Holiday Shopping and Your Online Store:

Holiday shopping is ramping up. Customers are looking for the perfect gifts for special people in their lives, often willing to go beyond normal shopping tendencies to celebrate together. In the world of eCommerce, there are a variety of aspects to consider to meet the needs of your customers. At first, you may think of factors like inventory and shipping. You have to have goods to sell and they need to arrive on time. But going further into the subject of eCommerce, here are some additional ways to help bolster your website and respond to customer online shopping needs.

1. High quality visual content for your products: Online shopping is supported by incredible pictures and videos of your products in action. Having several high quality images will showcase your product’s features and will be appealing to your customers. One effective trend in web design is to provide product demo videos in addition to photographs. These product demo videos are often a couple seconds long without audio, up to a few minutes in length and have accompanying explanations. A simple demonstration video can help engage your customers, and aid shopping decisions. During the holiday season though, you can take this a step further and use images that show your products in a holiday setting or background. This creates vision for your customers and it becomes obvious to see how your products would look in their own space. By appealing to a festive aesthetic, your customers are more likely to make a purchase.

2. Stock management: Keeping your inventory up to date will not only save your customers time and frustration, but also allow your team to know what you have onhand. Your online store will ideally sync up to your website and help manage stock quantities with helpful automation features. For example, if you only have one item left, the website should only allow a user to place one into their cart, but not two. Furthermore, when an item is out of stock, new messaging should display automatically, and that product can no longer be added to a cart. With stock management, knowing what you have available can make all the difference in being able to make the sale. In thinking about stock management woes, carefully consider opportunities to help your team be empowered to thrive in their roles.

3. Consider alternative delivery methods: Local delivery or curbside pickup may be effective services for your business to offer. This could be appealing for last minute shoppers, especially during the immediate days leading up to certain holidays. Consider partnering with third party delivery services as well. Depending on your business, and especially if you sell consumable goods, offering local delivery may provide a much needed service for local and last minute shoppers.

4. Streamline returns: Making sure your returns process is streamlined and straightforward will help save your customers and team valuable time and frustration. Make sure your policies and requirements for returns are stated several times on your website. The checkout process, confirmation emails and site policies are good places to consider. After the holiday rush, the return experience is a fantastic place to let your customer service shine.

Before thinking of the many ways you can streamline your online store by yourself, you could also ask your team members for input and ideas on how to improve your process. While many Content Management Systems like Drupal or Wordpress have eCommerce features in common, your workflows and business identity are unique. Bottomline is that your eCommerce website can help solve problems and empower you and your team to serve your customers well. How about we brainstorm together and tailor some solutions unique to your business.

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