Guides By Eshop Hosts 2.9.2013 No Comments
Get Your Online Shop Ready For Christmas Shoppers

Get Your eCommerce Website For The Holiday Season

Is your online shop ready for the Halloween and Christmas online sales rush? If not, now is the time to get your ecommerce website prepared.

It may still be Summer and a bit strange to think about Christmas and the other Autumn and Winter holidays but… the busiest sales season for online shops is just around the corner, so ecommerce owners should start to prepare their online shops now in readiness to ensure they get their slice of this very lucrative holiday season shopping exposion.

It is well known that each year online sales increase in both the period building up to Christmas and the New Year sales period with many online retailers like Amazon announcing record sales figures year on year. The Autumn period also sees increased online sales as the weather changes and the days draw shorter with Halloween now big business in the UK. Christmas is the busiest time of the year for online retailers by a long mile but Halloween ranks with Valentines Day, Mothers day, Easter and St Patricks day as the busiest peiods on the annual economic calendar. This gives smaller online sellers a chance to make extra sales from the increased online traffic and search engine referrals if their websites are prepared and optimised to attract the shoppers.

Now Is the Time to Optimise Your Website for Christmas

Most ecommerce sectors can benefit from the increase in online traffic during the Christmas period, even if their product range isnt necessarily what you would normally relate to the season.

If you want your online shop to rank anywhere in the search engines, it is now time to take a look at your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy to properly prepare your website for the up coming holiday rush as well as any promotions or special offers that could be promoted through Social Media channels as well as your own website.

Create A Christmas Selling Plan

Planning ahead will reap rewards so devising a plan of action that includes what you intend to sell along with how and where you promote it is crucial to success.

The Following list is just some ideas that should form part of your preparation and strategy for increasing your website traffic and achieving more online sales through your website during the build up to Christmas and Halloween.

Identifying and Promoting the Best Selling Products

There are lots of ways to idenify good selling products in the build up to Christmas and Halloween. Many suppliers and wholesalers will start to promote what they think are going to be top selling products so watch out for their newsletters and latest catalogues. Using tools the Terapeak that display the best selling lines on sites like eBay is another good way of finding both current and historical best selling products, make sure that you take the time to visit as many wholesale and retail sector websites like blogs and forums for articles or posts on new lines that are being tipped as the seasons best selling items.

Even any existing stock that you may have can be potentially a good seller over the Christmas period so now is the time to ensure you have good stock levels so that you dont sell out too early.

Optimising Product Descriptions and Website Content

Now is the time to assess your website product pages and then add or edit the content to include Christmas or Halloween related keywords which will help optimise your pages to rank higher in the search engine results pages. As with any on site SEO your content must include what you think will be the keywords and phrases that you think your potential customers will use in for their searches when looking for the products that you are selling. This content editing activity is best done sooner rather than later to give the search engines enough time to index any new or edited existing product pages, even products that you have ordered and not yet recieved from your supplier should be listed as ‘coming soon’ or ‘pre-order’ items.

Using the Best Meta Data

Metadata is often an overlooked aspect of optimising ecommerce websites and many ecommerce website owners rush through selecting and setting the meta data on their websites.

Taking the time to write well thought out and unique Meta Titles and descriptions for each of your product pages will reap rewards especially if the text content on the pages is written and optimised to include similar keywords used in the Meta Data.

Whilst setting your Meta Data, remember to avoid keyword stuffing and create Meta Titles that is like a mini ‘call to action’ a human viewer, preferably with just one instance of your main keyword. Also, make sure you set a meta description that will encourage potential buyers to click on your website link listed within the search results.

More details on understanding and setting Meta Data can be found HERE

Free Gifts and Upsell Opportunities

Every one likes a gift at Christmas so offering something to your customers if their purchase value reaches a certain milestone is an incentive that will increase your sales. Most common offers are ‘Free Gift on Purchases over £X amount or ‘buy two and get one free’ or similar and this offering can be a good way to move on slower selling stock or items with low profit margins by using them as the gifts.

Offering an ‘Upsell’ or Cross Sell’ is another opportunity you can make the most of with the higher number of vistors to your site. This is where you promote related products (Cross Sell) to the one that the visitor is looking at, possibly with a bit of discount if the two items are purchased together or an opportunity for your buyer to upgrade their purchase (Up Sell) to a higher quality and more expensive item.

Examples of Cross Selling could be promoting related products or accessories to the product that is being viewed eg. adding details of a carry case or headphones etc to a laptop or tablet pc, or adding a T Shirt or Shoes to a pair of Jeans to complete a certain look.

Promoting Via Social Media

Promoting your products on Social Media channels is something that should be done all year round but the increase in online shopping during the build up to Christmas is an opportunity to reach out to more potential customers and achieve more visits to your website which ultimately will generate more sales. Once you have optimised your website pages you should post details of your offers on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest etc, not just your own pages and timelines but also on as many others as you can where your comments will be deemed as relevant, making sure that any comments or enquiries you get through these channels are responded to promptly and professionally.

So Dont Delay Optimise Your Online Shop Today

Not everybody leaves their Christmas shopping til the last minute, many people are starting to buy or research their gifts online already and the search engines, especially Google usually see much increased user activity from early November through until the end of December. So to take advantage of this traffic explosion you need to start analysing your website now to ensure it is optimised in to reap the rewards.

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