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6 Mistakes to Avoid in Ecommerce During the Holiday Season

Ecommerce holiday mistakes could cost your store big time. 

In fact, in 2020, ecommerce accounted for 17.5% of total US holiday retail sales — a figure set to increase to nearly 19% by 2021.

If you want a piece of the retail sales momentum, it’s absolutely crucial to set your store up for success before the holiday season starts.

But with so much to do on your marketing plate as it is, it can be challenging to know where to focus your efforts first. 

Luckily for you, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you understand what ecommerce holiday mistakes to avoid and what to do instead. 

Ready to learn more? Let’s begin.

1. Having a poorly optimized website 

Not having a properly optimized website before the holiday season starts can be disastrous for your ecommerce business. 

Before November holidays begin, be sure to conduct a thorough site audit to make sure your site is equipped to handle heavier than usual traffic on peak shopping days. 

You’ll need to make sure your site loads quickly, can support heavy traffic flow, and is optimized for mobile devices. 

You’ll also need to make sure your visuals and graphics don’t drag your site speed down. Consider using vector graphics to speed up your site loading speed and reduce image file sizes. 

2. Grueling checkout flows

As technology continues to make online shopping more convenient, shoppers have become impatient with lengthy checkout flows. 

In other words, if a shopper has to jump through hoops and/or multiple pages to purchase an item, you can bet they’ll look for another store that makes checkout quick and easy. 

That’s why it’s crucial to optimize your checkout flows. The ideal checkout flow has 12-14 form elements, tops. Anything more than that is a hassle for customers and can lead to abandoned checkouts. 

3. Poorly optimized sales funnels 

If your sales funnels aren’t personalized to your individual audience segments, you may struggle to lead prospects to the appropriate sales channels. 

If you’re not a pro at optimizing funnels, consider using AI to boost sales during the holiday season. For instance, implementing lead scoring software can help you identify warm prospects so you can quickly nurture them to conversion. 

Lead scoring software allows you to make accurate predictions on cross-sells and upsells, so you can refine your sales funnel and optimize the entire sales process. 

4. Lackluster copywriting 

Audiences connect with brands through the words they use, so it’s pivotal to implement the right messaging approach when producing your sales and marketing copy.

Before the holidays begin, audit your landing pages, website pages, and ad campaigns so you can identify lackluster copywriting. 

Lackluster copywriting includes language that:

  • Isn’t tailored to your audience segments 
  • Is overly formal, vague, or unclear 
  • Doesn’t include answers to your audience’s key problems 
  • Doesn’t include a solution or a call to action to buy one of your products 

Next, work with a copywriter or a copywriting agency to plan your marketing and sales copy before the holidays begin. You can also use AI writing tools, such as paraphrase generators, to brainstorm ideas and support copywriting A/B tests.

Here are some other copywriting tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep your language short, sweet, simple, and to the point
  • Use language that helps your audience feel seen, heard, and understood 
  • Highlight a problem your audience is facing and how your product can help solve it
  • Use a personalized call to action 
  • Make it easier for prospects to say “yes” by including a deal, discount, or promo code 

5. Low inventory of best-selling items 

Your best sellers will be the star of the show during the holidays, so don’t forget to have enough inventory to supply customers with the products they’ll need, on time. 

For instance, if you own an ecommerce health brand like HIMS, and years of experience have shown you that online Rhino pills sales spike during the holiday season, you’ll need to be sure to stock up on that product before the holiday season hits.

You may also want to decrease or omit products from inventory that you know won’t sell during the holidays.

For instance, if you sell women’s fashion, and most of your customers live in New York, you may want to decrease or set aside swimwear products to make room for more important inventory, such as sweaters, coats, and scarves.

You might also consider brainstorming if there are ways to add holiday flair to your product offers. That might include holiday-themed sets, products, and/or promos. 

For instance, if you’re in skincare, you might offer a Peppermint Facial Pack, a Wintergreen Face Cream, and Dry Skin Care Sets your customers can use to get through the winter season. You might also offer promos like “holidayskin10” or “peppermintface20”, for example.

6. Email marketing is an afterthought 

If you’re too busy focusing on production and meeting consumer demand, you may forget to carve out time for promos. 

But planning your promos in advance is important if you want to grab hold of the ecommerce sales momentum before the holidays start. 

That’s why it’s essential to plan your email marketing campaigns in advance.

To plan your emails before the holidays begin, be sure to strategize email marketing sequences that are personalized for each audience segment. Be sure to have your discount codes, sales copy, and email marketing templates planned and ready to go so you can automate the process before the holiday season begins.  

You’ll also need to make sure you’re investing time to engage with your audience and continue to build your own tight-knit community on social media.

Wrap up 

Creating a strategic marketing plan before the holiday season starts is essential to giving your store the best chance at success. 

If you’re ready to position your store as the go-to shop for all things holiday, we hope this guide has given you the confidence you need to take the first step. 

Are you ready to make the most of this year’s holiday season?

Here’s a quick recap of the mistakes we shared today: 

  • 1. Having a poorly optimized website 
  • 2. Grueling checkout flows 
  • 3. Poorly optimized sales funnels 
  • 4. Lackluster copywriting 
  • 5. Low inventory of best-selling items 
  • 6. Email marketing is an afterthought 
  • 7. Lack of community engagement on social media 
  • 8. Lack of holiday themed sets, products, and promos 

And that’s it for today.

To your success! 

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Shane Barker

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, content marketing, and SEO. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Content Solutions, a digital marketing agency. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.

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