How To Get Your Business Ready for the Holiday Shopping Season

Black FridayWe recently polled our CityMax.com customers, and 61% expressed that Christmas is an important sales period for them. Are you ready to take advantage of the upcoming sales rush? Here are a few suggestions for making the most out of the holiday season:

1.    Create a Sense of Urgency
The great thing about the festive season is that there is a finite date where things need to be purchased and sent by. A gentle reminder of that will encourage your customers to get their orders in, instead of waiting to do it later. You can even make your own website countdown timer to remind your customers when items need to be shipped by – we like the free one at Widgetbox (http://www.widgetbox.com).
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What Cyber Monday Is and Why You and Your Online Shopping Cart Will Love It

In our last blog post about boosting holiday sales, we mentioned Black Friday, which is historically the kick-off to the holiday shopping season and is associated mostly with brick-and-mortar stores. But have you heard of Cyber Monday?

2009-11-24-cybermonCyber Monday is the Monday following Black Friday and the original idea behind it is that all the shoppers who started their shopping on Friday would continue filling their online shopping cart at work on the following Monday.

Although Cyber Monday hasn’t yet been proven to be the busiest online shopping day, the number of sales does seem to be increasing each year and it’s definitely a great opportunity for online retailers and their small business web stores.

What can you expect out of this upcoming Cyber Monday?

Although there are no guarantees, it’s likely that you will see a jump in website traffic on November 30. The word about Cyber Monday and potential deals is spreading and your customers might be on the hunt for them.

What should you do for Cyber Monday?

Since your visitors might be looking for bargains, why not meet their expectations? Try giving them a “one day only” special, like free shipping, 20% off, or a gift with purchase. They’re already in the mood to spend and may just need an extra little push.

Looking for other great ways to help increase your holiday sales? Check out our last post – Black Friday: How to Boost Holiday Sales for Small Business.

Black Friday: How to Boost Holiday Sales for Small Business

2009-11-20-blkfribagIt’s coming, and fast. Black Friday is one of the biggest days for retailers, particularly in the United States. It’s the Friday after US Thanksgiving and is recognized as the beginning of the traditional holiday shopping season – this year it falls on November 27.

We recently polled our CityMax.com customers, and 61% expressed that Christmas is an important sales period for them. So, as an online shopkeeper, are you ready to take advantage of the upcoming sales rush? Here are a few suggestions for making the most out of the holiday season:

1.    Create a Sense of Urgency
The great thing about the festive season is that there is a finite date where things need to be purchased and sent by. A gentle reminder of that will encourage your customers to get their orders in, instead of waiting to do it later. You can even make your own website countdown timer to remind your customers when items need to be shipped by – we like the free one at Widgetbox (http://www.widgetbox.com).

2.    Suggest Additional Products
Bigger orders mean more money, and a great way to get bigger orders is by suggesting additional products to the customers that are already shopping on your site. Try showcasing and linking to additional complimentary products on each of your catalog pages.
TIP: The CityMax.com website builder includes the “Recommend Product” feature – find it under ‘Edit Store’ > ‘Products’ > ‘Recommend Products’.

3.    Offer Free Shipping
One thing that still makes a lot of people hesitate to buy online is the cost of shipping. So, if it’s feasible for your business and isn’t going to eat into your bottom line too much, try offering your customers free shipping for a limited time. Not only will it help reduce their hesitation to buy online, but the limited time offer will also give them a sense of urgency and persuade them to buy now.

4.    Send a Holiday Newsletter
Do you already have a mailing list of existing customers? Reach out to them! Send them an email newsletter telling them about any sales or new products. You may even want to offer a special discount that’s only available to newsletter recipients, inviting them to come shop at your store.
TIP: A great way to provide a special offer to your newsletter customers is by giving them a special discount code that they can enter into the shopping cart on your website. If you’re using CityMax.com, you can make your own website discount codes through the website builder. Just go to ‘Edit Store’ > ‘Discount Codes’.

Do you have more great ideas for boosting your sales over the holidays? Let us know on Twitter! @CityMaxhttp://www.twitter.com/CityMax