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Preparing Your Online Business For The Holiday Rush

Recent consumer data has forecasters predicting a rise in consumer shopping from 2012. As the holiday season approaches, ensure your online business can handle the uptick in traffic by restocking your inventory, rebooting your website and rethinking your default social media approach.

Organize Sales and Promotions before the Rush Begins

Analytics helps you come to a better understanding about when your customers shop. In turn, this can help you effectively use sales and promotions to target your largest shopping days and times. As you check past analytics, you may find that you had twice the normal traffic in the two weeks after Thanksgiving, followed by normal traffic until the week before the Christmas holidays when last-minute shoppers caused another spike. Running a promotion during your busy time can increase your ROI, lead to social shares and generate more revenue.

To organize your sales and promotions in advance, use a calendar. Schedule promotions and ancillary activities, such as email blasts and social updates, that go along with your promotions.

Ensure your Site can Handle Traffic Spikes

The right Web host can make a real difference to your holiday sales figures. If too much traffic takes your website down, you stand to miss out on holiday sales. Before the rush arrives, review your bandwidth and up your amount if need be. Higher bandwidth helps more customers explore your site without a slowdown in speed or downed website. If you expect a very high volume of traffic, a content delivery network can help by spreading out the load across several servers. If your present Web host goes down once a week, switching to a more reliable Web host can alleviate shoppers’ frustrations and increase your revenue.

At this time, review your website for potential problems, including dead links, outdated copy, poor navigation, lack of mobile website, a poor search tool and a poor shopping cart module. When users can easily find what they need, add items to their cart and pay for them, they’re less likely to abandon an online shopping cart.

Two-thirds of users would stop using a given website if pages would not load well on their smartphones. Less than one-third of users would then visit the brick and mortar store to purchase the item, and 20 percent would purchase the item from a competitor.

Use Social Media to Broaden your Influence

By actively promoting your products, services and specials on social media, you can broaden your influence and reach. Use a social media-scheduling tool to schedule daily messages that help your brand maintain top of mind awareness through the holidays. When you promote giveaways and discounts on social media, your friends will share the content and you’ll broaden your user base naturally. Shoppers also love to view and share images of new products and gift guides, so try devoting some of your social feed to these types of content.

During this time of year, consumers are looking for the perfect gift for friends and family. A little extra attention from you can increase your revenue.

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