Getting your Online Shop ready for Christmas : Part 3

In this part we look at some of the basics that are all too easy to overlook, such as over stocking on popular line, ease of contact and last minute offers.

Over Stocking

There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than to get to the point of ordering and find that the product they are ordering is now out of stock, while this is a normal part of stock control to keep your products in stock at this time of year you may see increased demand.  For your most popular products it is recommended that you overstock the items, and keep a very close eye on their levels, not only checking daily but hourly if the product is moving fast.  Try to keep a reserve of your most popular products that can be put into the store while you’re waiting for new deliveries, this is especially important in the final few weeks before Christmas as many supply lines will be stretched to the maximum.

Consistent Messaging

Make sure your messaging across your site is constant, if your offering free delivery or guaranteed delivery dates ensure this is the same across all pages on your site, one small caveat may be if you have decided to offer a “Christmas Free Zone” you may choose to change the way the message is delivered, but make sure that the offers are the same.

Easy to Contact

One of the big criticisms of eCommerce in the past is that it is impossible to talk to a human, either to ask a question about a product or make a complaint.  Ensure that your able to be contacted either by phone, email, web form or even good old snail mail.

Clear returns policy

In the lead up-to Christmas your customers will be buying a lot of goods and services from a lot of stores in a short time, this will inevitably lead to mistakes in the order, selecting wrong quantities and even the odd drunken order.  The reassurance that if they do order something by mistake they can send it back can help increase conversion from browser to buyer.

Last Minute Orders

If you can sell and delivery in the last few days before Christmas you will be at a significant advantage   This is especially good when you’re selling Virtual gifts such as ebooks, music or even vouchers that that can be redeemed during or after the Christmas period.  It means that you can carry on selling right up to and during Christmas giving you a major advantage over some of your competitors.

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