eCommerce is the single best option when it comes to holiday shopping. Customers can skip the stress and the crowds of shopping in person, instead finding all the gifts and holiday supplies they need by leisurely scrolling through online stores. Of course, this means that from early planners to last-minute shoppers, eCommerce brands tend to experience an incredible holiday rush.
While good for your bottom line, the holiday rush also requires a monumental effort in logistics and customer service. Not running out of stock, providing fast shipping, and meeting customer’s needs for flexible shopping requires planning and preparation. You can learn everything you need to prepare your brand for the holiday rush in our interactive 2023 Ultimate eCommerce Holiday eBook.
Let’s dive into a few important tips to get you started.
Sharpen Your Cyber Security
The holidays are a smorgasbord for hackers. Everyone is sharing their shipping and payment addresses online. Stealing data from even a small eCommerce brand can result in tons of sensitive information. For those out to do harm, a simple DDOS could cost any brand thousands of dollars in just a short span of downtime.
Now is a vital time to sharpen your cybersecurity. Work with your IT team and hosting providers to ensure that your data is encrypted and securely handled, that your stack is penetration-tested, and your servers are DDOS-protected. Be sure to take regular backups so you can recover quickly in case of malware or corrupted data during the rush.
Get Marketing & Take Control of the Rush
Get ahead of your shopping trends by starting advertising early. Let your customers know what is on sale, how to take advantage of holiday deals, and what cool shipping options you have available through your shipping partners. (Note: Now is a good time to make special deals with multiple shipping partners).
Not only will you increase visibility and traffic through holiday marketing, you can also shape the shopping choices of your customers and make it easier to prepare for the most in-demand items, bundles, and shipping schedules.
Stock Up On Holiday Inventory
Speaking of preparing for in-demand items, stock up. Make sure you don’t run out of inventory by planning ahead. You can even rent additional storage space and partner with fulfilment centers to ensure packages get out on time without any “sold out” disappointments. Increase your restock threshold so you restock before high-demand items run out. You can also use this year’s trend data and previous years’ holiday data to predict what will sell most rapidly.
Prepare Robust Ordering and Inventory Management
Be prepared to take a monumental number of orders. Use custom software for order and inventory management that keeps your entire team on the same page and aligned with how stock is presented on the website. Order tracking is essential using either RFID tags or easily scanned bar codes. Customers love to track their packages, especially during the holiday countdown to ensure gifts arrive on time. The better you manage orders both inside and outside the warehouse, the happier your team and customers will be.
Improve Your Returns Handling
Lastly, be prepared to handle returns. The holidays are chock full of returns both before and after gift-giving events. Make sure your returns process is mostly automated and actively managed. Handling returns well is a great way to turn unhappy customers into glowing positive reviews for “saving” holidays with speedy, responsive, and kindly replacements or refunds.
Provide things like readily available shopping labels, drop-off locations, and quick replacement services. Partner with shipping services that let customers schedule returns pick-ups, and you will have truly happy customers.
Learn More in Our eCommerce Holiday eBook
If your eCommerce brand is preparing for the holiday rush, make sure to cover all of your bases.
You can check out best practices and professional tips in the new and improved, interactive 2023 Ultimate eCommerce Holiday eBook by Freestyle Solutions.