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holiday Q4 Sales

This holiday season, shoppers will be buying online more than ever before. Ecommerce sales in the US are projected to top $709 billion this year, giving companies of all sizes the opportunity to grow their online business.

Q4 eCommerce Strategy

Q4 2020 – Important eCommerce Dates

A big part of having a successful Q4 is meeting all critical shipping deadlines and having a plan for all major holidays. These are the most important dates to add to your calendar for Q4:

Q4 Holiday Calendar

Oct 31 Halloween
Nov 26 Thanksgiving
Nov 27 Black Friday
Nov 30 Cyber Monday
Dec 14 Green Monday
Dec 10 – 18 Hanukkah
Dec 25 Christmas
Dec 26 Boxing Day
Dec 26 – Jan 1 Kwanzaa

2020 Shipping Deadlines for Christmas

Dec 9 FedEx SmartPost
Dec 11 UPS Ground
Dec 14 UPS Retail Ground
Dec 15 FedEx Home Delivery, FedEx Ground
Dec 20 USPS First Class Mail
Dec 21 UPS 3-Day Select, USPS Priority Mail
Dec 22 UPS 2nd Day Air, FedEx 2 Day
Dec 23 UPS Next-Day Air, FedEx Overnight, USPS Priority Mail

Your Q4 Ecommerce Holiday Checklist

Shoppers aren’t the only ones who find themselves in a frenzy during the holidays. Most merchants are subject to at least a few merry mishaps during the hustle and bustle of the holiday rush. The best defense against Q4 chaos? A solid action plan. We’ve put together a checklist of the most critical things merchants should be focused on if they want to have a successful, stress-free (or at least somewhat less stressful) holiday season.

☑ Make Site Changes Now

If you know you need to make some changes to your website, don’t wait. You will want to make sure all updates, improvements, and fixes are tested and implemented long before the holiday rush begins to avoid the risk of costly breakages and downtime.

☑ Test Your Website Load

During the holiday shopping season, your site may need to handle a significant traffic increase. This is why it’s a good idea to run tests ahead of time to make sure your site can handle a sudden uptick in visitors without crashing.

☑ Know Your Top Sellers

You probably have a pretty good idea about which of your products are the most popular. Still, it never hurts to stay up-to-date with your customers’ shopping habits. Keep an eye on rising stars in your product catalog, especially those that seem to become more popular as critical holiday deadlines approach. Make sure you have enough in your inventory to carry you through the end of the year and consider making these top sellers the focus of your holiday promotions.

☑ Be Prepared to Upsell

Upselling can be surprisingly easy during the holidays, when many customers are more than happy to get as much of their shopping done in as few transactions as possible. Add the option to purchase related products on product pages and during the checkout process to entice shoppers.

☑ Prioritize Security

More people shopping online means more opportunities for cybercriminals to gain access to customer information. Take some time before the holiday rush begins to assess your website security and address potential vulnerabilities. Make sure your site is secured with encryption, safely destroy any unnecessary data you may be holding onto, and review your disaster plan with relevant staff.

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☑ Communicate With Customers

The last thing your customers want is for their purchases to arrive after the holidays. Be proactive and communicate the exact time your customers should place their orders to ensure that they arrive on time. Consider posting shipping deadlines on your home page and product pages and sending out email reminders to your subscribers as the holidays approach. This is key to earning customer trust and providing excellent service.

☑ Provide Tracking

Online sellers aren’t alone in obsessing about delivery deadlines—holiday shoppers want reassurance that their packages will arrive exactly when you say they will. By providing package tracking, you’ll not only give your customers peace of mind, but you’ll make life easier for your customer service team.

With the holiday season already in gear, now is the time to take action. Want to learn more? Check out our infographic on the essential things you need to deliver an outstanding shopping experience. 

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Posted by Contributor