Cyber Five Frenzy: Intelligent Logistics and XML Holiday Sitemaps

October 14, 2014

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To help all retailers prepare for the holiday rush, we’ll be kicking our blog into high gear, sharing several holiday preparation tips over the span of the next two months. We want to make sure you’re covered from all angles, so two tips per post — one on digital marketing and one on marketplaces — and two blogs per week. We’ll begin with the tips that take the most time to implement and end with the less complex. Let the prepping commence!

The holiday season can be a wonderful time, but it can also be a season of stress. Shoppers tend to scour the internet for gifts at the lowest cost and with the fastest shipping options. While consumers are searching online for that perfect yet hard-to-find item, you as the retailer need to provide easy access to your products, along with quick delivery options. The last thing any shopper wants during a frantic product search is a slow site that’s hard to navigate. Or even worse: A shopper finally lands on the perfect gift, but the shipping cost is through the roof. To keep shoppers jolly, you need to get smarter about your retail logistics and site structure. Let’s walk through some best practices that could indirectly boost your holiday sales.

Marketplaces Tip #3: Implement intelligent logistics

ChannelAdvisor offers smart fulfillment with Order Management and prioritized Distribution centers. We’ll manage your distributed quantity and automatically determine where orders should be routed based on your fulfillment strategy. Fulfilling orders from the distribution center closest to your customer will trim your delivery costs and boost your customer satisfaction ratings.

Digital Marketing Tip #3: Improve SEO with an XML holiday sitemap

To help boost the organic side of your search engine optimization (SEO), consider implementing an XML holiday sitemap.

What’s an XML sitemap, you may ask? It’s a document that helps search engines understand your website — specifically, where things can be found on your site. You can use an XML sitemap to add information about each URL, such as how often the site changes, when the last update occurred and how important the page is versus other pages on the site. When using an XML holiday sitemap, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Include all of your products.

  • Set the priority of holiday products as 0.8 to 1, and set the frequency to daily or weekly.

  • Move non-holiday products as 0.5 to 0.7, and set the frequency to monthly.

  • Make choices: Not everything on your site can be set to 0.8 or greater.

  • Update “last modified” date when new reviews are added to the page (YYYY-MM-DD). Search engines like fresh content.

  • Remove duplicate or canonical pages from your sitemap to avoid having your primary pages dismissed.

  • Make sure your sitemap aligns with your robots.txt. Don’t include pages with 404 errors or redirects.

  • Validate in your sitemap.

  • See the example code below:

These tips can take some time to implement, so put them into action pronto. We always love hearing about your progress as we approach one of the busiest times of year, so feel free to update us in the comments below.

Be on the lookout this Thursday for the next blog post in our holiday series. We’ll discuss planning with your drop shipper and getting your keywords in order!


Blog post by Jordan Nowlin, social media and blog manager, ChannelAdvisor

Us-ebook-holiday-checklist-2_LPAct now to maximize your holiday success later! Here are 8 actionable marketplaces tips included in this holiday checklist.