How to make sure your e-commerce store thrives this Christmas

Christmas is most often the most profitable time of year for e-commerce stores, but it can also be one of the most stressful. To ensure your e-commerce store capitalises on the opportunity and thrives during the festive season, we will look at 5 top tips to help boost sales, increase brand awareness, and improve customer satisfaction.

Plan early

We know it feels like Christmas is still a while away yet but planning for the festive season well in advance is the key to success for e-commerce stores.

Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure you’ve got your inventory, marketing, and seasonal hires in place. For the best results and to ensure you e-commerce store thrives this Christmas, start planning your Christmas selling strategy in advance.

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Research shows that consumers begin their Christmas shopping as early as August! So, it is important your store is prepared to maximise sales.

Inventory management

It is also important that you have enough stock to meet the demand of consumers during the Christmas season. Consider searching the current trends and researching historical data to get a good idea of the products and services consumers will be looking for, and plan ahead to make sure you are capable of managing a festive surge in sales.

Make sure to do this with plenty of time! You don’t want to be left without stock due to increased demand and supply chain issues.

Effectively managing your inventory ensures your store is attractive to festive shoppers and that you don’t miss out on sales due to bad inventory management.

Stock up on popular products, work with logistics and shipping partners you know are reliable and able to promise timely deliveries, and make sure your online store is in tip top condition and running smoothly and efficiently so buyers can find what they want, when they need it.

Streamline your order processing and keep customers in the loop with order delivery updates to help maintain a sense of reliability and transparency. The key to a excellent customer experience is involving them in the process, keeping them updated at every stage from placing the order to expected shipping time and delivery notifications.

Social media promotion

Social media promotion is a great (and free) way of promoting your store online. Online, you can promote your holiday products, competitions, and engage with your audience.

Planning ahead and creating a well-researched festive marketing strategy can help save you time and resources further down the line. Consider using holiday themed visuals and relevant hashtags to attract a wider audience, boost brand awareness, and engage new customers. Encourage user-generated content with giveaways or contests, and utilise targeted ads to reach your idea target audience with personalised promotions.

Take advantage of online tools such as social media to stay at the forefront of your audiences mind this Christmas and communicate with them on a personal level. Engage with your audience and share behind-the-scenes sneak peeks as you build up to the holiday season, actively respond to comments or messages, and look for opportunities to create a sense of community with your audience.

Shipping and returns

It may pay off to extend your standard returns window at Christmas to drive sales and increase customer satisfaction.

By doing so, you provide shoppers peace of mind when doing their shopping online that they can return their items after 25th December with no issues. This particularly benefits organised shoppers who begin buying gifts in advance of December.

Providing customers with plenty of time to return their gifts is necessary, you will increase overall customer satisfaction and encourage return purchases from your store.

If the worst happens and orders go missing or your customers are left unsatisfied thanks to slow processing and shipping, make sure you have contingency plans in place and a quick turnaround to resolve customer issues and concerns. It may be beneficial to outsource customer service enquiries to a virtual assistant to help you keep on top of questions and queries.

The power of word and mouth recommendations should never be overlooked, and satisfied customers are sure to pass on a good word about your business.

Ask for feedback

You may also find it beneficial to collect feedback from customers about their previous holiday shopping experiences. You can then use this information to improve the next year to meet shopper expectations and increase conversions.

It may also be a good idea to ask about consumer shopping habits to get a better understanding of consumer shopping behaviour trends. This can help you to expand your customer base, keep loyal customers, and ultimately, thrive this holiday season.

After all, e-commerce customer shopping behaviours and trends are always changing. Asking for customer feedback is an effective way of improving your product range and the shopping experience.

Why choose Unicorn Accounting?

At Unicorn Accounting we are e-commerce accountants who help make your online business a growing success. We offer e-commerce accounting advice, financial management, bookkeeping, cash flow statement, and tax filing services to support and scale your business.

Our team of accountants and Xero-certified advisors have experience working with both small start-ups and family-run online stores to large-scale, international retail and e-commerce brands.

If you’ve got an online store, we have the best solution for you. Providing you with a financial arm to your business through our sector experience, and skills with innovative technologies. To see how we can help you maximise the scalability of your e-commerce brand all year round, get in touch with Unicorn Accounting today.

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