How to Optimize Your Ecommerce Value Proposition
By Tom Wintaugh
Our checklist will help you refine your ecommerce strategy through the holiday season and beyond.
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The 2022 holidays are shaping up to be another successful season for ecommerce. With US online retail holiday sales predicted to hit $236 billion, businesses of all sizes and industries have a massive opportunity to refine their ecommerce strategy and achieve optimal growth and success in Q4.
In this article, we’ll explore a few straightforward best practices for elevating your holiday ecommerce strategy and optimizing your website for maximum sales and engagement. Whether you’re looking to streamline your B2B ecommerce strategy, sell more with a CPG ecommerce website, or simply make it through the end of the year with minimal stress, our ecommerce strategy holiday checklist will guide you through the last months of 2022 and beyond.
A critical requirement for a successful holiday ecommerce strategy is planning ahead for all the most important ecommerce dates in Q4. Here are the major holidays and shipping deadlines to circle on your 2022 calendar:
Please note: These holiday shipping deadlines have not yet been finalized and are based on historical data.
Shoppers aren’t the only ones who find themselves in a frenzy during the holidays. Most merchants are subject to at least a few merry mishaps during the hustle and bustle of the holiday rush. The best defense against Q4 chaos? A solid strategy for ecommerce.
We’ve put together a checklist of the most critical ecommerce growth strategies for merchants to focus on for a successful holiday season.
If you know your ecommerce website could use a few updates and improvements, now is the time to make them. To avoid costly breakages and downtime, you’ll want to ensure all changes are tested and implemented long before the rush begins.
Not sure how to prepare your online store for the holidays? Take our 3-minute website evaluation to diagnose potential problems and get suggestions for further refining your ecommerce strategy.
The best Black Friday ecommerce strategy in the world won’t do your business any good if your site crashes from heavy traffic. And slower load times caused by high visitor volume can frustrate your shoppers and cause them to jump to a competitor’s site. To combat these risks, run several tests and audits ahead of time to ensure your online store can handle an onslaught of yuletide shoppers.
Although you likely already know which of your products are the most popular, staying up to date with your customers’ shopping habits is always an excellent ecommerce growth strategy. Keep an eye on rising stars in your product catalog, especially those that seem to become more popular as critical holiday deadlines approach. Make sure you have enough of these products in your inventory to carry you through the end of the year, especially if they’re impacted by supply chain disruptions. Additionally, consider adjusting your holiday promotions to shine an additional spotlight on these top sellers.
Upselling can be a surprisingly easy ecommerce growth strategy during the holidays, when many customers are more than happy to get as much of their shopping done in as few transactions as possible. Add the option to purchase related items on product pages and during the checkout process to entice shoppers and increase your site’s average order value. You may also consider offering coupons to drive sales and build customer loyalty.
To delight shoppers and encourage them to buy from your site, you’ll want to curate the ecommerce experience—to cater to each customer by delivering relevant content and an outstanding purchasing journey. To implement this ecommerce strategy, you’ll want to review your buyer personas to understand the unique interests of different types of shoppers who visit your site. You can then use this knowledge to optimize various aspects of your website such as its layout, banners, product categories, and more to guide your shoppers to the areas of your website where they’ll be most likely to find what they’re looking for.
For example, you might identify a few ideal customers and launch landing pages, related products, product bundles, influencer content, and helpful guides on your home page that are personalized to each user. This allows your customers to find a clear shopping path no matter who they are, and makes it more likely that they’ll develop trust in your brand and purchase from you again even after the holidays are over.
More people shopping online means more opportunities for cybercriminals to gain access to customer information. Take some time before the holiday rush begins to assess your website security and address potential vulnerabilities. Make sure your site is secured with encryption, safely destroy any unnecessary data you may be holding onto, and review your disaster plan with relevant staff.
The last thing your customers want is for their holiday purchases to arrive after the holidays. To meet shopper expectations while protecting the integrity of your business, be proactive and communicate the exact date your customers should place their orders to ensure that they arrive on time. You may even consider posting shipping deadlines on your home and product pages and sending out email reminders to your subscribers as the holidays approach.
The holidays are also a time when you should review your ecommerce strategies to provide more convenience to customers. In addition to providing clear communication and real-time updates, you’ll want to be flexible with returns. Make sure your return policy is fair, clear, and transparent. This will give shoppers confidence in their purchases and make them more likely to return to your business in the future.
Online sellers aren’t the only ones preoccupied with delivery deadlines—holiday shoppers want reassurance that their packages will arrive exactly when you say they will. A smooth, transparent, and customer-centric fulfillment experience is key to earning customer trust and providing excellent service. By providing package tracking, you’ll not only give your customers peace of mind, but you’ll make life easier for your customer service team.
With the holiday season fast approaching, now is the time to optimize your site to achieve the growth you want in the final quarter of the year. Want to learn more? Download our infographic for more essential Q4 ecommerce strategies.
This blog was originally published on October 7, 2020 and updated on September 1, 2022.
Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.