Top 3 Reasons to Track Online Store Activity over the Holidays

Wouldn’t it be great if you could know what your customers love, hate, and come back to your site for?

2009-12-10-cartstatsThat’s the beauty of owning an online store. With website analytics set up for your site, you can easily track what visitors are doing, where they’re coming from, and what they’re buying. And, since the holiday rush provides you with a larger volume of customers, you can see patterns in the data more easily. Plus, you’ll also be better prepared for next year!

Here are a few things to keep an eye on:

1. Best Selling Items Although selling out of an item is great, it means that you’re also missing out on potential sales once the item is gone. By identifying which items are the most popular, you can plan effectively for the following year, making sure that you don’t get caught without enough product to meet demand.

2. Start of Season & Busiest Shopping Days Note the dates where your selling season really starts to ramp up and more visitors are flocking to your site. This will help you know when you’ll need to stock more product, hire additional workers, start your advertising, and much more.

3. Page Popularity Are you using advertising to drive traffic to specific pages? If so, statistics may give you an idea of which advertising campaigns are the most or least effective and help you know what to do (or not to do) next year.

If you are new to the idea of tracking your website traffic using analytics, take a look at the HitsLink stats that come free with your website. You’ll find them in the left-hand column on the Dashboard page!

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 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 (

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 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, 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! @CityMax