Prepare Your Online Store for the Holidays!


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Prepare Your Online Store for the Holidays!
Written By: Teresa Mitchell, Wendy Ogryzek and June Bachman ~ 10/5/2016 9:00:00 AM

FREE WORKSHOP!  eCommerce:  Strategies to Sell More Products Online
TUESDAY - October 11th, 2016
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Microsoft Store at Bellevue Square Mall
116 Bellevue Square Bellevue, WA 98004 

Just RSVP to:


Over the last decade, retailers have seen a steady and measurable increase in their online sales. We attribute the increase in online sales activity to two primary sources:

  • Consumer confidence in shopping online.
  • Increased attention paid to the user experience.

That said, it’s time to begin planning how you will receive, manage and meet the expectations of your holiday shoppers. Here are questions and considerations to help you develop a plan to receive and be rewarded for your holiday shoppers. After all there are only 80 days until Christmas!


  • Will you offer free shipping cart blanche?
  • Will you include an estimated shipping charge early in the checkout process or will you include it in your product descriptions?
  • Will you offer free shipping as an incentive to shop early?
  • Where will you post shipping deadlines and guaranteed delivery dates?


How will you ensure that your customer’s know and understand your return policy?

  • Pare your liberal return policy down to 2 sentences and include it on every page of your website?
  • Include a Return Policy link on every page of your website?
  • Boast about your liberal return policy on each of your landing pages?

How will you manage your customer’s expectations of your return policy?

  • With an auto responder email or with a personal email that includes the customer’s name and the salutations you learned to pen in a hand written letter?
  • With a personal phone call to your customer that includes a conversation about what your customer can expect, a credit on their Visa card or a store credit?


Out shine your competition with a competitive advantage and give your customers every available incentive to buy from you. Use incentives and personal service to inspire them to load their shopping cart and check out with confidence. What incentives will you offer your customers?

  • Free shipping?
  • Limited time discount to inspire early shopping and ensure on-time delivery and product availability?
  • 15% off of your next order coupon?
  • Free bonus gift?
  • Free gift wrap?
  • Personalized gift card for no additional charge?


Place your trust symbols in prominent places on your site, not just on the page where you think they will be found and read. For example, on every page of your website should either state or include a text link to your return policy. Your site’s trust symbols include:

  • Contact information on every page of your website.
  • Clear and concise return policies.
  • Shipping deadlines and order cutoff dates.
  • Secure site symbols and badges.
  • Testimonials and product reviews.

Product descriptions

Provide your customers with complete and comprehensive product descriptions that include:

  • Size
  • Color
  • Weight
  • Dimensions
  • Function
  • Manufacturer
  • Testimonials
  • Consumer reviews

Gift Wrapping and Cards

  • Will you offer gift wrapping and cards to your customers?
  • Will you give the service away as an incentive to shop in your store or will you charge for the service and thereby create a nominal revenue stream for your online store?
  • How will you show your customer what their purchase will look like dressed in gift wrap when the recipient opens the shipping box?
  • Will you hand write gift cards with a calligraphy pen or will your printer personalize the card?

Gift certificates

  • Will you offer gift certificates?
  • How will a recipient redeem a gift certificate, with a coupon code or with a phone order?

Featured items

  • What products do you want to feature in your store?
  • How will you draw attention to your featured items?  With a call to action on your home page or a "featured item" category in your online store?
  • How can you cross promote your featured items to expand and enhance your merchandising?


The functions of your online store should work seamlessly and flawlessly. Test, test and retest your:

  • Links
  • Checkout process
  • Search function
  • Promotions (coupons, discounts)

Cross Merchandising

Cross merchandise products based on price, intended user, and complimentary items. Create new, broad spectrum categories for the products in your store. Here are a few ideas for cross merchandising your store’s inventory:

  • Gifts for Dad
  • Gifts for Mom
  • Gifts under $20.00
  • Gifts with shipping included!


Every picture in your online store should be optimized to load quickly, and be a high quality image. High quality images are staged with lighting and backdrops, quality that you expect from a professional photographer to capture with a shutter click.

Plan Now

Now is the time to prepare your online store for the holiday shopping season. With only 80days until Christmas to develop and work you plan so it will work seamlessly for you!

If you would like to learn more about how to increase eCommerce sales, join us for our next FREE workshop!

TUESDAY - October 11th, 2016 10:00 am to 11:30 am
Microsoft Store at Bellevue Square Mall
116 Bellevue Square Bellevue, WA 98004 

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