In all the productivity and preparation for the holiday season, some important elements of your business can be overlooked. Over in WooCommerce.com Happiness, we identified four focal areas — two physical, two technical — that can sometimes cause a few bumps in the road, and put a checklist together to keep you covered.
October 25, 2018 - 17 Comments
October 20, 2018 - 27 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.
October 19, 2018 - 20 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.
October 18, 2018 - 17 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.
October 18, 2018 - 11 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.
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.
October 17, 2018 - 13 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.
October 16, 2018 - 10 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.
October 14, 2018 - 13 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.
October 12, 2018 - 13 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.
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.
October 11, 2018 - 14 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.
October 9, 2018 - 10 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.
October 7, 2018 - 14 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).
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.
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.
October 5, 2018 - 10 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.
October 4, 2018 - 9 Comments
The holiday season is many things. For eCommerce businesses, it’s a golden opportunity to drive more sales as people search online for gifts and everything they need to celebrate the holidays.
Of course, holidays happen all year around depending on where you’re based! But November and December are typically a time of increased traffic and sales opportunities worldwide – and you’ll want to make the most of it.
Here’s how to make your WooCommerce store stand out online during the holiday season.
October 2, 2018 - 12 Comments
For eCommerce sites, the holidays come around quickly. It may feel a way off, but significant changes to your site can take a while to implement and sign off.
If you want to get the most out of your holiday period, now is the time to make changes to ensure the stability of your WooCommerce site.
What’s more – you want to make sales! Now is your last chance to improve your conversion rate before the holidays hit. Finally, a lot of your annual revenue may rest on this time of year. You need to know what to do if it all goes wrong.
Here’s our advice for how to be fully prepared for the festive season.