How to crush the 2018 ecommerce holiday season

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If you have an ecommerce small business, then you’re probably already preparing for the 2018 holiday season. According to a forecast from Deloitte, U.S. shoppers could spend as much as $134 billion online this holiday season, an increase of almost 22% over 2017 sales. While many of these sales come from big box retailers, the holiday season is also a significant revenue generator for small businesses.

For many e-commerce entrepreneurs, the holiday season can feel overwhelming. That’s why, this month, we’ll be publishing a series of guides to help you maximize the season and get ready for continued success in 2019. Reaping the financial rewards of holiday sales and avoiding any operational pitfalls does take some work, but these tips will help you get (and stay) on the right track.

Get ready for a successful ecommerce holiday season in 5 steps

1. Don’t miss out on these important dates

Set up your marketing calendar and get ready to make the most of these sales opportunities:

  • Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving
  • Small Business Saturday — the first Saturday after Thanksgiving
  • Cyber Monday — the first Monday after Thanksgiving
  • Giving Tuesday — the day after Cyber Monday
  • Cyber Week — the entire week following Thanksgiving
  • Green Monday — the second Monday in December
  • Free Shipping Day — December 14

    2. Think critically about your shipping rates and processes

    According to a study by the National Retail Federation, 47% of consumers will back out of a purchase if free shipping isn’t offered while 51% will purchase additional items to meet a free shipping minimum.

    3. Make the most of social media

    Update your footprint on social media channels, and take advantage the opportunity to sell products directly within your customers’ social media feeds with Facebook Shops Shopping on Instagram, and Buyable Pins. Don’t forget to encourage customers to share and refer their friends.

    4. Create an effortless shopping experience

    Create mobile-optimized shopping experiences and eliminate any friction points from the shopping experience by offering easy, fast checkout. Find a payment gateway (such as Shopify, Square, or Stripe) that offers customer-friendly payment and checkout solutions.

    5. Engage with your customers

    Set up email drip campaigns to ensure your promotions reach the inboxes of your best customers.

How to create lifetime customers

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The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to grab your customers’ attention, create a great experience for them, and ensure they become loyal repeat customers. To do this, you must stand out from the crowd. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself this: “What are they looking for? Are they looking for a great deal, a unique product, an experience, an opportunity to support a cause with their dollars, or all of the above?” Give them what they want, and you’ll keep them coming back in 2019.

Here are a few strategies that can give you an edge on the competition:

  1. Highlight your mission or your positive social impact. Millennials, in particular, are drawn to companies that have a positive impact on the world.

  2. Offer unique, customized products.

  3. Attract customers by creating compelling, engaging content and experiences: blog posts, videos, events, pop-up shops, and the like.

  4. Define your ideal customer, and then market to them. Don’t waste money promoting to people who are never going to buy your product. Instead, understand your customers and how your product fits into their needs.

  5. Make sure the “post purchase” experience (delivery, customer support, and if necessary, returns) is just as smooth as purchasing.


Hi there! This post exists to offer you (hopefully) useful information but it cannot take the place of personalized professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert if you have questions about your business. Also, Azlo doesn’t endorse any third-party sites that are linked here.


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