4 Tips to Prepare for the Fast-Approaching Holiday Season

    You may not have carved your Halloween pumpkin yet, but if you walk into any retail store you might suddenly think that Christmas is just a few days away.

The holiday season is upon us, and if you’re one of the many sellers that isn’t quite ready to start listening to Jingle Bells on your iPad — don’t worry, there is still time to prepare. Here are four tips that will help make you feel merry and also put a little of that jingle into your pocket!

 

1. Create a holiday marketing plan. There’s a lot of competition during the holidays. One way to stay ahead of the game is to run a sale and promote it in advance. As an example, if you plan to offer 40-percent off in your store on Cyber Monday, you should advertise one to two weeks ahead of time to let potential buyers know about the sale. Take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, and your own newsletter to let your audience know. Also, although Amazon frowns on package advertising, don’t forget that you can still put flyers in with your eBay packages to alert your buyers that some really good deals are on the way.

 

2. Be sure you know the important dates for ecommerce holiday shoppers. It used to be that Black Friday was the big day for people to get out and about to do their holiday shopping. Since more people are shopping online now there are other dates, such as Cyber Monday, that buyers now like to take advantage of. Put these dates on your calendar as target dates for your sales and promotions.

Here’s a list:

November 29 – Black Friday (U.S.)

December 2 – Cyber Monday

December 17 – Free Shipping Day

December 21 – the last Saturday before Christmas

December 24 – Christmas Eve

December 25 – Christmas Day

December 26 – Boxing Day (Canada and U.K.)

December 31 – New Years Eve

 

3. Create a holiday gift guide for your buyers. We all have a relative, friend, or co-worker who is hard to shop for. Help your buyers out by creating a gift guide that suggests and highlights the items in your store that could make the perfect gift for a special person. As an example, you might highlight a pair of earrings as a great gift for mom, or a bottle of cologne that’s perfect for the man in their life. Promote your gift guide on your blog and post links to your blog post on your Facebook and Twitter page.

 

4. Keep in mind that people are looking for deals. If they don’t see any good deals in your store, they will most likely buy their gifts elsewhere. You may not want to provide a discount for every item in your store, but select a few items each day or week for promotions to attract buyers. Free shipping can also go a long way toward enticing buyers to buy from you instead of another seller, so if you offer free shipping, remember to promote it visibly.

 
This guest post was contributed by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the hosts the popular weekly eCommerce Podcast That Kat Radio and an active Facebook Group ThatKat.

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