Wednesday, November 25, 2020


 By Naomi Shaw

Photo courtesy of Naomi Shaw

With the holidays swiftly approaching, the key to making the most of the end of the year rush is early planning. Both early birds and procrastinators will be heavily relying on online shopping this year amidst COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions. You may be wondering what you can do to prepare this year in particular. Here are a few ways to minimize holiday stress by planning your e-commerce strategy early.

Enhance Your Promotional Strategy

When it comes to covering all your bases over the holidays, early planning is the best thing you can do. Every retailer will be vying for customers’ attention by boasting big sales, especially over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. One way to stand out is with creative incentives and offering some holiday perks that go beyond monetary deals. Go above and beyond to create a positive purchasing experience when it comes to your marketing strategy. Offering gift-wrapping or holiday gift cards, raffles, and even branded holiday materials can add a bit of appreciated festivity to the season.

Prioritize Customer Service

The holiday season is one of the most important times of the year to be vigilant about offering top-notch customer service. If you have the means, using direct response marketing or implementing a customer service call center or live chat will build loyalty with your customers. As a result of the pandemic, many e-commerce sites have been heavily relaxing their return requirements to ease the stress of purchasing online. That is not always applicable to every business or service, but it is important to be as transparent with customers as possible. Thoroughly detail return policies and extensions so there is as little pushback as possible. Do your best to create a positive purchasing experience that your customers will remember in the new year.

Optimize Your Website

Websites will be overloaded this season, so make sure any improvements you have planned are running as smoothly as possible before early bird shoppers arrive. If you are aware of any bugs, get those taken care of as soon as possible. This is a great opportunity to get a fresh set of eyes on the functionality of the site. If you are not already mobile-friendly, make sure people on the go can access important information easily and quickly. Reduce cart abandonment by implementing some time-saving automatic emails and capture new audiences by retargeting consumers that have demonstrated interest.

Don’t be afraid to ask your customers or employees for feedback. Is the website clean and easy to navigate? Are customers able to find your best sellers and special promotions? Does checkout operate smoothly? Clarify all new holiday rules and operating hours and ensure contact information is available and accurate.

Photo courtesy of Naomi Shaw

Boost Employee Morale

Depending on where your business is located, you may be open through the holidays, which means your employees are willing and able to work during an extra stressful season. You will be surprised how significantly some of the smallest gestures can boost employee morale. While the company Christmas party may be off the table this season, you can reach out and get input on what your staff would enjoy. Be sure to be inclusive about decor and holiday announcements as not everyone’s holiday experience includes a Christmas tree. Matching charitable donations, hosting a friendly competition, or virtual happy hours are a great way of showing appreciation for your employers this year while following social distancing.

The holidays are one of the best times to reach out to new customers and boost your profit margins. However hectic they may get, you will be grateful for any added preparation. Amid a pandemic, it is even more apparent that everything is a learning process and improvement is always possible. Don't forget to take note of your mistakes and successes this year for future planning.


Bonus Tip:

Promote your products and online business with coupon sites like, It's an easy and effective marketing tactic to get your business noticed and  as a result  make more sales!

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