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Simple 5 Step 2021 Holiday eCommerce Prep List

Holiday pre tips for your eCommerce WordPress store

It's mid-September. Yeah, I get it — it's not even Halloween yet. But, it's time to get your ducks in a row if you have an eCommerce store.

When it comes to eCommerce and getting your WordPress website “holidized,” the more we plan, the better your chance that things will go without a hitch. Especially considering we are planning on being very busy offering delighting your customers and filling orders, right?

2021: eCommerce Continued to Grow

eCom growth for the first half of this year surged 27% over 2020. With more folks shopping online than ever, you want to be in a position to fill those needs. That means being organized and prepared so that you can get in on that action.

Getting a jump on your plan now and mapping everything out will help you to be able to be prepared for whatever may arise. And believe me, no matter how well you do plan, there will still be issues (and opportunities) that pop up and will require you to take the time to address them pronto.

So the more we can solidify details in advance, have it in place, and scheduled, the better. So follow these tips and get as specific as possible. The more detailed, the better your plan.

1. Create Your Holiday eCommerce Calendar

Get out your calendar and map out specific critical dates.

Promo Dates to Schedule

  • 45 days out: Announce some teasers or pre-season promos. Provide info about your upcoming promos, including mailings just for current customers. Create strong calls-to-action so that folks can subscribe to be notified along the way, so they don't miss out. Creating a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) can drive additional subscribers.
  • 30 days out: Announce your upcoming promos and note any limitations (time, dates, quantity, etc.).
  • 14 days out: Send a reminder of time-frames and deadlines.
  • 7 days to go: Send your “one week left” reminder for “in time for the holidays” shipping.
  • 1 day left: Last chance notice with details needed to act — now.

Nail Down Specific Dates

  • The date each of your promos will begin and end.
  • Holiday-related content posting schedule.
  • When and what to post to each social media account.
  • Dates to send your Holiday email promos.
  • Drop-dead order and ship dates by each carrier.

Next, create a blueprint for your WordPress website to note shipping time frames and the last date orders must be placed on your website.

  • Having a note at the top of the cart page will make this information upfront and ensure customers do not miss it.
  • Update your FAQ page to note your holiday schedule and drop-dead dates.
  • Put up a sidebar widget noting these dates above the fold is a good idea.
  • Top-of-page banners also help to inform customers no matter what page they are currently on.

We want to make sure customers are informed so that they can plan accordingly and set realistic expectations.

2. Construct Landing Pages & Posts

You want to focus. Create a landing page (aff) for each of your specific promos. A focused landing page will serve to direct and guide customers on those particular products or promos. We want to provide the information necessary to their decision-making process by not having any unnecessary distractions.

Stay away from templated layouts to avoid having each landing page look like the others. Instead, each page should have its own “personality,” images specific to that promo with promo-specific content and calls to action.

Schedule time to write posts that are holiday topic-related too. For example, “12 Days of …” posts. Posts that include “gift ideas” (for kids, parents, significant other) or creating new holiday traditions (that have your products, of course). Get creative with your content — and imagery.

3. Design Holiday Bundles

Bundles are one of the overlooked ways to create an increase in your AOV (average order value) around the holidays. Take some time to look at your data to see what visitors gravitate to and their paths.

You also know what your customers buy together. So it should be easy for you to devise logical combos for one great price. For example, think about creating a “Holiday Care Package” bundle that targets what folks need, want, or are nostalgic about.

Creating limited-time bundles that provide a discount when items are purchased together vs. separately is an up-sell that will make sense to your customers. All the while encouraging them to buy more than they may have initially intended.

4. Assemble Social Media Posts, Product Images and Graphics

Graphic, content, and social media post creation is very time-consuming. Mostly because creating content and graphics that stand out and are unique to you and your promotions is labor-intensive. Especially considering each social media site utilizes different sizes. I use Canva, and it makes this job so much easier.

Next, create folders on your computer for each promo. Then within each promo, create a subfolder for each of your social media sites.

For each social site, have a text file with your content bursts and the corresponding images (in the correct sizes for each platform) to go with them. You'll build a bunch more interest by having a schedule of unique images for each post, reminder, and follow-up than re-posting the same image and text repetitively.

5. Don't Forget Current Customers

These are the folks who already know how great your products are and what a pleasure you are to do business with. They are already sold on doing business with you so let's use that to our advantage.

Reward them with a current customer-only promo (or bundle) to show you appreciate their patronage and loyalty. Include an unannounced bonus or freebie with each order so that customers will fall in love with your business. That's how you get them to come back after the holidays.

Wrapping Up ~ With a Bow

  • Create your holiday promo and social calendar.
  • Develop unique and different promo landing pages and posts.
  • Put together logical and fun product bundles.
  • Organize all your posts, social media content, and images by date/promo.
  • Do something special for current customers.

Don't forget about holidizing your website with seasonal accents, graphics, and images to reflect you are into the season. Sites without a holiday theme can be perceived as outdated or even abandoned.

One last important thing…

By detailing the entire purchasing process, from your marketing efforts to conversion, you create the opportunity to make the experience special. This approach will give you an edge.

Planning down to the little things like quality packaging, holiday tissue, and greetings will make an impression when your packages are opened. That's what dazzles and keeps customers coming back for more. Add a personal touch, and you are golden.

I call this strategy the three “Ps”: Plan + Process = Profit. Put it to work for you this season.

At your service,

Judith: WordPress Consultant and Business Coach