Is Your Ecommerce Site Ready for Holiday 2013? -
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Is Your Ecommerce Site Ready for Holiday 2013?

If you’re an ecommerce retailer, you know it’s not too early to start preparing for the holiday shopping season. Here are some tweaks you can start making now to fine-tune your site for maximum holiday sales.

Make like Santa’s elves. One big reason people shop online instead of going to the mall is that they want convenience. But how convenient would it be if their cart is full of the perfect gifts, but they run into a problem during checkout and can’t get help? Eliminate the risk of losing these customers by getting your help tools in order. Provide as many options as possible for customers to get help in the way that they prefer, whether that’s by emailing you, calling your 800 number and getting a live person, or doing live chat with your customer service team. Put all these options clearly visible near the top of every page of your site. If a customer’s browsing for a long time or comparing options, consider a popup chat box that offers to answer their questions. (Of course, don’t forget to provide an extensive list of FAQs for those who prefer to help themselves.)

Ship it good. Free shipping is a huge motivator in getting customers to buy online. Putting your shipping information where it’s easy to find will avoid a situation where customers load their carts, only to abandon them when they discover shipping costs. Offer a shipping calculator so they can figure this out beforehand. If you do offer free shipping, say it loud and proud at the top of your home page. Keep in mind, you don’t have to offer free shipping on everything—something like “Free Shipping on Orders over $50” can be just as effective. Also prominently display shipping deadlines and guarantees (“Order by midnight PST December 17 to get it by Christmas Eve!), and be sure to clearly state pricing for rush orders.

Do the upsell. Increase the chance of impulse buys by suggesting low-priced stocking stuffer items or sale products at checkout, or displaying them as suggested items when the customer views a related product. For instance, if someone is adding a bicycle to their cart, your site might also suggest a bicycle horn, repair kit or basket.

Test and tweak. As the holiday season hits, watch your analytics like a hawk and keep making adjustments. Update your keywords to reflect bestselling products, hot gift trends, or timely terms like “black Friday,” “last minute gifts” or “stocking stuffer.”

Keep it simple. Help overwhelmed shoppers out with suggestions that simplify gifting. Add holiday themed categories to your home page and in the side navigation on every page. These could include Gifts Under $10, Gifts for Kids, Gifts for Mom, Gifts for Fido, Most Popular Gifts, Gift Sets, Today’s Deals…you get the idea.

Check out all the ways can help you get an ecommerce site up and running and more effectively market your ecommerce site.

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+ and, and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.
Rieva Lesonsky

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