We’re coming up to a busy time for online shopping, and this year is shaping up to be bigger than ever, as customers start hunting for promotions early. A study by Yotpo in August 2020 revealed that nearly 40% of customers planned to start holiday shopping in September, October or November, and 20% claim they’ve already started. 

The overall eCommerce conversion rate is up 6% from last year, and daily online fashion and accessory sales are up 10% year on year for early August, according to another study. So clearly people are in the mood to shop! 

Capitalize on this moment by making sure your eCommerce store is up to standard. Here’s a checklist of tips for how fashion eCommerce websites can prepare for and make the most of the holidays.

Create a special holiday promotion page

51% of online shoppers consider “free products and buyer perks (secret sales, free shipping, promo codes)” as “the best ways for brands to show they care,” according to a new global study. Show your customers you care—and get that holiday buzz going—by creating a special web page for your holiday promotions. This could spotlight deals on specific products, or it could focus on exclusive access or the introduction (or reintroduction) of rare or high-demand products. Focus your promotions on where you’ve done well and where you want to improve. If you want to increase items per order, consider offering a bundle deal. Regardless, ensure you have a solid inventory of your most popular items. And consider organizing these products into new categories like “gifts for women” and “gifts for men.”

Promote your upcoming sale or special

When you’ve decided what your holiday promotion is going to be, ensure you share it widely through social media, emails and paid advertising. Generate a sense of urgency by communicating the limited nature of your promotion. This means communicating the end date of your sale, or the limited availability of particular styles that you won’t be repeating. Well-designed timers and countdown clocks on your holiday promotion page can be a great way to add a sense of urgency and increase conversions.

Collect email subscribers by offering early access to sales

Turn one-time shoppers into long-term customers, drum up excitement and grow your mailing list all at the same time. Nurture leads with content that builds excitement and tells your brand story. Your emails could count down days to your sale, hype up particular products or even drop hints about what special offers will be available. Promote this special newsletter-only content on your social media by letting your followers know that by signing up they will get access to exclusive information and offers.

Offer gifts with gamification

Stand out from the crowd by offering a range of different gifts, for example a different free item with a certain dollar-amount purchase every day or hour. A timer on your website could indicate to shoppers how long they have left to make the purchase in order to get that gift. You could also offer certain gifts only with certain items that you’re trying to push, or present an array of gifts that the shopper simply chooses from at checkout.

Take care of any overlooked areas of your website

Optimize and streamline your cart and ensure everything is in working order. Ensure that your website can handle increased traffic, that your navigation is in shape and that all of your pages are optimized for mobile. Your search bar should always be highly visible and well configured, but in the high-traffic holiday season it’s more important than ever. Make the most of past and present popular keywords to drive shoppers to important products. And, of course, be ready to offer and promote gift cards and gift wrapping on your holiday promotion page, on product pages and at checkout.

Get your abandoned cart strategy ready now

Not all shoppers will commit to buying straight away—some may browse your products for a while and then leave, others may get as far as adding products to their cart and then exit your website. That’s why you should have a series of both browse abandonment emails and cart abandonment emails ready to go, so that you can win these people back. A series of well-timed emails with short but compelling copy in the body and subject line will help you to convert any browsers into buyers. This is another opportunity to create urgency by reminding of the limited nature of your promotion.

Have a solid post-purchase communication plan

Get ready to welcome your new customers with great emails after they’ve made their first purchase. Introduce a loyalty program that rewards customers any time they make an additional purchase, and share your compelling brand story and content to keep them engaged and invested in your brand. Also make sure you follow up with first-time purchasers to ask about their experiences. Encourage them to review the products they bought on your website, and ask them to follow your social media channels.

Continue to nurture your community

Engagement is more important than ever, so don’t neglect your core community. Keep engaging with your audience as you normally would, while also driving home your holiday campaign. This will be an unusual holiday season with emotions running high as people reflect on the challenges of the year, and their purchases will likely reflect that. Consumer behavior might be unpredictable these holidays, but remain consistent with your brand and provide messages that resonate, reflect and inspire.

Spruce up your homepage

A special holiday-related landing page is important in this very competitive time for eCommerce, but not all of your shoppers will see it. Many people still go straight to the homepages of stores they’re interested in shopping at, so it’s important that this part of your website is not overlooked in your holiday overhaul. Ensure your homepage is up to date and includes all of your holiday specials and announcements. For more advice, check out our recent blog about how to optimize your homepage design.

Conclusion

Getting your eCommerce store holiday-ready requires a juggling act of creating and maintaining content for your website, emails and social media, and this needs to excite and engage customers both old and new. InteractOne is well versed in managing these needs and can help you with every step of the process. Reach out to our team to put your holiday goals in motion today.

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