The holiday season is arriving soon, and this year will surely be one to remember. In 2020, businesses need to be more prepared than ever for the most wonderful time of the year. In this blog, we touch on several challenges ecommerce businesses face every year that are only heightened by the world’s current situation. Is your online store ready for the holiday shopping season? Let’s find out together.
Nearly half of consumers expect to see fewer loved ones during the 2020 holiday season. This, along with nationwide financial struggles, is sure to have an impact on holiday shopping. (source: https://www.bigmarker.com/commercenext/Webinar20?utm_bmcr_source=VLI)
Website Speed and Crashes
While increased website traffic during the holiday shopping season is desired by any business, it can also stress websites to the point of slowing or even crashing. This is a common occurrence when launching items with limited stock, especially during the holidays. The last thing you want is for your business to fail to meet customer demand and face the technical hassles that come with website crashes.
We recommend checking your website’s hosting plan for any limits on traffic capacity, especially if your business is on the smaller side. If you can see your traffic exceeding its limit during the holiday shopping season, it’s time to consider upgrading through the end of the year. Ideally, your business retains its increased traction into 2021, giving you a reason to keep that upgrade.
Price and Product Transparency
Few things are more aggravating to consumers during the holiday shopping season than adding products to their carts, only to see hidden costs once they reach checkout. One of those few things is buying products that are actually sold out. Not only does your business have to break the bad news to them through an unwanted email, but you will probably end up losing them as a returning customer. These hurdles are both frustrating and bad for business, period.
This is why transparency and quick reaction times are so important, especially for online businesses. While especially challenging during the holiday season, your business should update its website as quickly as possible to avoid these problems.
Luckily, this shouldn’t be too difficult. If your business only sells on its website, basic stock tracking software should be enough. However, if you maintain a presence on other marketplaces, like Amazon or eBay, things get exponentially more complicated. To keep track of product stock across multiple channels, consider investing in plugins like OneStock or StockSync, or risk adding stress to your holiday wishlist.
Shipping Priorities, Delays, and Returns
It seems like no matter how much ecommerce businesses prepare for the holiday shopping season, shipping delays are inevitable. As it turns out, consumers may not mind as long as they’re saving money, especially during 2020.
According to BigMarker, free shipping is 3 times more important than fast shipping to consumers during the 2020 holiday season.
Timely arrival remains a concern, but most consumers are willing to wait for free shipping. People understand the necessity of prioritizing essential products and delaying non-essential. Instead, businesses should focus on the post-purchase experience. Quality packaging, bonus products, coupons, and more make memorable unboxing experiences and happy customers, even if their packages are late.
Lastly, it’s important to make the product return process as smooth as possible. Imagine waiting for a delayed shipping, receiving a damaged or unsatisfactory product, and facing a complicated return policy—or worse, no returns. We probably don’t need to spell it out for you. One reason why Amazon is so successful is due to their free shipping and returns, as well as their overall customer service with these issues.
We hope this blog has provided insight on potential online challenges, as well as their solutions. To ensure your business meets consumer demand this holiday shopping season, you have to make sure your website is prepared. Tulfa is here to help.
We are ecommerce experts who help businesses like yours win the digital shelf. From onboarding products to digital marketplaces to creating transformative website content, we are ready to help you groom your business for success. 2020’s holiday shopping season will surely be one of the most challenging yet, but you don’t have to face it alone.