4 Strategies to Prepare Your eCommerce Store for the 2012 Holiday Season
Over the last decade eBridge Connections has watched eCommerce solutions continuously grow in popularity as an integration platform. This eCommerce growth isn’t strictly an eBridge situation, it’s a trend that has been occuring throughout B2B and B2C industries as well. And the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. According to eMarketer, online shopping will increase by 17% this holiday season in the US. Many eCommerce merchants are currently preparing their stock and their webstores for the holiday season so here are some valuable tips eCommerce merchants use to prepare themselves for the holiday rush:
1. PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
With the increase in online sales comes an increase in competition. The online market is becoming more and more saturated so online merchants need to find effective and creative ways to reach their target audience. Many merchants turn to PPC options to reach their target market. eCommerce sites can choose specific keywords for their product sets or their competitive advantage which will hopefully bring more traffic to their site.
A research site called spyfu.com makes it possible for you to see if your PPC keywords are similar to your competitors. Using sites like spyfu.com or other SEO tools can really leverage your company’s PPC efforts.
2. Comparison Shopping
Even though there are many customers out there that are brand loyal and would only shop at certain webstores, there are also many customers that are looking for the best deal possible, especially around the holiday season. ‘Understanding Comparison Shopping Engines‘ is a great article about comparison shopping which has many valuable insights for eCommerce businesses.
One of the most popular free comparison shopping sites is Google’s ‘Google Product Search‘. It’s popularity arises from it’s push from webstores for ‘real time’ pricing and product availability. Google Product Search downgrades products that don’t display accurate information making it a very trusted site by its users.
3. Mobile Commerce
Mobile Commerce is another increasingly popular online payment tool. With the number of smartphone users growing and smartphones becoming more innovative and secure, mobile commerce will see continued growth in the future. PayPal grew its mobile payments from $141 million to $4 billion from 2009-2011.
eCommerce users need to ensure their websites are mobile friendly to ensure they don’t lose out on potential mobile customers.
4. Accounting Package Integration
This holiday season if you integrate your eCommerce webcart with your accounting package you will feel a lot less stressed, you will receive fewer headaches and you will have more time to enjoy your holiday season. (*Not Scientifically Proven* but true nonetheless!)
An eCommerce and accounting integration will ensure that your inventories are up to date and that this up to date information is reflected on your webstore. That way you don’t have to send any embarrassing emails to customers saying their product is on back order. Integrations also automate fulfillment of eCommerce orders which ensure that your process speed is as quick as it can be. Lastly, an integration solution will keep accurate shipping details reflected on your customers eCommerce account, which makes products very easy to track.