Get Ready for Christmas in September

5 tips to help online sellers prepare for the holiday rush

by Kat Simpson
- Sep 24, 2013

If you're an online seller, then you know our peak selling season is around the corner. No doubt you have had it on your mind for a while, and have been racing around, preparing your online store for the rush.

When preparing for fourth-quarter sales, there are a few important things every merchant should keep in mind. Here are my five tips to prepare for the holiday selling season.

1. Don't look for patterns in holiday inventory sold

Fourth-quarter sales are anything but reliable. The items people buy in preparation for the holiday season do not give you a peek into what they will be buying the rest of the year.

Just accept the sales and purchase inventory you normally wouldn't. You never know what will sell during the fourth quarter.

2. This is the time to draw in a new customer base

Offer a free gift to sign up for your newsletter. Leave a lasting impression so one-time buyers become loyal customers

You will have even more one-time buyers than usual during the holiday selling season. Now is the time to offer something that will draw them in.

Offer these shoppers a free gift to sign up for your newsletter or a discounted shipping rate for multiple purchases. You want to be sure to leave a lasting impression so one-time buyers become loyal customers who come to you for everything in the future.

3. Organization and preparation are key

Take these last few weeks leading up to the fourth quarter to make sure you have everything in order. Get every single product listed and priced to sell.

Be sure you have enough shipping supplies on hand, and that your inventory is organized and easily accessible. You want to grab every sale possible and make the most of each opportunity, and you can't do that if you can't find your inventory or get it ready to be shipped quickly.

4. Be social

Have your social media pages up and running, and link them to your online store. You want to draw in new buyers, and the way to do that these days is through social media.

Customers are fairly easy to please. Once you figure out what makes them tick, they are even easier to keep

Be sure to blog or write something at least every other day. Keep it short, sweet and to the point. The idea is just to stay on potential patrons' radar, not to overwhelm them!

5. Decide on a customer service plan of action

Finally, decide where you stand on returns and what kind of customer service you want to offer, and put those thoughts into action. There is nothing worse to a buyer than a seller who is all over the board on this issue.

Be sure to let your patrons know if something will be running behind schedule or anything of the sort. Keep your buyers in the loop, offer a great return policy and great customer service, and you will gain lifelong shoppers, every time!

Now that you have a better insight into what it takes to be ready for the holiday selling season, hopefully you will have the best one yet. Customers are fairly easy to please. Once you figure out what makes them tick, they are even easier to keep.

Practice the golden rule: Do unto your buyers as you would have them do to you, and you can never go wrong. Go get 'em!

About the Author

Respected as a trusted e-commerce speaker, educator and entrepreneur, Kat Simpson has been a successful online merchant for more than 10 years. Simpson is an eBay Education Specialist, with experience selling on Addoway, Bonanza, and iOffer. She shares Fulfillment By Amazon selling expertise through her Facebook Group, ThatKat, and is the co-host of the popular weekly e-commerce podcast, That Kat Radio. Connect with Simpson on Twitter and Facebook.

Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.

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