How We’re Preparing for the Holiday Rush

The holiday season occurs every year and yet for some reason it always seems to sneak up on us.  What gives?  It’s not a surprise that the Thanksgiving –> Christmas season is a blockbuster for retail sales numbers, but I end up feeling like we could have done more/better/sooner.

This year we have decided to focus our teams efforts on a number of key items.  In an effort to keep good records of our progress as a company and also share our ideas with the world, here is our ever-changing holiday hit list.

Holiday Themed Email Marketing

Great Email marketing is a key part of any eTailers strategy at all times of the year.  The holiday season gives us an opportunity to change up the look, feel, and messaging of our emails from what customers may be used to seeing most other weeks throughout the year.  For example, this year we’re going to be running a “12 Days of Christmas” promotion at Snuggle Bugz.  Quite excited to see the community reaction on some of the cool/fun stuff going on with this great retailer/eTailer.

Reacting Quickly to Analytics

This one should go without mention, but I like to remind both our team and partner merchants that just because not much is changing on the site during the holidays it doesn’t mean we can ignore what our visitors/customers are doing on a day to day basis.  Be prepared to make changes based on next-day data that you gather.  The American Thanksgiving weekend is a huge shopping time, but I also like to think of it as a bit of a “dry run” for the Christmas run up.  See what’s working and what’s not and make changes quickly.

Better Gift Card Integration

This was also a big one for us and SnuggleBugz.ca this year.  We put a lot of effort into getting their physical retail gift card system integrated into their Magento gift card system.  Is your gift card process seamless between online/offline?

Merchandising Focus on Gift Items

Always remind shoppers which of your wares make the best gifts.  Not everyone out there is that family member who always buys the perfect gift.  We can all use a little help here and there, especially with those hard to buy for people…you know, the ones who seem impossible to please!

Have Fun

We experience the same anxiety that many of our merchants do during this time of year.  We tend to be right there alongside them (especially with our partner merchants).  Try and remember that it’s also the holiday season for you and your team as well.  I believe that the more fun you have internally the more your team will pass that positive ju-ju out to your customers.

There is lots of FUD in the media these days and it’s really easy to get wound up over the importance of this season on retailer bottom lines.  Try and remember this.  We work in an exciting (and growing) industry.  It’s also a ton of fun!