Monday, October 10th, 2011
Believe it or not, Cyber Monday is only seven weeks away. Is your online business ready for the fast-approaching holiday shopping season?
According to comScore, online spending on Thanksgiving Day 2010 increased by 28% over Thanksgiving Day 2009, and by 61% on Free Shipping Day 2010 over Free Shipping Day 2009. This year, along with Thanksgiving Day and Free Shipping Day (December 16), Black Friday (November 25), Cyber Monday (November 28), and Green Monday (December 12) are other key dates you should be ready for.
To help you prepare, we’ve put together a list of tips, best practices, and store tools you can use to help get your online business and your marketing campaigns in shape for the holiday season. Our tips will be posted in three parts over today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, so be sure to check back for more each day!
Today’s tips are all about getting organized.
To ensure a smooth experience for both you and your customers during what is likely to be your busiest time of the year, you’ll need to do some careful planning.
Be sure to:
Have enough inventory to keep up with the demand. Know what your best-selling items are likely to be, and make sure that the inventory you have for these items and the items you plan to promote is sufficient. Don’t lose out on sales by running out of stock.
Stock up on shipping supplies. Running out of boxes and other packing and shipping materials is the last thing you’ll want to worry about when shipping orders. Review what materials you fell short on last year and stock up to make sure you’re in good shape for the holiday rush this year.
Staff appropriately for the season, and set your staff schedule well in advance. If you were in business during the last holiday season, revisit any issues you may have encountered with staffing then to prepare for the busy weeks ahead.
Plan your marketing campaigns. Your holiday campaigns should launch by early November, if not earlier. Remember to integrate seasonal keywords into your product pages and campaign landing pages, as well as your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
Giving your store and your store promotions a holiday facelift. Many of the developers in Yahoo! Merchant Solutions Developer Network can assist you with site design, marketing services, custom store features, and more.
- Creating a niche store. If you have a certain category of products that sell well in your store, you may wish to create a niche store for these products during the holidays. For more about creating niche stores, check out Paul Boisvert’s webinar, “Preparing for the Holidays — Opening a Niche Store.”
Remember to visit the blog tomorrow when we’ll discuss how to impress your shoppers, holiday promotions, and recommending items. And don’t forget to follow @YSmallBusiness on Twitter and to "Like" Yahoo! Small Business on Facebook for even more great tips as the holiday shopping season approaches.