Make Sure Your Store is Prepared for These Holiday Shopping Dynamics
The holiday shopping season is practically here, and many brands have been preparing all year for this moment. Being able to unlock market trends, discover changes from last year in consumer habits and manage logistical supply chains are all very important elements to address before the shopping season begins.
Even though some concerns are past the point of addressing this holiday shopping season, there are some that you can address right now – before and during the surge of shoppers.
Today, we’ll highlight a few dynamics your online store must handle in order to get the most this shopping season.
The Flux of Demand
Above all else, being able to meet demand during the holiday shopping season is paramount. Many brands experience a massive increase in sales during the fourth quarter of the year, but this may not be uniform. In other words, some products may be disproportionately in demand relative to others, meaning that your ordering process could result in over-ordering or under-ordering for specific items.
You can mitigate some of these potential concerns by evaluating recent trends and competitor behavior. By pinging search engines for data showing how many people look for a particular keyword or product throughout the year, you can possibly balance out the change in demand before and after the holiday season has concluded.
There is a lot to be said about how the competition can behave in tough, financially-motivating situations. Needless to say, you almost certainly are not the only business targeting a specific demographic or niche during the holiday sales season.
Things can get pretty nasty, but the most likely bad behavior will be going on behind the scenes. Some examples may include purchasing false reviews or links to harm rankings and sales via search engines, buying keywords and phrases associated with your brand and/or its products to steal traffic looking for you specifically, and even coordinated attacks designed to slam your website with traffic so that it may crash.
Being vigilant is the only way to avoid long-term problems in this regard. You can ultimately disavow links, petition reviews to be removed if there is evidence it was left under nefarious and false terms, and utilize web hosting that scales based on traffic (and includes DDoS protection).
Whether you rely on the organic nature of search results, paid marketing, or both, you need a solid foundation in terms of picking the right target audiences. Having a comprehensive amount of research on who buys your products is the best course of action in building these data-sets, but broader market research is often also necessary.
You can determine whether you’re pinging search engines with ads and keywords optimally by analyzing search trends and performance, as well as examining open rates and click through rates in PPC campaigns and email marketing.
Ultimately, your sales may not be what you expect if you’re targeting the wrong people and/or failing to target the right people.
While plenty of concerns will come to the forefront during each and every holiday shopping season, please consider evaluating whether you are targeting the right audience(s), how demand can change before, during and after the season, and what your competitors may be doing to subvert your progress.