While the nice and warm summer days seem just like yesterday, truth is October’s already moving to its end, making space for November. And when we say “November”, there’s one thing that pops into the minds of e-commerce business owners: sales. With autumn promotions, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the following Christmas Holidays, the special offer list is long and crowded enough to prepare your sale-actions thoroughly.
From stock updates to surfing the website, ordering and advertising, there are some things you should definitely go through before the sale season runs over you.
1. Make sure your server can carry all the traffic coming towards your site in special-offer periods. It’s not nice at all for your customers to see the site crashing just when they are about to purchase that watercooler they were desperately craving for. If you know your server can’t handle it, take some time to change your hosting or to upgrade it before it’s too late.
2. Optimize your website as good as possible. That means providing contact details and a business description, making the user experience as easy as it can be for customers, so that they quickly find what they’re looking for, checking that pages load rapidly and simplifying the checkout process to lower abandon rates due to increased site complexity.
3. Run an online survey to see what products are most desired among your customers. Nothing is more deceiving than misrepresentations on customer expectations, that prove themselves to be wrong. Plus, knowing what your customers want brings you their loyalty and spares you of wasting time and money. Use 123ContactForm’s free online survey maker to help you gauge the needs and wants of your prospective customers.
4. Get your stock up to date and supply the items missing or running low, especially ones that turn out to be very popular. Furthermore, display the available item numbers on your site, since this fulfills two roles: it tells the customer how many pieces they can buy and can act as a trigger to action (if the product stock is running low, customers might decide faster upon purchasing it).
5. Provide complete product information on your e-commerce’s website, including exact specifications of the item, technical details, size information and product pictures. Having all this info raises customer trust and reduces product returns based on differences between what the customer sees and what they get.
6. Enable product reviews, ratings and social sharing – these are all other ways to increase the trust in your brand. It’s a known fact people are social beings who feel the need to see what others think or do. Thus, enabling this features can only add value to your e-commerce.
7. Make your shipping and payment options and policies clear for your customer. You can offer them, for example, more than one shipping or payment method (online payment by card, by PayPal, standard shipping, fast shipping). Also, provide estimations on when purchased items should reach the customer and be sure to take potential delays into account when making those estimations.
8. Integrate an efficient online shopping system. Whether you opt for an online order form builder or a shopping cart system, be sure to pick the most suitable for your business and to find the right provider for it. The basic feature you have to look out for is the usefulness of the chosen solution for your customer. Do you have a lot of products? Go with a shopping cart. Do you have only a few products? If so, an order form might be more effective for you, and 123ContactForm has all the tools to help you build it fast and receive orders securely.
9. Get your support team and process ready. There will probably be a lot of customers who don’t understand how the size of the product is measured, what the final discount looks like or if you really don’t have any more items on stock when you say “sold out”. Having a trained support team and a streamlined process will do nothing else than good to your sales volume.
10. State the sale period very clearly. People need to know when they can jump onto their laptops to order their fridge, their camera or their microwave with the special discount you were promising to them. One thing to expect is a high traffic to your site once the sale starts.
11. Announce your special offers early enough to gain awareness and to be sure customers are awaiting them eagerly. The bigger the buzz around your campaign, the higher the impact on your sales volume.
12. Get a mobile version of your website, if you don’t already have one. Mobile surfer numbers are increasing more and more – 63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online. Just make sure to first check how your site looks on mobile devices before running the sales.
13. Use the opportunity to do some cross-selling and some up-selling. If the customer just bought a photo camera, maybe they’ll also purchase a printer for those beautiful digital photos. If they wanted to buy a camera worth 500$, but it’s currently out of stock, maybe you could sell them a similar one with a slightly higher value of 550$.
While we are sure there are other things to that need to be considered when running a season sale, those are the ones that first rang a bell in our minds. Please share what other things you can do to prepare a business for promotional sales.
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