Is Your Online Store Festive Ready?[Last Minute Prep Checklist]

If you run an e-commerce store, I am sure you understand the importance of the festive season already. If not, here is a little overview:

  1. In the year 2010, the Cyber Monday/ Black Friday sales recorded a high of $1 billion. Ever since it has only increased or remained above the billion-dollar mark.
  2. Post the global financial crisis, the consumption of non-essential items became low. It was the holiday sales that revived the demand.
  3. In 2019, emarketer forecasted a holiday sales season crossing the $1 trillion mark for the first time.
  4. More than 50% of the buyers shifted to online sales channels. This shift from the conventional retail shopping rituals in the brick and mortar stores was reported by Accenture.
  5. Despite the pandemic, the black Friday holiday season sales skyrocketed as people waited for a price dip to shop for gadgets, non-essential and festive items.

Therefore, it is only wise to be prepared for the festive season. With the season already being kicked off, your WooCommerce store should be equipped with all the utilities you will require to serve your clientele. Make sure you tick off everything in the following checklist in the coming months to be geared up.

Collect And Review Previous Years’ Data

Did your store get overwhelmed with the traffic in the past years? Did your operations research strategy work out well during the last year’s festive sales? Or did you work hard on your on-site content to rank on top in the search engines? Whatever be the case, the famous words by Steve Jobs hold true for eCommerce sales season as well;

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Therefore, chalk out the plan to conduct a thorough audit for all departments beginning from sales, marketing to supply and inventory management. Mark the pain points from past experiences. Once the audit process is over, you now have a direction to go ahead with.

Inventory and Supply Chain

One tip is to diversify your suppliers as the pandemic demands us to be prepared for uncertainties besides fulfilling the customer demands seamlessly. It will be a good choice if you stick with local suppliers. It will help you dodge any unexpected tariffs or charges. Also, it will cut the dwell time by ensuring a quick refill of supplies.

Some WooCommerce merchants who handle a large volume of inventory can also consider employing 3rd party logistics. Another thing regarding inventories is that if you have limited supplies, do not forget to diversify the options available.

If you have deployed the tasks to a 3rd party logistics provider, do not forget to take follow-ups. The festive season may easily lead to resource or inventory shortages. Make sure to have a flawless plan B as a contingency measure.

Also, find the middle ground for the product range you will offer to provide your customers with ample choices. Make sure there are not so many that it will lead to endless scrolling.

A Foolproof Marketing Calendar

If you already have holiday sales-based content in your store, you can draw a content optimization calendar for your marketing team.

Explore your website for content renovations. A button that would otherwise sound self-promoting can be replaced with text that has a more welcoming tone. Or perhaps, a more friendly tone would make your customers comfortable. For example, a banner that reads

Chucking New Offers Your Way- Grab them!

Has relatively more attractive vibes than the old banner plainly mentioning

New Offers in Festive Sales

This recommendation is based on various studies that advocate for a more naturalistic tone instead of a selling one.

Zomato uses the technique almost every day and personally, I would not be exaggerating if I say I find a sense of warmth in what they have to say!

SEO writing can help in the process to improve the online visibility of your content.

Social Media

Your presence on social media as a WooCommerce store is inevitable. Before the onset of the festive season, having your social media calendar ready is one thing. Exploiting innumerable features of these channels will take your sales to a whole new level.

Social media can give your brand a personal touch. When the Instagram/ YouTuber influencer Malvika Sitlani launched her brand Masic beauty, in no time, even before the reveal of the products, her followers were dying to preorder what she had to offer. Why is it so? Because of her honest reviews of drugstore brands as well as luxury brands. Her everyday unfiltered stories for years now have made sure nobody feels left out and leaves with a solution.

Another example is Netflix which uses social media to resolve customer issues with a tinge of humor.

There are infinite other things you can do with social media- collaborate with influencers, run paid advertisements, provide genuine solutions through social media content, even sell your products on social media stores such as Facebook.

So, have your social media team ready to amp up your marketing game in all these months? Consider October a test run because, for many countries, it is a time of festivities before your festive season actually arrives.

Store Revamp

Visit your WooCommerce store as a client and answer the following questions. How long did it take to load your product page? Do you offer a large number of categories of products to your customers? How easy was it for you to find the product if you knew exactly what you were looking for? How easy was it for you to find the product if you just came to browse and select?

These answers will give you an understanding of what is missing in your store. Have the essential features installed in your website’s dashboard such as product filters and quick view. If you have a global store, a multi-currency switcher plugin is a must-have for your WooCommerce store.

If you installed these features recently, do not forget to run A/B tests to see the performance of these new features. Do not hesitate in investing in a store revamp because it will certainly have higher returns on investment in the long term.

New Checkout Features

Again, answering some questions will give you better insights into your store. Is it that your carts are getting abandoned? Is your checkout process seamless for both guest users and registered users? Do you have gift wrap options available? How easy is it to add a coupon code for your store?

Are you using your checkout page optimally for upselling or cross-selling certain options? Find out what plugins or utilities you should add so that your store is not bulky yet effective in getting you higher conversions than in the past year.

Plugins like checkout field editor and abandoned cart recovery have proved to be game-changing for many WooCommerce stores that are included in our client base.

Shipping

Only last week, I had to order flowers and chocolates for my cousin who lives in Canada. I immediately put up the pin code and was amazed to see the low prices. Quickly added all that I wanted into my cart. Signed up to the store and proceeded for the checkout. It was not until the payments page that the shipping prices (which seemed to be negligible when I added the location) added up. The price got doubled. What an unpleasant surprise!

I found another website- ferns and petals which turned out to be more honest during the whole process. Also, I got a coupon discount. Yay! So my cousins have those chocolates now and on time.

The catch here is that the price from fnp.com was almost the same on both websites. But ferns and petals got the deal because of a more transparent process.

Do not let your customers abandon your carts because of such nominal issues. You might want to mention additional shipping or customs charges beforehand to your customers. Employing 3rd party logistics can also be a great move. Get all these petty issues sorted before you dive into the festive season arena.

Customer Support

It is your loyal customers that will fetch you the most profits and not always the new ones. So, while you welcome the new ones to make them loyal in the long term, do not overlook the old ones who have been promoting your brand effortlessly!

Always invest in providing good customer support. Resolve your client issues promptly and proactively respond to negative reviews. This is something that has helped MakeWebBetter to build a strong customer base of all that we have.

Handy Plugins for This Festive Season

WooCommerce Wallet System

WooCommerce Cashback And Credit Wallet System

WooCommerce Subscriptions Pro

Membership For WooCommerce Pro

Best WordPress Accounting Plugin- WP Ever Accounting

WordPress Appointment Booking Plugin

Advanced Coupons For WooCommerce

Concluding Note

While it may seem to be a small checklist, it will be quite an overwhelming task to fulfill it all in just a small duration of time. It is always better to work in a team and have these tasks fulfilled in a desirable timeline.

Feel free to reach out to our support to help you revamp your WooCommerce on time!

Entrepreneur. Co-Founder at MakeWebBetter | BotMyWork | CedCommerce | CedCoss. Writer at Search Engine Watch | E-Commerce and Marketing. 🙂