It seems the transition from back-to-school shopping to the holidays happens earlier and earlier each year. And perhaps it’s true. In 2022, some consumers began shopping before the calendar turned to November. This year? A whopping 50% of them plan to do the same.
What can you do to jumpstart your holiday season and ensure bountiful performance the whole year through? Start formulating your strategy and marking your calendars for must-know deadlines in areas like:
- Pricing and profitability
- Marketing and advertising
- Inventory management
Our new 2023 Holiday E-Commerce Guide features industry research, pro tips and reminders to help you along the way.
List and Price Strategically
Price remains the top factor in consumer product research and purchases. At the same time, e-commerce faces a slippery slope of high return rates. The best way to ensure long-lasting purchase and satisfied customers? Ironclad product listings.
- Finalize your catalog assortment. Make selling decisions before Q3 is over (and much sooner if possible) to ensure adequate inventory for the holiday season. Not sure what to choose? Look to past performance metrics and advertising activity for a complete picture.
- Fine-tune your listings. Use your product detail pages to set expectations and reduce the chance of returns. Pump listings full of accurate keywords, helpful product details and engaging images.
- Proactively look for errors. Appoint a team member to regularly review listings for errors and compliance. Or, employ automation to ensure accuracy every time.
Invest in Advertising
Advertising is a no-brainer when it comes to boosting your holiday exposure in highly saturated channels. But it’s not as simple as flipping a switch. Before you buy ad space, make sure you have the budget and inventory to make your campaigns successful.
- Develop a strategy. Think through all the pieces of your holiday advertising. Allocate budget, set specific goals, double-check your listing accuracy and set reminders for campaign launch and follow-up.
- Take advantage of retail media. Check with the marketplaces you sell on to see if they offer network-specific advertising. Then, optimize your content so shoppers are engaged from the first exposure.
- Budget properly. Before you start advertising, set aside the budget you’ll need on a weekly and monthly basis. Confirm your ad placement locations are relevant to your product category(ies) so your money goes to good use.
Monitor Inventory and Fulfillment
With high storage costs, continuing inflation and increased return rates, keeping your inventory in check is harder than ever — but especially crucial during the holiday season. To get ahead, start early in setting a plan to manage and monitor inventory throughout the holiday season and beyond.
- Prep your inventory. Set deadlines and reminders to check and replenish your stock. Or, employ an inventory tracking system to automatically monitor available stock in real time, ensuring customers have accurate availability of nearby products.
- Meet delivery expectations. Will your partners be able to keep up with your forecasted holiday sales? Conduct a thorough review of your fulfillment and shipping logistics so you can set realistic expectations with customers.
Stay on Track Throughout the Holiday Season with ChannelAdvisor
Nervous about managing all the moving pieces of your e-commerce machine this holiday season? A centralized e-commerce platform makes it easy to monitor everything — from product data and channel requirements to ad campaigns and fulfillment — in one place. ChannelAdvisor’s complete multichannel solution ensures you can get ahead (and stay ahead) the entire time.
Get your copy of our 2023 Holiday E-Commerce Guide for upcoming brand and retailer deadlines, holiday selling tips and more.