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Preparing for a Holiday as an eCommerce Business

Posted on June 29, 2012 by Josh Mc

When you are running an ecommerce business, you are accustomed to the ups and downs that occur during different times of the year. Sometimes you have a lot of business and sometimes it slows to a trickle. When a holiday rolls around, for most companies, you’ll find that there is always a drop in business. This is something that even big businesses worry about, so what should your eCommerce business do to survive? The truth of the matter is that a holiday lull can be very profitable for you if you know how to work with it.

Be Aware of the Holiday
The last thing that you should be is surprised by a holiday. A month or even two months before the given holiday, start making sure that you can get all of your bills paid. If necessary, have a few sales or push out a new promotion. If you keep a careful eye out, you can see plenty of other businesses doing the same thing. They are trying to shore up their businesses for the lull ahead.

Do a Holiday Special
There are definitely people who are willing to purchase on the holidays if you make it worth their while. One way to drum up interest for your business during the slow holiday times is to do something exciting on the holiday itself. You might choose to offer a sneak peek at a new product that will be rolled out later that year, or you might choose to hold a 24 hour fire sale during the lowest point of the holiday season. This is a great way to clear out old stock, and the holiday gives you an excuse to do so.

Holiday Countdown
Plenty of eCommerce businesses realize that they can keep their customers through the holiday lull if they keep giving them something to come back for. A countdown allows you to do something special every day leading up to the holiday. Every day can be a sale or a discount on a specific item, or you may offer other types of promotions in the week leading up to the big day. Of course save the biggest sale for the day of the holiday itself so that your customers have a reason to come back.

Run a Holiday Contest
Why not give your customers something to do while the holiday is going on? While some are going to be traveling or busy, there will also be plenty who simply don’t know what to do with themselves. Hold a contest on your site or on a social network and make sure that you give out one big prize or at least plenty of small prizes. You can ask them to like a post to be entered into a drawing or you can ask them to draw a picture for a prize or even go on an online scavenger hunt. Whatever your business and imagination can think of will work, it is just all about keeping people engaged during the holiday season.

These are just a couple of the tips you can use to make sure each new holiday does not hit your business hard. While your numbers will still probably take a dip, remember that it is natural and that there are methods that you can use to prevent something disastrous if you only do some planning.

Now it’s your turn, how do you keep customers happy and coming back during the holidays? Let us know in the comments.

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