Preparing for the next few months is vital for managing the craziness and seizing the opportunity provided by holiday ecommerce.

The shopping done during the holiday season can affect a company’s entire year. During the holiday season, companies see 150% more direct traffic and 60% higher conversions than during the rest of the year.

Consider adding the following steps to your ecommerce marketing plan to ensure more customers, more purchases, and more revenue this holiday season – and beyond.

1. Replace ad copy to address specific and general holiday keywords

An adjustment to your keyword focus can make all the difference during the holiday season. Include keywords and copy that will appeal to shoppers buying for specific holidays, as well as the holiday season in general.

Consider the reasons that shoppers will be looking for your products. Framing products as “great stocking stuffers,” “techie gifts,” or “perfect for mom” will help people connect your items with a specific need on their shopping list.

Once your copy for the holiday season has been created, release it at higher rates than you do during the rest of the year. Competing companies will bump up their spending as well, so failing to take this step could leave you invisible to potential customers online.

2. Plan your holiday events or promotions

If you fail to impress potential customers and celebrate loyal ones, your business will get lost in the holiday madness. Special promotions and events, such as Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Green Tuesday, keep buyers engaged.

But go beyond the basics. Look back at your previous holiday seasons and consider the buyer’s journey. When are your buyers browsing for different products? When are they getting serious about making purchases? What holidays are they shopping for?

The answers to these questions will help you plan out your promotions to match customer needs.

3. Create a shipping calendar

The timing of your products’ arrival matters more during the holiday season than any other time of year. Consumers may opt for brick-and-mortar shopping if they are concerned their shipment won’t arrive in time.

Make it easy for them to confirm when it will arrive. Prepare a calendar that shows them the last day to order for arrival by Christmas using different shipping methods.

Free shipping is a major draw year-round, and many businesses go a step further during the holiday season to offer free expedited shipping. If you offer any of these benefits, be sure that’s clear in your shipping calendar as well.

4. Refresh your contact information and contact lists

Take the time before the holidays to address any potential issues with your site, particularly when it comes to customer service and connecting with you.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Can visitors easily find your contact information on every page of your website?
  • Does each page of your site have an area where they can sign up for a newsletter or other promotional materials?
  • If you place your products on different online marketplaces, is your contact information and opportunities to sign up for marketing materials available on these platforms as well?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, it’s time for an update.

5. Review past results and see what you can learn

Look at your performance during the last holiday season. What can you learn from your failures and successes? What adjustments can you make to this year’s plan? What should you keep the same?

But don’t stop there. Delve into this year’s performance so far. Can you spot any trends or issues that you may not have encountered last year? No two holiday seasons are alike, so consider how you can be prepared for changes.

Start Holiday Preparations Now

As soon as summer draws to a close, many retail businesses begin to put their holiday season plans into action. Do not fall behind.

Customers are already used to holiday promotions being released earlier in the year. In fact, about 80% will start shopping before Thanksgiving.

If you are still in the planning stages of creating your holiday social, e-mail, or other campaigns, make sure you are implementing them as soon as possible. The earlier you develop and set forth your holiday plan, the more prepared you will be for the increased traffic and revenue that follows.