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How to Prepare Your E-Commerce Shop for Sales Events

4-minute read

Kristin Vegh

Kristin Vegh

23 January 2024

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While several of the best holidays for e-commerce happen at the end of the calendar year, opportunities for sales events aren’t limited to one season. Marketable holidays and occasions are happening year-round, and there’s no time like the present to start preparing.

More customers than ever are shopping online, and getting them to shop with you should be your primary objective. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of our best sales and holiday e-commerce tips to help you prepare for a busy season — even a busy week — along with strategies to help you boost profits.

7 Tips for Your Sales and Holiday E-Commerce Strategy

1. Use last year’s stats.

It’s impossible to truly anticipate how a holiday season or sales-heavy event will go. But your prior experience may help take some of the guesswork out of it. Create a sales event and holiday e-commerce marketing strategy, based on how last year or previous events went. What types of sales and strategies worked for you? Look at the channels you used to promote your e-commerce store and how you used them. Leverage what you learned and apply that insight to this year’s plan.

2. Prepare your website — especially on mobile.

Even great products won’t always convince a customer to buy if the website is clunky. Look at your site’s user journey, and make sure every aspect of it is intuitive and makes it easy for shoppers to navigate it. This is particularly important for the mobile version of your site. Consumers are more likely than ever to use their phones and tablets to make purchases. Your mobile site should make that as easy as possible.

Preparation doesn’t end with website maintenance. Prior to the sales event or holiday season, e-commerce sellers should plan out any sales or new pages they plan to add and get those website builds ready to launch when the time comes.

3. Get a jump on marketing.

Start posting more on your accounts, and be sure to feature best sellers and anything new and exciting you’re offering. If social media is a big platform for your shop, it might be wise to create a calendar to map out promotions and plan out shoppable posts. Dust off that mailing list and send a few emails out to get back on shoppers’ radar.

Don’t overdo it — too many emails or posts could drive people away. You can amp up volume as the season progresses, based on how those posts and emails perform.

4. Focus on key dates — especially the holiday season.

Between Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas, e-commerce sellers have a lot to look forward to during the end-of-year holiday season. We all know that Black Friday kickstarts the shopping season, but for small businesses, there are a few extra dates to keep in mind.

Small Business Saturday is the day after Black Friday and was initiated to encourage consumers to shop small. Two days later, there’s Cyber Monday. On Cyber Monday, e-commerce sellers often offer discounts and deals to draw customers in. It’s the biggest day for online sales all year. Figure out if and how you plan to leverage these big shopping days by planning sales, and how you want to market them. And speaking of sales…

5. Plan all of your special events and holiday e-commerce sales.

When you work in e-commerce, holiday sales and other major promotions are king. While there’s no shortage of potential customers shopping online, there’s also stiff competition. Offering discounts and promotions can be a great way to help your e-commerce shop stand out and potentially boost your sales.

Planning ahead will allow you to prepare. You can stock up on the products you plan to put on sale and have accompanying graphics and web pages ready to launch when the time comes. Some promotions to consider are:

  • Offering gift cards in exchange for purchases of a certain amount, or as an alternative for indecisive shoppers
  • Making gift sets by bundling products at a discounted price
  • Providing a gift-wrapping option as an opportunity to upsell

6. Make sure you have the right e-commerce insurance.

Every e-commerce shop owner wants to increase their sales. But even though more sales can mean bigger profits, they also can mean bigger risks. Don’t start your busy season underprepared.

Simply Business® is here to help you make sure your business has the insurance coverage it needs before any holiday rush, clearance sale, or special event. We offer customized policies from leading national carriers to help you find coverage that fits your business’s needs. Insuring your e-commerce store with general liability can help you to:

  • Meet the requirements of any larger marketplace you sell through, if any
  • Protect against product liability claims if something you sell fails to work as advertised
  • Ensure you’re covered in the event of alleged slander, copyright infringement, and other advertising injury claims

And more! Get started with our free quote comparison tool. Answer a few questions about your business, and we’ll have an insurance quote ready in just a few minutes. Compare coverage options and find what works best for you. It’s that simple.

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7. Check your payment processing system.

Increased sales and website activity can open your business’s point-of-sale system up to a few problems. First, it may not be equipped to handle the sudden volume and could result in a system crash. Second, it may be out of date, creating a potential data security issue.

So before you launch a big promotion, make sure your payment processing solutions are updated and compliant. This could reduce the risk of a data breach and help customers feel safe ordering from you. While you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to read up on credit card surcharge laws in your state to ensure that you’re following proper procedures.

Get Things in Order

Holiday seasons year-round can be stressful. But don’t worry. Planning ahead means you’ll always have time to get your e-commerce business ready for the rush of new orders and help you get through each sale and holiday in one piece. Get your ducks in a row now — you’ll thank yourself later.

Kristin Vegh

Written by

Kristin Vegh

After several years of working in insurance while also freelance writing, I've finally found where the two interests intersect. I'm a writer with Simply Business with an insurance processing background and a love of research.

Kristin writes on a number of topics such as small business trends, license reciprocity, and BOP insurance.

This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer

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