How To Get Your Online Store Ready For The Holiday Season

For retailers, the holiday season is by far the most important time of the year. It’s therefore vital that you do everything you can to prepare your online store for success. Here are some holiday selling tips to help.

Make sure your website infrastructure is up to standard

One of the advantages of using Square Online is that Square takes care of all the technicalities for you. In particular, Square ensures that pages always load quickly and display properly regardless of how the user is accessing the site. If you’re using another solution, you will need to ensure that this is taken care of.

Review the payment methods you accept

If you’re still only taking card payments, then you may be missing out on potential sales, especially during the holiday season. This can be one of the most expensive times of the year for consumers. It’s therefore very common for them to look for ways to spread the cost.

Up until fairly recently, this generally meant paying by credit card. Some customers will definitely still do this (especially if they can get rewards from their lender). There is, however, now very strong consumer demand for Buy Now Pay Later options such as Clearpay.

In some cases, this is because customers cannot get (or do not want) credit cards. In others, it can simply be that BNPL offers customers better value overall; using BNPL is often interest-free. Even when it isn’t, the cost is often much lower than the cost of using a credit card.

Getting set up on BNPL is very simple. In fact, Square has integration with Clearpay. Getting the ball rolling as quickly as possible will mean you get the competitive advantage it offers with minimum delay.

Update your product photography

Make sure that your product photos are as complete and accurate as they can be. You don’t need to be an expert photographer with pro-standard equipment to take product photos for an online store. In fact, you may not even need to take new photos at all. It might be enough to touch up your existing photos with an editing app. Square Photo Studio is a great choice for entrepreneurs because it’s designed with business users in mind.

Optimising your product photos can do a lot for your business including retaining business. Remember that one of the most common reasons for customer returns is that the product did not meet their expectations. Effective product photography is often crucial to setting realistic customer expectations (and hence avoiding returns).

Highlight your gift card options

Everybody knows the experience of trying to buy a gift for someone but just not knowing what to get. That’s probably the main reason why gift cards are so popular.

Make sure you’re on top of your SEO

The holiday season is the most competitive time of the year for most retailers. It’s therefore vital that you give yourself the best possible chance of being found on search engines. It may be worth paying for adverts but keep in mind that prices will go up as Christmas draws closer. This means you have to work hard on your organic SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

Build your portfolio of product reviews

Product reviews can be a powerful tool for convincing customers to make a purchase and are often evergreen; there are no timeframes as to when they can be maximised. They can be particularly important and helpful in the holiday season.

With Square Online, it’s easy to prompt customers to leave reviews. Just go to your Square Online Overview page. Select Items > Customer Reviews then choose how long the system should wait before sending a request for a review.

Sell on your social platforms

If you really want to make as many sales as you possibly can this festive period, then you need to adopt an omnichannel retail strategy. In particular, you need to make the most of the opportunities offered by shoppable posts on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Of course, if you make all your posts direct sales posts, there’s a strong chance that your followers will soon tune out. You may also find it difficult (or even impossible) to get your content to rank organically in the algorithm. That means you need to step up your upper funnel content so that you establish a ratio of sales posts to awareness posts that works for your business and audience.

This can be a challenge, so, like most challenges, it’s best to tackle it after robust preparation. At a minimum, you should aim to have a holiday content calendar ahead of December 1st. Ideally, you should have your core posts ready and scheduled by December 1st. This will allow you to focus your energies elsewhere once the holiday season really gets going.

Max out your marketing

You will probably do most of your marketing on social media but don’t neglect the other options. In particular, make sure that you make good use of your email list. Remember, however, that your customer database may be getting a lot of marketing emails in their inbox, especially around the holidays. That means you need to make absolutely sure that your emails stand out from the crowd by offering value-add content such as how to use the product and highlighting how others have benefited from using it.

Leverage your loyalty program

Once you’ve done the hard work of acquiring a customer, you want to retain them for as long as possible. Running an attractive loyalty program can help a lot with this. What’s more, Square Loyalty makes it easy.