloths shouldn’t be what comes up.

3. Beef up your social media presence.

Social media plays a massive role in preparing eCommerce businesses for the holiday influx. Currently, there are 3.78 billion people who use social media, or 48% of the world’s population. More than half of those surveyed in a recent commerce report (54.8%) reported finding new products from social media at least once a month.

Those social browsers research those products and read reviews. Keep in mind that though they’re finding the products advertised on social media, the majority are making their purchases through different online channels (i.e., marketplaces, retailer websites, email marketing, etc.). Holiday sales, gift guides, and free shipping are all huge incentives to promote on social media.

Consider placing ads on different platforms.

Know your audience and consumer population (or you should anyway) and customize your social media ads to appeal to different demographics. Facebook remains the most widely used social media platform as 68% of U.S. adults report that they are users. Instagram comes in second with 40% of U.S adults, and 28% of U.S. adults using LinkedIn.

Network with other eCommerce businesses and promote each other.

Doing so helps you strengthen your online community, gains consumer trust, and doubles your exposure. Aligning with another online retailer and linking your online store could produce big benefits this holiday shopping season.

Pay attention to your analytics.

As the king of social media, Facebook provides analytics that allows you to maximize your business’ marketing strategy. These analytics collect and analyze posts, and audience-related metrics by providing page views, peak traffic times, visitor demographics, and more.These insights are extremely valuable and allow you to adjust your marketing strategies to maximize return. If the thought of stopping to schedule posts every day overwhelms you, you can even sign up for social media schedulers like Hootsuite, which provide even more in-depth analytics and allow you to schedule your social media posts all at once.

Payability

Nearing the holiday season, it’s imperative that you stay ahead of the trends and prepare for the influx of holiday shoppers. That’s where Payability comes in.

At Payability, we approach funding eCommerce businesses in different ways. Our funding programs are uniquely built for sellers and there are no credit checks! Sellers qualify based on sales history and performance. Payability offers two programs:

Instant Advance

Stock up your inventory to prepare for that overflow of holiday traffic by getting a capital advance from Payability through the Instant Advance funding program. The last thing you want to worry about is running low on inventory and losing potential customer conversions during a holiday rush. Get up to $250k to spend on inventory or marketing to accommodate increasing sales and launch you into the new year at the top of your game.

• No credit checks – Qualify based on your marketplace sales and account health

• Fast and easy approval process – No complicated paperwork or wait times. Apply online and get funds as fast as one business day.

• Get up to $250k TODAY – Once approved, you can Instant Transfer, same-day ACH, or wire the funds directly to your bank account.

• Get up to 2% back – Get cash back on every purchase you spend with the Payability Seller Card.

You can prequalify today with only $10,000 per month in sales and 9 months of selling history. 

Instant Access

If you’re tired of waiting for your marketplace payouts, take control of your cash flow by getting your payout the very next day with Instant Access. This accelerated daily payout program gives you access to your earnings the very next day, every day.

• Fast and easy approval process – No credit checks. Apply online and get funded the same day.

• Receive marketplace payments every day – Get your payouts advanced every day, even on weekends and holidays.

• Utilize same day transfers – Transfer money to your bank account via same-day ACH, wire, or do it instantly with Instant Transfer.

• Earn up to 2% cash back – Get cash back on every purchase you spend with the Payability Seller Card Visa.

Through Payability, funding is revenue-based so sellers don’t have to take on additional unnecessary debt. There are no fixed costs, origination fees, and prepayment fees. Additionally, our rebate program helps fast-growing businesses lower their overall funding costs. 

Conclusion 

As we approach another holiday season in an uncertain world, it is best to prepare your business beforehand rather than trying to play catchup during and after. There are many tools and strategies you can arm yourself with to capitalize on the seasonal buzz. Let Payability add to your peace of mind by providing cash flow aids to keep the eCommerce store running smoothly throughout the season.

Sara Leonard
Sara has always loved books, writing, and the outdoors. She started working for ContentCucumber in the summer of 2019. A native Ohioan, Sara moved to West Virginia in 2017 and now lives over the mountain, where you can still get lost even with a GPS.

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