Click the Halls: 5 Tips for Savvy Online Selling This Holiday Season

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to get your online shop in tip-top shape to help sell to those impulse Christmas buyers.

With online monsters like Amazon taking up a huge majority of the market, you’ll need to get creative with your online selling methods to take advantage of this influx of shoppers that will be heading to the web to make purchases for their friends and family.

Not only that, but you’ll need to make sure your online store is prepared for additional orders, especially if you’re running a brick and mortar store and online shop. We’ve compiled a list of tips to take your online store to the next level and manage what will hopefully be a prosperous time for your store. Check them out below!

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Connected Inventory

First things first, you’ll want to make sure your inventory is ready to go, especially if you’re selling the same products in a brick and mortar and online. By using a shopping cart plugin like Ecwid, who has recently started working with Square, you can have uniformity across all of your selling platforms. One of the quickest ways to lose a customer (and possibly returning customers) is to advertise a product online to only have to turn around and tell them the item is out of stock because your online inventory did not update to reflect your stock of an item. By connecting your stores, you’ll always know exactly where you’re at as far as inventory is concerned.

Coupons and Discounts

Coming up with creative and beneficial coupons for customers can help secure those on-the-fence shoppers that you’ll encounter every single day. While you’ll want to make sure your coupons don’t cause you to lose money, offering something like $10 off a $50 purchase is a great way to get customers to add additional items to their carts in order to save some money. Free shipping is another great coupon to offer customers. Also, make sure you put your coupons on a site like RetailMeNot, which has a history of driving traffic and sales to your website. You can also use social media to advertise your sales, as discussed further into this article.

Hire a Photographer

Nothing says “unprofessional” on an online store like bad photos of your products. For one, blurry and poorly lit photos will do no justice to your product, no matter how great it actually is in person. Customers can only judge a product by its photo and description, so you’ll need to make a good impression right off the bat. Having a professional take high-quality photos of your products will assure customers they are getting what they pay for. It also shows customers that you take your business seriously and understand the importance of having quality throughout all aspects of your business. A good rule of thumb to stick to is including four high-quality photos per item. If you’re selling articles of clothing, having mannequins or models to promote your clothing should be a top priority. Buyers want to see what these items look like on a person, making their purchase less risky and more educated.

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Time to Go Mobile

Did you know that as of late 2014, early 2015 mobile use has surpassed desktop browsing? With a change in how people are viewing websites and eCommerce sites, it’s time to make sure your website is up to the mobile challenge. If you’re not mobile-friendly you are missing out on a considerable amount of potential business. Make sure both your website and shopping cart are compatible with all sizes of mobile devices. Many website templates and shopping carts now offer responsive versions, allowing your website to be viewed optimally on basically any screen size. When choosing a theme or cart, find one that you feel comfortable with that allows for a great viewing experience for your customers and allows you to monitor and manage your website while you’re on the go.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

You’re not going to outsell or outshine the likes of Amazon and other major online retailers. Their marketing budget will always trump yours so you’ll need to get creative with your social media accounts. You do have social media accounts set up, right? If not, first you need to get on that right away, you’re missing out on a huge group of people by not participating in the social sphere.

Once you have your social media accounts set up it’s time to start using them to your advantage. Use Twitter to target users who are actively tweeting about products like the ones you are offering. For Facebook, they have a great set of tools for setting up marketing campaigns to push your products into targeted timelines.

By using targeted demographics, you can make sure your product is seen by people who are actually interested in your product to help convert Facebook users into customers. If you don’t feel you have the time or knowledge to set up these marketing campaigns, Sitewit is great service that will not only help set up your campaigns, but will send you detailed, easy-to-read reports to help you see what is, and isn’t working. If you’re using Ecwid, mentioned earlier, then things get even easier for you.

Sitewit has an app for the Ecwid market which allows automatic ad campaigns, making it the quickest and most efficient solution. You simply select the products and categories you’re interested in advertising and Sitewit will build “smart ads” that get seen by the right people.

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The holidays are a great time to bolster sales in your brick and mortar and online shop, but in order to maximize your sales you’ll need to make sure your website is up to the challenge. With so many online retailers vying for customers’ clicks, you’ll need to differentiate yourself from the mass sea of others trying to do the exact same thing. These tips are a great starting point to doing that, but you’ll want to make sure you add some of your own unique ideas to really make it your own.

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