Holiday Tips 2018

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Last-minute Ideas to Increase Sales Over The Holidays

October 20, 2018 - 9 Comments

Lots of posts about eCommerce over the holidays encourage you to get started early. We’ve published a number of these ourselves!

But the good news is it’s never too late to set up a sale, discount, or deal in your store. As long as the holidays are still happening, you can take a few minutes to get in on the holiday action.

Try these last-minute holiday sale ideas now, next month, or the next time a holiday rolls around.

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How to Prepare for Post-holiday Returns

October 19, 2018 - 8 Comments

Once the holidays are over, you can breathe a long sigh of relief. Things can finally settle down and go back to normal, right?

Well… not exactly. With projected record-setting holiday sales come record-breaking returns in January and February. This past year, UPS alone expected to process 6 million returns in the week after Christmas.

After the holidays end, your top priority needs to be satisfying the customers who have ill-fitting, unsuitable, or defective merchandise that they’d like to send back to you. An estimated 25 to 30 percent of online purchases are sent back! This means you have to have a plan to handle post-holiday returns — and handle them so well that these gift recipients turn into bonafide customers.

Let’s take a look at how you can handle these returns and exchanges smoothly. We’ll start with what you can do now, before the season starts, to get your website ready. Then we’ll look at how to properly handle returns and unhappy giftees.

Ready? Let’s get a move on.

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6 Tips to Optimize Your Store for The Holidays

October 18, 2018 - 7 Comments

Retailers acquire between 29% and 59% more customers during the holiday period, making the season make-or-break for you or your client’s year.

The first thing you have to ask yourself is this: can your site handle the increase in traffic? As an on-demand WooExpert, we have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, when it comes to optimized sites, and we want to help you avoid the latter two.

There is no simple cure-all solution, but we’ve assembled a list of 6 proactive improvements you can make to your store right now. The more people that hit your site, the more noticeable the effect of these optimizations will be.

Let’s get started.

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How Post-purchase Holiday Emails Can Drive Sales

October 18, 2018 - 6 Comments

When it comes to online shopping, the holiday season reigns supreme. Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and general Christmas shopping, more people are going online to buy gifts for their friends and family. In fact, last holiday season, online shopping generated a record-setting $108.2 billion in revenue—almost a 15% increase from the 2016 holiday season.

In fact, last holiday season, online shopping generated a record-setting $108.2 billion in revenue—almost a 15% increase from the 2016 holiday season.
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Due to the overwhelming popularity of online shopping, you’d think running an eCommerce site was pretty easy, right? After all, nobody wants to deal with crowded malls and holiday traffic when they can order from the comfort of their own home.

But as the store owner, your job extends beyond helping the customer during their shopping journey. A large portion of your work should be spent not just attracting new customers, but also creating marketing and engagement campaigns that strengthen relationships with existing ones. And one of the best ways to boost retention rates is through post-purchase email marketing.

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How to Handle Common Holiday Shipping Issues

October 17, 2018 - 2 Comments

If you run an online store, shipping is the one area where everything you do becomes tangible to your customer. At no time is this more critical to a positive customer experience than the holidays, when the product your customer is touching is likely to be a gift from a friend or family member.

But there are obstacles. If you don’t prepare, you can ruin someone’s holiday with a late or damaged shipment. Holidays offer opportunities to build your brand, increase customer loyalty, and acquire new customers…but they also offer benefits that will improve your bottom line.

The best way to ensure your business’s success is to learn how to prepare for some of the most common holiday shipping issues. In this post, we’ll cover how you can get ready for everything from lost shipments to weather delays to the general rush caused by an increase in packages.

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Holiday Support Tips for eCommerce Stores

October 16, 2018 - 5 Comments

Customer service during the holidays is both an immense challenge and a huge opportunity. Retailers who deliver consistent, high quality service to their holiday customers can turn once-off purchasers into loyal return customers.

Here’s how to set your team up for holiday support success.

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How Live Chat Can Help Drive Conversions During The Holidays

October 14, 2018 - 7 Comments

Can you smell gingerbread, cinnamon, and pine? Or fruity fragrance of mulled wine?

While it might be a little early for these Christmas scents, the holiday shopping season in retail is already underway with eager shoppers getting started as early as September.

Last year’s online sales over the holidays hit a new record: In 2017, customers spent $108 billion online during the holiday season, which was 14.7% more than in 2016.

If you’re running an online store, here are some tips on how to make the most of increased holiday traffic with live chat.

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8 Steps for Planning Your Social Media Holiday Campaign

October 14, 2018 - 2 Comments

The holiday shopping season is a busy time for consumers, with a lot of eyeballs staring at computers and phones, researching gifts, and looking for the best deals online.

Even with increased competition and decreased organic reach, social media is still key for getting the attention of your potential customers. But, without a solid plan, success may pass your company by.

Here are eight steps for planning a holiday campaign across your social media channels, so that by the time the holidays arrive you can kick your feet back and enjoy a little more time with family.

Get ready to flex your creative genius!

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Win the Holiday Season with These Four Marketing Tips

October 12, 2018 - 10 Comments

Another holiday season is right around the corner, and we know that it can be easy to start feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the things you’ll need to do in the coming months. (Plan festive meals! Wrap gifts! Make a resolution! Keep your resolution!)

But if you sell stuff online—and you’ve connected your WooCommerce store to Mailchimp—you can rest easy knowing that you’ve already got the tools you need to sync your customer data, send targeted campaigns, and sell more stuff all season long.

Today, we’re going to share four tips that will help you take advantage of all these powerful tools and make the most of your marketing throughout this holiday season. Let’s get right to it!

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7 Email Marketing Tips for the Holidays

October 12, 2018 - 5 Comments

The sound that notifies that a customer has placed an order at your online store, is the sound that every store owner wishes to hear more and more. And with the holiday season already in, this is nonetheless most profitable (and busiest) quarter of the year for everyone who dabbles in online retail and eCommerce.

Fig. As per a finding from Statista, the holiday retail sales value during November and December 2017 alone was $72.3 billion
Fig. As per a finding from Statista, the holiday retail sales value during November and December 2017 alone was $72.3 billion

Be it the store owners or marketers dabbling in eCommerce, the preparations for holiday season begins early. Right from stocking the inventory to updating the products in store to setting lucrative offers to lure newcomers; and appreciating existing customers to making sure they are reaching out to the correct audience. This is done almost a month early to accommodate the huge inflow of visitors and shoppers.

With email marketing boasting of 81% customer acquisition capability compared to other marketing channels, it is undeniably the best way to harness this holiday season – to reach your audience while taking care to boost your overall ROI. Yet holiday email marketing is altogether a different ball game compared to email marketing rest of the year.

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How to Set Up WooCommerce Subscription Gifting

October 11, 2018 - 8 Comments

Subscriptions can be a fantastic gift option, and with the new WooCommerce Subscriptions Gifting a customer can easily share their love for your store with their friends and family this holiday season.

My parents are both in their eighties and are notoriously hard to buy presents for. Giving them anything remotely technological results in a Christmas Day filled with exclamations of ‘How do you turn it on again?’ or ‘What! What! It’s broken!’ So most years Mum just gets her normal gardening gear and Dad gets a bottle of gin; they each have their own interests 😉

However, one year I won the ‘best gift’ award.

Historic houses are my parents’ one joint love. While my budget is yet to stretch to buying them the real Downton Abbey, a monthly subscription to the organization that runs sites of interest in the UK, the National Trust, was within reach. So my parents could go any time and visit as many places as they wished. They loved it.

I felt pretty smug with my inspired gift idea back then, but now a subscription is a unique gift that any online store can provide – for any person, of any age.

It is a great way to stand out in the busy holiday market and give customers a chance to give something a little bit special. Also, the investment you made in getting your customers to go to your store for their holiday shopping pays dividends throughout the year. You have the chance to create the on-going relationship a subscription gets, so both you, the customer and the recipient continue to benefit, long after the heartburn from holiday overindulgence has faded. A subscription may not necessarily be for life – but it is not just for a moment either!

So WooCommerce Subscriptions allows you to create a holiday gift that lasts all year, and with WooCommerce Subscriptions Gifting it’s now possible for one person to buy a subscription product for somebody else.

Customers can choose to purchase subscriptions for others by entering the recipient’s email on the product page, cart, or checkout.

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Everything You Should Know about WooCommerce Gift Guides

October 10, 2018 - 3 Comments

I love to give people gifts. There’s something so cool about finding the perfect item for someone based on an offhand comment, something you noticed, or something they didn’t realize they needed. But… finding a great gift is hard when you don’t have the perfect idea ready to go. I find giving gifts toughest to do around the holidays because I’m looking for gifts for a lot of people at once.

At this time of year, I want help to generate ideas. I’ll often know of a store that my gift recipient likes, but I might not have a particular item in mind. I find gift guides extremely useful in this situation — I’ll visit a store, see that they have “Gifts for brothers”, “Gifts for moms”, or similar, and check out a few guides to find something my recipient will like.

Gift guides are a really useful tool for new customers and can be key to encouraging that first order from a customer. Once someone has purchased once, you’re in a better position to market to them and encourage them to come back after the holidays — repeat customers have a 27% chance of returning, so gift guides are worth the initial investment to start a relationship with a customer.

For returning customers, gift guides also have value. They help focus customer attention on specific items and help existing customers who are already loyal to your shop find the perfect item even when they don’t have something specific in mind.

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How Bundled Products Can Boost Your Holiday Sales

October 9, 2018 - 6 Comments

There are plenty of things you can do to bump up your earning potential, but quite a few of them involve adding new products or bringing in more inventory. What we’re going to look at today will allow you to earn more with simple “packaging” changes to the products you already have.

Let’s dive into how you can set up and promote product bundles this holiday season, and a few ways that you can ensure they help you make more money.

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Running Sales and Holiday Promotions Without Deep Discounts

October 7, 2018 - 8 Comments

If you’re considering running a promotion over the holidays, have you stopped to work out if you can actually afford it?

It’s the right question to ask upfront because not every online store operates with profit margins that allow for discounts (let alone deep ones of 50% or more). Plus: setting up and running a promotion takes time, which is something new store owners don’t have in handfuls.

The good news is you don’t have to offer a discount to stand out during the holidays. You could do something as simple as offering free shipping or as little as a few dollars off (if certain order criteria are met).

Running Sales and Holiday Promotions Without Deep Discounts

We’ve picked four of tried and tested alternatives to deep discounts for sprucing up the holidays.

Before we dive in: let’s explore the question of whether you can afford to offer a discount in the first place.

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SEO Tips for The Holidays: How to Optimize Your Store

October 6, 2018 - 8 Comments

If you have an online shop, it’s time to start thinking about the holiday season. It’s never early enough to start planning for the most wonderful time of the year, right?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up soon. While ranking in Google isn’t something you can do overnight, with a few weeks still to go there is time enough to make some search engine optimization (SEO) related improvements and strategic changes.

Let’s explore what you can do right now when it comes to SEO tips for the holidays, namely: setting up new pages and renewing old ones.

Holiday tips for SEO, image used with permission from Yoast

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Helpful Tips for Holiday Landing Pages

October 5, 2018 - 8 Comments

Over busy seasons when attention spans are limited and competition is rife, smart optimization of your store’s landing pages is a way to give your store an edge.

If a shopper has two seconds to choose between a store with a busy homepage and another with a targeted page that speaks exactly to their needs, well, that single page might make all the difference.

In this post, we’ll take a look at what landing pages are, how to optimize them for holiday shoppers, and explore a few new pages you might need to convert more of those clicks into solid sales.

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