Checklist: Is Your E-Commerce Store Ready for the Holidays?

The 2014 holiday retail season is almost here, and online sales are expected to increase up to 14% this year. According to Deloitte, digital interactions­ will influence half of all retail store sales during the holidays. Is your online store ready?

Use this 5-point checklist to make sure your digital halls are decked out and your store is ready to rake in the orders!

2014 holiday retail season

Set Objectives

Look at last year’s sales and your YTD numbers, and set KPIs to measure the success of your efforts. This is also when you should create your marketing calendar. How and when will you use your email list, social media, your website and other areas to drive sales? Make sure your efforts in each area are working together!

Create a Landing Page

Whether it’s a banner on your homepage or a separate holiday gifting page, make sure you have somewhere on your site for customers to look when they’re shopping for gifts. Consider putting together a “Holiday Gifting Guide” or sales page to get customers in the spirit and entice them to buy, then push people to it using your email list, social media networks, and SEM.

Prepare Special Offers

Will you offer free shipping for a limited time? What will your Black Friday sale be? What about Cyber Monday deals? Figure out now what specials you’ll offer your customers, and how you’ll promote them. You can even segment your email list so your most loyal customers get early access!

Answer Common Questions

Consider adding a FAQ page to cut down on customer concerns about sizing, delivery times and other issues. Be sure to prominently display the ordering deadlines for holiday delivery, and make sure your Return Policy is clearly spelled out and easily accessible! Finally, make sure that your customer support is impeccable. Respond to emails and comments on social media as quickly as possible, and you could even add a live chat feature to your site to increase conversions!

Check Your Mobile

Now that you’ve created a perfect editorial calendar and set up your landing page, make sure it will all look great on your customers’ tablets and smartphones. According to IBM’s Seventh Annual Online Retail Holiday Readiness Report, mobile sales reached a high of 19.1% of all site sales this past December. Many retailers overlook this crucial step, so take the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.

Happy selling!

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