While it may be the most wonderful time of the year, too many online retailers and businesses are left grappling over the demand of the holiday rush. As more people are taking their holiday shopping online, businesses and retailers must be prepared to handle the scramble that comes with online purchasing. Within our own industry, jewelry purchases spike as family members and partners realise that jewelry is the perfect sentiment and gift to give. On that note, knowing the holiday rush is a particularly stressful time for us, we take fundamental precautions to make sure that December runs as smooth as possible.
Here are my five tips to make sure you're online store and business is ready for the Small Business Saturday and the Holiday Rush:
5. Don't waste time (or money) on shipping. Streamline this as much as possible by making sure postage is organised. Also get help through other online services. We use Shippo and integrated it right into our Weebly site which helps get the cheapest shipping rates and services for customers around the world. It will also automatically print out shipping labels for you as soon as an order comes in. Time saved for you, money saved for your customer.
4. Bundle up! Not with a coat, but with products. Incentives are key during the holidays in a crowded consumer market. We like to offer three for two bangles so people have that extra gift for someone special, or perhaps just a little token to keep for themselves during the shopping madness. No judgement there!
3. Extend Return Times. Give people time to not only receive the gift under the tree, but time to return or exchange it if they want. During the holidays we always have a 28 day return policy, which is double our usual time frame. This leads to happy customers who want to continue to shop on your site!
2. Gift Wrap (if you dare). It's a great personalised touch that can help set your small business apart from the crowd. Most of our sales in December are gifts, and we want the person receiving it to feel like they are getting something extra special. Keep it low cost with gold foiled tissue, twine and personalised stamp. But only take this on if you've got the extra time.
1. Give Your Website a Christmas Makeover! The best thing about managing your own digital storefront is that you can make minor or major changes at any time and pretty easily. I love to make updates on my phone during my commute to work. A few twinkle lights or personalised Christmas greeting from the creators can remind people they are getting a custom, unique gift all while supporting a small business here in London. Happy Christmas to that!
With these five tips, any online business can be ready for any curve thrown their way this holiday season!
By Rosie Parks, Co-Founder of Whistle and Bango