If sales are a bit quiet for your online shop during the summer, then August is the perfect time to do some research to maximise sales this Christmas. From looking back on last years sales to optimising your website and streamlining your processes, now’s the time to research and plan to get your ecommerce business ready for the lucrative festive season.
1. Learn from last year
If your online store was trading this time last year then look back at your sales data, as well as all the planning and marketing that you did. This can give you an insight into what you did, what was successful in attracting more customers, and the bits you could improve on. Write out a list of the different actions that you want to undertake this year, including successful things from last year, new thinks you want to try, as well as things you didn't end up having time for last year. Try to build on your strengths and improve on your weaknesses.
2. Use Google Trends
Google Trends can be used to find search volumes for certain words. You can use it for your ecommerce Christmas planning by finding out when people started searching for your products, and then when searches peaked. This will help you with your Christmas marketing plan, so that you know when you need to kick off your marketings, and when your main focus should be. Find out how to use Google Trends here.
eBay have also created an infographic based on Christmas related search data in five of their main categories from 2015 that you can find here.
3. Optimise your website for search engines
You can improve the position of your website in search results on Google and other search engines with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Using Google's free Keyword tool, you can find what the keywords that people use to search for your products are. Then you can use these words in your content and product descriptions to improve the SEO of your online shop. Find out more about how to make your website SEO friendly here.
4. Streamline your processes
If there are areas of your business that you think could be improved, or made more efficient, then take some time to research apps and software that you could be using. Streamlining the processes for your business will save you valuable time, and make you better equipped to handle an increase in orders. Find out about tools that can help you save time here.
5. Learn from your competitors
It won't help you out this Christmas, but sign up to your competitors mailing lists, and keep an eye on what they do in the run up to Christmas. You can learn what tactics they use, and get inspiration for your own online shop.
6. Find a reliable courier
A trustworthy and reliable delivery service is more important than ever the closer you get to Christmas. If you're finding that delivery is slow, or parcels are going missing, then now is the time to find a new courier- it will give you time to get set up, understand how they work, and make sure that they're the right courier for your business. Take a look at our introduction to UK shipping couriers here