7 Tips to Best Prepare Your Team for the Q4 Holiday Season

If there’s something we’ve learned from the annual eCommerce holidays of the previous years, it would have to be its potential to double a business’ revenue from the other three quarters combined.

Knowing how crucial this time of the year is, it’s only natural for you to prepare your team for the Q4 holiday season.

If you’ve been doing this for a couple of years already, we can both agree that this is easier said than done.  Running an eCommerce business is already a handful as it is but for this special time of the year, you want to pull out all the stops.

What’s the best way to prepare your team for the Q4 holiday season?  Below are a couple of effective and useful steps you can begin with.

If there’s something we’ve learned from the annual eCommerce holidays of the previous years, it would have to be its potential to double a business’ revenue from the other three quarters combined.

Knowing how crucial this time of the year is, it’s only natural for you to prepare your team for the Q4 holiday season.

If you’ve been doing this for a couple of years already, we can both agree that this is easier said than done.  Running an eCommerce business is already a handful as it is but for this special time of the year, you want to pull out all the stops.

What’s the best way to prepare your team for the Q4 holiday season?  Below are a couple of effective and useful steps you can begin with.

1. Be mindful of your customer service and shipping cut-offs

Some business owners don’t pay much attention to this small detail thinking this is supposed to be something automatic but end up paying the price for taking things for granted.

Most of us know that the holiday season means new extended hours and open days, making it imperative to remind your customer service team of such changes a week in advance at the very least.

Make sure to remind them of the changes in hours via email. If you have to reiterate them in your weekly meetings, do so because any miscommunication here can have huge implications for your business.

It would also help a lot for you to know about potential shipping cut off dates for delivery especially before Christmas Eve.  Give yourself a one-day buffer just to be sure that you have enough time to make adjustments if something goes wrong.

Work closely with distribution centers so you can identify the last day they’ll need to receive orders for those to arrive on time.

2. Leverage the power of Amazon PPC

If there’s a perfect time to harness the power of Amazon PPC, it would have to be the Q4 holiday season.  It’s just too big an opportunity to pass up given the potential revenue it’s about to give you back.

If you already have an Amazon PPC specialist in the fold, then you’re good to go.  You just need to meet them once so you can come up with a strategy for this year’s eCommerce holiday.

If for some reason you do not have an Amazon PPC expert readily available, it would be wise to simply hire one instead of trying to learn everything in a few days.  It takes time to understand how an effective Amazon PPC campaign works and it’s just too risky to do some trial and error at this very important time of the year.

3. Tap into the power of social media ads

An equally important way to prepare your team for the Q4 holiday season is to have your Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns in place and ready for implementation.

Like our previous advice about Amazon PPC, getting experts to do this for you would be a better choice than doing it yourself.  Have these campaigns ready weeks in advance as much as possible so you won’t find yourself scrambling at the last minute.

Giving your ad specialist time to craft social media campaigns reduces the pressure, giving them the convenience and freedom to tap into their creative juices.  The more planned out and organized these campaigns are, the better things will be for your business, don’t you think?

4. Engage/re-engage your email list

The holiday season is also the best time to revisit your email list.  When we said “pull out all the stops,” what we really meant was using every possible means of generating traffic and converting visitors to customers.

While PPC ads are reliable ways of achieving both, email marketing will always be up there as a go-to strategy that produces satisfying results.

There are two ways to do this — through engagement and re-engagement.

Engage your email list – every new customer has the potential to become a loyal one and the best way to engage them is via email.  By letting new customers opt-in to your email list, you’re allowing your business to reach out and engage with them with promos and sales.  It’s something you should take advantage especially at this time of the year.

Re-engage lost traffic – Just because a potential customer decided not to push through buying a product on your site, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve lost them forever.  

These are the customers whom you’ve lost in the cart or somewhere along the way there.  Some of them may have already added a product to their cart or started the buying process but abruptly left for some reason.

Though the transaction did not push through, their information will still be visible to you.  You can use the same information to reach out to them through a re-engagement campaign so you can get them back.  You can offer discounts and other forms of reward to give them a reason to give your store another shot.

5. Monitor your conversion rates daily

While it’s true that the holiday season can make a huge impact on eCommerce sales, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can just sit back and relax, hoping that customers will flock to your site and spend good money on your offers.

It’s a huge opportunity for you to capitalize on people’s willingness to spend money online, but you need to monitor your conversion rates daily.

One of the reasons why this is something every store owner needs to take advantage of is because your site still has more to offer than what you already see.  There are still ways to get more sales either by improving your product page or making adjustments to your cart to give customers a better experience.

This is why hiring a conversion rate optimization (CRO) specialist, especially leading up to the Q4 holiday season, can prove to be a game-changing decision. By having someone with the expertise to properly monitor your daily conversion rates and make the necessary adjustments, you are giving your business a better shot at selling more products than you ever imagined.

Why settle for what the holiday season organically brings when you can do more to leverage your site’s selling potential?  

6. Ensure your website and its mobile versions are user-friendly

If you want to make the most of the Q4 holiday season, you have to ensure that your site is accessible 24 hours a day and that you have a backup plan in place in case you encounter connectivity issues.

With that being said, having your web and mobile developers ready and on-call is imperative, especially during the weekends. The last thing you need is for customers to file complaints or simply frop off because they can’t view a page or a transaction cannot be completed.

You should also consider optimizing your website’s mobile version since more people are likely to buy products using their phones, especially during the holiday rush. You don’t want to hamper your store’s daily operations just because you failed to make the necessary preparations.

7. Stock Up

Lastly, make sure to stock up especially when it comes to your certified best-sellers.  It would be a huge waste for customers to place their orders only for the transaction to be canceled because you’ve gone out of stock.

This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that you can just go out there and order as much as you possibly can.  You don’t want to run the risk of getting overstocked either, which is why hiring an inventory manager can make all the difference.

Have your inventory carefully assessed so you don’t overspend on product that may end up sitting in the warehouse for a long time. It’s good to be sure have enough stock to fulfill holiday orders, but you also need to be smart because additional stock costs money.

Final Thoughts

The Q4 holiday season is one of the most anticipated times of the year for eCommerce businesses.  With more people jumping onto the online shopping bandwagon during this time, the opportunities to make more sales and generate massive income are just too good to pass up.  

By implementing these tips, you are helping prepare your team for the Q4 holiday season by giving them guidance on which aspects of the business to optimize.

Connor Gillivan

Connor Gillivan

Connor Gillivan is the CMO and co-owner of FreeeUp.com, a rapidly growing freelance marketplace making hiring online simpler. He has sold over $30 million online, has hired hundreds of freelancers to build his companies, is a published author, and is the owner of ConnorGillivan.com. He currently lives in Denver, CO.

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