From the January/February 2009 issue of eBiz Insider magazine. Download the complete issue as a PDF by clicking here.
Another holiday season is over. You made moves to drive traffic to various places on your site. Well, did they work? No time like the present to review the past!
If you provided visitors with navigation to your gift sections did it work? Check your store stats to see how often customers clicked into your gift sections; then look at sales of the products in those sections. The numbers will indicate how well you funneled visitors into your gift areas. Make notes on ways you can improve this area next year.
Once the visitor reached your gift section, did they purchase or did they bail? Ask the important questions, “Was my gift section product relevant and appealing to my target audience?” “Were my descriptions compelling and detailed?” “Did I organize the items as well as possible?”
During the holiday, promotions are more important than ever. Did you use any “hooks” to lure customers in? Many companies e-mail previous customers to bring them back. Another method is to offer some type of “deal” on the homepage (e.g. free shipping, a free gift with purchase or a dollar-off deal). What worked and what didn’t? How did your promotions convert?
Shopping online this year I was surprised at the number of “out of stock” warnings. If you had multiple items that you couldn’t fill, fix the problem! At Neeps.com, we start increasing holiday inventory levels in September. We base inventory on seasonal items by looking at sales from the previous year. We also closely monitor items we believe will be big sellers, and increase or decrease stock levels as needed.
Customer Service is Key!
Customer service should not be a lost art. If your customer service department is a full voice mail box, shame on you! Would you shop at a department store where the help flees as you approach? An e-commerce business can connect potential customers with real human beings. Consider adding part-time help to answer the phones during peak periods or (shameless plug) ask us about Call Center Services.
They say the past is prologue. Make it so. Examine what you did this holiday season so that you can learn from your mistakes and improve on your successes.