By Ruth Richter • July 10, 2019

Blog|Christmas in July: Why You Should Start Your Holiday Season Planning Now

As the calendar flips into the summer months, with kids out of school, temperatures soaring, and the A/C running at full blast non-stop, it’s probably a little difficult to begin thinking about the winter holiday season. But for ecommerce businesses, this is exactly the time to plan for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday rushes. While others are outside soaking in the poolside sun, your mind should already be on jingle bells, pumpkin spice, and stocking stuffers. Keeping on top of trends and planning now means a much better chance for your profits to be on the “nice list” come the holidays.

Any Season Can Be Holiday Shopping Season

With the plethora of online deals consumers can find now, it’s becoming rarer to wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to get a good bargain. Statistics claim that more than one third of holiday shopping actually happens before Thanksgiving.

What does that mean for ecommerce? Don’t wait to offer those good deals, or your customers may go somewhere else to find them! Strategize now to have deals ready to plug and play into your website and prepare warehouses for increased inventory and higher shipping volume to accommodate the increased sales.

Streamline Your Ecommerce Experience

Is your ecommerce site running like a well-oiled machine? If there are bugs in your shopping experience or other issues that you’ve been waiting for the right time to get around to fixing, this is that time. More than half of all holiday shopping is done online, which means your site has a lot of competition out there. Now is the time to invest in your ecommerce platform to ensure it functions at optimal levels.

Also consider adding cross-marketing and personalized recommendation options to your ecommerce site. Connect products based on similarities, coordination, or complementing. You may also choose to use a shopper’s purchase history to recommend products to them the next time they log in. This option builds on purchases they’re already satisfied with and suggests other items they may not have thought to look for but would equally enjoy or use. “Add to cart” never sounded so good.

Not only should you be optimizing your site, but this is also a great time to look at adding pop-ups and banners with incentive codes. Plan each incentive campaign and be sure to promote them across email marketing and social media as well for maximum exposure.

Going Mobile

Mobile holiday shopping increased in 2018 to a whopping $122 billion. That sounds like a piece of holiday pie any mobile ecommerce business would like to take a bite of. If your website is not already mobile optimized, this should be a top priority for the next few months. Be sure to offer clear photos and easy purchase options, including one-touch options such as PayPal.

Check the List With IN-SYNCH®

In an arena where so much competes for a buyer’s attention, having a streamlined and easy-to-navigate ecommerce site that works equally well on desktop as it does mobile already sets your business up for success no matter the season. These improvements will pay dividends during the high-volume rush of the holiday ecommerce season.

Preparing these improvements in advance of the 2019 holiday rush is not as difficult as it might sound. Connect your ecommerce platform, third-party carts, warehouse systems, and your Sage 100 ERP system with IN-SYNCH by ROI Consulting. This bi-directional integration solution keeps information flowing between disparate systems at lightning fast speeds. As fast as someone can click “buy it now” on your website, shipping labels are created, purchase information is filed, and inventory is updated so you know how much inventory to refill and when. (That will also come in handy when you’re analyzing trends to plan for the 2020 holiday season!)

If you’re ready to make your 2019 holiday shopping prep list and check it twice, make sure that list includes IN-SYNCH integration. Want to learn more? Contact the ROI Consulting elves here or call 402-934-2223, 1.