If you’re an e-commerce business the festive period is likely to be an important time of year for sales as 53% of people plan to shop online. Early preparation and planning will help you make a success of the selling online opportunity, during Black Friday, Christmas, and the post-Christmas sales.

Optimising the Festive Opportunity

Less is More – At this time of year people won’t usually be buying for themselves and are often looking for inspiration. Categorising gifts into sections (for him, for her, for bakers, for gardeners, etc) makes it easy for shoppers to navigate to the right area, where you can then provide them with a concise selection of ideal gifts. This should keep things less complicated for you during a busy period too.
Market to the Millennials – Setting the pace these days for online shopping, this group expect their online shopping experience to be quick, efficient and mobile. Get it right and they could become a key customer group. Even if your products don’t normally appeal to this generation remember this is gift buying time.
Give Last Minute Shoppers an Option – Gift cards are one of the most popular last minute options so make it easy for procrastinators and those who leave things right to the last hour! Delivery will be key to this too – but of course be realistic about what you can offer.
Jump on the Trends – Can you incorporate this year’s hottest trends into your products or promotions? Can you highlight and showcase a selection of product that lend themselves to what’s popular right now? Use social media to generate a buzz!

Branching Out with Your Online Selling

Google Shopping – Google shopping saw huge growth in the first quarter of 2016 and predictions suggest this trend will continue over the Christmas period. Google shopping is managed through Adwords and the Merchant Centre. Shopify believe success with Google shopping is down to three key factors; 1. Mastering the feed (or getting your products set up right) 2. Bidding (choosing the right strategy) and 3. Monitoring and optimisation (making a good campaign great!) Google shopping offers great clarity, you’re able to see which products are converting and for how much.
Amazon – The big player when it comes to online shopping, particularly at Christmas. Using Amazon will allow you to reach 10s of millions of customers across Europe. Amazon explains it “has unified its European marketplaces, allowing you to create and manage product offers in one or more of the following marketplaces: Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr, Amazon.de, Amazon.it, and Amazon.es.” You’ll also have access to Amazon’s fulfilment and delivery services (this will make them eligible for Prime.)
Ebay – Although Ebay is not quite the equal to Google and Amazon it does offer another great option for selling online. The built-in feedback feature means trust and reputation can easily be built. You have the option to auction, and Ebay offer great SEO, for example, shoppers may search on Google for a product and an Ebay page with that product is often likely to appear.
There are lots more e-commerce options such as Etsy or Facebook for selling online. Your channel choices will depend entirely on your business and your products. It’s all about finding the selling strategy that’s right for you.

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